64% of online businesses would sell to 10 or more EU countries if regulation were consistent

This report provides insight into how European and UK businesses would benefit from a more consistent and harmonised regulatory framework across the European Union’s member countries. It also explores what tools and technologies businesses have at their disposal to navigate the complexities in areas where regulatory divergence still exists.

of online businesses say compliance with regulation is a barrier to international growth
of online businesses are fully confident that they are compliant with regulatory standards
of online businesses are interested in using technology to help with regulation and compliance

Key findings

The findings are based on interviews with leaders of 500 online European businesses, all of whom export to at least one country. The research was conducted across nine European markets in 2020: EU members France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, and Republic of Ireland; and the UK. The study found that:

    • Regulations, perceived costs, and hazy knowledge are inhibiting international expansion
    • Businesses meet the challenges through use of online tools, external advisors, and internal teams
    • Only 26% are confident they fully understand which regulations affect them
    • Better technological solutions could help businesses save money and stimulate billions of euros of European growth