Notifying the authorities of cross-border activities

Information about Rights & Duties

Notifying the authorities of cross-border activities

Cross-border provision of services

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

This may be useful if you intend to:

  •  provide the service there only temporarily,
  •  provide the service only to 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 Member State without having to comply with all the administrative procedures and regulations in force there, such as the prior application for a business licence. If you are subject to country-specific requirements, this must be duly justified by the competent authority.

Whether you need to obtain authorisations or permits before taking up a cross-border activity depends in particular on whether you intend to pursue a regulated or non-regulated profession.

Regulated professions

If, for example, you wish to work in a regulated profession in Berlin, as a master craftsman, you will already have obtained the necessary permits and qualifications in your home country and can provide evidence of this. You do not need to obtain any authorisations or permits, but simply report your activity to the same authority that would also be responsible for the recognition of your professional qualification. Which authority this is depends on where you intend to provide your services.

Non-regulated professions

If you wish to offer a service in Germany in a non-regulated profession, you may pursue your self-employed activity without prior notification to the competent body. For non-regulated professions, access to, or the exercising of the profession is not subject to any specific national qualification requirements. This means the profession 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 healthcare, financial services, taxation, transport and gambling. Authorisations and permits are required from the competent authorities in order to pursue a self-employed profession in these fields.

Requirement for the establishment of a subsidiary

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 or subsidiary must be established in that country.

In principle, you are permitted to establish a subsidiary under the same conditions as nationals of that country.

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

Contact details are provided by the Single point of contact.

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