Free movement of services

Entrepreneurs of any European Union member state shall have the right to provide their services in Estonia, on a temporary basis, without establishing an enterprise or its subsidiary here.

This right may only be restricted if this is justified by public order, security, public health or environment protection aspects. According to the European Union agreement, ‘service’ shall mean any industrial, trade, artisan or self-employed service that is provided for a charge.

Five alternatives are available for the cross-border provision of services:

  • The provider of services will establish a new enterprise in consumers’ country of location
  • The provider of services will relocate to the consumers’ country of location on a temporary basis
  • The user of services will relocate to the country of location of the provider of services
  • Both the provider and user of services both reside in their respective countries and means of communication are used to provide the services
  • Both the provider and user of services both will relocate to a third country

Free movement of services

The European Union Services Directive will ensure the availability of the fundamental freedoms of the European Union – the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide cross-border services – to people. This will simplify administrative proceedings, eliminate any obstacles to the provision of services and enhance mutual trust in the internal market; however, this principle does not extent to transport, financial, health care and social welfare service sector.

Estonian providers of services can carry out the required proceedings through the website. Info on the requirements in other European Union countries can be found through points of single contact.


Information society services


The data of information society services will be processed, stored and communicated in a digital form, using electronic means, while the parties to the process are not present in the same place and at the same time.

The most common information society services are:

  • Data transfer and storage services, search services
  • Electronic newspapers and magazines
  • Banking services, insurance services, investments and miscellaneous financial services
  • Expert services (e.g. legal advice and consultations)
  • Entertainment services, advertising services and other marketing services
  • Sales of goods (software, e-books; also includes the use of electronic channels for offering goods)

One can send a message to the following e-mail addresses: infouhiskonnateenused [at] or e-cominfo [at] to get answers to questions or problems, related to the information society services.

Surveillance and legislation

In Estonia, the sphere of information society services is regulated by the Information Society Services Act.

According to the law, surveillance over compliance with the act is conducted by the Technical Regulatory Authority; compliance with direct marketing requirements is observed by the Data Protection Inspectorate.


Services of general interest


Services of general interest are electricity, gas, education, sewage and water, post, broadcasting, social (welfare) services and health care.

In the member states, different definitions, reflecting different historical, economic, cultural and political development, are used within the context of services of general interest. The European Union Treaty does not include a definition “services of general interest”; this has been derived from the definition “services of general economic interest”.


The provision of services of general interest and access to such services is defined, in detail, in the legislation concerned and the European Union protocol no. 26.


Last updated: 13 March 2015