In the last twenty years, new laws have been proclaimed by different countries regarding the broad field of “social enterprises”. In those laws there are different kind of definition of what could be a social enterprise and this is due to the different national context in which the law has been drawn up; so we can find laws concerning only the field of cooperation and laws giving guidelines for establishing social enterprises in many kind of forms (such as companies, associations, foundations and so on). However, the common framework for all those laws is to regulate a new kind of business in which profit is one of the means to pursuit general interest goals, and in particular a social aim. Given that, there is the need to consider the economic side of those kind of enterprises, that has to be seriously taken in account to guarantee them a certain degree of autonomy and sustainability to achieve the social goals. Social enterprises studies on efficiency and effectiveness bring us to the broad concepts of governance and accountability, terms whose meanings in our work are “the whole of configuration and functioning conditions of firms’ governing and control bodies” as part of the institutional structure of the firm (“the configuration of stakeholders, their contribution, rewards and advantages within the firm, the institutional aim and organizational structure that regulate the correlation between those elements in a dynamic long-period equilibrium” – Airoldi, Brunetti e Coda, 1994 and 2005) for the former and “a whole of systems and tools to measure, control and evaluate the performance of profit, public and non-profit firms which considers both the responsibility of the boards” (Fiorentini 2002) and “the need to be accountable and to give transparent information to the broad public of stakeholders (and not only to shareholders), even more when public or private resources have been used to achieve social goals without profits distribution” (Matacena 1999) for the latter. This paper aims at deepen the concepts of governance and accountability in social enterprises within a comparative framework of the European experiences. In order to have a well-defined field of study, last year we studied the laws of some European countries concerning social enterprises; the main findings of this study is that not all countries define rules concerning the two above-mentioned terms. In particular, in this paper we’d like to deepen questions about Board composition, goal structure (mission) and accountability tools in the practice of social enterprise in some European countries.