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.

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.

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