Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are non-subsidiary, independent firms, which employ less than a given number of employees. This number, however, varies across countries. In the words of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Glossary of Statistical Terms "the most frequent upper limit designating an SME is 250 employees, as in the European Union". Some countries set the limit at 200 employees, while the United States considers SMEs to include firms with less than 500 employees. In most OECD countries small enterprises are those with less than 50 employees, while micro-enterprises have at most 10 or, in some cases, 5 employees. In addition to this, financial assets are also used to define SMEs.
The federal law #209-FZ "On small and medium business development in the Russian Federation" which defines small, medium-sized and micro enterprises was adopted in 2007. The following table summarizes the differences in definitions of medium-sized, small and micro enterprises in Russian and the European Union.
|either: Turnover||€ 50 mln||RUB 1 bln
≈ € 24 mln
|€ 10 mln||RUB 400 mln
≈ € 9.6 mln
|€ 2 mln||RUB 60 mln.
≈ € 1.4 mln
|Or: Balance sheet total||€ 43 mln||-||€ 10 mln||-||€ 2 mln||-|
Source: European Commission. Enterprise and Industry. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): SME Definition; Federal law #209-FZ "On small and medium business development in Russian Federation".