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How to buy a property in Croatia

There are two essential ways of buying property in Croatia, one as a private citizen and the other as a Croatian company.

Private ownership

Private ownership is when you as an individual own the property. The citizens of the European Union Member States can acquire the right to real property ownership in the Republic of Croatia under the same condition as domestic persons.

Concerning persons who are not citizens of EU Member States, but who plan on acquiring real property in the Republic of Croatia, reciprocity and consent of the Minister remain as assumptions which must be fulfilled in order for a person to acquire real property.

Non EU citizens need to obtain permission from the Ministry of foreign affairs in Zagreb. The Ministry ensures and verifies that the potential buyer is a citizen of an approved country and that the proposed property is permissible to buy. Your lawyer will apply to the ministry in Zagreb for you to be recognized as the private owner of the property. This is a process of aprox 5 – 9 months.

Advantages of Private Ownership

The main advantage of private ownership is that when you move into you property does not have any worries about accountants, book keeping, vat returns. Also you are not required to pay the Real Estate Transfer Tax until your are the legal owners of the property.

Disadvantages of private Ownership

1. You will not be able to claim the VAT back on furniture bought or any other expenses incurred in purchasing the property.
2. Although the paper work is in the system and you will not get refused you do not officially own the property until you have received notification from the ministry in Zagreb which takes between 5 – 9 months.

Start up Croatian company

This is most often and most commonly used way when buying property in Croatia. Any foreign citizen can open Croatian company.

For star up Croatian company you need:
Name of the company,
an accountant, bank accounts  with an initial investment of 20,000 Kuna (aprox. 2.700 €),
company stamp,
a contract stating what your company is to be used for usually prepared by the lawyer and then public notarized.

Setting up a company can take 1 or 2 days of signing papers going to public notary, getting translations and setting up bank accounts. For the company to be active, registered with the relevant courts, having an MBS number and getting the company stamp takes 4 – 7 weeks.
Most convenient way to start up Croatian company is to authorize you lawyer to do that for you.

Advantage of buying property in Croatia using a Croatian company

1. The first advantage is that you do not have to apply and wait for approval by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Zagreb. Your company will have ownership of the property as soon as it is opened and you have made the final payment.
2. Claiming the VAT back.
3. When you buy a newly built property you will be charged 22% VAT. Your company can now claim VAT back.
4. When and if you come to sell your property then you are in fact selling a company and the 5 % land tax does not have to be paid as you will be just transferring ownership details of the company. This can be a big advantage for a new investor as they have just saved 5 %.
5. Most important reason to you to own a Croatian company especially if you are intending to rent the property: a private foreign citizen is not permitted to receive money from renting their property, which is allowed if you own a Croatian company.

Disadvantages of setting up a Croatian company to but property in Croatia

1. You will need to have an accountant who will charge between 50 and 100 Euro per month
2. Initial cost of opening a bank account although the 20,000 Kuna  is yours and is returnable.

Starting up a company in Croatia detailed information – pdf document

Starting up a company in Croatia requires registration with the Commercial Court, Central Bureau of Statistics, Tax Administration, Croatian Pension Insurance Institute and Croatian Institute for Health Insurance. It is customary to hire a domestic lawyer or some other legal representative to oversee the procedure of company establishment.
Prior to registration, it is necessary to check with the Commercial Court if the desired company name already exists in the court register.
To use the word Croatia or any of its derived forms in the company name, founders must obtain special approval from the Central State Administrative Office for Public Administration.

Business premises
A company must have an official address in Croatia in order to be registered.
A legal representative may temporarily use his/her own office address as the address of a company that is in the process of registration.

Certification of documents
All legal documents must be certified by a notary public. Under Croatian regulations, a notary public is a private person incorporating some aspects and authorities of a public official that certifies and authenticates certain legal documents. The costs of certification depend on the amount of authorized capital and average HRK 2,500.

