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Start a Business in Croatia - Cost-Effective

Start a Business in Croatia

Updated on Friday 12th April 2024

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start a business in croatia
 
 
Our lawyers in Croatia can help international investors start a business in Croatia. With the support and assistance of our local specialists, one can enjoy a smooth and fast registration process of a company in Croatia. Below you can find information about how to start a company in Croatia, and also details about the services we provide to our customers.
 
 Quick Facts  
 Incorporation  Starting a business in Croatia is available to individuals from the EU/EEA or any other country. 

Registration process 

We can offer details about the registration process and submit your documents to the local Trade Register. 

Franchising 

Navigate legal aspects of franchising agreements, regulations, and disclosures with the help of our lawyers.  

Permits and licenses  Obtain necessary permits and licenses required for your business operations. Our lawyers in Croatia can guide you.  
Taxation 

Corporate income tax applies to the profits generated by companies. The tax rates are 10% for earnings up to €1,000,000 and 18% for amounts exceeding €1,000,000. 

 Employment laws

With the assistance of our attorneys, ensure adherence to employment laws and regulations when recruiting employees. 

Intellectual property protection 

Protect intellectual property rights through patents, trademarks, and copyrights. 

Contracts and agreements 

With the assistance of experts at our law firm in Croatia, draft and review contracts and agreements with suppliers, clients, and partners. 

 Commercial real estate

We assist in leasing or purchasing commercial real estate for your business operations. 

Financing options  Get guidance from our lawyers on financing options, such as bank loans, venture capital, or crowdfunding. 
Market research 

Conduct market research to understand your target market, competitors, and industry trends. 

Corporate governance 

Establish corporate governance rules and practices for your business. 

Immigration and visas 

Our lawyers in Croatia assist with immigration and visa processes for foreign entrepreneurs and employees. 

Legal representation 

We provide legal representation and counsel throughout the process of starting a business in Croatia.  

Our other services   Additionally, we can provide assistance with citizenship applications, residency matters, or property acquisition in Croatia.

 

How to incorporate a business in Croatia


start-up in Croatia can be incorporated and registered in a few simple steps. These are the following:

 

  • choose a name for your business and check its availability with the Court Registry in Croatia;
  • prepare the memorandum of association and address to a public notary for notarization. It is highly advisable to rely on the professional services of a law firm in Croatia for drafting the company's documents;
  • register the company with the Commercial Court – this usually takes 24 hours to complete electronically;
  • open a bank account, register for taxation in Croatia with the competent authorities and for insurance (pension and health);
  • order an official seal to use for all official documents – invoices and receipts.

 

The conditions imposed for opening companies in Croatia are the first things to consider when deciding for business in  this country. All the legal aspects involved can be explained by our Croatian lawyers specialized in company formation. They can also help you obtain the EORI number.
 

Open an LLC in Croatia, one of the preferred business structures

 
Public limited liability companies (A.D.) in Croatia can be set up for a minimum share capital of EUR 25,000 for business persons from EU countries. After the acceptance of the main documents of the firm, the Articles of Association, the next step is to apply for different licenses and taxes. The following information needs to be mentioned by the Articles of Association :
 
  •     the name of the owners, the representative of the business and the registered office;
  •     comprehensive details about the operations of the limited liability company;
  •     the bank account where minimum share capital is provided for opening the firm;
  •     details about the liabilities in the company and the capital contribution.

 

Sole traders in Croatia

 
There is also the possibility of acting on your own in terms of business and having activities as a sole trader in Croatia. This is the simplest form of business that must respect the Crafts Act in Croatia, applied by the Minister of Crafts, Small and Medium Enterprises in Croatia. In terms of taxation, sole proprietorships in Croatia are quite advantageous. A 12% income tax rate applies to companies having profits of around EUR 3,500 per year. Both local and foreign entrepreneurs can start as sole proprietorships in Croatia and then, if the business develops, transform it into a new business structure, with the help of the Croatian Trade Register and other institutions in charge.
 

