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What is the Trade Register and what is it for?

Have you become a sole trader and are wondering what information about you will be publicly available in the trade register? Do you need to apply for registration and how can you change some incorrect or outdated information? We have covered all this in our article.

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The Trade Register, officially the Trade Register, is one of the important information systems of public administration and is centrally managed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic (MIT). As the name suggests, it covers those natural or legal persons (“companies”) that have (or have had in the recent past) a trade licence. However, you will also find information on foreign persons if they are doing business in the Czech Republic. All this is available free of charge and online.

It may come as a surprise to some that they can be found as a sole trader in the register even after their trade licence has expired. In fact, the public part of the Trade Register includes those tradesmen whose last trade licence expired (or was cancelled) less than 4 years ago.

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What do the trade offices record and within what time limits?

If you want to be listed as a sole trader in the register, this will happen automatically. There is no need to apply for registration in any special way, as the trade authorities themselves enter the information within 5 days of the date on which the entrepreneur notified the trade authorities or the trade authorities became aware of it in another way.

The trade authorities have slightly more information than subsequently appears in the register. So you do not have to worry about your birth number, for example, being publicly available. The non-public part of the trade register also contains the permanent residence of individuals and fines imposed.

The public part of the register contains the name, surname (or name in the case of a legal entity), date of birth, personal identification number, registered office address, as well as information on individual trade licences (subject of business, date of establishment, place of business, responsible representative, interruption of trade, obstacles to trade).

Tip: Are you planning to set up a business license? We’ve put together a guide to help you find out how to set up a trade in five easy steps.

Electronic submission

The good news is that digitisation has also been extended to trade offices. It is therefore no longer necessary to go to the office in person to report new facts. Notification to report new trades, application for a license, changes to those already registered can be sent using the electronic form of the Unified Registration Form. However, it is necessary to log in using the electronic user identification service. Subsequently, it is possible to make submissions not only to the trade licensing authorities, but also to other institutions, such as the relevant social security administration, health insurance company, tax office or labour office.

After logging in, it is also possible to use pre-filling of data from other basic registers of public administration.

Which information can be found in the Trade Register?

If you want to look up a person in the trade register, you have several options for doing so. Simply open the initial search form and select to search by person or entity.

The search by person allows you to fill in the name and surname, identification number, date of birth or the role of the person (e.g. statutory body or entrepreneur). If you enter an ID number in the search box, the other filled-in categories are not taken into account.

The search by entity is mainly focused on legal entities and you can also select the address of the company.

You can search for an entity or person using any available information youhave, even if you do not know its identification number, for example. However, if you are searching for the name “Jan Dvořák” and you have nothing else available, the search for the right person may be prolonged. The more precise your data, the faster you can find the subject.
The register will also offer you information on the subject of business, field of activity, type of trade, origin and period of validity of the authorisation.

How to obtain an extract from the Trade Register?

Youcan obtain an extract from the Trade Register at any trade office (regardless of your place of residence or the location of the company’s registered office) and at all contact points, the so-called CzechPOINTs. Upon request, the trade office will issue you with a paper or electronic extract, where you will have all the data concerning your business officially verified, for example for the needs of a bank or other institutions.

What is the difference between the commercial register and the trade register?

The terms business register and trade register can be a bit confusing. However, they are different registers for which different rules apply.

Like the trade register, the commercial 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 Commercial Register (as well as the Collection of Deeds) falls under the competence of the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic – andthe content that is publicly available also differs.

The basic difference, however, lies in the entities that are registered in the register. The Trade Register contains records of all holders of trade licenses, i.e. self-employed persons (self-employed persons).

The following are entered in the Trade Register:

  • commercial companies and cooperatives,
  • natural persons (entrepreneurs) residing in the territory of the Czech Republic who express an interest in registration or are required by law to register,
  • certain foreign business persons specified in more detail in the Act on Public Registers of Legal Entities and Natural Persons,
  • other persons who have this obligation established by a special legal regulation (e.g. associations).

The Trade Register is, however, closely linked to the Commercial Register. Together, they provide us with comprehensive information about any entrepreneur with whom, for example, we enter into a contract.

Tip: Do you want to start a business but don’t know whether to choose a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company? Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. In our article, we summarise the arguments you can use to decide which is better for you.

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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.

  • 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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