What are SME Owner costs in Horizon Europe?

If you’re starting your Horizon Europe project and are wondering which costs are eligible, it’s a good time to discuss SME Owner costs. Before talking about how to charge SME Owner costs to your HE project, let’s make sure we’re on the same page regarding the definition of SME Owner.

Who is an SME Owner?

An SME Owner is a natural person who directly owns or co-owns shares of the company receiving the grant, regardless of the ownership percentage. You could own 0.01% and still be eligible. However, if you own shares through another company, that does not qualify.

What can be charged to the project for the SME Owner?

Now that you know who qualifies as SME Owner in your company, there are two ways to charge the cost to the HE project:

Scenario 1: The SME Owner receives a salary resulting from an employment contract and registered as such in the accounts of the SME. In this case the cost can be charged based on days worked on the project at a daily rate the same way as regular employees involved in the project are.

Scenario 2: The SME Owner does not receive a salary but remuneration via invoices, profit distribution or by any remuneration method other than a salary resulting from an employment contract.

The cost can be charged but must be calculated by declaring the days worked on the project multiplied by the daily rate (called ‘unit cost’) which is fixed by the European Commission. This daily rate varies from one country to another between €154.7 and €372.5 per day worked on the project. It is calculated following the rules described in Annex 2a of your Grant Agreement:

amount per unit (daily rate) = EUR 5 080 /18 days (i.e.,282,22)

multiplied by

country-specific correction coefficient of the country where the beneficiary is established

If you still have doubts or your SME Owner doesn’t fit in these categories, we’ll gladly analyse your case and advise you on how to best proceed: