Crypto Regulation in Czech Republic

Crypto Regulation in Szech RepublicIn Czech Republic, a comprehensive set of rules governing cryptocurrency businesses is yet to be developed. Crypto activities aren’t currently distinguished as a separately regulated area and cryptocurrencies aren’t considered a legal tender. Most of the crypto companies engaging in crypto-related economic activities are subject to following general legislation aimed at the Czech financial market. Such a liberal approach allows for innovation and experimentation with the fast evolving products and services as long as all the relevant EU rules are adhered to.

All financial market participants are supervised by the Financial Analytics Office (FAU) for AML/CFT purposes. The authority closely cooperates with the Czech National Bank (CNB) who’s responsible for the general supervision of the financial market in Czech Republic. Other national regulatory authorities are the Czech Inspection Authority and the Ministry of Finance.

The CNB doesn’t consider cryptocurrencies a legal tender and instead classifies them as commodities. The decision is based on the existing legislation which has led to the conclusion that crypto data stored on blockchain doesn’t constitute claims denominated in the traditional national currency issued by a central bank, credit institutions or other payment service providers. According to the Article 4(1) of the Payment System Act, cryptocurrencies aren’t treated as electronic money and pursuant to Article 2(1)(c) of the Payment System Act, they aren’t considered funds either.

Cryptocurrency Licence in Czech Republic

AML/CFT LEGISLATION IN CZECH REPUBLIC

The most notable legislation relating to cryptographic companies in the Czech Republic came from the EU. According to the security summary of Internet payments and cryptocurrency, which was published in 2018 by CNB, all such companies operating in the Czech Republic are obliged to adhere to EU legislation.

Although cryptographic activities in the Czech Republic are largely unregulated, the authorities have ensured transparency as a key operational principle by transposing the fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD)The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) and the Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD), which obliges cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto purse providers to apply strict internal AML/CFT procedures. These directives deal with regular due diligence measures, collection, documentation and storage of information, AML/CFT risk assessment, beneficial ownership, suspicious transaction reporting; Conduct customer transactions and enhance customer due diligence for clients based in high-risk countries.

In fact, national authorities have gone further, covering a wider range of economic activities related to cryptography. This means that AML/CFT applies to those businesses that trade, store, manage or mediate the purchase or sale of virtual currencies or offer other cryptography-related services. In this context, virtual currency is defined as a digital unit that does not fall into the category of fiat money but is still accepted as a means of payment for products and services by persons who are not issuers of the unit.

The following anti-money laundering/terrorist financing laws apply to companies engaged in crypto-related economic activities in the Czech Republic:

  • The AML Act (Act 253/2008 Coll.), which sets out the principles of the AML/CFT
  • Money Laundering Ordinance (Decree No 281/2008 Coll. ), which provides requirements for corporate policies and procedures in the field of combating money laundering/terrorist financing
  • Criminal Code (Law No. 40/2009 Coll.), which defines criminal acts
  • Law on International Sanctions (Law No. 69/2006 Coll. ), which provides the rules for the imposition of international sanctions

To adhere to AML/CFT rules, cryptographic companies should take the following steps:

  • Development and implementation of internal AML/CFT policies
  • Adopt procedures and adequate measures regarding the PTA
  • Continuously assess risks related to their clients
  • Recruitment of an anti-money-laundering officer and related training
  • Collection and preparation of disclosure of end-benefit owners (DOEs) of companies or institutions initiating transactions
  • Report suspicious transactions and customers
  • Prepare reports as appropriate at the request of the authorities
  • Be prepared to exchange information on cross-border transfers

According to the EU directives and their adaptation in the Czech Republic, each cryptographic company must collect the following information about its customers in order to correctly apply the KYC procedures:

  • Natural persons – name, number of birth certificate, date and place of birth, address of residence, nationality and in the case of a person with business, name of company, business address and information on corporate identity
  • Company – company name, headquarters address, identification information, including information on beneficiaries
  • Institutions without legal personality – name, identity of administrator or equivalent

Failure to comply with AML/CFT obligations is considered a criminal act and may result in penalties such as termination of business, confiscation of property, fine and publication of judgment. The level of legal measures required is determined after a careful assessment of the nature of the violation and the type of person responsible.

