Every EU citizen has the right to establish their business in a host member state, generally under the same conditions that apply for the entrepreneurs from the host member state itself.
The entrepreneur can either become self-employed in the Czech Republic (a so-called OSVČ in Czech), providing services on the basis of his trade license or a different permit/concession, or he can set up a company/branch and provide services through his company.
Foreign entrepreneurs – just like the nationals – have to acquire the necessary permits and licenses, prove that they have the required professional qualifications and abide by professional codes of conduct.
Most services in the Czech Republic fall within the category of trades, which are governed by the Trade-Licensing Act. A minority of services in the Czech Republic is governed by different laws than the Trade-Licensing Act (so-called special or sectorial legislation).
In general, if you want to practice a trade in the Czech Republic, you need to obtain a trade license. If you want to practice an activity/profession, which is not a trade, you need to obtain a concession or a permit governed by sectorial legislation.
Trade licenses are issued by the trade-license offices, other concessions/permits are issued by the relevant authorities (usually a ministry or a professional chamber) responsible for regulating the particular activity. You may also complete all formalities and procedures through the Czech Point of Single Contact.
Trades are either regulated or unregulated. More information on regulated and unregulated professions in the Czech Republic. A number of trades is unregulated, which means that there are no requirements as to the professional qualification.
To obtain a trade license, you have to complete an application procedure through a trade-license office. The core of the application is the Single Registration Form. (SRF). The application may be handed in at any trade-license office or can be submitted at a distance, by mail or electronically (if you have a verified e-signature).
You may of course also hand in the application at one of the 15 physical Points of Single Contact that are located at selected trade-license offices.
The application for a trade license/concession consists of the following documents:
- the filled-in SRF including the relevant annexes (please note that there is a separate SRF for self-employers and for companies)
- a criminal-record certificate
- copy of ID or passport
- if the trade is regulated, you have to attach proof of professional qualification (documents attesting the education, expertise, certificates, etc. of the applicant)
- receipt of payment of the administrative processing fee in the amount of 1000 CZK
- if you’re a self-employer, you have to attach a declaration of consent by the owner of the premises where the trade will be practiced
For detailed information on obtaining a permit, concession or a license in 180 selected regulated activities in the Czech Republic (and including all the necessary forms for the associated paperwork) you are invited to use our Step by Step Guides. For detailed information on establishing a company in the Czech Republic, go to the Establishing A New Business section.