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Trade Licence (for Third-Country Nationals)

Notification of an unqualified trade by foreign natural persons – citizens of other countries than the member states of the EU, EEA or Switzerland not mentioned in the notes at the bottom of the page

Third-country nationals intending to run a business in Czechia are legally required to obtain a residence permit (see below).

 

Why is a trade licence needed?

Persons wanting to run a business in Czechia are legally required to obtain a licence before they start (exceptions see below).

Most business activities are ‘trades‘ (živnosti) which are licensed by trade licensing offices (živnostenské úřady).

The trade licence most frequently used is the licence for an ‘unqualified trade’ (volná živnost).

To obtain a licence for an unqualified trade, it is necessary to make a notification of the trade at the trade licensing office.

 

What is an unqualified trade and what is not?

In order to obtain a licence for an unqualified trade, no proof of professional competence is required.

Within the scope of an unqualified trade, the following activities may typically be carried out:

  • intermediation in trade and services (except for intermediation of consumer credit or employment),
  • wholesale and retail trade (except for purchase and sale of arms, toxic substances or spirits)
  • manufacture of food products (except for manufacture of bakery and confectionery products, ice-creams, beer or preparation and sale of meals and drinks for immediate consumption in the facility in which they are sold),
  • software services,
  • advisory and consulting activities (except for tax and accounting advisory, legal advice or psychological counselling),
  • design (except for construction design),
  • translation and interpreting (except for activities of registered interpreters),
  • teaching languages,
  • bicycle courier services.

The areas/fields of activity pertaining to an unqualified trade are listed in Annex No. 4 of the Trade Licensing Act, detailed descriptions of each area’s content is to be found in Annex No. 4 of the Government Decree on the content of trades.

The activities mentioned in brackets and a number of others either fall within other trades where a proof of professional competence is a condition of getting the licence (e.g. catering services, building construction, sports coaching, massages or truck transport) or they are activities licensed by other authorities (e.g. health and social services, agriculture or generation of and trade in electricity).

No licence is required for:

  • letting of property,
  • use of the results of intellectual creativity (e.g. artists, journalists or authors of computer programs or databases),
  • temporary or occasional (cross-border) provision of services by entrepreneurs from other EU member states.

If you need information on activities licensed by other authorities or on cross-border provision of services, you can learn more from our colleagues at the Point of Single Contact.

 

How to notify an unqualified trade

The easiest way to submit a notification is to visit any municipal trade licensing office in Czechia.

At the trade licensing office, an officer usually fills in the Single Registration Form electronically. Then the form is printed and the person making the notification (the notifier) checks and signs it.

 

What documents must be presented to the trade licensing office?

  • a proof of identity (identity card, passport, residence permit card),
  • an extract from the crime register or an equivalent document issued by the notifier’s home country (must not be older than 3 months) – this does not apply to persons mentioned in Note No. 2 at the bottom of the page,
  • a long-term residence permit or a visa for a stay of over 90 days (shortly a residence permit),
  • a document proving a legal right to use premises in which the registered office of the business (sídlo) in Czechia is located, e.g. a contract of lease (unless it states that the premises cannot be used as a business address) or a written consent of the owner of the premises – to download the specimen of the consent see Živnostenský úřad města Brna (ŽÚmB) => Formuláře a vzory => Specimen – Consent for Registering a Business Address (Registered Office), bilingual CZ-EN,
  • a proof of payment of the administrative fee of 1 000 Czech crowns (CZK); after signing the form, the notifier pays the fee at the cash desk of the authority (by cash or card) and presents the receipt to the officer,
  • a power of attorney if the notification is made by the notifier’s attorney.

Documents not issued in the Czech language (except for the proofs of identity) must be officially translated by a registered translator (choose Tlumočníci a překladatelé => Soudní překladatel). The authenticity of signatures and stamp imprints on the originals of submitted documents issued abroad must be verified unless an international treaty stipulates otherwise.

This applies to persons mentioned in Note No. 2 at the bottom of the page only if accuracy of the translation made by other person than a registered translator, or the signature and stamp imprint authenticity should be questioned.

Paper documents should be presented in originals or verified copies, electronic documents should contain either a qualified electronic signature of the person who issued it or an authentication clause on conversion of a paper document into electronic form. Electronic documents can be sent by e-mail directly to the officer at the counter.

 

What is the procedure for notification submitted prior to getting a residence permit?

The notifier or his/her attorney submits all the required documents except for the residence permit to the trade licensing office.

The trade licensing office shall issue the notifier with an extract from the trade licensing register, necessary for obtaining the residence permit.

This preliminary extract must be attached to the application for the residence permit.

 

What are the time limits for presenting the residence permit to the trade licensing office which received the notification?

The notifier must bring the residence permit within six months of the date of receiving the preliminary extract and at the same time within three working days of the date of reporting his/her place of residence in Czechia to the Foreign Police Department (see obligations after entering the territory).