Certified translation
If a relevant document is in a foreign language, an authorized translator must translate it into Croatian. The cost of translation depends on the number of translated pages.

Company bank account
Authorized capital (HRK 20,000 for a private limited company and HRK 200,000 for a public limited company) must be paid into a bank account, and the receipt of deposit should be enclosed when registering a company. Accounts used by legal entities and natural persons to conduct payment transactions are opened and managed by banks on a contractual basis and in line with relevant regulations (National Payment System Act, NN 117/01). A business entity may hold accounts with several banks of its own choice. Only one account per bank may be used for regular transactions, one for each organizational unit and several accounts for special purposes. If a business entity has more than one account for regular transactions, it must specify which account will be used for the payment of legally imposed contributions and public dues, for collection on the basis of securities and instruments guaranteeing payment, for the execution of courts’ writs of execution and other documents of this kind as well as keep record of payment orders not executed.

Application for entry into a court register
Entry into a court register is the responsibility of the register court with jurisdiction over the area in which the entity to be registered is based. The registration procedure starts by submitting to the relevant register court an application for entry into the court
register. The application, certified by a notary public, contains a request
for the entry of data and is submitted by an authorized person in a number
of copies sufficient for the court and participants in the procedure.
The application for entry into a court register must show:
1. Company name, registered office and business activity
2. Amount of company’s authorized capital
3. Statement made by management board members that they are aware of their obligation to report to the court if necessary
4. Names i.e. company names of owners/shareholders/partners, and, if the latter are natural persons, their citizen’s ID number (MBG).
The following should be enclosed with the application:
1. A document evidencing establishment (articles of association, statement
on establishment, decision by the general meeting, or similar)
2. A list of company owners or general partners or founders with their names and surnames, residence and citizen’s ID number, i.e., for foreignnationals, passport numbers and issuing country or company name and registered office, including
company number (Cro: MBS)
3. Evidence of payment of the amount required to start a company or of delivery of tangibles or rights – together with their list, identifying description, appraised value and
a land register certificate if a real estate is in question
4. Evidence showing the management board members appointed for representation and their representation powers or evidence showing the procurators appointed and their powers, together with their certified signatures and citizen’s identification numbers (MBG), i.e., if foreigners are in question, their passport number and issuing country
5. If the start-up is associated with certain privileges, or if tangibles and rights are invested, auditor’s report on the establishment and on the audit of establishment in case
such audit has been performed
6. A list of individuals authorized to manage the company’s business, their names and surnames, dates of birth, citizen’s ID number (MBG), residence, powers and their  notarized statements that they accept the appointment
7. For a company with a supervisory board, a list of its members along with their dates of birth and residence
8. A permit from a governmental body if this is legally required for establishment and entry into a court register
9. A notarized list of management board members to be filed in the court register.

In addition to legally required documents, an application for company establishment must be accompanied by a notarized statement made by the founder that neither the founder nor the companies in which the founder holds stakes or shares have overdue liabilities;
a certificate issued by a legal entity authorized to conduct payment transactions showing that neither the founder nor the companies in which the founder holds stakes or shares
have a recorded unpaid payment order in their accounts, and certificates from the Tax Administration, Croatian Pension Insurance Institute and Croatian Institute for Health Insurance evidencing that neither the founder nor the companies where the founder holds stakes or shares  have overdue liabilities relating to tax payment and pension and health
insurance contributions. The statement may not be dated more than eight days prior to submittal of the application.
A court register is open to the public. Consequently, information contained in the main register and in the collection of documents is available to everybody without having to
prove their legal interest, including the right to obtain an excerpt or a certified copy of a document.
Fees for company registration depend on the number of business activities registered  HRK 300 for application and HRK 150 per each activity).

