Providing services in the EU or EFTA
UK businesses or professionals providing services in the EU or EFTA region
If you’re a UK business or professional providing services in the EU or EFTA region, you will need to check the national regulations of the country you’re doing business in to understand how best to operate. You will also need to have your UK professional qualification officially recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in the EU or EFTA.
Get your qualifications recognised
If you have a UK professional qualification you will need to have this officially recognised by the appropriate regulator for your profession in each country where you intend to work. You will need to do this even if you are only providing short-term or occasional professional services. If you do not do this, you may be unable to continue to practice or service clients in the EU from 1 January 2020. There are different rules if you are a lawyer or an auditor.
If UK-adopted international accounting standards are not determined as equivalent to EU-adopted international accounting standards, UK businesses listed on EU markets may need to produce accounts that comply with EU-adopted international accounting standards (or an equivalent) and UK-adopted international accounting standards
Companies preparing IFRS accounts will need to use ‘UK adopted IFRS’ instead of ‘EU adopted IFRS’ for financial years beginning after the 1 January 2021. UK incorporated groups with securities admitted to trading on a UK regulated market will need to prepare accounts using UK adopted IFRS for all accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2021. UK incorporated companies listed on other EU markets will need to comply with the rules of those markets as well as preparing accounts that comply with the UK Companies Act 2006.
UK incorporated parent companies with a subsidiary in the EEA and UK companies with a presence in the EEA (for example a branch) need to check the reporting requirements in the country where the subsidiary, or branch, is based.
UK incorporated groups that issue debt from a subsidiary incorporated in the EU will need to comply with the rules of the country where the subsidiary is based as well as produce accounts that comply with the UK Companies Act 2006.
UK companies listed in the EEA need to secure an auditor who is registered as a third country auditor in the relevant EEA states to comply with local audit requirements
Find out about accounting for UK companies from 1 January 2021
Businesses should check if there are any changes to who can own, manage or direct companies in the sector and country they operate in
If you have a UK business or are a UK citizen, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a company registered in an EEA country or Switzerland from 1 January 2021. You should be prepared for: additional requirements on the nationality or residency of senior managers or directors and/or limits on the amount of equity that can be held by non-nationals.
Businesses should check if there are any changes to regulations
If you have a UK business or are a UK citizen, you might face changes to the regulations governing remote service provision from the UK into an EEA country e.g. providing consultation services over email or video call. Certain sectors may face additional information or authorisation requirements, or a requirement to establish a legal presence in the EU to continue providing such services. This will vary by sector, and also by member state.
If you provide a more highly regulated service, such as legal, accounting or healthcare related services, it is more likely there will be new requirements to consider. You should check the relevant member state sectoral regulation and seek legal advice if you require further guidance.