The website for critical discussion about migration in Central and Eastern Europe.
24. 5. 04
Marketa Whelanova


The first chapter of the study compares the overall approach and conditions of doing business and employing foreigners in the Czech Republic with the relevant regulations and practices in Ireland and Germany. This part of the study includes charts contrasting the situation in the three countries. The text is complemented with a list of regulations, literature and Internet resources.

In EU member states (Ireland and Germany) as well as in the Czech Republic, a self-employed foreigner must first notify his intention or obtain a trade license (Germany and the Czech Republic) or obtain a special trade permit (Ireland) and also have a residency permit. Under the Irish model, it is necessary for a foreigner to first obtain a trade permit – for which foreigners may apply at the relevant ministry on the territory of Ireland. Based on the trade permit, the foreigner automatically receives a residency permit. The first thing that must be done in Germany and the Czech Republic is obtaining a residency permit, the application for which must be submitted before entering the country at an embassy. In all cases, foreigners must register with the relevant tax authority just like citizens of these countries. However, it is the authority and not the self-employed person who fulfills this requirement in Germany. In the Czech Republic, foreigners from outside of the European Union or the European Economic Area are required to register in the Commercial Register. Because of this, they are also required to maintain double entry accounting records. On the other hand, foreigners in Germany and Ireland fulfill the requirement to register in a similar register under the same conditions as citizens of these countries.
Canceling the mandatory registration of all self-employed foreigners in the Commercial Code would mean removing one of the extra obstacles to doing business in the Czech Republic. An automatic registration of self-employed persons with tax authorities by trade licensing offices based on the principle “let paper circulate, not people,” would benefit not only foreigners, but also Czech citizens.
Employment of foreigners in Ireland, Germany and the Czech Republic is subjected to a similar authorization regime. However, while in the case of the Czech Republic and Germany, foreigners must apply for the mutually interconnected residency and employment permits at an embassy abroad, foreigners seeking work in Ireland may again apply on the country’s territory. Furthermore, Ireland and Germany have introduced a simplified employment procedure which offers significant advantages to highly skilled professionals working in fields with insufficient supply of domestic experts (e.g. IT). The pilot project aimed at actively attracting skilled professionals from abroad into the Czech Republic implemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs means a step in the right direction.
Since 2001, the European Commission has been working on a number of directives concerning residency of foreigners from third countries (i.e. persons from outside of EU and EEA) for the purpose of work (employment as well as self-employment) in order to provide a unified solution for all EU member states.
Every foreigner who lawfully resides or works in Ireland, Germany or the Czech Republic has the same rights as Irish, German or Czech citizens. Both employment and self-employment are to a certain degree integrally governed by a number of EC regulations covering in particular the standard rights of employees, anti-discrimination measures and trading companies. In the Czech Republic, foreigners experience the same difficulties in this area as Czech citizens, in particular inadequate flexibility of Czech labor laws and insufficient enforceability of law.
24. 5. 04

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