WHAT TO DO IF YOU WANT TO
SET UP A BUSINESS?
- As an EU citizen, you are entitled to:
- Set up your own business in any EU country, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
- Set up a subsidiary branch of an existing EU-based business that is already registered in one EU country.
- Requirements vary per country, but all countries are encouraged to meet certain targets to help set up new companies:
- set up in no more than 3 working days;
- cost less than € 100;
- complete all procedures through a single administrative body;
- complete all registration formalities online;
- register a company in another EU country online (through national contact points).
- There are different types of funding and assistance available for startups.
- Find out more: https://europa.eu/youreurope/startup_en
HOW CAN YOU SELL YOUR
PRODUCT WITHIN THE EU?
- As a business trading in Europe you can benefit from the EU Single Market and also from certain trade arrangements with other European countries. This means your goods can move freely within this territory without any extra costs or quantitative restrictions. This is known as free movement of goods.
- Once your product has entered the EU, even if it is manufactured outside the EU, it can be transported freely throughout the EU. Remember, customs formalities have to be completed when goods are imported or exported between the EU and any non-EU country (including those benefiting from the free movement of goods, in this case: the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Turkey, Andorra and San Marino).
- If your products comply with the EU’s harmonised rules (based on conditions aiming to protect customers, public health and the environment) they can be freely transported within the EU, meaning no restrictions may be put in place.
- If your products are not subject to harmonised rules, they may be subject to national rules. If this is the case, you will still be able to benefit from the free movement of goods, based on the principle of mutual recognition.
- Restrictions may be imposed on certain products that would interfere with public interest, for example to protect the health and life of humans, animals or plants, for environmental protection, public security or public morality.
- Find out more: https://europa.eu/youreurope/selling_en
WHAT IF YOU WANT TO PROVIDE
YOUR SERVICES ABROAD?
- If you have a registered business providing services in the country where you live, for example as an architect or tour guide, then you can offer those services in another EU country without setting up a company or branch there.
- This can be useful if you wish to:
- temporarily provide the service;
- provide your service to a specific client who lives there;
- test the market before expanding abroad.
- Usually you would be able to supply services abroad without having to comply with all of the country’s administrative procedures and rules. However, you may need to notify the public authorities that you will be offering services in their country.
- If you offer telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services, these services will always be taxed in the country where your customer is. The mini one-stop-shop (MOSS) scheme allows you to supply these services in the EU without the need to register in each country you supply to:
- Even if your company is based outside of the EU, you can benefit from the MOSS scheme.
- Don’t assume that you can provide services without setting up a company locally. Whether you can or not will depend on how often, for how long, and how regularly you wish to provide services, as well as the type of service you’re providing.
- EU rules forbid discrimination between service recipients because of their nationality or where they live. This means:
- you are automatically entitled to receive services from businesses in other EU countries;
- you may not refuse or give different treatment to prospective customers from other EU countries unless you have a valid reason.
- If you sell online, you cannot refuse to deliver to customers in other EU countries without a valid reason.
- Find out more: https://europa.eu/youreurope/services_en and https://europa.eu/youreurope/moss_en
WILL YOUR PROFESSIONAL
QUALIFICATIONS BE RECOGNISED?
- If you want to work in another EU country, and your profession is regulated there, you may need to get your professional qualifications officially recognised before you start practising in your new country.
- A profession is regulated if you have to hold a specific degree, sit specific exams, or register with a professional body before you can practice it.
- If your profession is not regulated in your home country, but is regulated in the EU country you want to work in you may have to prove that you have exercised your profession in your home country for at least 1 of the last 10 years.
- Authorities may ask for certified copies and/or sworn translations of certain key documents for applications to provide services abroad.
- Once your professional qualifications are recognised, you may still need to register with a professional body before you can use your professional title and begin to practise.
- Find out more: https://europa.eu/youreurope/pq_en