Do you know what it takes for your company to participate in an EU funded project proposal?
Participating in project proposals for the European Union is a great opportunity for every eligible stakeholder out there. SMEs in particular, are able to receive funding, upgrade and reach the next level without a lot of effort. However, do you know what you must do to register your company and to participate in an EU funded project proposal?
With this article we will attempt to guide you through the steps that will be necessary, to put your business down for EU proposal participation and EU funding.
Step 1: Register your business. Get your PIC number
To participate you need to have your own Participant Identification Code aka your PIC number. You can get that by registering in the Participant Register.
The website also gives you the opportunity to verify whether you have registered before and already have a PIC number. Son if in the past you did register but did not participate, you can find your old PIC number instead of asking for a new one!
You need the PIC number to be quoted in your proposal for it to be valid.
During the registration process, you need to provide the basic administrative and legal data of your business. You will also need to provide your contact details. Your business needs to have a legal personality. If it does not, the people representing your business need to prove that they can undertake all the legal obligations and responsibilities on behalf of your business. You also need to prove that your business does have the financial operational capacity equivalent to that of a legal person.
Due to the fact that you are registering a business and not an organization you will have to go through the SME self-assessment process. During this process, you will need to answer a particular questionnaire that will determine whether you fall under the SME or the organization category. Being under the SME status is an eligibility criterion to take part in some specific actions under Europe’s biggest research programme, Horizon 2020.
Step 2: LEAR appointment and validation
After you validate your business in the Participant Register, you nominate your Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR). LEAR is a portal that allows you to:
- Manage the legal and financial information about the business
- Manage and access rights of persons in the business
- Appoint representatives of the business to electronically sign grant agreements or financial statements via the Funding and Tenders Portal.
To appoint a LEAR you must:
- Identify the person in your business who will act as LEAR and the legally empowered representative appointing her/him.
- Encode in the Participant Register the name and contact information of the LEAR and the legal representative(s) appointing her/him
1. Get your business’s legal representative to:
- date, sign and stamp the LEAR appointment letter & LEAR roles and duties document generated by the system (both sections must be signed)
- read the Funding & Tenders Portal Terms and Conditions and
- date, sign and stamp the declaration of consent to the PP Terms & conditions.
2. Upload a scanned version of the following documents in the Participant Register:
- the LEAR appointment letter & LEAR role and duties (dated and signed by the legal representative(s) and the LEAR)
- the Declaration of consent to the Funding & Tenders Portal Terms & Conditions (dated and signed by the legal representative(s))
- copies of an official valid proof of identity (ID-card, Passport) carrying a photo and signature of
- the legal representative(s) and
- the appointed representative (LEAR)
- document(s) proving that the legal representative(s) appointing the LEAR is/are empowered as such, which must:
- clearly, indicate the role/function within the business as a legal representative(s),
- identify and appoint a specific person (by indicating his/her personal data) as the person covering that specific role/function.
3. Activate the LEAR’s online user account using
- The activation instructions received via email
- The PIN code for the account activation sent via post or SMS
By taking these simple steps, you will be able to register your business and have an active representation of your company, to take part in EU calls. There are more steps to be taken, to find the partners and the calls you are looking for as well as familiarize yourselves with legislation evolving around EU projects but the first step, registering, is the most important. Congratulations, you SME can now be a part of EU projects and get the funding it needs to support all future endeavors.