The Czech government as well as EU structural funds offer various types of business support. This section offers an overview of support to businesses operating or intending to operate in the Czech Republic.
The Export support section contains contacts to institutions providing export services. The section of SME support describes specific SME support programmes provided by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic. In Commercial Activities information for entrepreneurs such as various certificates, recognition of qualifications or electronic submissions can be found. Information on the EDUCA programme is contained in the Human Resources section.
Those interested in innovation or support of research and development may find useful information on related projects and public tenders in the sections Innovation and Human resources. The project of Green cards for key personnel is described in the Green card section. The Other Business Support section contains information on operational programmes Enterprise and Innovation and Rural Development Programme.
CzechTrade, the National Trade Promotion Agency, provides contacts and information on export opportunities worldwide and financial assistance towards market research, export catalogues and establishment of business contacts.
The Czech Export Bank provides Czech exporters with state-supported financing in order to create export conditions comparable to those available to their foreign competitors.
The Export Guarantee and Insurance Company EGAP enables exporters to purchase insurance against risks of non-payment by a foreign customer due to commercial or political risks.
The Czech government offers a range of benefits that are targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Small and medium-sized enterprises are the driving force of business, growth, innovation and competitiveness. They play a key role in job creation. In the Czech Republic, SME account for 61.52 % of the employment and contribute by 35.17 % to the production of GDP (data for 2008).
Programme period 2014-2020
The basic document focused on the programme period 2014 - 2020 is a part of the objective “Investment for Growth and Employment” and includes eight operational programmes:
- Business and Innovation for Competitiveness managed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade
- Research, Development and Education managed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport
- Employment managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
- Transport managed by the Ministry of Transport
- Environment managed by the Ministry of Environment
- Integrated Regional Operational Programme managed by the Ministry for Regional Development
- Prague – pole of growth in the Czech Republic managed by the Prague City Hal
- Technical Assistance managed by the Ministry for Regional Development
The Integrated Regional Operational Programme (IROP) shall reducing regional differences, enhance the use of local potential to the maximum extent as well as decrease the unemployment and strengthen regions' competitiveness. It is also intended to focus on strengthening the role of urban centres as natural growth areas in regions, to support education, and to ensure the sustainable growth in regions with an emphasis on improving the environment.
The "Prague - field of growth in the Czech Republic" programme should increase the competitiveness of the capital city as a development area of the country and is expected to ensure a quality life for inhabitants.
The aim of the operational programme "Business and Innovation for Competitiveness" managed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade is to promote innovations in manufacturing sector and services, handling of energy and development of ICT in the business sphere.
The operational programme devoted to science and research is called "Research, Development and Education" and is managed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Investments into the development of new skills and qualified human resources are intended to ensure the Czech economy's shift towards a knowledge economy, one with an educated labour force that uses top technology and that produces quality results of research and their transformation to innovations and competitive advantages for Czech companies.
The operational programme "Transport" managed by the Ministry of Transport will focus on ensuring completion of backbone roadways and connection of traffic and transport systems with the help of terminals for passenger and freight transport. It also supports sustainable urban transport and modernisation of vehicle fleets for public transport.
Basic information on business support for entrepreneurs performing business activities in the Czech Republic in compliance with the Trade Licensing Act, a brief description of obligations of entrepreneurs providing temporarily services in the CR, information on how and where to apply for various certificates, basic principles of the recognition of professional qualifications, a reference to the one stop shop and information on integration of foreigners.
Trade Licensing Act
The Trade Licensing Act governs specific responsibilities of entrepreneurs doing business in the CR as well as notification or authorisation procedures.
Obligations of persons temporarily providing services in the Czech Republic
Persons temporarily or occasionally providing entrepreneur services in the territory of the Czech Republic must meet certain criteria and fulfil obligations set by law.
Issue of certificate of professional skills and performance of relevant activities
Information for natural persons intending to perform regulated activity classified as a trade activity (according to the Trade Licensing Act) in another member state on issuing certificate of professional skills and performance of relevant activities in the Czech Republic.
