Foreign businessmen often find Croatian bureaucratic procedures overwhelming. However, being that Croatia is one of the leading countries in south-east Europe with plentiful natural resources and a government that strongly encourages foreign investments, the country offers great opportunities for starting a business, and doing so has become easier after Croatia’s succession to the European Union.
There are several types of companies one can found in Croatia: Limited Liability Company, Joint Stock Company, Public Limited Company and Limited Partnership Company. In the following paragraphs we present you with a summary on starting a Limited Liability Company in Croatia.
Limited Liability Company, or Društvo s ograničenom odgovornošću (d.o.o.), is “a company in which one more legal or physical persons invest and equity with which they share the predetermined original stock” according to startupoverseas.co.uk. The lowest amount of company’s original stock needs to be 20,000 Kuna (about 2,700 Euro).
The first thing you need to do is to check availability of the company’s name. It is possible to do that online in the commercial court registry database. To reserve the desired company name a small court fee of 10 HRK needs to be paid.
The following step includes notarizing memorandum of association and registering the company with the Commercial Court. It takes about two weeks to register trough a notary, who then submits the authorization of registry to Commercial Court in person. It is possible to check the status of the case online, and later pick up the registration in person either on Tuesdays or Fridays. The fees during this process are as follows:
1000 HRK + VAT for drafting and notarizing the articles of association
200 HRK + VAT for drafting the application for registration
30 HRK + 25% VAT for drafting and notarizing acceptance of appointment
30 HRK + 25% VAT for notarizing founders’ statements of non-existence of debts
30 HRK + 25% VAT for notarizing director signature specimen
250 HRK in court fees and 900 HRK in publication fees
The third step involves ordering the official seal, which can be done at one of many special seal-making shops available throughout Croatia or through FINA offices. In addition, the company also needs to obtain a Statistical File Number with the State Bureau of Statistics. The costs of all this should amount to about 200 HRK.
The next necessary step includes opening a bank account. You can do that at any bank free of charge, and the necessary documents include the ruling on registration of the company, statistical registration number of a company and personal identification number (OIB) of the company.
Next, it is necessary to register with tax authority for VAT and employee income tax withdrawals. Once the company is registered at the State Bureau of statistics, company data is sent electronically to the tax authority.
For the final step, register with the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance (HZMO) and Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO). It is necessary to register with the HZMO within 24 hours from the start of its business operation, as well as to register each of its employees with the HZMO within 24 hours. The procedure is done online.