Accounting, who is obliged to keep it? To keep or not to keep accounts? If so, which ones? These are common questions of early-stage sole traders or entrepreneurs
The obligation to keep accounts is primarily regulated by §35 to §37, Act no. 513/1991 Coll. Commercial Code as amended and also Act no. 431/2002 Coll. on Accounting as amended. In short, double-entry accounting is required to be kept by entrepreneurs registered in the Commercial Register. Such entrepreneurs are commercial companies, i.e. legal entities established for the purpose of doing business:
• A general partnership
• Limited partnership
• Limited Liability Company
• Joint Stock Company
There are also cases where the entrepreneur is registered in the Commercial Register as a natural person. This is, for example, the business of a foreign person and domestic transport operators, with the exception of taxi services. Entrepreneurs who are not registered in the Commercial Register, account in the system of simple accounting. The law also adds that these entrepreneurs can also account in the double-entry accounting system, as long as they use it then for the entire accounting period. We can consider the double-entry accounting system as universal – the Accounting Act lists exceptions that may use (but are not obliged) the simple accounting system. Therefore, anyone who is obliged to keep accounts, can use the double-entry accounting system.
Who does not have to keep accounts? Persons who do not have to keep accounts are natural persons who do business or perform other self-employed activity (sole traders and self-employed persons), if they apply for demonstrable expenses and keep tax records or claim expenses as a percentage of income, the so-called flat-rate expenditure (used by non-VAT payers). Enterprises have no choice. In their case, tax records are out of the question and they must keep accounts in the double-entry accounting system.