A do-it-yourself guide to getting a trade license
This article is now out of date. Please see our updated version of this article.
If you want to work for yourself in the Czech Republic, you'll need a trade license - a živnostenský list in Czech.
Applying for a živnostenský list is a long and fairly involved process, and many foreigners choose to pay an individual or a company to guide them through the process.
If you have time, patience and a working knowledge of Czech, however, going it alone will probably save you a lot of money.
With this in mind, we've put together this basic guide to the application process:
Different types of živnostenský list are issued for different trades. To begin with, you need to figure out which license best suits your needs.
Probably the best way to do this is to go to your local trade license office (živnostenský odbor) and ask.
While you're there, you should also find out from them exactly what paperwork you need - for some types of živnostenský list, you'll need to prove that you have the relevant professional qualifications, though this isn't necessary for teaching English, translation work, and operating most types of commercial enterprise.
(In our experience, the requirements can vary from office to office, and even from employee to employee.)
CLEAN CRIMINAL RECORD
You'll need to prove that you don't have a criminal record, either in the Czech Republic or abroad.
• To prove you don't have a criminal record in the Czech Republic, you'll need a výpis rejstříku trestů (extract from the criminal register). For more information on this process, see our related article, Getting Your Criminal Record.
• You'll also need proof that you don't have a criminal record in your own country, or any country where you've lived for more than three consecutive months.
US Citizens: Contact their local živnostenský odbor and find out what they require. At some offices you need only sign an affidavit confirming that you have no convictions, but at others, including Prague 1, you'll have to provide a criminal record check from the USA. Individual US states reportedly issue criminal record checks much faster than the FBI, which can take 10-12 weeks.
UK Citizens: You'll need to contact your local police force and request a copy of your record under the Freedom of Information Act.
A PLACE OF BUSINESS
You'll need to prove that you have a place of business in the Czech Republic. (This can also be your residential address.)
• If you rent this property, you need to ask your landlord/landlady for a written declaration confirming that they agree to you using their property as a place of business.
• Whether you rent or own the property, you'll also need to go to the Katastrální úřad ("Cadastral Office") and get a Výpis z katastru nemovitostí ("extract from the land registry"). This proves that the building actually exists and - if you rent - that your landlord/landlady is legally allowed to rent the property out. (For contact details and opening hours, see the Czech Office for Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre (ČÚZK) website.)
COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM
You can fill this in at the živnostenský odbor, when you file your other papers.
TRANSLATIONS OF RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS
If necessary, you should also have notarized Czech translations made of any relevant qualifications. (A degree certificate, for example, or a professional diploma.)
NOTE: None of the above documents should be more than 180 days (roughly six months) old when you present them
FOR NON-EU CITIZENS
Additionally, if you're not a citizen of a European Union country, you'll also need a residency permit. In fact, even if you already have a residency permit, you'll now need to apply for a new one, because your reason for staying in the Czech Republic has changed.
It's possible to apply for a živnostenský list before you get your residency permit. In this case the živnostenský odbor will write you a letter stating that they can't give you your živnostenský list until you present your residency permit - and this letter can actually be used as a "reason for stay" in your residency permit application.
You can apply for your residency permit at your local foreigner's police station (Služba cizinecké a pohraniční policie). For a full listing of foreigners' police stations (in Czech), see the Interior Ministry website.
• a completed application form
• your passport
• two photos
• proof that you aren't staying in the Czech Republic illegally
Once you get your živnostenský list, you'll need to register for two identification numbers - an IČO and a DIČ - in order to start paying tax.
If you're an EU citizen, your živnostenský list will automatically include an eight-digit IČO. If you're a non-EU citizen, you'll need to register with the commercial court (obchodní soud). The fee for this application is 5,000 CZK and you may need professional advice when filling in the rather complicated application form.
In order to get your DIČ (daňové identifikační číslo), whether you're an EU citizen or not, you'll need to register with your local finanční uřad (financial office).
• Additional information provided by Prague TV user Corbin Dallas
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