Are you going to grow to the Czech Republic? This guide may help you overcome difficulties when approaching Czech market and understand Czech business environment. You may also ask us for advice - www.rsm.cz
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RSM International is one of the largest
networks of independent audit and
consulting firms in the world. RSM
International is represented in 111 countries
and brings together the talents of 35,000
individuals. RSM member firms are driven
by a common vision of providing high
quality professional services to ambitious
and growing organisations.
In a world of different
cultures, it’s good to
have advisors who are
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 3
Welcome to the Czech Republic. I believe this publication will guide you through the world
of Czech business and, hopefully, you will decide to do business here. If you have already
made the decision, you will be given a warm reception in a country with a rich history and
good conditions for both doing business and living. Our country offers a stable economic
and political situation and a strategic location in the heart of Europe. The Czech Republic
is a member of the EU, offers skilled and educated workers, attractive tax legislation and
a number of incentives for foreign investors.
The following chapters will answer certain key questions that may arise and help you
understand the characteristics and workings of this market. As legislation and business
practices are subject to change and reinterpretations, it is sensible to seek local advice
from appropriately qualified professional sources to deal with specific matters.
This RSM Doing Business In guide offers access to an in-depth knowledge and
understanding of local business in the Czech Republic in customs, tax and regulatory
matters. Our aim is to attract companies to do business in the Czech Republic and to
make it as easy and reliable as possible.
We provide our clients with active and quality support in the fields of mergers &
acquisitions, corporate finance, valuation, tax, trust services, audit, accounting, and
payroll. The material included in this guide was compiled on the basis of data and
information available at July 2015.
The Prague Astronomical Clock (the
Prague Orloj), installed in 1410
Previous image - Castle Konopiště
1 About RSM International 6
2 About RSM TACOMA 7
What defines us? 7
Our clients 7
3 General Information of doing business in the Czech Republic 9
Basic facts 9
Background & history 9
Constitutional Institutions 11
Economic Freedom Index 15
Czech Republic’s ranking in ‘Doing Business 2015’ 18
4 Taxation 24
4.1. Corporate income tax
4.2. Withholding tax
4.3. Payroll taxation
5 Labour Law in Czech Republic 28
Employment contract 28
Working hours 29
Holidays & absences 29
6 Accounting 30
7 Intellectual Property 33
Industry property rights 33
Intellectual protection bodies 35
Protecting intellectual rights abroad 35
Combating counterfeiting & piracy 35
8 Contact details 36
Amphawa6 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
1 About RSM International
RSM International is a worldwide network of independent audit, tax and advisory firms.
Member firms of RSM International are separate and independent legal entities. RSM
International does not itself provide accounting or consultancy services. All such services
are provided by affiliate members practicing on their own account.
RSM International is represented by affiliate independent members in 111 countries and
brings together the talents of over 35,000 individuals in over 700 offices worldwide.
accounting organizations worldwide. Affiliate member firms are driven by a common
vision of providing high quality professional services, both in their domestic markets and
in serving the international professional service needs of their client base.
RSM International is a member of the Forum of Firms and of EGIAN (The European Group
of International Accounting Networks and Associations). The objective of the Forum
of Firms is to promote consistent and high quality standards of financial and auditing
practices worldwide, while EGIAN provides a forum for the members to develop common
positions on specific technical and legislative issues and to debate these issues with key
professional stakeholders and regulators.
Amphawa floating market, Bangkok
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 7
2 About RSM TACOMA
What defines us? WE UNDERSTAND YOUR BUSINESS
RSM TACOMA is a leading advisory firm focusing mainly on project and transaction
services, acquisitions, mergers and restructuring. In addition, we specialize in:
• Corporate Finance
• Trust Services
• Accounting and Payroll
• Family Office
RSM TACOMA understands its clients and actively provides them with high quality
Quality is the attitude for RSM TACOMA.
RSM TACOMA is the logical choice for successful and expanding businesses.
RSM TACOMA is an active member of one of the biggest consultancy groups in the
world – RSM International.
Large and medium-sized companies. Leading international and Czech banks, insurers,
investment and financial companies, funds, chambers of industry and commerce,
service providers, building contractors and developers, Czech ministries and other
administrative authorities, regions and chartered towns, and international investors
entering the Czech market.
• 18 Czech Top 100 companies.
• 6 Fortune 500 companies.
8 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Lake in Rock City,
National Park of Adrspachĉ č
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 9
3 General information of doing
business in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered
by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to
the west and northwest. The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary
representative democracy. The Parliament has two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies
and the Senate. It is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the
Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.
The Czech Republic has a land area of about 80,000 square kilometers. The population
of the Czech Republic is 10.6 million inhabitants with GDP $198 billion, $25.530 per
capita at purchasing power parity. Unemployment is currently stabilized around
6 percent. The inflation rate is 0.3 percent. Foreign direct investment inflow is
calculated to be $4.9 billion. The national language is Czech.
Background and history
The Czech state, known as Bohemia and later as the Bohemian Crown, was formed
in the late 9th century. The country reached its greatest territorial extent during the
13th and 14th century, under the rule of the Přemyslid and Luxembourg dynasties.
Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia was integrated into
the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts alongside Austria and
Hungary. Bohemia later became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and the
core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse
of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.
After the Munich Agreement (signed by Nazi Germany, France, Britain and Italy), Polish
annexation of Zaolzie and German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent
disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major
portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
won plurality (38%) in the 1946 elections.
After World War II, the political system in Czechoslovakia was greatly affected by the
introduction of a Soviet-style Communist regime, as it was in the other countries of
Central and Eastern Europe. The system of power was distorted. In effect this imbalance
meant that the three branches of power necessary for democratic development -
executive, legislative and judicial - were substituted by a unified Communist power. Its
power was based on the constitution and for forty years it ruled all layers of social and
political life throughout the country with the help of oppressive institutions.