Advantages

Fast project implementation time

Possibility to purchase an off-the-shelf solution

No share capital requirement

No obligatory local staff member

OTHER CRYPTO-RELATED LEGISLATION IN CZECH REPUBLIC

Czech crypto companies should also ensure that they understand where their activities should be placed within the current regulatory framework of the financial market and adhere to the relevant rules. Depending on the nature of the economic activity, the following laws may apply:

  • The Trade Licensing Act (Act No. 455/1991 Coll.)
  • The Act on Banks (Act No. 21/1992 Coll.)
  • The Act on Capital Market Undertakings (Act No. 256/2004 Coll.)
  • The Act on Management Companies and Investment Funds (Act No. 240/2013 Coll.)
  • The Act on Insurance (Act No. 277/2009 Coll.)

On the basis of general legislation, a number of cryptography-related economic activities require the authorization of the NSC, for example:

  • Trading with cryptographic derivatives requires an investment firm license, as they have features of investment instruments
  • Managing the assets of investor funds that contain cryptocurrencies, whether funds are offered to the public or only to a limited group of investors
  • Transfer of funds in connection with the organization of transactions with cryptocurrencies (e.g. as part of the crypto-exchange operation, when a person transfers non-cash money or electronic money, and such transfers have features of the provision of payment services, in particular, the transfer of funds from the accounts of clients of such exchange to the payment accounts specified by them)

CRYPTO COMPANY FORMATION IN CZECH REPUBLIC

To obtain a license, it is necessary to establish a company in the Czech Republic. One of the most common forms of legal business structure is the Limited Liability Company (SRO), which can usually be founded within three weeks by one or more shareholders. Its benefits include a very minimal share capital requirement, a possible exemption from auditing, and fewer rules than other legal entities.

Documents required to create a cryptographic company:

  • Memorandum of association
  • Business plan with detailed financial reporting and business continuity business model
  • Documents concerning the biography of the founders and directors of companies (criminal record, education, etc.);
  • Description of any hardware and software to be used for licensed cryptographic activities
  • Document from the bank allowing to deposit equity
  • Copy of relevant trading license

All necessary documentation should be in Czech. If you need a certified translator, our team here in Regulated United Europe (RUE) will be more than happy to help.

The following steps are mandatory for a cryptographic company planning to work in or from the Czech Republic:

  • Registered premises in the Czech Republic for at least one year
  • Recruitment of staff in the Czech Republic
  • Appointment of at least one resident or non-resident directors who are healthy and suitable (have relevant educational and professional experience and no criminal record);
  • Develop clear internal AML/CFT policies that can detect and report fraudulent activities and customers
  • The appointment of a competent anti-money-laundering officer who should be properly trained and prepared to report to the relevant authorities;
  • Establishing data exchange and protection procedures in accordance with national and EU legislation
  • Developing a policy to protect client funds

The process of registering a new cryptographic company includes the following steps:

      • Verification of the name of the new company
      • Opening a corporate bank account
      • Transfer of the minimum share capital, which is only 1 CZK (approx. 04 EUR)
      • Payment of state fees related to registration – 6000 CZK (ca. 243 EUR)
      • Obtaining a compulsory trade licence from the trade licence register
      • Registration of a company in the Business Register

      • Registration with the Social Security Office, selected insurance companies and tax authorities

      • Company registration in the FAA for AML/CFT reporting purposes

      To establish a company remotely, you must sign a power of attorney that will allow your representative to act on your behalf throughout the process of creating your crypto company. If this option suits you best, we will help you.

      Crypto regulation in Czech Republic

      Period for consideration
      up to 1 month Annual fee for supervision No
      State fee for application
      250 € Local staff member No
      Required share capital from 0,04 € Physical office No
      Corporate income tax 19% Accounting audit No

      HOW TO GET A CRYPTO LICENSE IN CZECH REPUBLIC

      Although the Czech authorities have not developed any complicated process of licensing cryptocurrencies, this does not exempt companies from the obligation to obtain a license before their operations in the Czech Republic.

      Currently, most of them are required to obtain one of the normal trade licences from the Trade Licence Register. Application is relatively easy, and this opens the door to operations in other EU countries, including the opening of branches without having to go through endless bureaucratic procedures if they notify local authorities in accordance with local regulations.

