Getting a Czech Trade License

In July 2008, the old "živnostenský list" process was replaced by a new, theoretically simpler system. Ryan Scott looks at what the changes mean for self-employed expats

As of July 1st, 2008, several amendments to the law came into effect simplifying the process by which trade licenses are issued in the Czech Republic.

The two important changes are:

• The issuance of a trade registry statement (výpis z živnostenského rejstříku) instead of a trade license certificate (živnostenský list) upon the submission of a notification of trade (ohlášení živnosti)

• The creation of an "unlicensed trades" (živnost volná) category, for which you do not have to prove your qualifications

The list of unlicensed trades includes language teachers, translators, interpreters, editors and journalists.

For these professions, you no longer need multiple licenses for each area you work in -- one trade registry statement can now cover several different trades.

The Business.center.cz website has a full Czech-language list of unlicensed trades.


FILLING IN THE APPLICATION FORM

You can download a PDF of the application form from the Industry & Trade Ministry (MPO) website --just follow the "Jednotný registrační formulář pro fyzické osoby" link at the bottom of the MPO site's One-stop shops page.

In the "Předmět podníkání" ("Aim of enterprise") section, enter "Výroba, obchod a služby neuvedené v přílohách 1 až 3 živnostenského zákona" ("Production, business and service not stated in attachments 1 to 3").

In the "obory činnosti" ("field of work") section, the more common options include:
14. Editorial and publishing services, printing production, book binding and reproduction
(Vydavatelské činnosti, polygrafická výroba, knihařské a kopírovací práce)

69. Translation and interpreting services
(Překladatelská a tlumočnická činnost)

72. Extracurricular tuition and education, allocation of courses, mentoring, including lecturing services
(Mimoškolní výchova a vzdělávání, pořádání kurzů, školení, včetně lektorské činnost)
If you work in a different field, consult the full list of unlicensed trades.


ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS

Along with a filled-in application form, you will also need:

• A clean criminal record (or equivalent) from any country where you were domiciled for a period of three months or more in the last three years. If the country in question doesn't issue a document of this sort, you must sign a "statutory declaration of inculpability" ("o bezúhonnosti čestné prohlášení") in front of a notary who is a citizen of the Czech Republic or of the last state where you were domiciled. If you have been in the Czech Republic for three months or more prior to your application, the commercial office will obtain your criminal record for you

• Proof that your landlord has given his/her consent for business to conducted on the property if you rent

• A 1000 CZK administration fee

Foreign nationals from outside the European Union must also provide:

• Documentation proving that you are permitted to reside in the Czech Republic -- either a Category D visa for a stay of more than 90 days (víza k pobytu nad 90 dnů) or a long-term residency permit (povolení k dlouhodobému pobytu)

Documents in languages other than Czech must be translated into Czech by a certified translator and no document can be older than three months.

Non-EU citizens must have their signatures and stamps authenticated.

If you appoint a representative, they will also need to provide a clean criminal record and an affidavit confirming that they are working on your behalf. If the affidavit is not signed in the commercial office, it must be officially verified.


TRADING LICENSES & RESIDENCY

Even if you already have a residency permit or a Category D visa, you will still need to change your details at the foreign police because your reason for staying has changed.

If you are applying for a trade license for the first time, you must obtain a letter from the trade licensing office stating that you can't commence trade without first being granted a visa.

More importantly this letter confirms your purpose of stay (účel pobytu), which you must include with your residency or visa application.


AFTER SUBMISSION

If everything is order, the trace licensing office should issue you with your trade registry statement 15 days after you submit all the necessary documents.

Like a regular trade license certificate, the trade registry statement contains details of your trade and your identification number (identifikační číslo) or IČO. You need your IČO for invoicing and taxation.

If anything is missing from your application, you have 15 days to produce the necessary documents.

Even after the statement is issued, the newly registered entrepreneur must meet the following obligations:

• Register with the Financial Office (Finanční úřad) within 30 days (in order to obtain your taxation number or DIČ (daňové identifikační číslo))

• Register yourself and any employees at the local social security office within eight days

• Register yourself and any employees at a selected health insurance company within eight days

• Submit an application form for compulsory accident insurance on behalf of any employees you have

READERS' COMMENTS

There have been further changes to the One-stop shops page since you wrote this article, and the link you propose here may or may not be available through that page (my Czech is not very good yet, so I cannot tell for sure what they are linking to now).

What seems to be available now is an application from someone who has all their papers already, and just needs to change whatever for the Foreigners Police.

I am closer to the beginning of the process, having visited Prague a number of times, and having my own freelance editing/proofreading buiness (unincorporated) here in New York City, and now wanting to move to Prague and, hopefully, add to my client base once there.

Perhaps this article, as is, does not apply to me, because I need the piece of paper that says I have applied for a trade license but have not been granted one because I don't have a business visa yet (which I don't, because I need a trade license to get it).

This article is still enormously helpful, because I am having difficulty finding anyone who can explain, in English, what it is the Czechs actually want me to say on all these pieces of paper, especially the purpose of stay document.

I have just discovered this website, and am about to go and read some of the discussion threads to see what else I can find out.

If you know of any specific links that will help me gather this information, I would appreciate knowing what they are.


Barbara Spilka
February 5, 2009

I am in the same boat as Barbara, although a UK resident and thoroughly lost too! I guess this itself a business idea!

:) Help, anyone?


Nupur Rai
April 30, 2009

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