10 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
In a 1948 coup d’état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the
increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime.
The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies
of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception Romania and Albania); the troops
remained in the country until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime
The Velvet Revolution of 1989 peacefully overthrew a Communist dictatorship and
led to the election of dissident playwright Vaclav Havel as president of a democratic
Czechoslovakia. Wide diversity of political parties was well-established even before
the break-up of Czechoslovakia on 31 December, 1992. The constitution of the Czech
Republic, which became valid on the day of the birth of the new state, explicitly defined
civil rights, the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of power,
and the independence of the judiciary.
The Czech Republic separated from Slovakia in the “velvet divorce”, becoming an
independent nation in 1993 and joining the European Union in 2004. In the early
legislative elections held in 2013 the two most successful parties were the leftish
Czech Social Democratic Party and the new party ANO 2011. Since then governs
coalition under Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. Historically, the Czech Republic has
been among the world’s most industrialized states, and its economy was significantly
affected by the 2009 recession, with declines in both industrial production and exports
within the European Union.
The Czech Republic made economic reforms such as fast privatizations. Annual gross
domestic product (GDP) growth stood at around 6% until the outbreak of the recent
global economic crisis, nowadays it fluctuates around 2.5%. The country is the first
former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed country according
to the World Bank. In addition, the Czech Republic has the highest human development
in Central and Eastern Europe, ranking as a “Very High Human Development” nation. It
is also ranked as the most democratic and healthy (by infant mortality) country in the
region and as the eleventh most peaceful country in Europe.
The Czech Republic has a temperate continental climate, with relatively hot summers
and cold, cloudy and snowy winters. Most rain falls during the summer. The temperature
difference between summer and winter is relatively high, due to the landlocked
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 11
Until 2012, the office of president was filled following an indirect election by the
Parliament of the Czech Republic. In February 2012, a change to a direct election was
passed by the Senate, and after the related implementation law also was passed by
both chambers of Parliament, it was enacted by presidential assent on 1 August 2012;
meaning that it legally entered into force on 1 October 2012. The first president elected
in the direct election was Miloš Zeman in 2013. The Czech president has a considerable
role in political affairs, because many powers can only be exercised with the signatures
of both the President and the Prime Minister. However, presidential power is limited; the
most important is the right to veto any bill which has already been passed by Parliament,
with the exception of constitutional bills. This power is void in times of constitutional or
other political crises. The President is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Parliament consists of two chambers - the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. It passes
all bills valid in the territory of the Czech Republic and expresses approval of important
international treaties, such as those concerning human rights and fundamental
freedoms, political treaties, and general economic treaties. It decides the most important
acts of the state, such as declaring war or approving the deployment of foreign armies
on Czech soil.
Chamber of Deputies
The Chamber of Deputies is made up of 200 deputies who are elected for a term of
four years. The President can dissolve the Chamber of Deputies in cases outlined in
the constitution. Political lobbies, ongoing parliamentary commissions and committees
operate in the historical building which houses the Chamber.
The Senate is made up of 81 senators elected a six-year term. Every two years one-
third of the Senate’s seats come up for re-election. The Senate cannot be dissolved.
A resolution by a parliamentary chamber is passed by a clear majority of deputies or
senators present. A constitutional bill or an international treaty must be passed by a
60% majority of the total number of deputies and senators present.
The Legislative Process
Bills are sent to the Chamber of Deputies. The right of legislative initiative is possessed
by a deputy, a group of deputies, the Senate, the Cabinet or local or regional cabinet
A bill passed by the Chamber of Deputies is sent to the Senate which has the power
to veto it, send it back to the Chamber of Deputies with amendments, or table the bill.
12 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Elections to the Legislative Bodies
Elections to the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate take place by secret ballot on the
basis of general, equal and direct voting. The Chamber of Deputies is elected on the
basis of proportional representation. Political parties must obtain five percent of the
popular vote in order to gain seats in the chamber. The Senate is elected on the basis of
majority vote. All citizens of the Czech Republic over 18 years of age have the right to
vote for representatives in both chambers of Parliament. Candidates for the Chamber
of Deputies must be over 21 years of age, while candidates for the Senate must be over
40 years of age.
The Government is the supreme body of executive power. It consists of the Prime
Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers, and coordinates activities of the
ministries and the central bodies of the state administration and manages the state
administration throughout the territory of the state. The Government has exclusive
legislative initiative in terms of the state budget.
The Supreme Audit Office
The Supreme Audit Office is an independent controlling agency which audits the
management of state property and the implementation of the state budget. It scrutinizes
how the resources of the state budget of the Czech Republic are raised and used.
The Czech National Bank
This is the central state bank of the Czech Republic. Under the law, the main goal of
the bank is to preserve the stability and purchasing power of the currency, and while
pursuing this goal, the bank is not dependent on the cabinet of the Czech Republic. The
president and executives of the bank are appointed by the Head of State.
The Constitutional Court
The Constitutional Court was set up to protect constitutional rights. It consists of 15
judges who are appointed by the President - with the consent of the Senate - for a
term of ten years. In their decisions, the judges are bound only by constitutional laws,
international treaties, and by a law governing the procedure of the constitutional court.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the supreme judicial body in all matters within the jurisdiction
of the courts, except those within the jurisdiction of the constitutional court or the
supreme administrative court. The judges are only bound by law and they are in a
position to decide whether other legal regulations are in accordance with the law.
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 13
Of the emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic has
one of the most developed industrialized economies. It is one of the most stable and
prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, and an EU
member state. GDP per capita at purchasing power parity was $25.530 in 2014, which
is 80 % of the EU average.
