The European Commission defines small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as follows:
|Headcount||Turnover in € mill||Balance Sheet Total € mill|
Comment: Valid as from Jan. 1, 2005; the figures present maximum limits.
Source: European Commission
In general, most SMEs are autonomous since they are either completely independent or have one or more minority partnerships (each less than 25%) with other enterprises. If that holding rises to no more than 50%, the relationship is deemed to be between partner enterprises. Above that ceiling, the enterprises are linked.