What is the purpose of the procedure?
After being selected for Horizon Europe funding, and before the Grant Agreement is prepared, companies are required to complete several steps to support the screening efforts of the European agencies involved in the funding scheme management. The first one of these is the Legal Entity Validation process. The aim of these measures is to verify that the beneficiary participating in the programme exists, qualifies for special legal status where applicable (e.g., SME in EIC Accelerator) and the information submitted to prove this (i.e., the company’s legal data) is correct. Although the task may seem trivial, passing this screening is a prerequisite for admission to further steps. Moreover, anticipation of these requirements can save a lot of time and accelerate the procedure leading to the Grant Agreement signature.
Who is responsible for these checks and what do they entail?
The Legal Entity Validation is managed by the Central Validation Service (CVS) – a unit within the European Research and Executive Agency. The CVS is responsible for verifying the documents submitted by companies and requesting further information where necessary via the EU’s Funding & Tenders Portal which is the main reporting tool for Horizon Europe beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries are requested to file the Legal Entity Form, an official VAT document, and a valid registration extract. The CVS may also use publicly available information in case the submitted data appears incomplete or contradictory. Entities may be contacted for further details if the CVS findings do not match the submitted declarations, if the submitted documents are outdated or the information provided is illegible, incomplete, or otherwise incorrect or unclear. Such requests should be treated as high priority as the CVS has the right to refuse validation in cases where organisations do not fulfil their requests for clarification which means that the Grant Agreement Preparation cannot be initiated.
The next steps after a successful Validation
Following a successful Legal Entity Validation, the company can proceed to designate the Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR) and to complete the procedures to confirm any special legal status that the entity is required to demonstrate for eligibility. The latter depends on the type of funding scheme applicable to the company and is also analysed by the CVS.
The steps to complete between being selected for funding and signing the Grant Agreement require efficient timing and substantial effort. Are you wondering how to obtain documentation or choose your LEAR? Do you have questions regarding the negotiation process or the preparation of your Grant Agreement data? We can guide you. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .