Travel to Europe for business

The UK has officially left the EU on 31 January 2021. Consequently, there are new rules for travel to Europe for business or holiday when the COVID restrictions lift. Be prepared, plan ahead and get ready for your trip.

Passport

You must make sure your passport has at least 6 months of validity left and must not be less than 10 years old. If your passport has less than 6 months, you can renew your British passport here. Generally, it takes 3 months to get your new passport if you apply online and it takes longer if you apply by post. Do plan your trip ahead.

Driving to Europe

Check in advance of the countries you are visiting in Europe. you may need to apply for International Driving Permit (IDP). You can obtain the IDP from a post office in the UK. You must already have either a valid UK driving license or a Northern Ireland driving license.

There are different types of IDP. Which IDP you need is dependent on which country or countries you are visiting and how long you are going to drive there.

Click here to see which IDP you need to apply.

Visa or work permit to enter a country

You may need a visa or work permit if you are planning to visit a country in Europe for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.

If you are doing the following then you would need a work permit or visa:

  • Relocating from a UK company or a branch to a branch in a different country. This is called intra-corporate transfer. You would need a visa even for a short period of time.
  • Providing a service according to contracts to your customer in another country in which your employer has no presence.
  • Providing your services in another country as a self-employed person.

Click here for business travel tips to Europe.

Mobile roaming charges

Contact your mobile network provider to enquire about the roaming charges as you do not want to end up with a huge bill. Sometimes, It may be cheaper to use local mobile network in the country you are visiting for a long period of time rather than using a roaming service.

Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

Consider applying for the Global Health Insurance Card, especially if your European Health Insurance Card has expired. It is free of charge. You can apply online or by post and it will take 10 days to arrive.

Click here to apply your GHIC.

British embassies in Europe

If you require help while you are in Europe, contact the country’s British Embassy.

Get information about a UK company from EUROPE

You can get information about a UK company from EUROPE through the Companies House website. Ordinarily, you can get the following UK company information for FREE from Companies House.

If you have any questions on how to get information about a UK company while you are in EUROPE, our accountants can help you.

Countries in Europe

Europe include the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein

Visit the gov.uk/visit-europe-2021 for further information.

Hire staff from outside the UK

Your company must register as a licensed visa sponsor with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to hire staff from outside the UK beginning 1 January 2021.

This includes hiring people from the following countries:

  • The EU  
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

Who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020 because the UK has left the EU and the transition period ended 31 December 2020.

The people your company is recruiting must also meet the new job, the language and the salary requirements set by the UK Immigration Department called the Home Office.

Licensed visa sponsor for UK employers

You can apply for your employer licensed visa sponsor from the UK Visas and Immigration.

Once approved, the Home Office will a certificate of sponsorship to you. Your license will be valid for 4 years.

Once your company has become a licensed visa sponsor, you must maintain your employer’s responsibilities as set out by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). For example, if your company has ceased trading and you are going to dissolve your company.

Hire Staff from outside the UK that does not require a licensed visa sponsor

The licensed visa sponsor rule does not apply to the staff from the following countries you already employ in the UK and were living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

  • The EEA
  • Swiss citizens

They and their family members can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

Besides, making sure you apply for a licensed visa sponsor before hiring staff from outside the UK and maintaining your responsibilities as a licensed visa sponsor employer, remember to maintain your company filings with Companies House. Deliver your confirmation statement and company accounts to Companies House promptly to avoid a late filing penalty.

Submit EC sales list from 1 January 2021

Submit EC sales list from 1 January 2021 is compulsory for VAT registered businesses supply goods which are intra-community dispatches to the EU Member States made under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

This requirement comes into effect following Brexit and the transition period ended on 31 December 2020.

UK exports

Correspondingly, from 1 January 2021, the movement of goods from the UK to the EU will be treated as exports and must not be reported on your EC Sales List.