      Activities fall into the following categories:

      • Trade subject to notification, which may take place immediately at the time of notification
      • Authorized trade, which may take place after a concession is granted on the basis of a special commercial licence if it is necessary to meet certain conditions (e.g., relevant professional experience or education)

      The following types of licenses are available for cryptographic companies:

      • The Classic – Sharing Among Cryptocurrencies for a Fee
      • Fiat – exchange between cryptocurrencies and fiat money on commission
      • Traditional – currency exchange intermediation of all kinds
      • Specialized – specific products and services related to cryptography (crypto-wallets, encrypted client keys, etc.)

      Due to the possibility of access, EU/EEA cryptographic licensees are not required to obtain a Czech licence, as they can simply notify the Czech authorities by providing a passport.

      The application process can take up to four months, which also includes the creation of a new company. All applicants are required to follow the general permitting procedures of the Trade Licence Register.

      Applications may be submitted online by the managing director(s) using a secure electronic signature to the central electronic registry electronic room. Applications are processed by the competent Trade Licensing Authority selected by the applicant.

      The following information should be provided together with the application:

      • Corporate documents and detailed information about the qualification company
      • Identity documents of founders, directors and shareholders
      • Certificates confirming no criminal record, unpaid taxes and debts
      • Business plan incorporating strategy and operational policies and procedures

      It is likely that all the information provided will be passed on to the relevant international supervisory authorities to verify the suitability of the applicant to engage in licensed cryptographic activities. Successful applicants are granted a licence to engage only in activities authorized by the Trade Licensing Authority. If the license granted is conditional, then the licensee will be able to start cryptographic activities only after fulfilling the conditions specified by the authority.

      All licensees are required by law to report to any regulatory body upon request, and failure to do so may result in the suspension of the licence on grounds of fraudulent activity.

      It should be noted that it is illegal to start a licensed cryptographic activity without obtaining a license. A cryptographic company operating without a license can be considered fraudulent, receive a fine of up to 500,000 CZK (ca. 20,204 EUR) and be forced to cease its activities.

      SUPPORT FOR CRYPTO COMPANIES IN CZECH REPUBLIC

      Despite the government’s liberal approach to cryptocurrency business, Czech crypto startups and maturing companies are given the opportunity to seek support from the government, related and non-governmental initiatives. Startup accelerators and incubators offer support for the development, marketing and sales of cryptographic products.

      First of all, all Czech cryptographic companies can use the FinTech CNB contact point, provided that they can prove how their product or service fits into the definition of financial innovation. This contact point serves as an optimized communication channel and is designed to improve the functioning of innovative financial market participants. Qualified companies can obtain regulatory advice by completing a contact form. However, since this service is not intended to replace professional legal advisers, we recommend that you seek comprehensive legal advice from our team of experts.

      When it comes to funding and other important business aspects, you can benefit from the following initiatives:

      • CzechInvest, a government agency offering a seven-month CzechStarter incubator program where startups can get funding, as well as access to seminars and expert advice
      • Blockchain Connect Association / Czech Alliance founded to accelerate development, promote the use of blockchain technology across the country, and eliminate fraud and corruption, which should build confidence in innovative financial solutions
      • Cryptoanarchy Institute to Promote a Decentralized Economy that Includes Unlimited Dissemination of Information and Widespread Introduction of Such Cryptchain-Based Products and Services

      TAXES ON CRYPTOCURRENCIES IN CZECH REPUBLIC

      Crypto companies should ensure that they can operate effectively within the existing tax system, as they are taxed according to the nature of their activities, which may fall under different sets of common law. They shall not be treated differently from other enterprises unless certain rules are repealed by EU legislation.

      Czech taxes are collected and collected by the tax authorities. Although the tax year coincides with the calendar year, companies may choose the accounting year as the tax year.

      Generally, crypto companies are subject to paying the following taxes:

      • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) – 19%
      • Branch Tax (BT) – 19%
      • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – 0%-19%
      • Value Added Tax (VAT) – 21%
      • Social Security Insurance (SSI) – 24,8%
      • Health Insurance (HI) – 9%

      The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled out that, for VAT purposes, such cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin are regarded as traditional currency and therefore cryptographic exchange services (cryptocurrency for fiat money and vice versa) are exempt from VAT. Companies selling other types of cryptographic products and services must register as VAT payers. The tax period for newly registered VAT payers is a calendar month.