The principal industries are heavy and general machine-building, iron and steel
production, metalworking, chemical production, electronics, transportation equipment,
textiles, glass, brewing, china, ceramics, and pharmaceuticals. Main agricultural
products are sugar beet, fodder roots, potatoes, wheat, and hops.
While the conservative inward-looking Czech financial system has remained relative
healthy, the small, open, export-driven Czech economy remains very sensitive to
changes in the economic performance of its main export markets, especially Germany.
When Western Europe and Germany fell into recession in late 2008, demand for Czech
goods plunged, leading to double digit drops in industrial production and exports.
As a result, real GDP fell by 4.1% in 2009, with most of the decline occurring during
the first quarter. Real GDP, however, has slowly recovered with positive quarter-on-
quarter growth starting in the second half of 2009 and continuing throughout 2010.
The automotive industry remains the largest single industry and, together with its
suppliers, accounts for as much as 20% of Czech manufacturing and 35% of the Czech
economy as a whole. The Czech Republic produced more than a million cars for the first
time in 2010, over 80% of which were exported. Foreign and domestic businesses alike
voice concerns about corruption, especially in public procurement. Other long-term
challenges include dealing with a rapidly aging population, funding an unsustainable
pension and health care system, and diversifying away from manufacturing and toward
a more high-tech, services-based, knowledge economy. Although the Czech Republic
was affected by the financial crisis, 2014 is consider as year of economical revive, as
most of economic indicators restored to pre-crisis era.
14 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Types of Czech Business Companies
Limited Liability Company (Společnost s ručením omezeným)
A limited liability company is the most common form of companies in the Czech
Republic. It offers simpler administration than a Joint Stock Company and one person
can be both the sole owner and executive. For a limited liability company to function
it must have a minimum registered capital of CZK 100.000 (Czech koruna). It can be
founded by at least one individual or legal entity.
Joint-Stock Company (Akciová společnost)
A joint stock company is more suitable for larger businesses and a larger number of
shareholders. This type of company offers certain advantages regarding financing due
to a higher paid-in capital and stricter management controls. The minimum required
capital is CZK 2,000,000 or EUR 80,000, and a minimum of 30% must be paid upon
registration for cash contributions and 100% of in-kind contributions. Shareholders
can be Czech, foreigners, individuals or legal entities.
General partnership (Veřejná obchodní společnost)
In a general partnership, several partners - individuals or legal entities, operate
under a corporate name. All parties are liable for all of the debts of the partnership
to the extent of their contribution or investment. The partnership functions under an
agreement. The purpose is a business at a larger scale.
Limited Partnership (Komanditní společnost)
In a limited partnership, the liability of one or more partners (individuals or legal
entities) is limited to the amount of their paid and unpaid contributions. The amount of
the contributions both paid and unpaid must be recorded in the Commercial Register.
Such partners are known as limited partners. One or more partners, individuals or legal
entities, are known as general partners and are liable for the partnerships obligations to
the extent of all of their assets. The general partners can make management decisions
and have the right to decide the future of the company. The limited partnership also
functions under an agreement.
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 15
Economic Freedom Index
The Czech Republic’s economic freedom score is 72.2, making its economy the 26th
freest in the 2014 Index. Its overall score is 1.3 point better than last year, with notable
improvements in half of the 10 economic freedoms, including investment freedom,
business freedom, and freedom from corruption. The Czech Republic is ranked 15th out
of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is higher than the regional
and global averages.
Strong commitments to economic and structural reforms have helped the Czech
Republic develop a modern and flexible economy. Open to global trade and investment,
the country enjoys high degrees of trade freedom, fiscal freedom, and financial
freedom. The private sector accounts for about 80 percent of GDP and is the main
driver of economic growth. Years of stable and robust economic expansion came to a
stop in 2009 as a result of the global financial and economic downturn, but the Czech
Republic weathered the turmoil relatively well.
Further growth in economic freedom in the Czech Republic will require strengthened
management of public finances, better protection of property rights, and more
effective elimination of corruption. The government is placing a high priority on fiscal
discipline and striving for budgetary balance after years of fiscal deficits.
Incorporating a business has become less time-consuming, and licensing requirements
have been eased. The minimum capital requirement is now less than 30 percent of the
level of average annual income.
EU members have a low 1.1 percent average tariff rate and, in general, few non-tariff
barriers to trade. However, the EU has high or escalating tariffs for agricultural and
manufacturing products, and its MFN tariff code is complex. Non-tariff barriers
reflected in the EU and Czech policy include agricultural and manufacturing subsidies,
quotas, import restrictions and bans on some goods and services, market access
restrictions in some service sectors, non-transparent and restrictive regulations and
standards, and inconsistent regulatory and customs administration among the EU
members. Services market restrictions are beyond the EU policy, and non-transparent
government procurement and the enforcement of intellectual property rights remain
16 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The Czech Republic has relatively low tax rates. The flat income tax rate is 15 percent,
and the top corporate tax rate has been reduced from 20 percent to 19 percent. Other
taxes include a value-added tax (VAT), a real estate transfer tax, and an inheritance tax
on non-family recipients. The overall tax burden is equivalent to 35.3 percent of GDP.
The government is critically involved in the economy, particularly in social programs.
Tax increases and budget cuts have yielded surpluses in recent years, and government
spending has stabilized at 43 percent of GDP. Public debt is around 45 percent of the
Although a range of price controls are maintained, the state has taken steps to reduce
subsidies for state pensions and green energy.
Legally, foreign and domestic investors are treated identically. The government screens
foreign investment projects in banking, insurance, and defence, where the state is a
partner. Slow legislative and judicial reform, uneven contract enforcement, bureaucracy,
and corruption are obstacles to foreign investment. Most major state-owned companies
have been privatized with foreign participation. There are no restrictions on payments or
current transfers, and residents and non-residents may hold foreign exchange accounts.
