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Starting a Business in

Croatia

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Croatia. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Croatia to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Check the availability of the company's name

    Agency: Commercial Court

    Checking company name availability is free and can be done online. If there is no desired name available, then clients can go through process of company name reservation. The Court Registry will check the company name reservation application within three days, and if it meets all legal criteria, will proceed with the reservation. The court fee for reservation of the company's name is 10 HRK.

    The reserved company name is visible on the sudreg.pravosudje.hr website and valid for 30 days. If the reserved company name is not used for company registration within 30 days, it is deleted from the registry.
    Less than one day (online procedure) no charge
    2

    The notary prepares the memorandum of association

    Agency: Public Notary

    The Public Notary prepares the documentation, which is then signed by the business founders and notarized.
    1 day included in procedure 3
    3

    Register the company with the Commercial Court

    Agency: Commercial Court

    It typically takes 24 hours to register company with the Commercial court electronically.

    Revised fees in 2015 by Chamber of Notaries are as follows:
    HRK 3400 + VAT + HRK 800 notary fee (drafting and notarizing the articles of association),
    HRK 700 + VAT + HRK 10 notary fee, per director (drafting application for registration)
    HRK 100 + 25% VAT + HRK 15 notary fee (drafting the statement of acceptance of appointment)
    HRK 30 + 25% VAT + HRK 10 notary fee (notarizing founders’ statements of non-existence of debts, only the certification of signature is necessary)
    HRK 30 + 25% VAT + HKR 10 notary fee (notarizing director signature specimen)
    HRK 400 (court fees)
    1 day see procedure details
    4

    Order official seal

    Agency: Seal maker

    Official seals are readily available throughout Croatia at special seal-making shops. A copy of the court decision on registration of incorporation should be presented in order to have the seal made. The seal should be used on all official documents (including invoices, receipts and so on) issued by the company. Seals can also be ordered through FINA offices (on 24 locations as well as where are HITRO.HR offices). If done through FINA, the entrepreneur can at the same time also apply for statistical registration.
    1 day HRK 169
    5

    Apply for statistical registration number

    Agency: State Statistical Department

    Applying for a statistical file number can be done at the Croatian Bureau of Statistics or through the One Stop Shop service, used by HITRO.HR officers.    
    1 day HRK 55
    6

    Open a bank account

    Agency: Bank

    Documents required to open a company bank account are:
    1. Ruling on registration of a Company,
    2. Statistical registration number of a Company,
    3. Personal identification number (OIB) of a Company

    In case of Ltd. Company establishment client signs: the Contract, signature cards, a statement of the beneficial owner and the related parties, and must provide a copy of personal data, extract from the Court Register and Information on classification of the business entity pursuant to the National Classification of Activities.
    1 day no charge
    * 7

    Register for VAT and employee income tax withdrawals

    Agency: Tax Authority (Porezna Uprava)

    Upon registering with the Commercial Court Register and fulfilling its obligations with the State Bureau of Statistics, the company must register with the competent tax authority. Once a company is registered at the State Bureau of Statistics, company data is sent electronically to the tax authority, which levies the annual company tax. The company must register for VAT at the Tax Office, however, only after its first invoice (within 15 days of issuance). Once the company is registered for VAT, all tax payments can be processed through an electronic system, e-VAT. If the company’s total taxable annual income exceeds HRK 230,000, it must register itself as an entity in the VAT system with the competent tax authority, based on the company's registered seat.
    Starting from January 01, 2009 a revision of the existing Croatian Law on Companies came into force (published in the Official Gazette no. 146/2008). The change involves inducing "OIB" (personal identification number), that replaces tax number for legal entities. Personal identification number is defined as identification mark of personal identification number that users of that number use in their official evidences and with change of dates.
    1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
    * 8

    Register with the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance (HZMO) and Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO)

    Agency: Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance (HZMO) and Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO)

    The Company must register with the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance within 24 hours from the start of its business operation. The Company must also register each of its employees with the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance within 24 hours. Company with 3 or more employees will be obligated from 1 April 2014 to register/deregister employees at Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance exclusively online.
    Currently the procedure may be completed before the competent HZZO office. The following documents should be submitted:
    • Decision about the registration into the Court Registry.
    • Notice of classification from the National Institute for Statistics Application (to the Croatian Health Insurance Fund).
    • Proof of place of residence and the work contract.

    All persons employed for the first time and age 40 are obliged to register in the second pillar of retirement insurance. A person has to choose the obligatory pension fund within 3 months of the date of employment. If the fund is not chosen after that period, REGOS (the Central Register of the Insured) itself chooses the obligatory pension fund that the person will register in. All persons employed for the first time and between ages 40 and 50 can, if they desire, register with the second pillar of retirement insurance. A person has to choose the obligatory pension fund within 6 months of the date of employment.
    Less than one day (online procedure, simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.