      While resident companies are taxed on their income worldwide, non-resident companies are only required to pay taxes on income generated in the Czech Republic. If the company is headquartered in the Czech Republic, it is considered a resident taxpayer. Tax residents can protect their tax revenues in two different countries through about 80 international double taxation elimination agreements.

      AUDITING REQUIREMENTS

      Currently, the general audit rules apply to crypto companies, although the approach depends on the purpose of cryptocurrencies, as there is no universal definition and they can be held as financial assets, reserves or derivatives. Once the company’s top management has made a decision on the classification of cryptocurrencies, they should make sure that this is consistently and transparently reflected in the financial statements.

      Auditing is mandatory for companies that meet at least two of the following criteria:

      • Turnover exceeds 80 mill. CZK (approx. 3,234,413 EUR)
      • Total assets exceed 40 mill. CZK (approx. 1,617,206 EUR)
      • Average number of employees over 50

      Companies that are required to submit audited financial statements must submit a cash flow statement and a statement of changes in equity. Annual financial statements are published in the Business Register and must be submitted with the tax declaration.

      If you believe that the Czech regulatory framework can help you to succeed in this innovative and profitable market, our experienced and dynamic team of the Regulated United Europe (RUE) will help you to orient yourself to the rules. We are well prepared to provide guidance on company formation, licensing, taxation and reporting. We also offer accounting services tailored to your needs. Each member of our team guarantees efficiency, privacy and careful attention to every detail that affects your business success. Contact us to book a personal consultation.

ESTABLISH A CRYPTO COMPANY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Establish a crypto company in the czech republicSituated almost in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic was known for its strategic position and its well-developed and open economy, where foreign entrepreneurs enjoyed the same rights as Czech citizens. The process of forming a crypto company is now almost identical to the formation of any other type of business, except for the additional level of compliance related to AML/CFT.

The Czech business environment boasts several advantages:

  • Strong and rapidly growing economy (economy grew by 3.5% in 2021)
  • The Czech Republic is part of the EU, which will allow you to access the EU Single Market
  • Government supports innovative start-ups through investment incentives such as the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Operational Programme
  • A well-educated and skilled but accessible workforce
  • Czech Republic ranked 41st among 190 countries in the World Bank’s Easy of Doing Business 2019 ranking, which indicates a fairly favorable business environment (based on the ease of starting and financing a company as well as engaging in economic activities)

Czech companies are regulated by the Commercial Corporations Act 2012, which covers numerous aspects of the establishment and operation of six types of business entities.

The State Business Register of Czech Companies is maintained by the Registration Court and is administered by the Ministry of Justice in accordance with Law 304/2013.

For AML/CFT purposes, financial market participants are supervised by the Financial Analysis Authority (FAU), which cooperates closely with the Czech National Bank (CNB), which is responsible for the general supervision of the financial market in the Czech Republic. Other national regulatory bodies are the Czech Inspectorate and the Ministry of Finance.

Types of business entities

If you want to start a fully licensed crypto business in the Czech Republic, one of the first things to consider is the appropriate business structure. You can choose from a number of business structures, but the most common are the Limited Liability Company (S.R.O.) and the Joint Stock Company (A.S.).

Regardless of the type of business structure, each cryptographic company must meet the following requirements:

  • Develop internal AML/CFT policies to ensure customer identification and reporting of fraudulent activities
  • Find and register an office in the Czech Republic
  • Recruitment of full-time staff in the Czech Republic
  • Appoint an anti-money laundering officer to be trained in accordance with the company’s operating model and reporting requirements
  • Develop data protection procedures in accordance with GDPR and other relevant legislation that should ensure secure data exchange with authorities
  • Develop policies and procedures that can ensure the security of client funds
  • All accounting records must be in Czech

Requirements for Directors:

  • The director of the company can be an individual or another company
  • If the director is a natural person from a foreign country, she/he does not need a visa in the Czech Republic to register as a company director
  • Criminal record
  • Full legal capacity
  • No legal impediments that would prevent a person from doing business under trade licensing

Any document required for the establishment of the company must be submitted in the Czech language. If you need a certified translator, our team here in Regulated United Europe (RUE) will be more than happy to help.

 

Limited Liability Company (S.R.O.)