Branches or offices of foreign companies may buy local real estate, except for farmland
The state is the controlling shareholder in two banks. Foreign-controlled banks account
for over 80 percent of assets. Insurance companies and pension funds include significant
foreign participation. The supervisory framework is well established. Capital markets
are small and lack transparency, but regulatory bodies have been merged to streamline
oversight. The global financial turmoil’s impact on banking has been relatively modest. The
relatively well regulated financial market continues to grow steadily. The banking sector
remains competitive and resilient, offering a wider range of financial products.
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 17
Property rights are protected by law, and contracts are generally secure. The judiciary
is independent, but decisions vary from court to court. Commercial disputes can take
years to resolve. Company registration is controlled by the courts and can be slow and
complicated. Enforcing judgments and foreclosing security interests in land and personal
property can be difficult.
Freedom from Corruption
In 2012, several scandals involving senior government officials highlighted ongoing
corruption and lack of transparency and caused the European Commission to cut around
$650 million of EU aid to the Czech Republic. Corruption is perceived as significant.
The Czech Republic ranks 53rd out of 174 countries in Transparency International’s
Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014. Allegations of corruption most often involve the
court-controlled company registration system and the police. The Czech Republic has
ratified the OECD’s anti-bribery convention, but there is little or no enforcement. It has
signed but not ratified the U.N. Convention Against Corruption.
The labor market is relatively flexible, although the non-salary cost of employees can be
Business Freedom 70.1 +4.3
Trade Freedom 87.8 +1.0
Fiscal Freedom 81.7 -0.3
Government Spending 43.8 +0.3
Monetary Freedom 79.4 -2.3
Investment Freedom 80.0 +1.0
Financial Freedom 80.0 No change
Property Rights 70.0 No change
Freedom From Corruption 45.3 +1.3
Labor Freedom 84.0 -1.5
100-80 79.9-70 69.9-60 59.9-50 49.9-0 N/A
Free Mostly free Moderately free Mostly unfree Repressed not ranked
Table 1 Summary of Business Freedom
Table 2 Distribution of Global Economic Freedom
18 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Czech Republic’s Ranking in Doing Business 2011
To make the data comparable across economies, the indicators refer to a specific
type of business, generally a local limited liability company operating in the largest
business city. As standard assumptions are used in the data collection, comparisons
and benchmarks are valid across economies. The data not only highlight the extent
of obstacles to doing business; they also help identify the source of those obstacles,
supporting policymakers in designing reform.
The data set covers 189 economies: 47 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 32 in Latin America
and the Caribbean, 26 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 25 in East Asia and Pacific,
20 in the Middle East and North Africa and 8 in South Asia, as well as 31 OECD high-
Czech Republic - Compared to global good practice economy as well as selected
The Czech Republic is ranked 44 out of 189 economies in Ease of Doing Business.
Ease of Doing Business 44
Starting a Business 110
Dealing with Construction Permits 139
Getting Electricity 123
Registering Property 31
Getting Credit 23
Protecting Minority Investors 83
Paying Taxes 119
Trading Across Borders 58
Enforcing Contracts 37
Resolving Insolvency 20
Table 3 The Czech Republic’s Ease of Doing Business ranking
Bangkok city skyline
Starting a Business
Procedures (number) 9
Time (days) 19
Cost (% of income per capita) 8
Paid-in min. capital (% of income per capita) 0
Dealing with Construction Permits
Procedures (number) 24
Time (days) 143
Cost (% of income per capita) 0.3
Procedures (number) 6
Time (days) 129
Cost (% of income per capita) 175.8
Procedures (number) 3
Time (days) 24
Cost (% of property value) 4
Strength of legal rights index (0-12) 7
Depth of credit information index (0-8) 7
Credit registry coverage (% of adults) 6.4
Credit bureau coverage (% of adults) 76.6
Protecting Minority Investors
Extent of disclosure index (0-10) 2
Extent of director liability index (0-10) 5
Ease of shareholder suits index (0-10) 9
Extent of conflict of interest regulation index (0-10) 5.3
Extent of shareholder rights index (0-10.5) 7.5
Strength of governance structure index (0-10.5) 5.5
Extent of corporate transparency index (0-9) 3.5
Extent of shareholder governance index (0-10) 5.5
Strength of minority investor protection index (0-10) 5.4
Payments (number per year) 8
Time (hours per year) 413
Profit tax (%) 7.6
Labour tax and contributions (%) 38.4
Other taxes (%) 2.6
Total tax rate (% profit) 48.5
Trading Across Borders
Documents to export (number) 4
Cost to export (US$ per container) 1240
Cost to export (deflated US$ per container) 1240
Documents to import (number) 6
Time to import (days) 17
Cost to import (US$ per container) 1215
Cost to import (deflated US$ per container) 1215
Time (days) 611
Cost (% of claim) 33
Procedures (number) 27
Time (years) 2.1
Cost (% of estate) 17
Outcome (0 as piecemeal sale and 1 as going concern) 1
Recovery rate (cents on the dollar) 65.6
Commencement of proceedings index (0-3) 3
Management of debtor’s assets index (0-6) 5.5
Reorganization proceedings index (0-3) 3
Creditor participation index (0-4) 2
Strength of insolvency framework index (0-16) 13.5
Table 4 The Czech Republic’s Ease of Doing Business
20 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLICTraditional Thai boats, Railay Beach, Krabi
Starting a Business
A number of studies have shown that among the benefits of streamlining the
process to start a business have been greater firm satisfaction and savings and more
registered businesses, financial resources and job opportunities. Economies with
higher entry cost are associated with a larger informal sector and a smaller number
of legally registered firms.
