IN SHORT

Changes to trade license law coming it September

AS OF September 1, Slovaks will need to apply for separate trade and concession licences for each business activity they undertake.

Cabinet approved the revision to the Act on Trade Business on April 11.

"Applicants will pay for each business activity separately," said Alena Koišová from the Interior Ministry.

This means someone who intends to carry out 20 business activities will have to take out 20 trade licences.

In connection with the limited number of business activities, the Interior Ministry proposed a reduction in the administrative fees for issuing licences. Fees for general business activities would be reduced to Sk100. Applicants would pay Sk500 for trade licences related to craft or vocational business activities.

The current fee for granting a trade licence is Sk1,000. Fees for concession licences will go down from Sk2,000 to Sk1,000.

As a result of the approved draft amendment, the Interior Ministry will build single contact centres in district trade licence offices.

The revision also included the European regulation on mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The ministry will thus benefit from several liberalization measures and a broader range of applicants will be allowed to receive trade permits.

On April 11, the cabinet also approved the draft amendment to the law on budgetary rules for regional governments. This will create a framework of conditions for implementing regional government program budgets. The revision also expands the scope of intentionally-allocated budget finances for villages and counties. In these cases, budgetary changes do not need to be approved by respective self-government bodies.

The ministers also passed a revision to the law on public administration budgetary rules, drawn up by the Finance Ministry. Their aim is to harmonize Slovak and European Union legislation, and improve the position of inspection bodies when they inspect how state budget funds are used. According to the revision, a receiver of a state budget subsidy would have to submit documents showing how the subsidy was used, if required by the inspection body.

If these papers did not clearly document the use of finances or if the receiver failed to submit them, the Finance Ministry or the appropriate local financial administration body would be authorized to issue a fine of up to Sk1 million.

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