Services Act: making it easier to do business in other EU countries

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you want to establish yourself as a service provider in another country in the European Union (EU)? Or do you want to provide your services in another EU country without being established there? The European Services Directive makes this easier. You can arrange your business affairs via 1 digital service desk. In the Netherlands the Services Directive is incorporated in the Services Act (Dienstenwet).

To whom does the Services Act apply?

The Services Act applies to almost all entrepreneurs who provide services in the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For example:

  • installation companies
  • real estate agents
  • painters
  • window cleaners
  • plumbers

A number of services is not covered by the Services Act.

What does the Services Act regulate?

The Services Act gives you the right to deal with the government digitally. For example, you can apply for a permit digitally. The government must then send you a confirmation and let you know within what timeframe you will receive a reply.

Point of Single Contact

One of the requirements of the Services Directive, is that all EU countries must have a so-called Point of Single Contact. A Point of Single Contact offers extensive information about the procedures that are covered by the Services Act. In the Netherlands this Point of Single Contact is and its Dutch-language counterpart Ondernemersplein. For these procedures you can also make use of Message Box, a secure email application to digitally apply for documents such as permits. The European Commission's website contains a list of all Points of Single Contact within the EU.

This article is related to:

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO