The e-mail, which we also found in our inbox, is informal and short. It advertises a registration in Europe Business Guide, which is to be confirmed by filling out the attached PDF file.
The attached form states “Updating is free of charge”, which is supposed to suggest that there are no costs for an entry.
We also received similar mails from the “World Business List”. By the way, behind this campaign is the same company.
What is the Europe Business Guide?
The Europe Business Guide is a product of “EU Business Services Ltd.” and is a directory in which European companies and organizations may list themselves. The whole thing is based on the official European Business Register, which is supported by the European Commission as a project for cooperation and bureaucracy reduction. However, this organization has absolutely nothing to do with the EU project.
Legitimate or rip-off?
After a brief search, one finds a (manageable) list of companies from all over the world – all searchable and broken down by industry. Even if the sense of the project would have to be questioned, everything seems to be legitimate here.
Attention, high costs ahead!
But if you really want to register with the Europe Business Guide, you really should read the fine print: Only the updating of your entry is free of charge. The registration form states that by signing it, you are entering into a legally binding contract for a period of three years. This contract is renewed every year – unless you cancel it in writing two months before the end of the contract.
This “partnership” is associated with high costs – in our case 990 euros per year. As already mentioned: Only updating your entry is for free.
Legally, this document seems to be valid. The only question is whether an entry in an insignificant register is really worth almost a thousand euros. In addition, it is unpleasantly noticeable that the actual costs are only mentioned in the small print.
The company behind the Europe Business Guide seems to have been involved in dubious dealings several times in the past. The “World Business List” is also a product of “EU Business Services Ltd.” and this project does not have a good reputation online either. So it looks very much like a scam to pull money out of the pockets of small businesses.