Skip to main content

Free movement of services in the single market

The EU single market comprises an area with no internal borders, in which the free movement of services and the freedom of establishment are guaranteed. The right of establishment and the freedom to provide services ensure the mobility of businesses and professionals within the European Union.

Permanent or temporary provision of services

A company registered in an EU Member State may conduct permanent and continuous economic activity in another Member State on the basis of the freedom of establishment. It may also provide services temporarily in another EU Member State.

The right of establishment includes the right to take up and pursue activities as a self-employed person and the right to set up and run a business, under the same conditions as those laid down for its own nationals by the law of the host country in which the provider is established.

The freedom of the cross-border provision of services means that a business may, in the event of a temporary activity, offer its services in another EU Member State without having to re-establish itself in the host country. The business carries out its activity under the same conditions as apply to businesses in the host country. Before the first cross-border provision of a service, the business is obliged to check the conditions for operating in the host country.