Hints for Freelancers
Typical Freelance Professions in Prague / Czech Republic
- Freelance Consultant (usually Finance, Telecom or IT related)
- Freelance English Teacher (increase your chances with a TEFL certificate)
- Freelance Webdesigner / Programmer / SEO Specialist
- Freelance Advertising / Marketing Specialist
The 'Schwarz - system' - working for one customerThe official ruling is: If you have only one customer in Czech Republic, and you are working there full-time in the same way as a regular employee but you are not on the payroll (the so-called 'Schwarz - system') the social office may concluded that in fact you are not self-employed at that customer and in fact, the company is evading social- and health charges. This may result in your client having to pay a fine and all the social- and health chargers for you as employee from the day you started working there.
You just read about the official ruling - but how big is the chance you get caught? Not very big. In practice, so many people work on project base and are involved with only that project for months, sometimes years, but yet they are not employees....
There are steps that can be taken by the contractor and client to minimize the risk of getting accused of the Schwarz system - more than one clients, or partly invoicing a daughter company.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There is really nothing agains having only 1 client abroad! In that case you never have the risk of the 'Schwarz - system'
Salary vs InvoiceAs a rule of thumb, about 3/4 of the gross salary of an employee is what he receives as net income. The total cost for the company is the gross salary + 34%, so having employees is expensive business, since the total costs are nearly twice the net salary.
Therefore, if you are going to work as freelancer and send invoices, it is reasonable to send an invoice of at least the 'gross salary', because if you were employee, you would cost the company the gross salary' + 34%
WARNING: IMMORAL ACTIVITIES BY COMPANIES TARGETING FOREIGNERS
A group of companies, appearing and disappearing like mushrooms in the forest, have the habit of scanning the (public) Trade License register / commercial court register and targeting new registrations of foreigners.
As they can see your Trade License / SRO address they will send there a letter that really looks like official correspondence from a government body but definitely IS NOT. They make use of the fact that foreigners do not understand Czech. On the document is a long legal text, and they gamble on the fact that people don't know what it is / get scared and pay. It is in fact an invoice for a listing in an obscure business directory. The text is written in such a way that from a legal perspective they do nothing wrong.
The evilness comes in several forms: 1) they exploit people by deceiving them 2) the listing is in a completely insignificant directory 3) if you pay once, you have actually agreed to pay ANNUALLY. The original amount is usually between 1.200 and 3.500 CZK. The next year it can be as high as 31.000 CZK (and then they will threaten to sue you for not paying that crazy amount)
If, at any point in time you receive a suspicious letter, under no circumstances pay. This is not an additional charge of the Trade License register / commercial court. It is a con job. Even to Czech speakers it may seem an official document. You need to read really, really carefully to discover what it actually is.
We are very allergic to these kind of practices - it damages our and our colleagues' businesses, because clients think WE are playing foul play because after they pay us for our services, they think that they are getting an extra charge we did not inform them about.
Therefore, we offer to look at any suspicious document FOR FREE.
Just send us a scan of the document + the envelope, and we will tell you exactly what they have sent you.
Even if we can help just a handful of people it is worth it, so don't hesitate to contact us.