The Czech Republic’s accession to the EU in 2004 put the regulation of business
activities in line with European standards and EU legislation. Setting up a business
in the Czech Republic has thus become much easier and more transparent not only
for entities domiciled in any EU Member State but also for entities domiciled outside
Any business activity in the Czech Republic is generally subject to the issuance of
a trade licence (regulated by the Trade Licensing Act) or another specific permit
(regulated by a number of specific acts), depending on the type of business activity.
Czech law generally provides that a foreign legal entity may undertake business
activities in the Czech Republic under the same conditions and to the same extent
as Czech entities. Under the Czech Trade Licensing Act, a legal entity with its seat in
another EU Member State can temporarily provide its services within the territory
of the Czech Republic based on trade licences issued in the Member State. If this
legal entity’s activities become more regular and meet the legal definition of a
business activity (i.e. continuous business activity carried out independently, at its
own responsibility and aimed at generating a profit), it should either apply for the
respective trade licences or other permits in the Czech Republic and subsequently
register its branch in the Czech Commercial Register or set up a subsidiary in the
Dealing with building permits
Complying with building regulations in developing economies can be so costly in time
and money that many builders opt out. Builders may pay bribes to pass inspections
or simply build illegally. Therefore, entrepreneurs tend to move to grey economy
where they operate with less concern for safety, leaving everyone worse off.
Ensuring formal property rights is fundamental, which also applies to effective
administration of real estate. No transfer of real estate is effective unless entered in
the Land Register.
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 21
The depth of credit information index measures rules and practices affecting the
coverage, scope and accessibility of credit information available through either a
public credit registry or a private credit bureau. Credit information system mitigates
the information asymmetry in lending and enables lenders to view a borrower’s
financial history, providing them with valuable information to consider when
assessing risk. Credit information system benefits borrowers as well, allowing good
borrowers to establish a reputable credit history which will enable them to access
credit more easily. The Legal Rights Index measures the degree to which collateral
and bankruptcy laws protect the rights of borrowers and lenders and thus facilitate
Stronger investor protection matters for the ability of companies to raise the capital
needed to grow, innovate, diversify and complete. This is all the more crucial in times
of financial crisis when entrepreneurs must navigate through defiant environments
to finance their activities.
Taxes are essential to provide public amenities, infrastructure and services which are
crucial for a properly functioning economy. Data shows that economies where it is
more difficult and costly to pay taxes have larger shares of informal sector activity.
Trading Across Borders
Making trade between countries easier is increasingly important for business in
today’s globalized world. Excessive document requirements, burdensome customs
procedures, inefficient port operations and inadequate infrastructure all lead to
extra costs and delays for exporters and importers, stifling trade potential. Trade
facilitation tools such as electronic data interchange systems, risk-based inspections
help improve an economy’s trading environment and boost firms’ international
22 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Well-functioning courts help businesses expand their network and markets. Where
contract enforcement is efficient, firms have greater access to credit and are more
likely to engage with new borrowers or customers. Data measures the efficiency
of the judicial system in resolving a commercial sale dispute before local courts.
Following the step-by-step evolution of a standardized case study, data relating to the
time, cost and procedural complexity of resolving a commercial lawsuit are collected
through the study of the codes of civil procedure and other court regulations, as well
as through a survey completed by local litigation lawyers.
Closing a Business
A robust bankruptcy system functions as a filter, ensuring the survival of economically
efficient companies and reallocating the resources of inefficient ones. Fast and
cheap insolvency proceedings result in businesses’ fast return to normal operation
and increase returns to creditors. By improving the expectations of creditors and
debtors about the outcome of insolvency proceedings, well-functioning insolvency
systems can facilitate access to finance, save more viable businesses, and thereby
improve growth and sustainability in the economy overall.
The Czech Republic made it easier to deal with insolvency by introducing further
legal amendments to restrict setoffs in insolvency cases and suspending for some
insolvent debtors the obligation to file for bankruptcy.
Changes to business regulation
The Czech Republic simplified its labour tax processes and reduced employer
contribution rates for social security. The Czech Republic made it easier to deal with
insolvency by introducing further regulations.
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 23
City of Telč, in central south
Czech Republic, is a UNESCO
World Heritage siteč
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For residents the world-wide income is taxable, for non-residents only Czech-sourced
income is included in the tax base.
4.1. Corporate income tax
The tax base is the accounting result adjusted in compliance with the special
provision of the Income Taxes Act.
The corporate tax rate is 19%. Certain listed investment funds pay a 5% corporate
tax. The rate of corporate tax has been reduced constantly to encourage economic
activity. For instance in 1992, the corporate tax rate was 45%.
Non-deductible costs include items such as business entertainment (particularly
costs incurred for refreshments, hospitality, or gifts), cash deficiencies and damage
Tax of 15% is imposed on dividends paid by Czech corporations, unless the
participation exemption applies.
Capital gains in the Czech Republic are taxed as part of the general tax base and as
such are taxed at 19%, unless the participation exemption applies.
The participation exemption of capital gains and dividends is applicable on condition
that 10% of the shares in a subsidiary are held for at least 12 months.
Income from interest is deemed to be a part of the general tax base and as such
is taxed at 19% unless paid between related parties (exemption is applicable on
condition that 25% of the shares in a subsidiary are held for at least 24 months).
Financial expenses related to loans made available by related parties are not tax-
deductible if the related-party debt to equity ratio exceeds 4:1.
In the Czech Republic losses can be carried forward for 5 years. There is no carryback
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Incentives such as training and job-creation grants are available in the manufacturing
industry. However, these depend on the utilization of EU funds by local bodies and they
are often subject to changes. In order to be eligible for such incentives you have to, for
example, establish, expand or modernize the production, and be environmentally friendly.
There is also a special tax allowance for entities undertaking research & development.
No tax consolidation is available. Any company which qualifies as a controlling entity
as defined by Czech accounting law is obliged to compile group consolidated financial
statements. This must be done in compliance with Czech GAAP consolidation rules.