Recognition of qualifications in business
Information for nationals of the EU Member States, the Czech Republic, the European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland who wish to practise a regulated profession or professional activity in the Czech Republic. A regulated profession or activity is a profession/activity which is subject to legislative requirements (qualification requirements and, in some cases, requirements concerning integrity, physical fitness etc.) which, if not met, do not allow the person to pursue the given profession/activity in the Czech Republic.
One-stop shop: Electronic submission to the Trade Register on-line
Information on a Unified Registration Form, an application enabling to create and send a submission to the Central Electronic Registry of the Trade Register of the Czech Republic from entrepreneur’s computer.
Integration of foreigners
Information material of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic for foreign natural persons performing business activities in the Czech Republic under the Trade Licensing Act. The document makes the orientation of a foreigner in the field of a licensed trade easier.
So far, the state support has focused mainly on creation of working positions. However, employers often deal with the fact that regular investment into an increase of employees` competence is more and more costly. Therefore, business support of human resources development becomes important.
The main objective of the support provided within the Global grant EDUCA is to increase competitiveness of Czech based enterprises in selected categories CZ – NACE through an increase of professional skills, knowledge and competence of employees and employers located outside the capital of Prague. EDUCA programme falls within the 1st priority axis Adaptability of the Operational Programme Human Resources and Employment. It is targeted primarily on specific education meaning skills, knowledge and competence which are not transferable or are transferable to other enterprises or sectors in a limited extent. Activities focused on general education may be included to a limited extent.
Supported activities include:
- further professional education of employees supported by the employer
- implementation of all forms of employees` education according to specific needs of the employer with an emphasis on preparation on a specific working position/work load
- preparation of corporate educational programmes for employees
- preparation of corporate tutors
Supported sectors under the CZ-NACE include:
- processing industry
- production and distribution of electricity, gas, heat and air-conditioned air
- IT activities
- production and distribution of electricity, gas and water
- freight handling, storage (logistics)
- and others according to the wording of the programme
The financial support is provided in the form of a block exemption or in the scheme of support for the limited scope "de minimis”. The level of financial support ranges from CZK 0.5 million to CZK 8 million per one project and is paid ex post. The project applying for the support may last maximum 24 months and educational activities may be rendered internally or externally.
The first call for submitting applications for support within the Grant programme EDUCA was launched on July 2, 2009 by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. All documents necessary for preparation of the project application can be found on the web site of the European Social Fund in the Czech Republic in a section Documents.
- CzechInvest (in Czech only)
- Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic
- European Social Fund (in Czech only)
With the framework of the Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation for the period 2007–2013, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is introducing a total of 15 aid programmes, one of them is being the Innovation.
Financial resources from the programme may be used for co-financing business projects in the manufacturing industry and related services. They will be paid out in the form of non-returnable subsidies, preferential loans and guarantees. Eligible projects are those that are implemented on the territory of the Czech Republic outside the capital city of Prague. Funding derives in part from EU structural funds (85 %) and in part from the state budget (15 %).
The Innovation programme will support two types of projects:
- Innovation projects – for projects utilising new, original solutions, the programme enables Czech companies to acquire modern machinery, equipment, know-how and licenses necessary for their implementation.
- Projects for the protection of industrial property rights– the programme contributes to the protection of intangible goods in the form of patents, utility models, industrial designs and protected trademarks.
For more information visit the website of CzechInvest.
Research and Development
Research and Development is considered a key area for the future development of Czech economy.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade, in cooperation with CzechInvest, is providing various forms of financial support (from structural funds, the state budget and community resources). CzechInvest actively seeks out and, using the most various instruments (consultation, information service, active cooperation in seeking partners, etc.), supports private firms with innovation potential and focuses on increasing the involvement of public-sector institutions in the innovation process.
Information on supported Research and Development projects from the budget of the Ministry of Industry and Trade is published on the information portal of the R&D in the CzechRepublic.