If both time limits are met, the trade licensing office shall make an entry in the trade licensing register within five working days of bringing the residence permit.

The trade licence becomes effective as of the date of bringing the residence permit and is valid for the period of residence permitted.

The trade licensing office shall issue the notifier/entrepreneur with an extract from the register (proof of the licence) which includes the unique identification number of the entrepreneur (identifikační číslo osoby – IČO).

The record of the entrepreneur is available at the register’s website immediately after the entry in the register has been made (see www.rzp.cz => SUBJECT SEARCH).

 

What is the procedure for notification submitted after getting a residence permit?

The trade licensing office shall make an entry in the trade licensing register within five working days of making the submission of the notification and shall issue the notifier/entrepreneur with an extract from the register.

The trade licence becomes effective as of the date of the notification and is valid for the period of residence permitted.

 

How to prevent the trade licence from expiring

If the entrepreneur does not want the trade licence to expire, he/she must announce to the trade licensing office that he/she intends to continue carrying on the trade.

This announcement must be made BEFORE the expiration date of the licence, otherwise the licence expires and the entrepreneur must apply for a new trade licence as stated above.

A proof of payment of the administrative fee 100 CZK must be attached to the announcement.

If a new residence permit is attached too, the trade licensing office shall change the expiration date of the licence according to the expiration date of the new residence permit and shall issue the entrepreneur with a new extract from the trade licensing register.

If the announcement is made prior to getting a new residence permit, the trade licensing office shall set a reasonable time limit for bringing the new residence permit, at least up to expiry of the current residence permit (the time limit is usually set in a way extending the licence validity for one more year).

If the time limit set by the trade licensing office is not met, the trade licence expires on the last day of this time limit.

 

One-stop shop service of Central Registration Point (centrální registrační místo – CRM):

Besides having to get a trade licence, the entrepreneur is also required to make other registrations and notifications related to the day when the entrepreneur decides to start using the trade licence. This day can be identical to the day when the trade licence becomes effective, or it can be any following day.

These registrations and notifications are free of charge and can be made together with the notification of a trade licence or anytime later via trade licensing office. The essential obligations are as follows:

  • to apply for personal tax registration at relevant tax authority within 15 days of commencing a self-employed activity,
  • to notify the relevant social security administration of the day of commencing a self-employed activity by the 8th day of calendar month following the month in which the activity has been commenced,
  • to notify the relevant public health insurance company of the day of commencing a self-employed activity within 8 days of commencing the activity.

 

What to do if I want to stop using the licence?

When the entrepreneur decides not to use the trade licence, he/she can notify the trade licensing office of suspension/interruption of the trade or he/she can request/apply for revocation/termination/cancellation of the trade licence, both of these including compulsory notifications towards other authorities (see “Trade Suspension and Revocation”).

 

Do you need to learn more? Please see “Useful Links” or contact our employees:

Ms Vendula Podlipná, podlipna(dot)vendula(at)brno(dot)cz, phone +420 542 173 326
Mr Lukáš Lysoněk, lysonek(dot)lukas(at)brno(dot)cz, phone +420 542 173 056
Mr Ctirad Los, los(dot)ctirad(at)brno(dot)cz, phone +420 542 173 344
Mr Radan Mach, mach(dot)radan(at)brno(dot)cz, phone +420 542 173 316

Magistrát města Brna (Brno City Municipality)
Živnostenský úřad města Brna (Trade Licensing Office of Brno City)
Malinovského nám. 3
601 67 Brno

E-mail: zu(at)brno(dot)cz
Czech website: Živnostenský úřad města Brna (ŽÚmB)

 

Notes:

  1. This information does not apply to third-country nationals who are family members of citizens of the European Union, other countries that are Parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation. If this is your case, please see “Trade Licence (for EU Citizens)”.
    To prove the above mentioned status, the notifier either must present a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen or must prove that the application for this type of permit has been submitted.
  2. This information does not fully apply (see above) to third-country nationals who fall within following categories:
    • a family member of a third-country national who has been granted permanent residence in Czechia,
    • a third-country national who has been granted the legal status of a long-term resident of Czechia or another European Union Member State, and his/her family member,
    • a third-country national who has been granted residence in Czechia or another European Union Member State for the purpose of scientific research, studies, training or voluntary service in the European voluntary service, and his/her family member,
    • a third-country national who is a victim of trafficking in human beings or who has been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who is cooperating with the competent authorities, if he/she has been granted residence in Czechia or another European Union Member State for this purpose,
    • the holder of a European Union Blue Card.
  3. Third-country nationals who have been granted permanent residence in Czechia are considered to be Czech natural persons for the purposes of the Trade Licensing Act. The same applies to persons who have been granted international protection and their family members [please see “Trade Licence (for Permanent Residence Permit Holders and Persons Granted International Protection)”].