However, any accounting consolidation is disregarded for tax purposes.
There are no specific CFC rules in the Czech Republic. Only very general rules
regulate the issue of anti-avoidance in international taxation. In principal, general
abuse of law and substance-over-form rules are in place.
Related-party transactions must comply with the arm’s length principle, i.e. the
prices agreed between related entities must correspond to fair market prices. Any
deviation from this principle needs to be properly documented; otherwise the Tax
Office may adjust the tax base by the difference between the arm’s length price and
the price agreed.
The tax year in the Czech Republic is the calendar year ending on 31 December. The
taxpayer may change the tax year to a fiscal year based on an announcement of the
change to the competent Tax Office 3 months before the change.
The standard deadline for filing a tax return is 3 months after the end of the tax year (i.e.
1 April in the case of a calendar year). If the taxpayer’s financial statements are subject to
authorizes a tax adviser to prepare the tax return provided that the Power of Attorney is
filed with the Tax Office by the end of the regular deadline, the deadline is extended to 6
months following the end of the tax year (i.e. 1 July in the case of a calendar year).
4.2. Withholding tax
Tax is deducted at source from the following payments to non-residents:
• Interest 15%
• Dividends 15%
• Royalties 15%
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The above rates can be reduced under an applicable double tax treaty.
4.3. Payroll taxation
A taxpayer who employs employees in the territory of the Czech Republic is obliged
to register for payroll tax in the Czech Republic and deduct, on a monthly basis,
tax advances, social security and health insurance contributions from employees’
Payroll tax in the Czech Republic is currently at 15% out of the “super-gross wage”
which is computed as the gross wage increased by the employer’s part of social
security and health insurance (i.e. the super-gross wage is usually at 134% of the
Social security premiums are paid on a monthly basis, in the following volume:
• 6.5% of gross income is paid by the employee (withheld by the employer),
• 25% of gross income is paid by the employer.
Health insurance premiums are paid on a monthly basis, in the following volume:
• 4.5% of gross income is paid by the employee (withheld by the employer),
• 9% of gross income is paid by the employer.
VAT applies to supplies of goods and services, imported goods and intra-EU supplies
of goods in the Czech Republic.
Value Added Tax Rates
• Standard 21%
• First reduced 15%
• Second reduced 10%
Table 6 Withholding taxes
Table 5 Tax rates
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The Dancing House, Prague
28 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC Giant Buddha in Grand
The current VAT rates in the Czech Republic are 21% (a standard VAT rate applicable
to most supplies), 15% (a first reduced VAT rate applicable only to specific supplies
such as food, social housing or healthcare), and a new rate of 10% (a second reduced
VAT rate applicable to baby food, products for the preparation of gluten-free food,
pharmaceuticals and books).
VAT payers registered in the Czech Republic are entitled to input VAT deduction
provided that the inputs are used within their business activities for effecting taxable
supplies or other supplies where the entitlement to the input VAT deduction is
permitted by the Czech VAT Act. In the case of VAT registration, the VAT payer is also
entitled to VAT deduction on taxable supplies purchased in a period of a maximum of
12 months before VAT registration, provided that such supplies are part of the VAT
payer’s assets as at the effective date of the VAT registration.
The taxation period is a calendar month for all newly registered VAT payers. The
taxation period could be changed to quarterly after two years at the earliest provided
that the total annual turnover does not exceed the statutory limit, which currently
at CZK 10,000,000.
If either the total volume of goods supplied by a taxpayer from other EU Member
States to the Czech Republic or the total volume of goods sold from the Czech
Republic to other EU Member States exceeds CZK.
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5 Labor Law in Czech Republic
The legal framework governing labour and employment issues is mainly provided for
by the Labour Code. Furthermore, there are several collective agreements in place
between the employers and employees’ representatives that provide specific rules for
some sectors of the economy.
Following its accession to the EU, the Czech Republic was obliged to incorporate a
number of EU directives on labour relations, which apply generally throughout the EU.
Types of contract
Employment law defines various types of employment contracts, including the
• Permanent contracts
• Fixed-term employment contracts
• Part-time employment contracts
• Agreements to complete a job, Agreement to perform work.
The length of the trial period must be stipulated in writing, which varies according to
the type of contract. For permanent contracts the trial period is three months and up
to six months for management employees.
Employment contract termination
Employment contracts can be terminated as follows:
• By expiry of a particular term or upon completion of a specific task (for fixed or
• By rescission by mutual agreement
• Bydismissal(withajustcause, cancelationofthe jobposition,collectivedis¬missal
or dismissal due to the employee’s lack of adaptation to new technologies)
• Termination during the trial period
• By notice served by the employee
• By notice served by the employer subject to specific conditions
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Except specific cases and sectors of the economy, working hours do not exceed
40 hours per week. Employees are entitled to a rest break of at least 30 minutes
provided for a maximum of six hours of work. Overtime is limited to a certain number
of hours per year but this limit may vary depending on the particular collective
agreement. Such agreements also provide for some specific rules related to shift
work, night work, and so on.
The law permits flexible working hours under specific conditions provided that they
do not exceed certain limits.
Holidays and Absences
Employees are entitled to 20 working days of holidays per year. Employees’
entitlement to holiday may be increased by the employer. Employees with less than 1
year’s continuous service are entitled to a pro-rata part of holiday. Holiday is usually
not taken during the trial period and may only be taken with the employer’s consent.
The employer is entitled specify the holiday dates. However, the period of holidays is
usually a matter of mutual agreement.
Under law, there are 13 national public holidays. Public holidays are not movable and
are not changed in order to minimize mid-week interruptions.
