Understanding SME Status Verification in the EIC Accelerator

Table of Contents

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator, a pivotal element of Horizon Europe, aims to drive innovation and growth in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). To participate in the EIC Accelerator, companies must verify their SME status, ensuring they meet the eligibility criteria set by the European Union. This article delves into the process of SME status verification, outlining the requirements and steps involved.

What is SME Status?

To qualify as an SME, a company must meet specific criteria defined by the EU recommendation 2003/361. An SME must employ fewer than 250 persons, have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million. This status must be maintained throughout the project’s duration to remain eligible for EIC Accelerator funding.

Self-Assessment for SME Status

Process Overview

For Grant only and Grant first funding schemes, SME status determination is typically conducted through self-assessment. This process involves filling out a questionnaire via the company’s Funding & Tenders account, focusing on the last closed accounting period and the company’s ownership structure.

Questionnaire Details

The self-assessment questionnaire investigates several aspects of the company’s structure and finances. It requires information about linked entities and may include forecasts. While no supporting documentation is initially required, accurate data is crucial, as it must be verifiable upon request.

Automatic Assessment

Upon completing the questionnaire, an automatic assessment determines the SME status. If the company qualifies, the results are valid for the same calendar year. If not, the proposal is deemed ineligible.

Central Validation Services (CVS) Assessment


For companies applying for Blended finance schemes, which include both grants and investments, the verification is conducted by the Central Validation Services (CVS). This assessment is more rigorous and requires detailed documentation.

Required Documentation

Companies must submit financial statements, shareholder information, and details about decision-making structures through the Funding & Tenders Portal. CVS may request additional information or clarifications, which must be addressed promptly.

Outcome Communication

Once the assessment is complete, CVS informs the company of its decision. If approved, the SME status is confirmed, allowing the company to proceed with its EIC Accelerator application.

Maintaining SME Status

It is essential for companies to maintain their SME status throughout the project’s duration. Any changes that might affect this status must be communicated to the EIC immediately. This requirement ensures ongoing eligibility and compliance with the Grant Agreement.

Verifying SME status is a critical step for companies seeking to participate in the EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe. By understanding and following the self-assessment and CVS procedures, companies can ensure they meet the necessary criteria and remain eligible for funding. For detailed guidance, companies can reach out to experts or consult the EIC guidelines directly.

Kronis Software: The Solution to Navigating EU Funding Complexities

Scroll to Top