How to Get a Freelance or Self-employment Visa for the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is an attractive destination for freelancers and entrepreneurs. The country offers a beautiful mountainous landscape and lots of beautiful architecture. If you want to live in the Czech Republic as a freelancer or self-employed business owner, keep reading to find out how.

Before you get a visa, you will have to obtain a trade license (in Czech: zivnostensky list). Depending on the type of work you will be doing in the Czech Republic, requirements may differ. Most trades, including teaching English, photography, tourism and most IT jobs, will fall in the category of unqualified trades. These professions don’t need any additional requirements other than the general requirements below.

General requirements to get a trade license

For unqualified trades, the only personal requirements are the following:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Don’t have a criminal record in the field you’re working in

You’ll need to present the following documents to get the trade license at the Trade License Authority:

  • Trade license application form
  • Valid passport
  • A notarized proof of accommodation for at least 8 months in the Czech Republic, signed by the owner of the house you’re renting
  • Proof of a business address in the Czech Republic
  • List of trades you’ll be working in
  • An administrative fee of 1000 Czech Koruna
  • A criminal background check from your country of origin or an affidavit that states that you have never been convicted of a crime – apostilled and translated into Czech

How to get the trade license and business visa

This part of the process has to be done in the Czech Republic. You should do this within the first 90 days of your stay or while you’re on another visa, like a Schengen visa, a Working Holiday visa or a student visa.

  • Submit the required documents to the nearest Trade License Authority office
  • Wait up to five business days for your trade license to be processed
  • Pick up your temporary trade license – this license does not include a trade license number, so you can only use it for your visa application but not to start a business in the Czech Republic yet

The following steps have to be done at a Czech embassy, outside of the country. Most people choose to do so at the Czech embassy in Berlin, Bratislava or Vienna.

  • Use your temporary trade license to apply for a business visa
  • Wait up to three months to get your business visa approved – your temporary trade license will expire 180 days after receiving it, so be sure to get your visa approved before the expiration date!
  • Get insurance that is valid in all Schengen states
  • Pick up your business visa – you’ll need proof of your insurance

At this point, you should return to the Czech republic, to finish your application and get your real trade license.

  • Within three days of your arrival, get a stamp with your address at the Foreign Police. Take your visa and insurance proof with you
  • Take this stamp to the Trade License Authority to get your non-temporary trade license
  • Wait for about 5 more business days before pick-up
  • Once you’ve picked up your real trade license, register for social insurance and taxes and start your business!

Conclusion

Compared to other countries, the Czech Republic has a relatively straightforward system to get a visa as a freelancer. Many professions are eligible for the visa and digital nomads that fall in love with the country won’t have to wait long or pay hefty fees to stay. This is probably one of the reasons many expats decide to set up shop in Czech cities like Prague and Brno.

Interested in freelancing in other European countries? Find here how you can easily freelance in six different European countries legally.

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