No more paper EC Sales List

You will no longer be receiving a paper EC Sales List from HMRC. You must submit your EC Sales List online via HMRC’s ECSL service. Click here to sign up for the ECSL service if you have not yet done so.

Your business may face a financial penalty if you failed to deliver your EC Sales List to HMRC promptly.

Other compulsory filings

If your business is a limited company, you must deliver the following documents to Companies House every year.

If you require help with your EC Sales List, Confirmation Statement and Company accounts filings, do not hesitate to contact our accountants, they are more than happy to help you.

UK company with EEA corporate officer with effect from 1 January 2021

UK company with EEA corporate officer with effect from 1 January 2021 are required to provide up to date information about their EEA corporate officer to Companies House.

EEA stands for the European Economic Area. If your corporate officer is registered in the EEA countries then you must comply with the new UK companies filing requirement. Below is the list of the countries in the EEA.

EEA countries

The EEA countries include the following countries and the European Union (EU) countries.

  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway

EU countries

The EU includes the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Your EEA corporate officer information required

If your UK company has appointed an EEA corporate officer as your company director or secretary then you must provide the following information of your EEA corporate officer to Companies House.

  • corporate or company name
  • registered (or principal) office address
  • legal form and its governing law
  • register and registration number (if applicable)

This requirement does not affect UK company with UK registered company as their corporate officer.

How to submit your UK company’s EEA corporate officer information to Companies House

You would require to complete the relevant Companies House forms for your EEA corporate officer and submit it to Companies House. You can do it online or send in your completed form by post.

Form referencePurpose of filing
CH02change details for a corporate director
CH04change details for a corporate secretary
LL CH02change details for a corporate member of an LLP

During this COVID pandemic, Companies House encourages to do the filing online. This is because paper filing takes longer than usual to process. If you require help with this filing, our accountants can help you.

This filing is similar to filing your company accounts and Confirmation statement online which you would require your company’s authentication code to file.

Deadline to deliver your EEA corporate officer information

Your UK company with EEA corporate officer has three months from 1 January 2021 to deliver the information to Companies House.

If you have any questions about EEA corporate officer filing with Companies House, contact us, our accountants will assist you.

EU countries

EU countries consist of 27 countries in Europe. EU stands for European Union and it is a political and economic union of 27 countries. Each EU member country must meet the Copenhagen Criteria, in other words, the membership conditions.

The EU adopts a single market where businesses can trade and move freely within the EU member countries. 19 of the EU countries use the euro as their national currency.

On 31 January 2020, the UK left the EU.

List of the countries in the EU

NoEU member CountryInformation
1AustriaClick here
2BelgiumClick here
3BulgariaClick here
4CroatiaClick here
5CyprusClick here
6CzechiaClick here
7DenmarkClick here
8EstoniaClick here
9FinlandClick here
10FranceClick here
11GermanyClick here
12GreeceClick here
13HungaryClick here
14IrelandClick here
15ItalyClick here
16LatviaClick here
17LithuaniaClick here
18LuxembourgClick here
19MaltaClick here
20NetherlandsClick here
21PolandClick here
22PortugalClick here
23RomaniaClick here
24SlovakiaClick here
25SloveniaClick here
26SpainClick here
27SwedenClick here
Source: europa.eu

Doing business with the UK

The UK government encourage UK businesses to trade internationally and also welcome foreign businesses into the UK.

UK businesses expanding into overseas markets

If you are a UK business and would like to expand your business overseas, you may contact the Department for International Trade regional offices in the UK. They provide support and help to businesses.

Overseas businesses expanding into the UK market

If you would like to expand your business in the UK, you may contact the British Department for International Trade in your home country. Click here for the Department for International Trade offices worldwide.

Generally, an overseas company wants to set up a place of business in the UK must register with Companies House. You must register your overseas company within one month of opening for business in the UK.

Our accountants can help you to register your overseas company.

Get information about a UK company

Companies House maintain a public register of businesses registered with them. The information you can get include the following:

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