Starting Up a Business - Points of Single Contact

4. 6. 2011

This section sums up important information about starting a business in the Czech Republic. It also offers division of enterprises by law and brings useful help in setting up a new business or taking over a business.

Points of single contact (PSC) assist natural and legal persons running a business in the service sector. Their primary aim is to simplify the process of starting a business. PSC also provide entrepreneurs consulting services and other professional assistance. The BusinessInfo.cz portal serves as the PSC information support and its web application offers electronic forms which can be used for applying for various business authorisations.

Even in their home EU country, burdensome, expensive or complex procedures involved in starting a business are often major disincentives to many would-be entrepreneurs. However, public authorities and support networks can help.

One example is by providing one-stop shops for all sectors and points of single contact for the service sector to simplify the formalities required to register a company. These should enable entrepreneurs to register a new business in one go, saving time and money.

Outside their home EU country, the EU freedom of establishment principle allows entrepreneurs to create a company in any EU country on an equal footing with nationals there. As with nationals, entrepreneurs have to comply with certain conditions such as abiding by professional codes of ethics, acquiring proper authorisations and proving they have the required qualifications.

Instead of starting a new business, taking on an existing company might be an attractive option for budding entrepreneurs, with advantages such as ready-made production structures, customer networks and reputation.

If failure is a potential risk at any time in the business lifecycle, many successful companies only exist today because their founders refused to give up after failing and believed in second chances.

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What are the Points of single contact?

Points of single contact (PSCs) are aimed at helping entrepreneurs in the field of provision of services. The basic role of PSC is to simplify the process of starting a business. PSC have two main functions. Firstly, they provide entrepreneurs as much information as possible and secondly, they help him/her contact the appropriate administrative body authorizing the respective service. PSCs are parts of a European network and therefore, they are able to help in case of doing business in other EU member states.

What kind of information do PSC provide?

There is a number of information contained:

Information necessary to gain the authorization, in particular requirements of the application and contact details of the respective administrative bodies.

What requirements have to be fulfilled to be able to provide a specific service? Do I need any kind of application form? Where to send it? What supplements to enclose? And what happens after it?

General information about provision of services in other member states.

Which body do I need to contact in order to gain the authorization for a diving school in Italy? And what are the qualification requirements? Is my Czech qualification sufficient?

General information about legal remedies and dispute resolutions.

I sent my application two months ago and no one reacted, what am I supposed to do? The application was rejected without any reason. Where to go now?

General information about consumer protection in other member states.

I have bought some goods in the UK. How long is the warranty period? What am I supposed to do if the seller rejected to return the goods? Where to go now?

Contact bodies for providing assistance to and helping service providers and recipients in case of problems with authorities in the home country as well as in other EU member states.

They refused to recognize my authorization in Germany. Where to go now?

The PSC is not always able to provide the required information, especially regarding doing business abroad. But the PSC staff will do the best to answer the questions in the shortest possible time. Business related information is also available at www.businessinfo.cz.

And what about the intermediate function?

The PSC deliver an application form for provision of services to the respective administrative body. You do not need to think about which administrative body to contact. The PSC will do it for you. You can send an application form as well as a notification for social security purposes, notification in case of vacancies and notifications to the health insurance company.

BusinessInfo.cz as an electronic platform for PSC offers the general public over 180 detailed guideposts for procedures of starting up a business. These guideposts are guaranteed by institutions which take applications from entrepreneurs and subsequently grant the qualifications and concessions.

The application for provision of services can also be sent from home. By using BusinessInfo.cz anyone can send the application online. The BusinessInfo.cz portal will soon run a trial internet application with electronic forms which would be used for applying for permitted trades at a relevant administrative body. The only thing needed is an electronic signature.