If you are travelling to an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein for less than 90 days in a 180-day period, you may be able to do some things without getting a visa or work permit, for example going to a business meeting.


You may need a visa, work permit or other documentation if you’re planning to stay for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period, or if you’ll be doing any of the following:


  • transferring from the UK branch of a company to a branch in a different country (‘intra-corporate transfer’), even for a short period of time.
  • carrying out contracts to provide a service to a client in another country in which your employer has no presence.
  • providing services in another country as a self-employed person.


You can find out more information about the requirements of individual countries in the GOV.UK selling services country guides.


Country specific guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/providing-services-to-eea-and-efta-countries-after-eu-exit


Providing services

As the UK is no longer a member of the EU single market or customs union, UK business service companies now need to comply with host-country rules in each EU Member State. This applies for the recognition of professional qualifications and also licensing.   


UK businesses are advised to consider seeking legal advice in the county you want to trade in order to help you comply with specific regulations.


Recognition of professional qualifications

Businesses will need to ensure that UK professional qualifications are officially recognised to work in a profession that is regulated in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. You’ll need to do this even if you’re providing temporary or occasional professional services.


As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, authorities responsible for professional qualifications in the UK and EU member states can submit joint recommendations to the UK-EU Partnership Council for profession-specific arrangements.


Until mutual recognition agreements have been put in place, UK-qualified professionals will need to confirm that their qualification is recognised by each member state by contacting the relevant authorities in each country.

Businesses are advised to check the European Commission’s Regulated Professions Database (REGPROF) to find out if your profession is regulated. Then contact the relevant country to find out how to get your professional qualification recognised.


Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/providing-services-to-any-country-in-the-eu-iceland-liechtenstein-norway-or-switzerland-after-eu-exit 


You don’t have to do anything if your qualification has already been officially recognised by the relevant regulator in an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The regulator’s decision to recognise your qualification remains valid.


There are different rules if you’re a lawyer or an auditor:


Find out what to do if you’re an auditor: www.gov.uk/guidance/auditing-for-uk-auditors-and-audit-firms-operating-in-the-european-economic-area-eea


Find out what to do if you’re a lawyer: www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-lawyers-practising-in-the-eu-eea-efta-and-switzerland#history



Transporting business equipment

For businesses needing to move equipment on a temporary basis, you will need documentation to move your goods. An ATA Carnet is an internationally recognised passport for goods that enables you to move goods in and out of countries, on a temporary basis, without paying duties.  Carnets can be used for all professional equipment; trade fairs and exhibitions; commercial samples & trials; educational or cultural items.


Guidance on ATA Carnet: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-use-your-ata-carnet