Opening a branch in Croatia

 
You can opt for opening a branch in Croatia if you want to expand your business in this country. There is no need for a minimum share capital, and incorporation can take place in a maximum of two weeks. However, you will need a legal representative to open this business structure. On the other hand, you must register it for the payment of taxes and open a local bank account. You should also know that a foreign company can open one or more branches, depending on the business projects for Croatia. We recommend those interested in opening a branch in Croatia discuss all legal aspects with one of our attorneys at our law firm in Croatia.
 
 
Here is an infographic with details about how to open a business in Croatia:
 
the main steps to open a company in croatia1.png

 

Special licenses and permits in Croatia

 
Telecommunication, banking and insurance, import and export, fishing and hunting, air and road transportation are only a few of the sectors where licenses and permits are needed. The construction sector requires complete attention as there are several requirements imposed by the Land Registry, the Fire Inspectorate, the Local Water Authority, the Sanitary Inspectorate and by many other authorities. Such licenses and permits are needed for companies registered in the construction field in Croatia.
 
Legal assistance can be provided by our team of attorneys in Croatia to foreign entrepreneurs interested in a business license or permit necessary at the time of company registration.
 
 
You might want to watch a video presentation about how to start a business in Croatia:
 
 

Setting up a bank account for a company in Croatia

 

All types of companies in Croatia need to open a bank account for the minimum share capital. This is normally a provisory account which can later be linked to the firms’ financial operations. Entrepreneurs can choose from a wide range of financial institutions, local or foreign for future banking activities. In this sense, the company’s documents in original and also a set of copies are necessary at the time of opening a bank account, but the institution can also ask for additional papers.
 
Depending on the business relations and the direction of your enterprise, the bank account in Croatia can help newly-registered companies in this country with bank loans and credits for future investments. All the legal aspects in this matter can be offered by our team of advisors in Croatia.
 

Tax registration in Croatia

 
Before commencing any activities on the Croatian market, entrepreneurs need to register for tax purposes and to apply for the tax identification number. This is a simple registration process for which the Tax Administration in Croatia supports the companies with the online platforms and the services offered in this sense.
 
The income tax, the VAT, the excise tax and contribution for mandatory insurance are among the tax responsibilities of both local and foreign entrepreneurs in Croatia. It is good to know that the tax authorities in Croatia issue the Personal Identification Number or the PIN  for all foreigners willing to set up the operations on the market in a legal manner.
 

Taxes for companies in Croatia

 
Establishing a business in Croatia will have to involve complete information about the taxation regime for each type of structure, besides the startup costs. The VAT in Croatia is set at 25% and it is imposed for companies reaching HRK 270,000 threshold or around EUR 36,000 per year. A low rate of 13% VAT is applicable for accommodations, water supply, entertainment services, and products containing sugar. The VAT rate of 5% is applicable for medical supplies, newspapers, and magazines, dairy products and medicines. 
 
As for other taxes in Croatia, entrepreneurs should consider the corporate income tax of 18% for businesses established in this country. We remind that foreign companies in Croatia are protected by the double taxation agreements signed with countries worldwide for avoiding the payment of taxes twice. The inheritance and gift tax, the real estate transfer tax, the consumption tax and the taxes imposed on holiday houses are among the fees you need to consider when wanting to set up a business in Croatia. It is important to have an idea about the business start-up costs and the taxes you need to pay in this state.
 

Tax advice for business owners

 
You can confidently call on our specialists with experience in the area of taxes to know the legislation and update you on the optimal solutions for the business you own. We offer tax advice to business owners, as well as to those who want to establish a company in Croatia. Also, where needed, we can recommend a series of tax minimization options to help you in better management of the amount of taxes in Croatia.
 

How easy is it to hire personnel in Croatia?

 
Many Croatian government incentives are offered for research and development and this grants the access of the population to a good education. The Croatian workforce is considered efficient and well trained. The main sectors where the efficiency of the workers can be observed are the business service sectors and high tech industries. Another good reason for hiring Croatian workforce is the fact that most of the employees speak many languages.
 
