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Public Commercial Register – how to read and search it?

Are you planning to start a business but are not sure whether registration in the Commercial Register applies to you at all? Or do you want to check out a company before you start working with it? Read on to find out important information and avoid making mistakes.

Veřejný obchodní rejstřík – jak v něm číst a hledat?
7 minutes of reading

What is a business register and when is it useful?

The Companies Register is a public list that includes all the statutory details of companies and certain individuals. The register and the information entered in it are freely accessible and serve to obtain transparent information about business entities.

It can be useful, for example, when you are about to start a business relationship with a company and would like to do a little checking, when you want to apply for a business/corporate bank account as a business entity, or when you want to check who can act for the company.

Who is obliged to enter their data in the Commercial Register

Not every business entity is obliged to enter its data in the Commercial Register. However, if it belongs to one of the following groups, it should not be missing from the register:

  • commercial companies and cooperatives – public companies, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and joint stock companies,
  • natural persons (entrepreneurs) residing in the territory of the Czech Republic who express an interest in registration themselves or are required by law to register (this situation occurs if the average amount of income for the last two accounting periods exceeds CZK 120 million excluding VAT).
  • certain foreign business entities that are specified in more detail in the Act on Public Registers of Legal and Natural Persons.
  • other persons that have this obligation stipulated by a special legal regulation (e.g. associations).

Interesting fact: Legal entities that do not have an order for registration in the commercial register of the justice system, unlike natural persons, cannot fall asleep voluntarily. These include municipalities, churches, religious societies, political parties and political movements.

What is registered in the Commercial Register of Companies according to the law?

In addition to the subjects with the obligation to register, the law precisely defines the facts to be recorded. Simply put, all important facts about the company and its bodies must be recorded. Specifically, the following information is recorded:

  • name and registered office of the entity (or name of the natural person and address of residence),
  • the object of the activity or business,
  • the legal form of the legal entity,
  • the date of formation and dissolution of the legal entity,
  • date of birth, birth number and residence address – only for natural persons,
  • personal identification number,
  • the name of the statutory body, the number of its members (including their names and addresses), the manner in which the statutory body acts on behalf of the legal person, the date of creation and termination of the office,
  • the name of the controlling body (if established), the number of its members (including name and address of residence), the date of creation and termination of office,
  • the name and address of the proxy, the manner in which the proxy acts and, if applicable, which branches of the company are concerned,
  • the amount of the share capital, if any, of the entity,
  • any other important fact required by law or requested by the registered person,
  • the date of entry in the register.

Tip: Are you dealing with the opposite situation where you need to delete data from the Commercial Register? Read our guide.

Entrust the registration in the Commercial Register to the experts

Do you need to prepare detailed documents for a change of registration in the register? Or do you want to know the exact instructions on how to implement and register the changes? We have a wealth of experience with registrations and are happy to help.

Collection of documents of the Commercial Register

In addition to the publicly accessible list, the Commercial Register also includes the Collection of Deeds. As the name suggests, the Collection of Deeds records all important documents related to a registered entity. As a rule, these are documents confirming the information entered in the register (e.g. articles of incorporation) and some other important documents (e.g. annual reports or financial statements).

How to search the commercial register?

The Commercial Register and the Collection of Deeds fall under the competence of the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic and are freely accessible in the online version. To find the information you need , just enter the name of the entity, the identification number or the file number, if you know it. After entering any of the above-mentioned data, you will get an overview of all entities that match your search. In addition to the name, identification number and file number, you will also find in the basic overview the registered office, the date of registration or whether the business entity is in liquidation.

At the same time, you can view a listing of all other data (not only the currently valid data, but also all previously entered data) or consult the Collection of Deeds and browse through individual documents. In addition to all of the above-mentioned mandatory data, you will also find information on any insolvencies and foreclosures on shares and liquidations in the extended listing, including important contacts on whom to contact. You can then print out all the information that can be found in the register or save it to your computer as a PDF file.

Veřejný obchodní rejstřík – jak s ním zacházet?
Veřejný obchodní rejstřík – jak s ním zacházet?

Difference from the Trade Register

You may now be wondering what the difference is between the commercial register and the trade register, because at first glance some of the data entered may be similar. Like the commercial register, the trade register is available online. It also records basic information about the business entity, such as the name, registered office, identification number or the subject of the business.

However, the basic difference lies in the entities that are entered in the register. Unlike the Commercial Register, the Trade Register, or more precisely the Register of Trade Enterprises (RŽP), contains records of all holders of trade licenses, i.e. self-employed persons (self-employed persons). This also applies to those self-employed persons who have terminated their trade or currently have it suspended. Anyone who is granted a trade licence is automatically entered in the trade register. There is therefore no need to apply for registration, as is the case with the commercial register.

The Trade Register, unlike the Commercial Register, is administered by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic represented by the Trade Licensing Office of the Czech Republic – and the content, which is publicly available, also differs. You can also consult the Trade Register at any time, but some data will remain confidential. These include, for example, the entrepreneur’s birth number (usually an ID number) or information on fines imposed.

Tip: If your company is taking off and becoming well-known, you shouldn’t underestimate registering a trademark.

Trade Register of Companies Abroad

What if you are planning to work with a foreign company and want to get basic information about it? An alternative to the Czech Commercial Register can be found in a number of other countries. Due to frequent cooperation with our closest neighbours, you may find the Slovak Commercial Register useful, which is very similar to the Czech one and can also be found online on the website of the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic.

The Ministry of Justice also manages the commercial register in Poland. If you are planning to enter the German market, the national company register will be useful. You will have a slightly worse time with our last neighbours. In Austria, access to the commercial register is subject to a fee. The alternative here are commercial databases, which, however, operate on the principle of voluntary entries and therefore do not contain data on all companies.

Avoid errors in the commercial register

Incorrect or even incomplete entries in the register can bring you not only a lot of inconvenience but also a fine. We will be happy to help you with the preparation of the documents and the actual registration in the commercial register so that everything goes legally without any complications. We can handle it online and tailor it to your exact needs.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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