Updated 04. 2010
Services are provided on the basis of a commercial agreement set out in the Commercial Code. Where companies provide services to individuals, this is governed by the Civil Code.
The Ministry of Economy is the main body dealing with the single market, international trade and consumer protection. It also runs the Operational Programme 'Competitiveness and Economic Growth'.
Types of services
Services in the sense of the Trade Licensing Act are understood to include:
- repair and maintenance services,
- the carrying of passengers and goods,
- other jobs and actions for satisfying other needs.
Different ways of providing services
Setting up a service business
Entrepreneurs notify the setting up of a trade to the Trade Licensing Office for their place of residence in the case of an individual or the area where the registered office is located in the case of a legal entity.
Providing services on a temporary basis
If an entrepreneur apples to operate a trade for a fixed period, the period in question must be stated in the concession certificate.
Rights of service recipients
The rights of consumers are defined the Consumer Protection Act.
Under the Act, all consumers have the right to:
- products and services of normal quality,
- enforce complaints,
- compensation for damages,
- protection of their health, safety and economic interests,
- submit suggestions and complaints to supervisory bodies and municipalities over breaches of consumer rights' legislation.
The Slovak Trade Inspectorate monitors the market with the aim of ensuring consumer protection.
A business owner who is not a Slovak citizen may pursue a trade in Slovakia after fulfilling the general conditions for pursuing trades set out in the Trade Licensing Act.
Attestations must not be more than three months old at the time of submission and must be submitted together with an officially verified translation into the national language.
Professional competence for a trade must be demonstrated through a decision on the recognition of professional experience or a decision on the recognition of a professional qualification.
The conditions for recognising professional experience are set out in the Trade Licensing Act.
The conditions for recognising proofs of professional qualification issued by schools or other authorised bodies in accordance with the laws of Member States of the European Union or countries in the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation for the purposes of the free provision of services in the Slovak Republic are governed by the Act on Recognising Professional Qualifications.
The general market supervision body for consumer protection on the internal market is the Slovak Trade Inspectorate. Its power are defined by the Act on State Supervision
The conditions for the residence of foreigners in Slovakia are governed by the Act on the Residence of Foreigners.
The Services Directive: Points of single contact
The Services Directive is a European law that aims to make life easier for businesses that wish to provide services in the European Union – in their home country or abroad. The Directive defines the rules that apply to entrepreneurs wishing to establish a business or perform temporary services in the EU/EEA area (the 27 EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). It obliges member states to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, simplify formalities for businesses and make public administrations more efficient.
For the implementation of the Directive, each member state had to set up ‘Points of Single Contact (PSC)’ , e-government portals which help businesses complete their administrative procedures on-line. The PSCs provide comprehensive information on all administrative matters related to setting up or expanding a services business in a given country. This includes for example:
- Which licences, notifications or permits do I need to obtain to start a business (at home or abroad)?
- What do I need to do when I want to offer my services abroad on a temporary basis?
- What do I need to do to apply for a licence? Which authority is responsible?
- Are the licences subject to a fee? What kinds of deadlines apply?
- Which acts and decrees apply in my sector?
- What do I need to do to establish, for instance, a restaurant or a shop? Or to work as a tour operator in another country without actually setting up a company?
- Where can I turn for personalised advice and further information?
With the PSCs, you no longer need to approach various authorities one by one!! The PSC allows you to find all relevant information and to send in your online applications to the responsible authority through one single contact point, the PSC. You can complete your administrative formalities electronically through the PSC. Just contact the PSC of the country that you want to do business in.
All PSCs are part of the European EUGO network; through a central website you can easily access all PSCs in Europe. Of course, the services of the PSCs are optional. You may always address yourself directly to the relevant authorities, too.
"Points of Single Contact"
The role of single point of contact is fulfilled by district offices. District offices perform the role of a first level Trade Licensing Office, and register in the unified computer system for licensed trades details of the entrepreneurs to whom they have issued trading licences. Regional offices issue attestations of good character and length of experience in activities which are considered to be trades.
Business owners must notify the commencement of a trade or apply for a concession certificate to the Trade Licensing Office for the local area in which the residence or registered office of the business owner is located.
For foreign persons, the relevant Trade Licensing Office will be the one in the regional office for the region in which the company is operating, or the region in which the subsidiary of the company is operating.
Trade notifications by individuals.
Individuals applying for a concession shall include in the notification of the trade the information necessary for requesting an excerpt from the Criminal Register. At the same time as notifying the trade they shall also state the information required under specific legislation on
- completion of tax registration for income tax and the obligation to notify,
- registration with the mandatory health insurance system. They shall state the trade name of the insurance agency with which they are registered, and they may register a change in the payer of the insurance premium.
Trade notifications by legal entities
At the same time as notifying a trade, legal entities shall state the information necessary for requesting an excerpt from the Criminal Register, including place of birth, name and surname of father, name and maiden name of mother, and, in case of a change of name or surname, also the original name or original surname of persons of Slovak nationality to whom the requirement for good character applies under this Act.
At the same time as notifying the trade they shall state the information required under specific acts on:
- completion of tax registration for income tax and the obligation to notify,
- registration with the mandatory health insurance system.
An administrative fee is charged for trade notifications, in accordance with the Act on Administrative Fees, as amended.
Applications for a company to be entered in the Commercial Register and applications for a deed to be lodged in the Collection of Deeds may also be submitted electronically; applications for initial entry must be signed using the secure electronic signature of the applicant,
For business within the framework of the single market of the EU, taxpayers shall use an international VAT number with the prefix SK. The number will be assigned to the taxpayer by the relevant tax office.
You must not forget to declare the company in the Register of Employers kept by the relevant branch of the Social Insurance Agency. This must be done within eight days of the day on which you began to employ at least one employee, or, as the case may be, you should remove the company from this register within eight days of the day on which you cease to employ any employees,
You may also report the setting up of a new company and register it with the tax authority electronically.
Proof of qualifications
The procedure for recognising professional qualifications begins on the day of submitting a written application together with the attachments. Written applications sent to the Ministry of Education shall contain:
- applicant's name and surname,
- address of permanent residence or equivalent,
- name of the regulated profession for which the applicant is requesting recognition of a professional qualification,
- information as to whether the applicant will apply for recognition of a certificate of specialisation,
- signature of the applicant.
The Ministry of Education shall assess applications within 30 days.
Decisions on the issuance of a proof of training shall be issued to applicants within two months of the receipt of a completed application.
Work permit applications
Foreigners work on the basis of a work permit, in accordance with the Act on Employment Services. They enjoy the same legal status as citizens of the Slovak Republic, provided that:
- they have been granted a work employment permit and a temporary residence permit for the purposes of employment
- they are asylum applicants who are allowed to enter the labour market under the Asylum Act.
Foreigners shall apply in writing for a work permit to the relevant Office of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family before arriving in Slovakia.