If a foreigner wants to be hired in Croatia, he/she must respect some basic rules, such as obtaining permission for permanent residency or proving that he/she will be involved in a foreign investment. This will give him/her access to a work permit, necessary in order to perform activities in a company. There are two types of work permits - a business working permit and the standard working permit. Both types require a special documentation including two passport photos, a copy of the passport and the passport in original, birth certificate, criminal record check, health insurance evidence, letter of employment, an evidence that shows the applicant has sufficient funds and an accommodation proof.
 

EORI registration in Croatia 

 
EORI is the unique number assigned to companies operating in the import and export sector inside the European Union. This identification number can be obtained from the Croatian Ministry of Finance and particularly from the customs department if your company is a VAT payer in Croatia. Companies that are not registered for VAT will have to observe specific requirements in this sense. In terms of documents, the certificate of registration, the VAT number, and a power of attorney are necessary for EORI registration in Croatia, also considering that the entire process might prolong for 30 days or less.
 
Companies wanting to activate in the trading sector in Croatia will have to respect the Union Customs Code and the declarations involved, like the Entry Summary Declaration and the Single Administrative Documents. If you are interested in obtaining the EORI number, we recommend you to talk to our team of lawyers in Croatia for in-depth assistance and legal advice.
 

Virtual office in Croatia

 
If you want to start a company in Croatia, you can opt for a virtual office in Croatia and the benefits brought in this regard. One of our specialists can tell you what this package contains and how it can be useful to you. Here's what you need to know when you want to buy a virtual office package in Croatia:
 
  • You benefit from a business address to be able to carry out your remote business.
  • Mail collection and forwarding are at your disposal, as part of the virtual office package.
  • You can ask for dedicated fax services and also a virtual assistant.
  • A local phone number is at your disposal.
  • We provide our clients with latest technology to be able to carry out their remote business in optimal conditions.
 
So, you have quite important benefits for your business, if you want to buy a virtual office package in Croatia. You can find out more information about this topic from one of our specialists. Our lawyers in Croatia can be contacted online and by phone.
 

Company relocation available in Croatia

 
You might also be interested in relocating your company to Croatia. The process is quite simple and starts with the de-registration of the company in the country of origin. It should have no debts and no longer be registered with the local authorities so that the relocation to Croatia is done without complexity. There are several legal aspects related to the relocation of a company from a foreign country to Croatia, but for more legal information in this regard, we recommend that you contact our attorneys in Croatia.
 

Types of activities you can have in Croatia

 
You can work in any field of interest in Croatia, as long as you have a solid business plan. Some foreign entrepreneurs prefer to open a business in the tourism sector, while others prefer to develop in the IT field. Whichever option you choose, you can get in touch with our specialists whenever you want.
 

What are the reasons to open a company in Croatia?

 
Most of the investors appreciate in a huge proportion the business climate quality of a country before deciding on a specific business to open. The tax structure will also play a major role in the field of investors who would rather focus on extra investments instead of paying a multitude of taxes. Croatia is among the countries that offer both a respected business environment and a relaxed tax structure. More than that, the country benefits from an excellent geolocation with several port exits to the Adriatic Sea that ease the business path and relations with numerous countries, allowing entrepreneurs from abroad set up companies in the tourism sector, a well-developed business sector in Croatia.
 
Dubrovnik, Split or Zadar are three important destinations with full potential and possibilities for opening travel agencies, hotels, logistic companies or developing a business in the fishery sector. Other reasons to consider when opening a business in Croatia are related to the start-up expenses like low incorporation fees or a minimum share capital or  EUR 2,500 for opening a limited liability company in this country. If you would like to start a company in Croatia and you need legal advice in this direction, you can easily get in touch with our team of lawyers in Croatia and address your inquiries.
 
Here are some statistics about Croatia's economy, if interested in starting a business here:
 
  • An economic growth of approximately 3% is expected until the end of 2023 in Croatia.
  • Real GDP is expected to remain around 2.6% in 2023.
  • Croatia's economy in 2023 was largely supported by private consumption, even if inflation was quite high.
 
 
If you need help in starting a company and assessing its initial costs, don't hesitate to contact our Croatian lawyers.  We can also manage the process of immigration to Croatia for those interested. Also, those  who want to obtain a visa can talk to our immigration lawyers in Croatia.