Not Just Business as Usual in the EU: A Comprehensive Analysis of Immigration and Tax Issues Related to Business Trips in 17 Schengen Countries

Marco Mazzeschi, Clayton E. Cartwright Jr.


This article undertakes a comparative analysis of doing business in the European Union’s Schengen Bloc vis-à-vis working in the Schengen Bloc. Through a critical review of what may constitute business activities vs. work in all 17 Schengen member states, the article establishes how international companies can minimize unintentional exposure to immigration noncompliance as well as possible tax liabilities. As the article observes, there is a general absence of a standard EU legal definition of ‘work’ vs. ‘business activities’ that international companies can apply when sending employees for business purposes to the Schengen Bloc. In the absence of specific criteria, the article outlines what characterizes business activities in 17 Schengen countries and then several international standards, which concerned parties can use a reference point. By examining various sources including EU, OECD and ILO frameworks, the article’s research indicates general terms of reference in distinguishing business activities from work, and how that distinction confers the need for a business visa or a work permit in the European Union’s Schengen Bloc.

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International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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