How to Get Residency by Opening a Business

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As stated in several other posts like this one and this one, I have recommended that you do not open a business in Croatia for the sole purpose of getting a residence permit. It’s a bureaucracy-rampant money pit nightmare and, frankly, is not really worth it.

If you’re reading this post, you don’t qualify for any of these visas or perhaps you truly do want to open a legit business in Croatia.

To get temporary residency in Croatia through your business, you first need to open the business. Here are resources on how to open each type of business:

Please note, that you can’t get a visa through opening an udruga.

Once you open the business, you can begin the application for a visa. There are two situations under which you may apply for a visa through a business:

  • You are the owner of the business and need a visa
  • You are the owner of the business and you want to bring in a non-EU foreigner to work for you who needs a visa

Let’s start with the most common situation.

You are a business owner and need a visa

If you are the business owner and require a visa because you are a non-EU national, there are a handful of requirements you must meet to get a visa for yourself.

For the owner of a  T.O., D.O.O. or J.D.O.O., to gain residence you must:

  • invest at least 200,000 kn in the business (called “start up capital”), which can be used for business expenses
  • hire at least 3 Croatian nationals full time
  • pay yourself a gross salary that meets or exceeds the average gross salary in the Republic of Croatia in the previous year (the Policija will give you the baseline)
  • ensure that your business does not operate at a loss
  • submit proof of payment of tax debts and contributions in the Republic of Croatia.

You are a business owner and want to hire a non-EU national who needs a visa

If you wish to hire a non-EU national that does not already have legal residence in Croatia, your business must meet these requirements:

  • invest at least 100,000 kn in the business
  • hire at least 3 Croatian nationals full time
  • pay yourself a gross salary that meets or exceeds the average gross salary in the Republic of Croatia in the previous year
  • ensure that your business does not operate with a loss
  • submit proof of payment of tax debts and contributions in the Republic of Croatia.

Other Important Considerations

  • You cannot get approved for residency until all of the above criterion are met and proven to the MUP (Policija)
  • If you want to get more than one visa, for both the owner and an employee for example, note that the above requirements are per visa. So double the requirements for two visas, triple for three visas, and so on.
  • To fill the requirement of hiring 3 Croatian nationals full time, you may also hire more nationals if they are working part time as long as they add up to 3 full time employees.

In Conclusion

Don’t do it!

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Expat in Croatia

Sara is an American expat based in Split. After globetrotting between New York, Amsterdam and California, she moved to Croatia in 2012. Sara's blog Expat in Croatia is a guide for foreigners living and traveling in Croatia.