SMEs Can Easily Access the EU Service Market
Monday, June 20th, 2016
The EU Single Market is the largest free-trade area in the world for services. However SMEs working in service can often feel lots of pressure from regulations. Which is why EU legislation places as little administrative burden as possible on service providers. In principle any company with its base of operation within a EU country can be a service provider in another EU Member State. In most cases the provider does not have to comply with all of administrative procedures (like obtaining prior authorisation to do business) of that Member State as the EU treaties recognise that it is enough to comply with the regulations of the country the service firm is legally based in. Nonetheless some sectors like financial services, healthcare and telecommunications might have specific rules services providers need to abide to if the wish to offer services in a different European countries from their own.
Even in cases of service companies having to face an heavy administrative burden, there is a specific EU service to help finding a solution quickly and cheaply: SOLVIT. It is a free online platform provided by the national administration in each EU country, accessible through a centralized portal. SOLVIT aims to find solutions within 10 weeks to regulatory dilemmas in those cases where individual and business fell their EU rights are breached by public authorities in another EU country and have not taken the case to court yet.
Service SMEs can then really profit by engaging in the Single Market – they will probably face much less administrative burden than they think and they really can reap huge economic benefits. Those SMEs that wish to engage can prepare by developing business networks working in the country they would like to do business in. Networks can provide real support both and expertise on how to deal with possible administrative hurdles, offering an extra safety net. One way to build a network is to participate in a program for cross-border exchange of staff for small and medium-sized businesses in the EU, like MobiliseSME. You can take our survey to see how you can enter the program.