Amendment to the Trade Licensing Act

Czech Republic: Trade Licensing Office will afford greater protection to entrepreneurs’ personal data, no longer require them to re-submit documentation repeatedly

An amendment to the Trade Licensing Act which will come into force on 1 January 2015 accommodates the call for compliance with basic data protection principles which has for some time been raised by businesspeople, but also by the national Data Protection Authority ÚOOÚ. The new law also utilizes a newly created feature of the software in use at the trade licensing offices to make the life of businesspeople easier.

Many self-employed entrepreneurs will welcome the fact that their home address is no longer a part of the publicly accessible part of the trade register. This information, which is superfluous for their business operations as such, will still form a part of the record but will now be lodged in the non-public part of the trade register. As such, it will be accessible to anyone who can demonstrate that they have a legal interest in this kind of information.

Another welcome change concerns the data of persons whose business license has expired: after four years from the date of expiry, the relevant information will be moved to the non-public part of the trade register. Until now, all historical data has without limitation been accessible in the public part of the trade register – a fact which has drawn criticism on the part of the Data Protection Authority (ÚOOÚ) and of business circles.

Further, the lawmaker intends to live up to the aspirations of its action plan to reduce the administrative burden shouldered by businesspeople, by making use of a new functionality of the trade licensing offices’ software: as of 1 January 2015, all documents submitted to a given trade licensing office will have to be digitized by the latter and be made available to all other trade licensing offices. The practical outcome of this new approach is that entrepreneurs as well as the „representatives in charge“ will no longer be obliged to repeatedly submit such documents as e.g. proof of qualification, the legal title under which they use their business premises or (in the case of foreigners) the extract from the criminal record (whereas the rule that such extracts are valid for three months from the date of their issuance has been preserved).

Source: Amendment to the Trade Licensing Act (Act No. 140/2014 Coll.)

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