Public announcement of company registration
Upon entry into a court register, the Commercial Court sends registration data to Narodne novine (Official Gazette) and daily newspapers.
The announcement of establishment in Narodne novine costs HRK 810, and HRK 450 are charged by daily newspapers.
Contact – Official Gazette:
Narodne novine – Odjel oglasa i pretplate
10020 Zagreb, Ulica SR Njemačke 6
Tel.: +385 (0)1 6652-777
Fax: +385 (0)1 6652-897

Company stamp
After receiving the certificate of court registration, it is necessary to make a stamp. A  copy of the registration certificate should accompany the stamp order form. The stamp must show company name and the court registration number.

Company number
A request must be submitted to the Central Bureau of Statistics to carry out classification in accordance with the National Classification of Business Activities, i.e. to issue a  company number and activity code within 15 days from receiving the certificate of court registration.
The following is to be enclosed with the request:
1. Certificate of court registration
2. Form RPS-1 (available in Narodne novine shops)
3. Copy of the administrative fee receipt (HRK 55)

Contact – Central Bureau of Statistics:
Državni zavod za statistiku
10000 Zagreb, Ilica 3
Tel.: +385 (0)1 4806-111

Tax number
Upon registration with the Commercial Court and Central Bureau of Statistics, the new company must be registered with the Tax Administration office having jurisdiction over
the area where the registered office is located. Data are entered directly in the computer system, with the profits tax and value added taxpayer registrations taking place simultaneously, so a separate application is not required. The set of Commercial Court registration documents and the notification of business entity classification from the Central Bureau of Statistics are to be presented.
Contact – Ministry of Finance/Tax
Ministarstvo financija – Porezna uprava
Katančićeva 5
Tel.: +385 (0)1 4809-555
Fax: +385 (0)1 4809-530

Pension insurance
Employers, legal entities and natural persons subject to the payment of contributions must send the following documents to the respective regional office of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute depending on the location of the employer’s registered
office within 15 days from the beginning of operation:
■ registration form M-11 P – relating to the beginning of operation of the entity subject to taxation
■ registration form M-1 P – for each new employee.

The following is to be enclosed with the registration forms:
1. A copy of the certificate of court registration
2. Notification of business entity classification from the Central Bureau of Statistics

Contact – Croatian Pension Insurance Institute:
Hrvatski zavod za mirovinsko osiguranje,
Mihanovićeva 3, 10000 Zagreb
Tel.: +385 (0)1 4595-500
Fax: +385 (0)1 4577-105

Health insurance
Legal entities subject to health insurance contributions must register for basic health insurance with the relevant regional office of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance
within 15 days from the beginning date of operation.
The registrant must submit the following forms:
1. Contribution payer registration – Form 1 (Tiskanica 1) contribution payers
2. Basic health insurance registration – Form 2 (Tiskanica 2) insured persons
3. Basic health insurance registration – Form 3 (Tiskanica 3) insured person’s family members.
A legal entity is to enclose the following with Form 1 and Form 2:
1. A copy of the certificate of court registration (presented for inspection)
2. Notification of business entity classification from the Central Bureau of Statistics
3. Registration form of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (copies: M-1P and M-11P)
4. Evidence of residence (certificate from the Ministry of the Interior [Cro: MUP] or personal ID card). Contact – Croatian Institute for Health Insurance:

Hrvatski zavod za zdravstveno osiguranje
Margaretska 3, 10000 Zagreb
Tel.: +385 (0)1 4806-333
Fax: +385 (0)1 4812-606

Certificate of minimum technical requirements
A company may start conducting a business activity, or several of them, that constitutes the company object after it has submitted to the Commercial Court a certificate from the competent administrative body (County Office for Economic Affairs) evidencing compliance with technical, health, environmental and other legal requirements for the performance of this activity, or activities (relating to business premises, equipment and

In order to simplify and accelerate company registration procedures, the Government of the Republic of Croatia has established the HITRO.HR service.
The counter positions of HITRO. HR in the offices of the Financial Agency (FINA) in all  major Croatian cities offer one-stop-shops for more expeditious and faster establishment
of limited liability companies or craft businesses as well as all necessary information.

