Guidance

Ireland: providing services

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

Read this page in combination with the general guidance for EEA countries and Switzerland.

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

General information

The UK government and the Government of Ireland have committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area (CTA).

Rights to work, study and access social security and public services are preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals in the other’s state.

What UK businesses and professionals need to know

UK businesses must comply with both UK and Irish rules.

You’ll need to follow the rules for:

  • cross-border trade
  • establishing and structuring your business
  • business travel and visa requirements
  • recognition of UK professional qualifications
  • data protection

The UK and Irish governments have committed to maintaining the CTA and protecting the associated reciprocal rights. As such, the arrangements described below are without prejudice to the rights available to individuals under the CTA.

Find out more about rights under the CTA.

Irish government preparations

The government of Ireland has published details of its preparation work with information on the CTA. Irish and British citizens may wish to review this document.

Cross-border trade

If you’re a UK business providing services in Ireland, you must follow Irish regulations, including on:

  • getting authorisations or licences to provide a service
  • complying with specific local business regulations

The Irish e-Government portal can help you to:

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

There are also non-governmental organisations that provide advice to UK businesses operating in Ireland, for example, the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce.

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

Investment

UK service providers and businesses no longer benefit from EU Treaty Freedoms and are subject to the national laws of each European Economic Area (EEA) state. Service providers and businesses need to consider if they face restrictions on their ability to own, manage or direct a company registered in an EEA state.

For information about setting up and running a business in Ireland, visit Business Regulation or Revenue Ireland.

If you have doubts about your legal position, you should seek appropriate professional advice.

Trade reservations

To sell or provide services to customers in Ireland, you must follow local laws. If in doubt, you should get professional advice.

Reservations are part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They reserve the right of each party to keep or make new laws restricting investment, or the sale of services, in ways that would otherwise breach the rules in the agreement.

Check which reservations apply to the sale of services from the UK to Ireland. This includes an interactive tool to find reservations that are already in place.

VAT on sales of digital services

To use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers, businesses need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

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

Recognition of professional qualifications

To check what you need to do in Ireland, read our guidance on professional qualifications in the EEA and Switzerland.

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

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

Under the Common Travel Area, the recognition of professional qualifications is an essential facilitator of the right to work, so both the UK and Irish governments have made a commitment to ensure that appropriate arrangements for recognition are in place in the UK and Ireland.

Check further guidance for UK businesses selling services into the EEA and Switzerland.

UK statutory auditors working in Ireland

For UK statutory auditors, the Irish competent authority, the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority should be able to provide further information.

UK lawyers working in Ireland

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Ireland, using either an Irish or UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar association in the region in which you are working or the Bar of Ireland or the Law Society of Ireland for specific advice.

Business travel and entry requirements

See the latest information on travel entry requirements for Ireland.

If you’re a UK legal professional who has investments in law firms in Ireland, contact the Bar of Ireland for further information.

Also see the Law Society of Ireland’s published information on Brexit.

Mobility

Common Travel Area

The UK and Irish governments have committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area (CTA). CTA arrangements mean full protection and maintenance of the status quo for all journeys for individuals between the UK and Ireland.

Rights to work, study and access social security and public services are preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals in the other’s state.

Find out more about the CTA and the rights of British and Irish citizens.

The CTA does not extend to individuals who are a British overseas territories citizen, British overseas citizen, British national (overseas) or other type of British citizen or national, and these may be subject to further restrictions.

Find out more about travelling to Ireland.

You can find out more on the Irish Department for Justice and Equality website.

Find out more about living in Ireland.

Data transfer and GDPR

On 28 June 2021, the EU formally adopted ‘adequacy decisions’ for the UK, delivered through:

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

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

Published 19 March 2019
Last updated 11 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Trade reservations' guidance. Updated 'Recognition of professional qualifications' with new UK contact point.

  2. 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.

  3. Guidance for ‘Recognition of professional qualifications’ updated.

  4. First published.