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What’s involved in setting up a Czech trade licence?

How to register a Czech trade license, and what's involved?

A Czech trade licence allows you to work as a freelancer (self-employed person) in the Czech Republic. As a sole trader with a trade licence, you’ll have a registered Czech tax identification number and enjoy the same rights as a company registered in the country.

Types of Czech trade licences

  • General trade licences
Eighty common business activities can be performed with a trade licence.  These activities don’t necessarily require any special education or university degrees.  Common activities among our clients include graphic design, IT, foreign language teaching, sales, photography services, event organizing, and general consulting. You may perform all eighty activities with a single trade licence and tax number.
  • Professional trade licences
Professional trade licences are regulated by the government. If you want to obtain a professional trade licence, you’ll need to get an official permit. Taxi drivers, for example, need a certificate confirming that they hold the appropriate qualifications.


To be eligible for a Czech trade license, you must be at least 18 years old. You’ll also need to submit different supporting documents depending on your status:
  • EU citizens
You’ll need to present:
  1. Your passport or national ID card
  2. Proof of your Czech business address
A criminal clearance report or Temporary residency permit is not required for EU citizens!

A criminal clearance report is REQUIRED for BRITISH CITIZENS - you can find more information here.
  • Non-EU citizens with a long-term residence permit (long-term visa for 90+ days)
You’ll need to present:
  1. Your passport
  2. Your long-term residence permit
  3. Criminal clearance report from your country of origin (affidavit for US citizens)
  4. Proof of your Czech business address**
  • Non-EU citizens with permanent residency or a “partner visa” (temporary residence as an EU citizen’s family member)
You’ll need to present:
  1. Passport
  2. Your residence permit
  3. Proof of your Czech business address**
**Your home address in the Czech Republic can double your business address. To set this up, your landlord will need to sign this form.  If this isn’t possible, we can arrange a virtual business address for you.

Income tax

Czech income tax for trade license holders is very reasonable. As a freelancer, you have different tax options. Income tax is 15% of your net income, and a 30 840 tax deduction applies.
The “60/40” taxation method is used most often. If you adopt this approach, there’s no need to keep any payment receipts or invoices from your expenses.
Instead, a fixed 60% of your total gross income is written off as expenses while the remaining 40% is your income. You can also have multiple tax discounts and bonuses for unemployed spouse, kids or bank interest rates for your mortgage.

So, how much tax do you pay?

To see how this works in practice, let’s look at an example. Say your total gross income for last year was 300,000 CZK, then 60% of this figure (180,000 CZK) will be treated as fixed expenses.
The remaining 120,000 CZK will be your net income and taxed at a 15% rate. This brings the tax to 18,000 CZK. After the automatic deduction of 30 840 CZK, however, your final tax bill for the year comes to 0 CZK!
In other words, you pay no tax. This method is convenient and generally the best solution for EU citizens and their family members (partner visa holders).
Taxes are due by March 31 every following year.

Important information

  1. You can only use the 60/40 method if your annual income is less than 2 million CZK.
  2. As soon as your gross income exceeds 2 million, you must register for VAT.
  3. As soon as you invoice EU-registered business, you should be registered for light VAT
  4. For the situation and calculation that was used above, freelancer visa holders should use the method tax from the full amount for avoiding visa renewal rejections due to insufficient funds. Please check more information about income proof calculation of MOI offices here.

Public health insurance

Once your trade license is active, you must register for public health insurance. In 2023, the minimum prepayment for trade licence holders is 2 722 CZK each month.
Which trade licence holders must register for public health insurance?
  1. EU citizens
  2. Expats with permanent residency in the Czech Republic
  3. Citizens of the US and Albania, Israel, Tunisia, Turkey, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Syria, Monte Negro, Japan
People who don’t fall into any of these categories must take out private health insurance.
The public health is paid monthly for the previous month

Social security

After activating your trade licence, you must also register with the social security office.
In 2023, the minimum prepayment for trade licence holders is 2 944 CZK each month.
Social security is paid monthly for the current month

Amount of flat-rate expenses

The amount of flat-rate expenses depends on the type of trade business. In other words, we calculate expenses as a percentage of revenue, depending on the area of ​​business. We subtract:
  • 80% of income from agricultural production, forestry and water management and income from craft trades; however, you can claim expenses up to the amount of 1 600 000 CZK
  • 60% of income from trade business; however, you can claim up to 1 200 000 CZK
  • 40% of other income from independent activities (with the exception of income according to paragraph 1 letter. (d) and paragraph 6), however, you can claim up to CZK 800 000
  • 30% of rental income from commercial property; however, expenses up to CZK 600 000 can be claimed at most.

