Notifying the authorities of cross-border activities

Information about Rights & Duties

Notifying the authorities of cross-border activities

If you run a registered service company in the state in which you live, e.g. as an architect or tour guide, you may offer these services in another EU state without having to establish a company or branch in that country (cross-border provision of services).

This can be useful if you intend to:

  • only provide the service there temporarily,
  • only provide the service for a particular customer based there or
  • explore the market before expanding your company there.

In principle, it should be possible for you to provide services in another EU state without having to comply with all the administrative procedures and regulations in force there (such as the prior application for a licence to trade). If country-specific requirements are imposed on you, valid justification for these must be provided by the competent authorities.

Whether you require permits and approvals prior to undertaking cross-border activities depends, in particular, on whether you work in a regulated or non-regulated career.

Regulated careers

If, for example, you work in a regulated career and would like to work in Berlin as a master craftsman, you will have already acquired all necessary permits and qualifications in your home country and can provide evidence of this. You do not need to obtain any approval or permits, but simply notify the competent administrative bodies of your activities. These would also be the bodies responsible for recognising professional qualifications. Which administrative body this is depends on the location where you intend to provide your services.

Non-regulated careers

If you wish to offer a service in Germany in a non-regulated career, you can carry out your self-employed activity without prior notification to the competent body. For non-regulated careers, access to or the exercising of careers is not subject to any specific national qualification requirements. This means the career can be exercised without any national accreditation.

However, this does not apply for services in fields that are excluded from the European Services Directive, such as the healthcare, financial services, tax, transport or gambling fields. Approvals and permits are required from the competent authorities in order to operate in a self-employed manner in these fields.

Requirement for establishment

Depending on how often, how long and how regularly you would like to provide the services, in some cases cross-border provision of services may not be possible. Instead a new company (business establishment) must be established in that country.

In principle, you are permitted to establish a business establishment in that country under the same conditions as nationals.

The competent authority is the trade office or local chamber of commerce in the place where the service is provided.

Contact details are provided by the Point of Single Contact.

Further information

Single point of contact

EU Commission database with all regulated careers within the EU

Federal government information hub for recognising foreign professional qualifications

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Point of Single Contact

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