One of the most common forms of legal business structure is a Limited Liability Company (S.R.O.) which can generally be founded within three weeks. Its advantages include very minimal required share capital, possible exemption from audit and fewer regulations compared to other legal structures.

Key features of a Limited Liability Company (S.R.O.):

  • The company name should include Společnost s Ručením Omezeným”, or its abbreviation Spol. s r.o. or S.R.O.
  • Minimum share capital – 1 CZK (approx. 0,04 EUR) per shareholder
    • A different amount of contribution can be provided for different types of shares
  • At least one shareholder who can be a natural person or a legal person and if the shareholder is a foreigner, a residence permit is required
  • Shareholders can own multiple types of shares
  • Shareholders are liable for the obligations of the company up to the amount at which they haven’t fulfilled their contribution obligations according to the record of the Business Register at the time when it was demanded by a creditor
  • At least two resident or non-resident directors who are fit and proper (have the relevant educational background and professional experience in the financial market and have no criminal convictions)

Documents required to establish a Limited Liability Company (S.R.O.):

  • A Memorandum of Association
  • A business plan, including financial statements and operational structure
  • Identification documents of the company’s shareholders and directors
  • Proof of the absence of criminal records from each shareholder and director, issued by a competent authority proving that there are no obstacles to engaging in crypto-related economic activities
  • Education diplomas of the shareholders and directors
  • Description of any hardware and software that should be used to carry out licensable crypto activities
  • A document from a bank allowing to deposit the share capital
  • A copy of a relevant trade licence

The Memorandum of Association should include:

  • The company’s trade name
  • The description of the company’s economic activities
  • Details about the shareholders (identification, residential address or registered office address)
  • The types of shares held by each member and specific rights and responsibilities attached to them, when different types of business shares are determined
  • The amounts of contributions pertaining to the business shares, including obligations of each shareholder and relevant deadlines
  • Details of a contribution administrator
  • The amount of authorised capital
  • Number and identification details of the company’s directors and the description of their roles
  • In-kind contributions (description, valuation, amount applied towards the issue price)
  • Details of the person appointed as an expert to evaluate the in-kind contributions

A Limited Liability Company (S.R.O.) is subject to a mandatory statutory audit if at least two of the following amounts are exceeded during both the current and previous year:

  • The net turnover – CZK 80 mill. CZK (approx. 3 mill. EUR)
  • The total assets – 40 mill. CZK (approx. 1,6 mill. EUR)
  • The average number of employees – 50

Joint Stock Company (A.S.)

This type of business entity is usually selected by business people intending to expand business activities on a larger scale as this structure allows to attract a high number of shareholders by listing the company’s shares on a stock exchange if specific conditions are met.

Key features of a Joint Stock Company (A.S.):

  • The trade name must include the words Akciová Společnost or their abbreviation Akc. spol. or A.S.
  • Minimum share capital – either 2 mill. CZK or 80,000 EUR
    • It must be expressed in Czech crowns or, if a company keeps its accounts in euros under a special act, it can be expressed in euros
  • At least one shareholder (the number is unlimited)
  • Shareholders are liable for the obligations of the company up to the amount at which they haven’t fulfilled their contribution obligations according to the record of the Business Register at the time when it was demanded by a creditor
  • The company is liable for breaches of its obligations by its entire property
  • Three statutory bodies – General Meeting, Board of Directors and a Supervisory Board

Documents required to establish a Joint Stock Company (A.S.):

  • Articles of association
  • Business plan including financial statements and operational structure
  • Identification documents of shareholders and directors of a company
  • Proof of absence of criminal record of each shareholder and director, issued by the competent authority, proving the absence of obstacles to participation in crypto-related economic activities
  • Diplomas of shareholders and directors
  • Description of any hardware and software to be used for licensed cryptographic activities
  • Document from the bank allowing to deposit equity
  • Copy of relevant trading license

The statute also includes the following:

  • Trade name
  • Description of the company’s activities and objects
  • Amount of authorized capital
  • Rules of payment of the authorized capital at the time of registration
  • Detailed information on shares – quantity, nominal value, whether and how many shares will be registered, transferability and types, as well as rights related to them, if applicable, as well as detailed information on the subscription of each of the founders
  • If the issue price is to be paid by contributions in kind, detailed information on types of contributions, investor identification, associated shares, price, etc.
  • If shares are to be issued as ledger securities, the number of asset accounts to be issued as equities
  • Number of votes, shares and voting method at the general meeting
  • Information on the internal structure and management of the company, including rules for determining the number of members of the Board of Directors or Supervisory Board
  • Estimated cost of establishing the company
  • Information on the persons appointed by the founders as members of bodies of a company to be elected by the general meeting
  • Details of the appointment of a contribution administrator