Info phone: 0800 0080
E-mail: info@hitro.hr

General information about Croatia

Geographical position:

Croatia extends from the furthest eastern edges of the Alps in the north-west to the Pannonian lowlands and the banks of the Danube in the east; its central region is covered by the Dinara mountain range, and its southern parts extend to the coast of the Adriatic Sea.


The mainland covers 56,594 km2; surface area of territorial waters totals 31,067 km2.


4,437,460 inhabitants; composition of population. The majority of the populations are Croats; national minorities are Serbs, Slovenes, Hungarians, Bosnians, Italians, Czechs and others.

System of government:

Multi-party parliamentary republic.


Zagreb (779,145 inhabitants), the economic, traffic, cultural and academic centre of the country.


5,835.3 km, of which 4,058 km comprise the coastlines of islands, solitary rocks and reefs. Number of islands, solitary rocks and reefs: 1,185; the largest islands are Cres and Krk; there are 47 inhabited islands.

Highest peak:

Dinara: 1,831 m above sea level.


Croatia has three climate zones; the prevailing climate in the country’s interior is moderately rainy; on the highest peaks, a forest climate with snow falls, while the areas along the Adriatic coast have a pleasantly mild Mediterranean climate with a large number of sunny days; summers are dry and hot, winters mild and wet with significant precipitations. Average temperatures in the interior: January -2 to 0º C, somewhat lower at the highest altitudes; August – about 20ºC and about 12ºC on the highest peaks. Average temperature in the littoral: January – 5 to 9 oC, August – 22 to 25 oC; sea temperature in winter: 2ºC; in summer, about 25ºC


kuna (1 kuna = 100 lipa). Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels, camps, marinas; cheques can be cashed in banks.


Kuna (1 Kuna = 100 Lipa). There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Lipa coins, 1, 2, 5 and 25 Kuna coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 Kuna banknotes.

Foreign currencies:

can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels, camps, marinas; cheques can be cashed in banks.

Time zone:

GMT +1 hour in winter time, GMT +2 in summer time.

Travel documentation:

A valid passport or some other identification document recognized by international agreement; for certain countries a personal identity card is sufficient (i.e. a document which testifies to the identity and citizenship of the bearer).

For more information:

Diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Croatia abroad or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia. Tel: +385 1 4569 964; E-mail: stranci@mvpei.hr; www.mvpei.hr

Customs regulations:

Customs regulations of the Republic of Croatia are harmonised with the standards of E.U. member states, but the value of objects of non-commercial character for personal use allowed to be brought into the country without tax duty or PDV (VAT) is limited to 300 HRK.

The permitted amount of meat and milk products which can be brought in without special veterinary inspection, as well as honey, is limited to 1 kg, while the amount of wine is limited to 5 liters. Foreign and local currency may be freely taken in and out of the country; local currency up to an amount of 15, 000 HRK, but any amount brought in our taken out of the country (whether foreign currency or HRK) in an amount exceeding a value of 40,000 HRK, must be declared to the customs officers. More valuable professional and technical equipment must be declared at the border. A non-resident can freely bring in and take out cheques in HRK.

Refund of tax when leaving the country is made to foreign nationals for individual goods purchased in Croatia for amounts in excess of 500 HRK, on presentation of a “Tax-cheque” form. This form is provided on request by a sales assistant, when items are purchased.

Public holidays:

1 January – New Year’s Day; 6 January – Epiphany; Easter Sunday & Easter Monday; 1 May – Labour Day; Corpus Christi; 22 June – Anti-Fascist Resistance Day; 25 June – Statehood Day; 5 August – Victory Day and National Thanksgiving Day; 15 August – Assumption Day; 8 October – Independence Day; 1 November – All Saints’ Day; 25-26 December – Christmas Holidays

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