An SE can be set up in four ways:

  • by formation of a subsidiary by two or more companies,

  • by transformation (conversion) of an existing public limited-liability company by merger of two or more existing public limited-liability companies,

  • by formation of a holding company

  • by two or more public or private limited-liability companies,

All types of formation share a cross-border element: they must always involve companies from at least two different EU member states. In the case of a transformation, the company must have had a subsidiary in another member state for at least two years.

The SE must be registered in the same member state in which the administrative head office is located.