A Joint Stock Company (A.S.) is subject to a mandatory statutory audit if at least one of the following amounts is exceeded during both the current and previous year:

  • The net turnover – CZK 80 mill. CZK (approx. 3 mill. EUR)
  • The total assets – 40 mill. CZK (approx. 1,6 mill. EUR)
  • The average number of employees – 50

What You Need to Do

You can either go to the Czech Republic or choose a distance education company, in which case you need to sign a power of attorney that will allow your representative to act on your behalf throughout the process of creating your crypto company. If you decide to do so, contact our legal experts to find out about the next steps.

The formation of a crypto company can take up to four months, which also includes obtaining a trading license.

To create an authorized cryptocurrency company in the Czech Republic, you need to take the following steps:

  • Check and reserve company name
  • Get a legal address for at least one year
  • Preparation and notarization of constituent documents
  • Open a corporate bank account in the Czech Republic
  • Transfer of minimum equity to new bank account
  • Pay state fees related to registration – 6000 CZK (ca. 243 EUR)
  • Registration of a company in the Business Register
  • Apply for a compulsory trade license from the Trade License Registry
  • Register a company with tax authorities
  • Register your company with FAU for AML/CFT reporting purposes

The Czech Republic has not established a reliable regulatory framework for business cryptocurrency. However, each cryptographic company must obtain a regular trading license from the Trade Licensing Register before starting a business.

Depending on the purpose of using cryptocurrency, the company may apply for any of the following licenses:

  • The Classic – Sharing Among Cryptocurrencies for a Fee
  • Fiat – exchange between cryptocurrencies and fiat money on commission
  • Traditional – currency exchange intermediation of all kinds
  • Specialised – specific products and services related to cryptography (crypto-wallets, encrypted client keys, etc.)

 

Taxation of Crypto Companies in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, taxes are collected and administered by the Tax Offices. Although the tax year coincides with the calendar year, companies can opt for an accounting year as their tax year.

Czech Crypto companies are subject to paying the following general taxes:

  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) – 19%
  • Branch Tax (BT) – 19%
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – 0%-19%
  • Withholding Tax (WHT) – 15%
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) – 21%
  • Social Security Insurance (SSI) – 24,8%
  • Health Insurance (HI) – 9%

Cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender, so it is recommended to classify them as other inventory. Revenues generated from cryptocurrencies should be recorded as other revenues.

Resident tax companies are obliged to pay taxes on income received in the Czech Republic and abroad. Non-resident companies are obliged to pay taxes only on income received in the Czech Republic. If the company is registered or its headquarters is in the Czech Republic, it is considered a resident taxpayer.

Our team of dedicated and highly qualified lawyers will be happy to provide you with individual, additional support in creating a fully authorized cryptocurrency company in the Czech Republic. From the very beginning of the process you will receive the support of experts on the creation of companies, the rapid development of legislation on AML/CFT and taxation. In addition, we will be more than happy to intervene if you are looking for financial accounting services. Contact us today to get a personalized offer.

Crypto Regulation in the Czech Republic 2023

In the Czech Republic, cryptocurrency businesses remain legal and regulated only within the general legislative framework that includes The Trade Licensing Act, The Act on Capital Market Undertakings, and other national laws. However, since our team of experienced lawyers is closely monitoring the regulatory changes in Europe, we highly recommend preparing for the upcoming improvements that should be introduced by the EU in the near future and apply to all member states.

In the meantime, the Czech Republic is a very happening place for cryptocurrency businesses, academics, and crypto enthusiasts as it continues to be home to a variety of funding projects, international events, and other initiatives designed to foster the growth of the cryptocurrency industry.

