Criteria and Procedures for Emerging Company Certification



Order PCM/825/2023, a pivotal regulatory document that was officially published on July 21, 2023, within the pages of the BOE (Official State Gazette), is poised to catalyze a substantial transformation within the realm of emerging companies. These enterprises, driven by innovation and a vision for scalability, are actively seeking formal recognition and access to the specialized benefits, as laid out in the provisions of Law 28/2022.

This expansive decree serves as a guiding light for these companies, meticulously outlining the intricate criteria and detailed procedures that they must diligently adhere to for the coveted certification. With this regulatory framework in place, emerging enterprises can confidently navigate the path towards recognition and the myriad advantages it brings.

In the subsequent sections, we will embark on a detailed exploration of the pivotal aspects enshrined in this decree. These aspects carry a profound influence on the endeavors of emerging enterprises aspiring to be recognized as innovative and scalable ventures.

Criteria for Innovative Entrepreneurship

Article 4 of the decree sets the criteria for evaluating the character of innovative entrepreneurship. An entrepreneurial project will be considered an innovative company if it aims to solve problems, improve existing situations through product development, services, or substantially enhanced processes. Furthermore, it must inherently involve a risk of technological, industrial, or business model failure. To earn this classification, the company must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  1. R+D+I Expenses: Technological Research, Development, and Innovation (R+D+I) expenses must represent at least 15% of the company’s total expenses during the two previous fiscal years or the previous fiscal year if the company is less than two years old.
  2. Receipt of Investment or Financing: The company should have received investment, financing, or public aid for R+D+I projects or innovative entrepreneurship in the last three years without experiencing revocation due to incorrect or insufficient execution of the financed activity.
  3. High Degree of Innovation: The company should possess a reasoned report issued by the Ministry of Science and Innovation regarding its high degree of innovation.
  4. Bonuses in Social Security Contributions: The company must prove that it has received bonuses in Social Security contributions for hiring research personnel.
  5. Innovative SME Seal: Holding the Innovative SME Seal granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
  6. Certifications: Possessing certifications such as the Young Innovative Company Certification issued by AENOR (EA0043) or the Small or Micro Innovative Company Certification issued by AENOR (EA0047) or the Certification in accordance with UNE 166.002 – R+D+I Management Systems.
Criteria for Scalable Enterprises

Article 5 introduces the criteria for evaluating the character of scalable enterprises. The certifying agency will assess the degree of scalability of the applicant company based on the following criteria:

  1. Market Attractiveness: This criterion evaluates the supply and demand in the sector of operation, taking into consideration aspects such as traction generation, strategies for attracting users or customers, demand growth, sensitivity to the economic cycle, and barriers to entry for new suppliers.
  2. Life Phase of the Company: This assesses the company’s phase of development, from the implementation of prototypes to market launches, time under development, and time to commercialization.
  3. Business Model: The scalability of the number of users, operations, annual turnover, and monetization of activity, products, and services, along with investment and financing plans, is considered.
  4. Competition: This criterion evaluates competing companies, including their differentiation, strengths, and weaknesses compared to the applicant company.
  5. Team: It examines the experience, training, and track record of the company’s team, previous experiences, solvency, and partner track records.
  6. Contracts and Customers: Consideration is given to contracts with suppliers, providers, and rental agreements, as well as the volume of customers or users, concentration, and diversification relevance.

The certification process is facilitated through electronic submission, as outlined in Article 6. Once initiated, the National Innovation Company (ENISA) is required to resolve the procedure within a maximum of three months.

This decree streamlines the path for emerging companies aiming to achieve certification, unlocking a world of benefits and opportunities under the innovative and scalable entrepreneurship umbrella.

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