European business issues

The European Union (EU) is a massive trading block of 27 separate countries united with a common customs code and harmonised VAT rules.  The EU is a market of 450 million consumers with growing spending power, a phenomena global businesses cannot afford to ignore.

The EU enshrines certain basic principles condusive to cross-border trade – freedom of establishment and free movement of people, goods and capital across internal borders.  There are certain types of legal entities which are recognised across the EU and can be used for conducting business with other EU entities.  EU citizens have the right to freely move between member states and to work in various member countries without work visas.  Non-EU visitors having Schengen visas can also travel between Schengen visa countries without applying for separate visas each time.  There are no customs checks at borders on goods moving between the EU member states.  This is known as the “Single Market”.  EU Directives ensure certain financial services benefit from “passports” so that capital can move freely between borders.

Europe is still a complex market of different languages, rules, customer behaviour and trade practices.  Non-European businesses entering this interesting and lucrative market need to be aware of the challenges and the opportunities available.  RKG Consulting will be pleased to advise North American, Asian and other non-EU groups how to enter the European business arena effectively and safely to accomplish their objectives.