New EU Rules Applicable to the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic must follow the rules of the EU authorities who are further working on the improvements of crypto regulations by tightening the rules that apply to Crypto Asset Service Providers (CASPs). In 2022, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee approved the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation for a vote by the full European Parliament and the EU member states. MiCA’s regulations are expected to come into force before the end of 2024. MiCA is designed not only to provide legal clarity, and prevent misuse of cryptoassets and the entire market but also to fuel the growth of the innovative industry. That said, MiCA has certain limitations and currently excludes decentralised finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Czech crypto businesses should prepare for several changes, one of them is new legislation related to environmental responsibilities that will help crypto businesses contribute to the reduction of the high carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies – when legislation comes into force, significant CASPs will be obligated to publish the levels of their energy consumption on their websites and share the relevant data with national authorities. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is obligated to introduce more detailed regulatory technical standards.

The supervision of stablecoins will be performed by the European Banking Authority (EBA). Issuers of stablecoins who operate within the EU will be required to build up a sufficient liquid reserve, with a 1:1 ratio, partly in the form of deposits. This requirement will enable all stablecoin holders to be offered a claim by the issuer at any time and free of charge.

MiCA is not designed to replicate the anti-money laundering rules which are stipulated in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) directives but nevertheless the European Banking Authority (EBA) will be authorised to maintain a public register and conduct enhanced AML/CFT checks of non-compliant CASPs. A non-compliant CASP is a crypto business whose parent company is registered in countries that the EU classifies either as third countries which are considered high-risk in relation to anti-money laundering activities, or non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. In the future, the EU is expected to harmonise the AML regulatory framework by introducing a single pan-EU AML authority.

Overall, CASPs operating in accordance with MiCA should be able to prevent or eliminate market abuse and manipulation, avoid conflicts of interest, implement procedures that prevent proprietary trading, and in general demonstrate stability, soundness, and competence in navigating the market and inherent regulations which ultimately should build trust among the investors.

Support for Innovative Projects

In 2022, the EU reached an agreement on the final directive for the Pilot DLT Market Infrastructure Regulation (PDMIR). The pilot provides a legal framework for the trading and settlement of transactions in cryptoassets that under Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2 (MiFID 2) are categorised as financial instruments.

The pilot is applicable from March 2023 and, similarly to a sandbox approach, will allow for safe experimentation with new technologies and serves as a means to gather evidence for a potential subsequent permanent framework. The pilot is expected to be reviewed in 2026. Meanwhile, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) continues to consult on draft guidelines with the goal to establish standard formats and templates for application to the DLT and is now engaged in Q&As to assist with implementation.

Although the Czech Republic isn’t rushing to provide regulatory clarity for crypto businesses, it can certainly be viewed as a welcoming country due to the facilitation of the environment for valuable connections in the field of cryptocurrencies. In addition to safe experimentation opportunities at the EU level, there are plenty of ways to connect and partner with crypto entrepreneurs, academia, and the government at the national level. From the 10th to the 14th of September 2023, The annual Conference on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems (CHES) will take place in Prague, Czech Republic. It’s organised by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) to provide a shared space for research on the design and analysis of cryptographic hardware and software implementations.

You might as well be interested to know that the European Bitcoin Conference 2023 will take place in Prague from the 8th to the 10th of June 2023. It’s expected to be the biggest bitcoin-only conference in Europe ever with around 10,000 international attendees, over 60 speakers, 100 booths of bitcoin companies, and a wide range of relevant events for everyone. The topics will cover freedom, community, technology, and sound money.

You should also note that the support is offered beyond the events by the following local initiatives:

  • CzechStarter – a seven-month incubator programme offered by CzechInvest, a government-backed agency, where startups can break through the Czech market and grow beyond the borders by receiving funding, as well as participating in workshops and receiving advice from experts
  • Technology Incubation project – another CzechInvest’s project, backed by the Ministry for Science, which over the next five years should support up to 250 innovative startups by providing funding of 850 mill. CZK (approx. 35,4 mill. EUR) in seven key areas
  • FinTech contact point by the Czech National Bank (CNB) – a streamlined communication platform with a dedicated contact form, designed to improve the functioning of the innovative financial market startups
  • The Blockchain Connect Association/Czech Alliance – an organisation promoting the development and use of blockchain technology across the country, as well as combating fraud and corruption in the financial industry
  • The Institute of Cryptoanarchy – an organisation that aims to promote the growth of the decentralised economy by focusing on unrestricted dissemination of information and large-scale adoption of blockchain-based products and services

Cryptocurrency Licence in the Czech Republic in 2023

In 2023, to receive a Czech cryptocurrency licence you still have to apply for a regular trade licence, issued by the Trade Licensing Register by submitting an online application form in the Czech language that includes information about your crypto company and its founders. Once the state application fee of 6,000 CZK (approx. 240 EUR) is paid, the application is then considered by the general Trade Office.

