Other Visas for Trade License
A common misconception is that you must have or change to a business visa in order to get a trade license. This is not the case. You can have any other type of visa (student, employment, family reunion, medical etc) and apply for a trade License. Basically the only restriction is that the original purpose of stay still remains valid. In case of an employment visa this means that the employment also has to remain the main source of income.
Many people want to change the purpose of stay from 'study' or 'employment' to 'business'. This is possible - but not sooner than 5 years (this used to be 2 years). So it is not very clever to quit your studies or job and then hope to continue on a trade license. This requires careful planning. Also, if you want to have any credibility at the foreign police, it is better to start the zivnostensky list while you are still a student or employee so you can build your business and generate some income to show before you make the transition.
No need for a work permitAlso for the combination of other-than-Business-Visa and Trade License you do not need a Work Permit. A Work Permit you only need if you have a job as employee at a Czech-based company. A freelancer with a Trade License is not an employee, he / she is self-employed as independent contractor / sole proprietor external of the organisation. When you worked previously for a foreign company as employee, it is usually easier to invoice them as self-employed after relocation to Czech Republic.
The legislation on visas changes regularly without much announcement. Therefore it is a good idea to regularly check the information on the website of the Ministry of Interior:
Official Business Visa detailsBusiness Visa details on the website of the Ministry of Interior (external link)
Addresses and Telephone numbers of Foreign EmbassiesFor contact information of foreign embassies click here: Embassies on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (external link)
Changing the purpose of stay of a visa:If you have already a D-Visa for employment or student purposes, then it is possible to change the purpose of stay into 'Business', provided that:
- you have had a visa for at least 5 (FIVE!) years,
- and there is at least 60 days left on the original visa on the moment of filing the extension,
- and you comply to all the requirements of the Business Visa.
IMPORTANT (updated jan 2021): the Trade License needs to be valid when you renew your visa3rd-Country Nationals that have a Visa or Residence Permit need to have a valid Trade License registration every time in order to renew the Visa / Residence Permit. If the Trade License is not valid at time of Visa / Residence Permit renewal (renewing can normally only be done *while* your old Visa / Residence Permit is still valid), you can start from scratch again - so do not let it expire!
Previously, it was a requirement to pick up a paper from the Trade License Register, and *then* you could go to the embassy. Then, there was a period that the Trade License Register would send that paper to your home address, but they stopped doing that because appparently, the embassy does not need it anymore for regular renewals. Now it is *only* possible to pick up that paper in the very last days of the validity of your Trade License if you do not manage to file for a Visa / Residence Permit renewal in time. That paper will keep the Trade License 90 more days 'alive' so you can get your renewed Visa / Residence permit. If it takes more than 90 days: the Trade License expires irrovakably, and you will have to start from scratch again.
Also: if you do not present your renewed Visa / Residence Permit within 3 days after validation at the Foreign Police at the Trade License Register then the Trade License expires, despite having a valid visa.
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