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Detailed guide: Germany: providing services and travelling for business after Brexit

The authoritative source for German market regulations is the German government. This guidance links to official German sources wherever possible.

German trade and services regulations

If you’re a UK business offering services in Germany, you’ll need to follow regulations about:

  • getting an authorisation or a licence to provide a service
  • complying with local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

Use the Recognition in Germany portal to:

  • find out about providing services in Germany
  • understand local regulations
  • complete any relevant administrative procedures online

Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in Germany to help you comply with specific regulations. You can also contact your local chamber of commerce for advice.

To find out if EEA nationality requirements apply to you, contact the appropriate competent authority or the Federal Foreign Office.

VAT on sales of digital services

Businesses can use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to German consumers made before Brexit.

If you wish to continue to use MOSS after the UK leaves the EU, you will need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

Find out more about paying VAT on sales of digital services.

Ownership of companies registered in Germany

If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in Germany or any other EEA country.

Read more about this in our guidance relating to the EEA and Switzerland.

UK legal professionals who have investments in law firms in Germany should contact the Germany Federal Bar Association (site in German) for information on what a no-deal Brexit means for your investment.

Business travel and entry requirements

See the latest information on business travel to the EU after Brexit.

The Federal Foreign Office and the German customs websites have more information about:

  • visas including intra-corporate transfers
  • work and residence permits
  • supporting documentation
  • other conditions

UK nationals will not need visas to travel to Germany, nor work permits to work there, for a transition period of three months, according to Germany’s FAQs on citizens’ rights.

Social security payments for employees

If you’re sending employees to Germany, they may need to make social security contributions in both the UK and the country in which they are working.

Find out when you will need to pay social security contributions in the UK, EU and EFTA countries.

Recognition of professional qualifications

Find out if you need to take action by reading our general guidance relating to the EU and EFTA.

If you need to take action to secure the recognition of your professional qualification in Germany, these sources can help you:

UK statutory auditors working in Germany

For UK statutory auditors, the German Chamber of Public Accountants (site in German) should be able to provide further information.

UK lawyers working in Germany

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Germany, using either a German professional title or a UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar association in the region in which you are working or the Germany Federal Bar Association (site in German) for specific advice.

Data transfer and GDPR

You may need to take action. Find out if you need to take action by reading our guidance relating to the EEA and Switzerland.

You may need to deal with the lead supervisory authority in Germany. Find out more information from the data protection commissioners in each German federal state (site in German).

Stay up to date

A Brexit deal has been agreed but needs to be ratified. The UK could still leave with no deal on 31 October 2019 if the UK and EU do not approve and sign the withdrawal agreement.

This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit and will be updated if anything changes. Sign up for email alerts to get the latest information.

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