SME Test

Since companies are involved in the implementation of most regulations that have an impact on the economy, the Federal Council considers it important to take all possible steps to ensure that companies are not overburdened with additional administrative tasks, that they are spared additional investment or management restrictions and that their freedom of action is restricted as little as possible. In order to assess the impact of a piece of legislation in this respect, the administration has to consult a dozen carefully selected SMEs as part of the SME compatibility tests. The results are not statistically representative, but serve as case studies to highlight any problems that may arise during implementation.

Until 2012, the SME tests were in most cases carried out by SECO on behalf of the extra-parliamentary committee "SME Forum" and were generally conducted at the consultation stage. The tool proved its worth in this context. Since 2013, SME tests must be carried out by federal offices as part of the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA). It has been found that the role and impact of SME tests could be significantly enhanced if they were carried out earlier in the legislative process and directly by the offices responsible for the draft regulations as part of the RIA. In several OECD member countries, SME testing is also integrated into RIA.

The SME testing tool remains available for the work of the "SME Forum". It has been mandated by the Federal Council to analyse regulations that impose a significant administrative burden on companies. On the basis of its analyses, the SME Forum formulates positions that reflect the viewpoint of SMEs within the framework of consultation procedures and proposes simplifications and alternative regulations to the relevant administrative units.

Last modification 07.12.2023

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