Operational programme Research and Development
In the field of industrial research and development, public institutions may utilise financial resources from the Operational programme Research and Development. Its objective is to make the cooperation between universities and industrial enterprises more intense, primarily through support of capacities for research and development at universities or research institutions and through better knowledgeability of supply and demand of the industrial research and development. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is the managing body for this Operational programme.
Film Industry Support
The Czech Republic is a very popular destination for foreign film producers. The long-lasting tradition of film production, the professional approach and attitude of Czech production teams, stage crews, film decorators as well as the uniqueness of the sites have all contributed to the good reputation of the Czech Republic as a quality film destination.
Well-established film studios, such as the Barrandov Studios or the younger Prague Studios offer professional production and high-quality services. The Film Commission established within the Czech Film Chamber provides services for new-coming productions.
In order to support foreign film producers and investment in the Czech Republic, the Czech government has adopted a programme facilitated by the European Commission called the Film Industry Support Programme which provides film investment incentives of up to 20 percent of eligible costs.
Relocating to the CR
As the Czech Republic is a member of the Schengen area, common rules concerning the movement of individuals in the entire Schengen area apply, including conditions for crossing external borders. Individuals having the right of free movement within of the EU (nationals of the EU member states, and Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) may freely enter and stay in the Czech Republic for any purpose without a permit or visa up to 3 months.
The following document contains more information on registration of place of residence in the Czech Republic as well as temporary residence permit. Non EU nationals may also find information on different types of visas, work permits or blue and green cards.
On January 1, 2009 an amendment of the Act on Employment entered into force and introduced so-called green card, a new type of permit for a long-term residence within the Czech Republic for purposes of employment in special cases. The green card should serve as a dual document. Upon fulfilment of all conditions determined by the law, it should be issued to a foreigner within 30 days. An entrepreneur/company would thus be more flexible in getting workforce from abroad and at the same time, the administrative burdens associated with recruiting foreign workers should be reduced.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade describes vacant positions as positions suitable for key personnel (green card "A”) in connection with the evaluation of data in the online form Request for designation of vacant position as position suitable for key personnel. The form is available for employers on the Integrated Portal of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The employer obtains an authorisation to access records of vacancies by the locally competent public employment office.
For the purposes of the evaluation of a vacancy as a position suitable for key personnel, the employer writes the justification in the form and selects the corresponding category of key personnel:
- senior management,
- workers with high level of professional qualifications for certain work, tasks and workers having knowledge essential for the running of a company,
- professions where the insufficient presence threatens the running of the company or can cause economic losses.
In the case of a positive evaluation the position vacant will be automatically included in the Central records of positions vacant which can be filled by green card holders, this being with the attribute "key personnel”.
Other Business Support
National Training Fund
The National Training Fund runs a variety of human resources development programs and is the national co-ordinating body for the EU’s Leonardo da Vinci Program. The Program subsidizes in-house company training programs (up to 75 % of total costs) and study trips to parent companies located in EU countries (up to 5,000 EUR per visit).
Business Innovation Centres, Technology Parks and Business Incubators
There are over 25 Business Innovation Centres (BIC’s), Science and Technology Parks and Business Incubators in the Czech Republic.
The BIC founded by the Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT) is one of the most important BIC’s. Its mission is to initiate and to support the development of small and medium-sized innovative firms, and it participates in a range of national and international projects.
Operational programme Enterprise and Innovation
A new advisory body named the Business Council which should improve the effectiveness of cooperation of the state administration and the business sector was created within the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
The council consists of 26 members, one half being representatives of the business sphere and entrepreneurial federations. The second half of the council consists of representatives of individual government departments and central bodies of the state administration.
The inaugural meeting of the Business Council was held on June 19, 2007. The discussions primarily concerned the proposals which the Ministry had prepared with the purpose of simplification the business environment in the Czech Republic. Significant attention was paid primarily to the Green Card project. Other topics which the Business Council discussed were the amendment to the Trade Licensing Act and the simplification of the Unified Registration Form.