Principle of freedom of trade and industry

  • What is the "principle of freedom of trade and industry"?

    • The principle of freedom of trade and industry is designed to prevent public entities competing with private persons or entities. Only the existence of a public service can justify this type of exception to free competition.­

    • The law of 2 and 17 March 1791 laid down the conditions­ for the creation of an industrial and commercial public service can be found in Council of State case-law.

    • In order for a commune to intervene directly in the economic activities without there being a text specifically authorising it, the Council of State requires that it be in public interest and that there be special local circumstances.

    • Such local circumstances mainly result from a lack or shortfall in private initiative and therefore unsatisfied needs of the local population.

    • The development of commercial activity on public roads is based on the principle of freedom of trade and industry.

    • Most of these principles are enshrined in EU rules with which notaires are familiar because they advise businesses when it comes to financial support schemes. 

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