Last update: 05/02/2024
The European Union ensures service providers the right to practice their activity in other Member States, with the possibility of choosing between business establishment and the temporary and occasional cross-border provision of services.
The freedom of establishment involves the actual pursuit of an economic activity through a fixed establishment for an indefinite period; it requires integration into the economy in the Member State and it involves the acquisition of customers in that State from the basis of a stable professional domicile.
The freedom to provide services is characterised by the absence of a stable and continuous participation in the economic life of the host Member State. The distinction between establishment and provision of services needs to be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account not only the duration but also the regularity, periodicity and continuity of the provision of services. For his cross-border activity, a service provider may use an infrastructure in the host Member State without being established there.
For activities which require a professional qualification, the service provider must comply with specific administrative formalities.