News article

Brexit: Guidance for UK businesses providing services in France

25 February 2019

French rules and regulations on service provision if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there will be legal, regulatory and administrative implications for UK firms and service providers trading with France.

You will need to comply with both local and EU/EEA-wide rules in the area of cross-border trades.

French legislation

The French government has Brexit legislation that applies to:

  • the movement of people and goods between the 2 countries
  • British people living in France
  • French people living in the UK who return to France

Find out how these French rules may affect your business on the French government’s Brexit site for business (site in French).

Cross-border trade

If you are a UK business providing services in France, you will need to follow French regulations about:

  • acquiring authorisations or licences to provide a service
  • complying with specific local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

The French e-Government portal for service providers can help you to:

  • find out what you need to know about providing services in France
  • understand local regulations
  • complete the relevant administrative procedures online

Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in France to help you comply with specific regulations.

There may be regulated sectors in France where EEA nationality requirements could prevent you from providing services.

To find out if these apply to you, contact the appropriate competent authority or the French Ministry of Economics, Finance and Industry. Contact the Autorité de la concurrence if you have complaints or queries about anti-competitive practices.

There are also non-governmental organisations that provide advice to UK businesses operating in France, for example, the Franco-British Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

These organisations are not associated with the UK government, and their views are not representative of any government policies.

Business travel and visa requirements for professionals

If you are engaging in professional activity in France you will be subject to visa requirements, depending on:

  • your occupation and situation
  • whether you are self-employed or an employee
  • your business and the length of your stay

Certain professions may have to meet specific conditions and you may be required to show supporting documentation at the border.

The official visa website for France or the Business France website have more information about:

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

When the UK leaves the EU, the rules for travelling in Europe will change - find out about passport requirements after Brexit.

Find out more about the travel entry requirements for France.