How to do business in Slovakia

Trade is a systematic activity operated independently, in its own name, under its own responsibility, for the purpose of making a profit and under the conditions laid down by this Act. Not every activity that meets the definition of a trade is also a trade.

The pursuit of professions as lawyers, experts, auditors, exploitation of the results of their own intellectual creative activity, agriculture, road motor transport, operation of private security services, provision of employment services, operation of medical facilities and other activities referred to in § 3 of the Act are not trades. Likewise, the rental of real estate, residential and non-residential premises is not a trade unless other rental services are provided in addition to the lease.

A trade can be operated by a natural person - a sole trader or a legal entity. General conditions for operating a business by physical reindeer include reaching the age of 18 years, legal capacity and integrity. A natural person shall be of good repute if he or she has not been lawfully convicted of an economic offense, against property or any other offense committed intentionally, the facts of which relate to the subject of business. In the case of a legal entity, these general conditions must be met by the natural person or persons constituting the company's statutory body. In addition to general conditions, the Act defines special conditions. It is a professional or other ability to carry on a business activity. This capability is required mainly for craft or tied trades. In such cases, if the entrepreneur wishes to be authorized to perform a craft or tied trade, he must also have the professional competence to perform the required trade. If this is not the case, he must appoint a responsible representative through which he will ensure the professional performance of the activity during the operation of the trade. Any legal entity, if it intends to operate a craft or tied trade, must appoint this responsible representative. Also an entrepreneur natural person who does not reside in the Slovak Republic must appoint a responsible representativ.

It is therefore necessary to obtain a trade license in order to carry on a business activity. Authorization to operate a trade arises on the day the trade is notified to the Trade Licensing Office or, if the announcement states the later day of commencement of the trade, this day. However, if a legal entity has not yet been registered in the Commercial Register, ie it has not yet been established, the trade license is only granted to them on the day of its entry in the Commercial Register. The trade license is no longer a trade license but a certificate of compliance with the conditions laid down by the Act on the operation of a trade, ie a certificate of trade license.

The law recognizes three other trades:

  1. craft trades, the condition of their operation is professional competence acquired by training in the field, (see also: contents of craft trades)
  2. tied trades, the condition of the operation of these trades is professional competence acquired otherwise (see also: Annex 2 to the Act - tied trades) and
  3. free trades for which professional competence is not a condition of operation (see also: list of recommended names of free trades and their further definition).

In the case of craft and tied trades, the demonstration of professional competence is a condition for obtaining a trade license. Professional competence for a craft trade must be demonstrated by an apprenticeship certificate or other evidence of the proper completion of the relevant apprenticeship or study field. The apprenticeship certificate may be replaced by another document indicating the proper completion of a related field, a school-leaving certificate in the same field or a diploma of graduation in a related field and a certificate of completion of a subsequent field practice of the required length. Another way to prove professional competence is to provide a certificate of education at an accredited educational institution and a certificate of qualification examination before the examination committee issued by the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic. However, the latest amendment to the Trade Licensing Act extended the conditions in the case in which it stipulated that proof of professional competence must also be accompanied by proof of completion of at least six months' professional experience in the field..

Another way to demonstrate professional competence for obtaining a trade license for a craft trade is to demonstrate at least ten years' experience in the field that has not been completed more than three years.

The professional competence required for obtaining a certificate for tied trades is set out in Annex no. 2 to the Act. In these cases, an appropriate attestation of professional competence in the required subject of business is generally required, with the exception of requiring several years of practice in the field.

Anyone who intends to start a trade is obliged to report this fact to the Trade Licensing Office locally competent according to the residence of a natural person or the registered office of a legal entity. The notification must be made on a form issued by the Ministry of the Interior, which contains all the information required under Section 45 of the Act. The notification shall be accompanied by proof of payment of the administrative fee for the issue of a trade certificate in the form of stamps. The amount of fees is determined by item 148 of the List of Administrative Fees according to the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 145/1995 Coll. on Administrative Fees.

Natural person - sole trader and natural persons who will be members of the statutory body of a legal person must also include in the declaration of trade the data necessary for requesting an extract from the criminal record. It is therefore not necessary to submit an excerpt from the criminal record in writing to report a trade, but the Trade Licensing Office will request this statement electronically. The amendment to the Trade Licensing Act made it possible at the time of notification to provide data for fulfilling the registration obligation and the reporting obligation required by Act no. 563/2009 Coll. on Tax Administration (Tax Code) and on amendments to certain acts and Act No. 595/2003 Coll. on Income Tax. Pursuant to Section 49a of the Income Tax Act, a natural person or legal entity obtaining a business license or a business license in the territory of the Slovak Republic is obliged to apply to the tax administrator for registration by the end of the calendar month after the end of the month in which or business license. At present, this obligation can therefore be fulfilled at the time of notification. Likewise, the Trade Licensing Act allows a natural person to provide the data required for enrollment in the compulsory health insurance system, on the basis of which the Trade Licensing Office enrolls a natural person in the system.

In the case of entrepreneurs who are obliged to be registered in the Commercial Register, they may also provide the data and submit the documents required under Act No. 530/2003 on the Commercial Register. In such a case, the Trade Licensing Office shall ensure the delivery of the application for registration and its annexes to the Registration Court. The Trade Licensing Office will charge a fee of 5, - Eur for every 15 pages that are attached to the application for registration. It is necessary to point out that the Trade Licensing Office does not check the formal correctness of the submitted documents; If the petition does not meet the requirements laid down by law, the Registration Court will refuse to register the company in the Commercial Register. In such a case, it is only the applicant's duty to remedy the deficiencies for which the registration could not be made and the Trade Licensing Office bears no responsibility.

The Trade Licensing Office, after verifying the declaration, which has all the requisites stipulated by law, shall issue a certificate of trade license no later than five working days from the date on which the trade notification and extracts from the criminal record were delivered to him. The certificate of trade license already contains all the objects of the business, unlike in the past, when each business was separately issued trade certificates. The Trade Licensing Office shall also assign an identification number to a natural or legal perso.

The entrepreneur is obliged to notify the Trade Licensing Office of any change in the data stipulated for the declaration of trade within 15 days from the date of such changes. Upon notification, the Trades Licensing Office shall confirm the notification to the entrepreneur and shall also confirm the changes on the Certificate of Trade License. An administrative fee of EUR 3 is attached to the notification of changes.

The trade license expires upon the death of the sole trader, the dissolution of a legal entity, the expiry of time, the trade licensing office's decision to revoke the authorization if the conditions stipulated by law are fulfilled, expired or terminated. If such notice includes the date of termination of the business, the trade license expires on that day. If the notice does not specify the end date, the trade license expires on the day following the day of delivery of the notice to the trade licensing office. The entrepreneur also has the possibility to suspend a trade license, while the suspension of a trade cannot last less than six months and more than three years.

Related legislation:

Act no. 455/1991 Coll. on Trade Licensin - in the current version effective from 01/01/2016