We as a law firm have many years of experience in advising enterprises during subsidy processes. This extends throughout the application phase but mainly in subsidy disputes. A combination of complex legal services is provided in matters of business subsidies from the funds of the Czech Republic, the European Union and others.
EU subsidies keeps the firm quite occupied. The Czech Republic has been allocated nearly 24 billion euros for the program period between 2014-2020. However, it is important to factor in the fact that reducing the promised or already paid subsidy from EU funds today represents a huge risk for everyone to whom this subsidy has been allocated and our law firm specializes in this area.
These corrections are most often approached by subsidy providers on the grounds that the beneficiary erred in the public contract and did not meet the monitoring indicators to which it undertook in the subsidy application or violated another subsidy condition associated with the subsidy reduction.
In the area of defence of subsidy recipients, we provide legal services and represent subsidy recipients in various proceedings for refund of subsidies which may involve public administration inspections, tax proceedings for breach of budgetary discipline, disputed proceedings under public law contracts, proceedings for refund of subsidies under the State Agricultural Intervention Fund Act. Along with this, our services also involve the representation of subsidy recipients before administrative courts.
If the subsidy has already been paid to you and most often based on the Report on the audit of the operation carried out by the Ministry of Finance, it is required to be returned. This procedure is most often carried out through tax proceedings conducted by financial administrative bodies and results in a payment order discipline.
However, did you know that this levy does not have to be paid if you lodge an appeal against it? Our law firm can help you. Moreover, even in the case of a negative decision on an appeal by the Appellate Finance Directorate, nothing may be lost, as this decision can be challenged by an administrative action, where the grant recipient has the greatest chance of effective defence against cutting the grant.
So, means of defence exists, and we know exactly how to do it!
If in the event, the subsidy was provided to you on the basis of a contract or agreement, the Czech legal system knows an alternative to the often-lengthy process of recovering the subsidy through tax proceedings or proceedings for the return of subsidies under special laws. In such a case, it is possible to use the so-called dispute under a public law contract, which is regulated by the Administrative Procedure Code.
This means the possibility for the subsidy recipient to submit a proposal to initiate the disputed administrative procedure to the superior body of the administrative body that is a public party to the grant agreement (e.g the State Environmental Fund or the State Agricultural Intervention Fund, formerly the Regional Council of the Cohesion Region). The superior body is then obliged to issue a decision within the time limits according to the Administrative Procedure Code. Our law firm can help you.
As no appeal or appeal can be lodged against this decision, this decision can already be directly challenged by an administrative action and there is no need to wait until a lengthy final decision of the financial administration. The recipient of the subsidy can thus get to the administrative court much faster with his case as part of his defence against the reduction of the subsidy, and thus begin to exercise his rights as quickly and efficiently as possible.
There is a high probability that even though the grant provider has already paid you the grant and checked your project, your project will still be re-checked by auditors from the Ministry of Finance as part of the so-called operation audit. The result is the report on the audit of the operation, which is the key evidence based on which the tax proceedings for breach of budgetary discipline are initiated.
Although the audited entity always has the opportunity to comment on the Draft Audit Report, this possibility is often used inefficiently by the audited entities. We are therefore prepared to offer you legal assistance in this area and to prepare an effective argument for the findings of the audit authority and thus try to reverse the conclusions of the audit authority.
It is an essential condition to be fully acquainted with the terms of a particular subsidy process and to confront your business intent with it. To put together a successful subsidy application, it is crucial that it complies with numerous conditions and rules set by the subsidy provider. The perfect understanding of the terms and further instructions for the applicants is a vital precondition determining whether the application is going to be successful or not.
A necessary part of every subsidy application in most cases is the so called business intent or a feasibility study. The exact content and extent of such document depends on a particular subsidy program. The characteristic of the applicant, description of technical feasibility of the project, definition and description of individual cost items, budget and economical side of the project and many others are the most common parts of an application. Important part are also attachments supporting the application. That may, typically, be a territory planning resolution or an extract from the real estate registry in cases of a construction projects.
From the reason of this overwhelming number of conditions, rules, and exceptions from those rules, that shall be obeyed, it is highly recommendable to approach our specialists. We provide a comprehensive legal assistance for receiving subsidies from the European structural and investment funds. We are well experienced with preparing the business intent, selecting the suitable program, all the way to drafting and submitting of an application for the subsidy. Further, we assist our clients in the realisation phase of a successful project with follow up of all legal duties.
The subsidy application is the key document that is decisive for whether or not the project will be successfully granted the subsidy. That is why our clients search for our services already in this important initial phase. It may be quite challenging to find a way through all applicable laws and instructions, the invitation schedules or through the program documentation of individual authorities that announce the programs.
We represent our clients in front of the authorities that assess the application. Further crucial step after the project that has been approved is the preparation of a contract that shall firmly stipulate the conditions of the project realisation. Thorough phrasing of the rights and obligations in the contact is very important and our specialists know well from their experience which points are the most sensitive ones. As an typical example can be stated the assessment rules and the payment settlement conditions; but there are many others that require very close attention during drafting the contract.
We help you to set up the project realisation processes in the way so that you will not miss any necessary documentation or presentation deeds to support your claims towards the supervising authorities. We provide assistance in cases of on location inspections, especially in the cases of the documentation control checks.
Every subsidy recipient of a subsidy from the EU funds is obliged to inform publically on this support in accordance with the so called mandatory project publicity. There are firm rules defined for this matter. Also here we are quite experienced and ready to assist for smooth fulfilment of this duty.
It is mandatory to meet all the objectives that you commit to in the application for the subsidy (such as number of new machines, technologies, or number of attended fairs). Otherwise you risk that the subsidy will not be paid to you, or the part already paid might be withdrawn. We deal with many cases of subsidy reduction. We represent during suppliers’ corrections.
We are experienced with wide range of facilities that the entrepreneurs can use to easier enter foreign markets. We provide helpful representation in negotiating with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Czech consulates abroad, the Czech Trade agency, the Czech Export Bank or the Export Guarantee and Insurance agency EGAP.