Guidance

Iceland: providing services and travelling for business

Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Iceland.

Read this page in combination with the guidance for EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

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

Trade and services regulations in Iceland

If you are a UK business offering services in Iceland, you will need to follow Iceland’s regulations about:

  • getting 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 Iceland e-government portal for service providers can help you to:

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

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

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

Ownership of companies registered in Iceland

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

For information about setting up and running a business in Iceland, visit:

See our guidance on establishing and structuring your business in the EEA and Switzerland.

If you are a UK legal professional who has investments in law firms in Iceland, contact the Icelandic Bar Association for information on the implications for your investment.

Business travel and entry requirements

UK business travellers and service providers may need a visa, work permit or other documentation.

Check our travel to Iceland for work guide for detailed information on:

  • types of visa and work permit routes available
  • exemptions that may apply to you or the activity you are planning to undertake

The Iceland Directorate of Immigration and Directorate of Labour have more information about:

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

Check which actions travellers visiting Europe need to take.

Social security payments for employees

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Iceland.

Recognition of professional qualifications

Check if you need to take action by reading our guidance relating to EEA countries and Switzerland.

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

  • ENIC/NARIC Iceland, the information centre for the recognition of professional qualifications

The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ) provides practical assistance and advice to:

  • professionals who qualified overseas and are interested in working in the UK
  • UK professionals seeking to practise overseas

UK statutory auditors working in Iceland

For UK statutory auditors, the Audit Oversight Board Iceland (site in Icelandic) should be able to provide further information.

UK lawyers working in Iceland

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Iceland, under an Icelandic professional title or in the process of transferring into the profession by exit day, you can continue to practice in Iceland subject to local regulatory rules.

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Iceland, under a UK professional title, you are subject to the same rules as other third country (non-EU) lawyers in Iceland.

You should contact the local Bar association in the region in which you are working or the Icelandic Bar Association for specific advice.

Data transfer and GDPR

The EU formally adopted ‘adequacy decisions’ for the UK. ‘Adequacy decisions’ allow for the ongoing free flow of personal data from the EU/EEA to the UK.

This was delivered through Article 45 of the GDPR and Article 36 of the Law Enforcement Directive.

Read guidance on using data in your personal business or other organisation.

Published 6 March 2019
Last updated 11 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Minor edit

  2. Added 'Trade reservations' guidance. Updated 'Recognition of professional qualifications' with new UK contact point.

  3. Updated the following sections to reflect the changes created by the UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: overview, trade regulations, VAT on sales of digital services, business travel and entry requirements, social security payments for employees, recognition of professional qualifications, and data transfer and GDPR.

  4. Guidance for ‘Recognition of professional qualifications’ and ‘Social security payments for employees’ updated.

  5. Change to title to include travelling for business

  6. Update to 'Business travel and entry requirements' section

  7. First published.