Exceeding the limit amounts listed for each percentage of spending does not mean that you cannot use the lump sum. It only indicates the maximum amounts of expenses that can be deducted by this method. If the percentage of the expenses exceeds the set amount, for example if 60% of the expenditure represents CZK 1 300 000, only the upper set limit applies, ie. the CZK 1 200 000. The income tax base then becomes the difference between the real income and the maximum of the percentual expenses.

The advantage in this is that if your actual expenses do not reach the percentage limit, you will save money on taxes. This is typically the case for creative professions that do not have that many expenses. Otherwise, if your actual expenses are higher, you will be taxed more for no reason. This is why you need to seriously consider the transition to flat-rate taxes in advance.

If you, as a self-employed person, apply a flat rate in your income tax return, you can get a discount for a dependent spouse or a discount for a child.
Flat-rate expenses according to business areas
When it comes to flat-rate expenses based on the business sectors, they are divided as follows:
  • 80% agricultural production, forestry and water management, craft trades: farmers, fishermen, butchers bakers, furriers, locksmiths, masons, plumbers, innkeepers, manicurists, and hairdressers. You will find a complete list in Annex No. 1 of the Czech Trade Licensing Act.
  • 60% other trades, free trade: geologists, opticians, credit intermediaries, accountants, masseurs, animal breeders, lecturers, financial advisors, accommodation providers - in short, those who have a trade license but are not listed in Annex 1 of the Trade Act .
  • 40% freelancers, copyright revenues, businesses according to special regulations: lawyers, doctors, notaries, architects, insurance consultants, artists.
  • 30% rentals: renting of an apartment, house, land, or non-residential premises for rent; this includes regular rental of movables, such as cars.

Czech Tax identification number

ICO is your Czech business ID number. Each Czech company and trade license holder has a unique business ID number.
DIC is your Czech tax ID number. This number is issued by the tax office after you register. It usually consists of the prefix CZ + your ICO number for company or CZ + Bith number for trade license holders. If you don't have birtyh number, then The Czech tax office will generate you Tax payer identification number.
Having a DIC doesn’t mean you’re registered as a full or light VAT payer. If you plan to invoice EU companies outside the Czech Republic, then you should register as a light VAT payer. This registration must take place within 15 days of the receipt of your first payment!

Trade license is a “side job” for full-time employees

If you have a full-time job and want to earn some side income outside your employment, you should apply for a trade licence.

Since your social tax and health insurance payments are made by your employer, you won’t need to make any social tax and health insurance payments in the first year. But you should request an annual statement from your employer to see if you need to settle the balance. This will depend on the main income from your employment and tax base from your trade license

If your Czech trade licence as a side business is the same activity as your main job, you should seek permission from your employer. Check your employment contract and discuss the details with your employer before applying for a trade licence.

As a side income trade license holder, you can still enjoy the 60/40 tax method, but if you are using tax bonuses and discounts with your full-time employment, you will pay full income tax from the taxable amount

Want to avoid the hassle of setting up a Czech trade licence on your own in Prague?

Pexpats can handle the entire process for you. Complete registration takes 48 hours!

If you’re an EU citizen who’s interested in getting a trade licence, check out our Prague Trade Licence Set-up package.

Trade licence is for Students and Retired people 2023

Social tax needs to be paid only if net incomeannual income( 40% of gross income) is more than 96 777 CZK. If the net income exceeds 96 777 CZK, then trade license holder should pay full balance amount start paying minimum deposits of social security taxes.

Czech flat tax from 2023

The Czech financial tax offices came with a new solution from 2021. From 1.1.2021 The Czech trade license holders can use the method Czech flat tax amount of 6 208 CZK monthly in 2023

Monthly Czech flat tax amount 6 208 CZK covers the health insurance, social tax and income tax, and no tax paperwork.
Only the condition of using the method Czech flat tax is the annual income amount should be less than 2 000 000. Czech government increased condition maximum amount to 2 000 000 CZK from 1.1.2023

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