Labor law lists a series of circumstances that can justify absences from work. In
the case of sickness, the employee receives a wage compensation for the first 14
calendar days, i.e. 10 working days. However, the first three days are not paid. From
the 15th calendar day onwards, the employee receives sickness benefits from the
Czech Social Security Administration. The amounts of wage compensation provided
by the employer or sickness benefits provided by the Social Security Administration
are capped by three limits.
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Accounting regulations and standards
System and scope of accounting laws in the Czech Republic
Basic rules and regulations are set out in Act No. 563/1991 Coll., on Accounting, as
amended (the “Accounting Act”). The Accounting Act refers to:
• Decrees of the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic (“MF CR”) issued for each
type of organization (banks and financial institutions, private businesses, insurance
companies, state-funded organizations, foundations, not-for-profit organizations,
and political parties); and
• Czech accounting standards prepared and promulgated by the MF CR, which
describe in detail the accounting procedures for each type of organization (see the
The Accounting Act also defines the basic requirements for preparing and publishing
annual reports and the conditions that trigger the need for a mandatory statutory audit
of financial statements. Companies whose securities are publicly traded are subject to
stricter rules for publication of financial information, especially information that must
be included within annual reports and the obligation to present financial information
on an ongoing basis to the Czech National Bank, which acts as the common regulator
of the financial markets. Yet more extensive requirements on these organizations are
stipulated by the Capital Market Trading Act.
The main authority regulating accounting and audits is still the state but developments in
this area are shared by a number of professional organizations: the Chamber of Auditors
of the Czech Republic, the Union of Accountants, and, in particular, the all-encompassing
National Accounting Council. The latter primarily comments on bills and interpretations of
accounting regulations. Although the interpretations by the National Accounting Council
are not incorporated into accounting legislation and therefore not binding, their influence
on practice has been growing.
Obligatory application of IFRS for issuers of public securities
A company whose securities are traded on regulated public markets in the EU Member
States is required to compile and present both financial statements and consolidated
financial statements prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting
Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the European Union instead of financial statements
prepared under Czech regulations. All other private businesses in the Czech Republic
can apply IFRS directly instead of Czech accounting regulations when compiling their
consolidated financial statements.
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The obligation described above to present financial statements in accordance with
IFRS has no effect on the current corporate income tax liability. As tax laws are based
on bookkeeping done in accordance with Czech regulations, companies that report in
accordance with IFRS must also maintain accounting records sufficient to enable them
to ascertain their business result in accordance with Czech accounting regulations. In
practice, an adjustement of the accounting records kept in accordance with IFRS to
the accounting records kept in accordance with Czech accounting regulations is done
outside the accounting system, with the reconciliation of the business results and equity
being performed subsequently. If technically feasible, it is possible to do bookkeeping
both in accordance with IFRS and Czech accounting regulations directly in the accounting
Voluntary application of IFRS
Companies Companies whose securities are temporarily NOT traded on regulated public
with IFRS and report financial statements in accordance with IFRS (on condition that the
requirements prescribed in the Accounting Act are met) or do the bookkeeping under the
Czech accounting regulations.
The companies presuming preparation of consolidated financial statements (or the
consolidation package) in accordance with IFRS as the consolidating or the consolidated
company can either report in accordance with IFRS or under the Czech accounting
As stated in the previous article, tax laws are based on bookkeeping carried out in
accordance with Czech regulations. Companies that report in accordance with IFRS must
also maintain accounting records sufficient to enable them to ascertain their business
result in accordance with Czech accounting regulations.
Main differences between financial
reporting under Czech accounting standards and IFRS
Financial reporting requirements are laid down in the EU Fourth and Seventh Directives.
Some key terms and principles are taken from IFRS, the most important being the
priority that facts be portrayed truly and accurately. Other basic principles – such as the
accruals principle, the prudence principle, and the going concern principle – are also in
accordance with internationally recognized financial reporting principles. This applies in
particular to banks, financial institutions, and private businesses. Accounting rules valid
for other types of organizations are closer to valid tax regulations and the needs of the
state. Although Czech accounting principles and IFRS are becoming closer, the financial
reporting and accounting system in the Czech Republic is still strongly influenced by tax
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 33
Despite the efforts to harmonize accounting regulations with IFRS in recent years, there
are areas of significant differences between IFRS and Czech financial reporting. Such
areas include, for example, financial leasing. Other areas where Czech regulations differ
from IFRS are, for example, provisions, reporting of extraordinary items, accounting
for revenues including long-term contracts (it is prohibited to use the percentage of
completion method to account for revenues) and accounting for business combinations.
Czech regulations also require information in the financial statements to be significantly
more succinct than that required by IFRS.
Publication and disclosure obligations
Each year, all entities must submit electronically their approved financial statements
to the commercial register maintained by the court of competent jurisdiction. Entities
whose financial statements must be audited by statutory auditors are also required to
present annual reports. These must include the audited financial statements as well
as the auditor’s report and information about previous and anticipated financial and
business developments. Companies controlled by other entities must also include in their
annual reports a related-party report under Section 66a of the Commercial Code. This
report must also be audited by the company’s auditor.
Issuers of public securities are also obliged to disclose on an ongoing basis semi-annual
reports to the Czech National Bank. The reports must contain the balance sheet and the
profit and loss account and certain other financial information. The reports need not be
34 | DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
7 Intellectual Property
Intellectual property law covers all legal property rights over original creations, such as
commercial and artistic products. Protection is granted to both tangible and intangible
works (i.e. musical, literary and artistic works, ideas, discoveries and inventions, words,
phrases, symbols and designs).
Industrial property rights
Copyrights, trademarks, patents and industrial designs are the most common forms of
intellectual property protection.
Industrial property rights cover:
• Technical products (inventions and utility models)
• Industrial design items (industrial models, including designs)
• Identification rights (designations of origin and trade marks)
• Other types of works, such as improved integrated circuits (semiconductor
topographies), new animal breeds and farming methods.
