Work cost of the SME owner in H2020 project

In general, the remuneration of SME owners who work on their SMEI project is eligible. (i.e. declare hours spent on the implementation of the project)

  • SME owners with an employment contract and a monthly salary can declare their work costs to the EC and charge personnel costs based on their salary.
  • The number of hours worked on the project should be supported by timesheets.

But be careful! The salary for the management of the company cannot be declared as an eligible cost because it is not linked to the project.

What about SME owners that do not have an employment contract with their company?

  •  You must declare the hourly rate fixed by the Commission in two cases:
    • There is no employment contract between the owner and the company.
    • The owner is remunerated by other means (dividends, service contracts, other non-employment contract).

This hourly rate is indicated in the Grant Agreement (unit cost per hour).

  • The unit cost per hour is multiplied by the hours worked for the project. Keep in mind that the maximum number of working hours per SME owner per year is of 1720 and you cannot declare more.
  • Furthermore, you cannot declare costs through freelance contracts or other non-employment contracts, even if the SME owner is remunerated monthly – you still have to use the SME owner unit cost according to the EU rules.

If you still have doubts, please contact our consultants at