The following types of trade licences are possible to obtain in 2023:

  • Classic – for exchange between cryptocurrencies for a commission
  • Fiat – for exchange between cryptocurrencies and fiat money for a commission
  • Traditional – for intermediation in the exchange of currencies of all types
  • Specialised – for specific crypto-related products and services (crypto wallets, encrypted client keys, etc.)

To be eligible, you have to open a Czech company. A Limited Liability Company (SRO) is one of the most common legal business structures in the Czech Republic as it has such advantages as lower minimum share capital, a low number of founders, and the exemption from a financial audit. Like last year, a crypto company still must have a registered physical office in the Czech Republic, and hire staff on a full-time basis, which should also include at least two fit and proper directors (not necessarily residents of the Czech Republic) and an AML Officer. Moreover, it should also demonstrate the implementation of internal AML/CFT policies, compliance with data protection legislation, and mechanisms ensuring the safety of client funds.

Cryptocurrency Taxes in the Czech Republic 2023

The Czech Republic still ranks high in the International Tax Competitiveness Index and in 2023 the Czech tax rates aren’t set to increase which is why the country remains a favourable jurisdiction for cryptocurrency businesses. That said, you should look out for the changes initiated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and applicable to the Czech Republic.

Last year, the OECD introduced a new international tax transparency framework, entitled Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) which will enable automated tax reporting and the exchange of information about cryptoassets across the tax authorities internationally. The CARF framework will be applicable to companies and individuals that provide crypto exchange services and facilitate cryptocurrency transfers (including retail payment transactions). Currently, the framework excludes cryptocurrencies that aren’t used as a means of payment or as an investment, as well as centralised stablecoins.

When it comes to recent national changes, there aren’t many but one pertains to Social Security and Health Insurance. From February 2023 employers will pay a reduced 5% rate for employees that qualify as members of eligible social groups (e.g., persons caring for a child under 10 years of age or persons with disabilities) and are employed on a part-time basis. Other tax rates and allowances should remain the same.

Additional information

our team

Jekaterina

Jekaterina
Smolits

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

[email protected]

Diana

Diana
Nossenko

CORPORATE LAWYER

[email protected]

Julia

Julia
Allik

CORPORATE LAWYER

[email protected]

Kristine

Kristine
Ella

LEGAL ADVISOR

[email protected]

Milana

Milana
Scherbakova

LEGAL ADVISOR

[email protected]

Diana

Diana
Hamdamova

Company Formation Executive

[email protected]

Jekaterina

Jekaterina
Alsmit

Accountant

[email protected]

Valeriya

Valeriya
Kuteneva

PROJECT MANAGER

[email protected]

Olga

Olga
Arsenyev

PROJECT MANAGER

[email protected]

CONTACT US

At the moment, the main services of our company are legal and compliance solutions for FinTech projects. Our offices are located in Tallinn, Vilnius, and Warsaw. The legal team can assist with legal analysis, project structuring, and legal regulation.

Company in Estonia OÜ

Registration number: 14153440
Anno: 16.11.2016
Licence number: FIU000186
Phone: + 372 5611 0164
Email: [email protected]
Address: Sepise 1, Tallinn, 11415, Estonia

Company in Lithuania UAB

Registration number: 304377400
Anno: 30.08.2016
Phone: +370 661 75988
Email: [email protected]
Address: Lvovo g. 25 – 702, 7th floor, Vilnius, 09320, Lithuania

Company in Poland Sp. z o.o

Registration number: 38421992700000
Anno: 28.08.2019
Phone: +48 50 633 5087
Email: [email protected]
Address: Twarda 18, 15th floor, Warsaw, 00-824, Poland

Company in Czech Republic s.r.o.

Registration number: 08620563
Anno: 21.10.2019
Phone: +420 775 524 175
Email:  [email protected]
Address: Na Perštýně 342/1, Staré Město, 110 00 Prague

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