Under industrial property law, inventions that fulfill certain conditions may be granted
A utility model is a new, industrially-useful technical solution which goes beyond the
bounds of mere professional know-how. For items with a lower level of inventiveness or
less economic importance, a simpler, quicker and less costly form of protection than a
patent may be chosen for the invention.
The topography of semiconductor products is a series of fixed or coded interrelated
patterns representing a three-dimensional permanent arrangement of layers.
An “industrial model” is understood to mean the appearance of a product or its parts
(marks of lines, outlines, colour, shape and the materials or decorations used).
A registered trade mark is a distinctive sign or indicator that allows people to distinguish
one’s products or services from another’s already present on the market. It can be a
name, a logo, the shape of a product or its packaging.
A “designation of origin” is understood to mean the name of an area or location
identifying goods typical of the location for their quality or special characteristics.
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The geographical indication is the name of an area that identifies goods coming from
that area. A product is entitled to geographical indication protection if it has a specific
quality, reputation or other characteristic that is tied to a specific geographical area
where it has to be produced, processed and prepared.
The types of property rights resulting from a creative activity are:
• Industrial rights (such as right to inventions, utility models and industrial models)
Ownership rights arising from non-creative activities mainly include the right of the
producer of a sound recording to use the recording and to assign to a third party by
contract an entitlement to exercise the right.
The types of designation rights are:
• Trade mark
• Designation of origin
• Geographical indication.
Rights to the protection of personality include the protection of a person’s private
life, reputation, dignity and privacy.
Copyright grants the creator of an original piece of work exclusive rights to his or
her work for a certain period. It is not necessary to register works to be entitled to
protection. The intellectual property right is, in fact, automatic.
Property rights last, unless otherwise stipulated, for the period of the author’s life
and for 70 years after his or her death.
• Personality rights of the author - the personal interests of the author and his or her
connection to the work
• Property rights of the author - the asset value of the work.
The Act on Copyright and Rights Related to Copyright is the main law covering
this issue. For copyright protection to arise for a computer program in the Czech
Republic, no actual registration is necessary, as all computer programs are subject
to informal protection. Databases are also protected under copyright law regardless
of what form they take. Advertising is regarded under the Copyright Act as a work
of art and is protected in the same way. However, the Act does not protect actual
suggestions before they have been put into effect and nor does it protect ideas,
processes or methods. Design is the legally protected form of industrial models (see
above). As to the multimedia, the producer of an audiovisual recording has exclusive
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property rights to use the audiovisual recording and to assign to another by contract
an entitlement to exercise this right. Industrial drawings are the legally protected
form of utility models (see above). Works of cartography (maps) are regarded as
collective works under the Copyright Act, since individual contributions cannot be
used independently. The Copyright Act also covers literary works and other scientific
and artistic works, as well as television broadcasts.
Commercial strategies may be commercially confidential and therefore included among
Intellectual protection authorities
The Industrial Property Office collects all applications for intellectual property rights and
examines their eligibility. It keeps records of all products covered by industrial property
rights. A list of the products is published in the Official Journal and in its public registers.
Protecting intellectual rights abroad
The Czech Republic is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement) administered by
the World Trade Organization.
Combating counterfeiting and piracy
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has established an inter-ministerial commission on
combating violation of intellectual property rights. Its aim is to help increase protection
and respect for intellectual property rights in the Czech Republic. The Government of the
Czech Republic has developed an Action Plan against Piracy and Counterfeiting.
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 37
Charles Bridge with Prague Castle
in the background
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8 Contact details
About RSM TACOMA
RSM TACOMA is a leading Czech advisory firm providing services in respect of mergers
& acquisitions, corporate finance, valuation, tax, trust services, audit, management
consulting, accounting, and payroll. RSM TACOMA has been active in the Czech market
since 1993, and in 2011 joined RSM International, the seventh largest global independent
consulting network. For more information, visit our website at www.rsm-tacoma.cz.
186 00 Prague
T +420 226 219 000
11 Old Jewry
T +(0)20 7601 1080
F +(0)20 7601 1090
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC | 39
9 About RSM International
RSM International is the world’s 7th largest network of audit, tax and advisory
firms and the 6th largest global provider of tax services. The network has fully
independent member firms and correspondents in 112 countries. The member firms
have a combined total of 37,443 staff including 3,279 partners in 732 offices.
For more information on RSM international, visit www.rsmi.com
The aim of this publication is to provide general information about doing business in the
Czech Republic and every effort has been made to ensure the contents are accurate
and current. However tax rates, legislation and economic conditions referred to in this
publication are only accurate at time of writing. Information in this publication is in no way
intended to replace or supersede independent or other professional advice. Copies of this
booklet or additional information can be obtained from the RSM International Executive
Office or RSM TACOMA.
RSM International is the name given to a network of independent accounting and
consulting firms each of which practices in its own right. RSM International does not
exist in any jurisdiction as a separate legal entity. The network is administered by RSM
International Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (company number
4040598) whose registered office is at 11 Old Jewry, London EC2R 8DU. Intellec
tual property rights used by members of the network including the trademark RSM
International are owned by RSM International Association, an association governed
by 60 et seq. of the Civil Code of Switzerland whose seat is in Zug.
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For the member firms of RSM International in Thailand:
RSM Advisory (Thailand) Limited
Mr Gareth Hughes – Managing Director
Mr Mark Butters – Business Services Director
RSM Audit Services (Thailand) Limited
Mr Prawit Wipusirikup – Audit Principal
Mr Surachai Damnoenwong – Audit Principal
RSM Recruitment (Thailand) Limited
Mr Mike Holloway – Director
26th Floor, Sathorn City Tower
175 South Sathorn Road
T: +66 (0) 2670 9002-6
F: +66 (0) 2670 9027-8