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Self-employment continues to fade

OVER the first two months of 2013 around 5,500 sole proprietors, working on the basis of so-called trade licences, delisted from the business register. The drop came after an even more considerable decrease in December 2012, when 8,000 people relinquished their licences, while about 1,000 new trade licenses were registered, the Sme daily reported on April 8, based on the Interior Ministry data.

OVER the first two months of 2013 around 5,500 sole proprietors, working on the basis of so-called trade licences, delisted from the business register. The drop came after an even more considerable decrease in December 2012, when 8,000 people relinquished their licences, while about 1,000 new trade licenses were registered, the Sme daily reported on April 8, based on the Interior Ministry data.

Opposition MP Miroslav Beblavý blamed the drop on the poor economic situation and government moves that he said had put sole traders at a disadvantage.

The Labour Ministry, however, expressed satisfaction, saying that one of the reasons for raising payroll taxes for self-employed people, a measure which came into force in January 2013, was to force some of them to cease operating as sole traders, Sme reported.

The current conditions should “help honest sole proprietors to continue their licence as they do now”, Sme quoted Labour Ministry spokesperson Michal Stuška as saying.

Representatives of sole proprietors blame the situation on a lack of work, particularly for people working in services. Since trade licence holders are required to pay payroll taxes of almost €200 a month even if they earn nothing, many have decided to change their businesses into limited liability companies or seek work as employees, according to the head of the Slovak Trade Association, Stanislav Čižmárik, Sme reported.

Čižmárik does not expect the number of sole proprietors to grow in the coming months, Sme wrote.

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