Guide on how to open and close OPG (family farm) in Croatia
An OPG, which stands for obiteljsko poljoprivredno gospodarstvo literally translates to a family farm. More specifically, an OPG is an agricultural business made up of members of the same household or family.
The OPG is defined in Zakon o obiteljskom poljoprivrednom gospodarstvu (Law on family farm):
OPG je organizacijski oblik gospodarskog subjekta poljoprivrednika fizičke osobe koji radi stvaranja dohotka samostalno i trajno obavlja djelatnost poljoprivrede i s njom povezane dopunske djelatnosti, a temelji se na korištenju vlastitih i/ili unajmljenih proizvodnih resursa te na radu, znanju i vještinama članova obitelji.
Which translates to…
A family farm is an organizational form of a natural person’s farmer who, in order to generate income, independently and permanently performs agricultural and related ancillary activities, and is based on the use of his own and / or leased production resources and the work, knowledge and skills of family members.
In this guide, we cover:
The facts are these…
How to open and close OPG (family farm) in Croatia
The activities that an OPG can engage in are strictly defined. The complete list of allowed activities for an OPG in Croatia is below:
- Bilinogojstvo (plant breeding)
- Stočarstvo (cattle breeding)
- Other related activities from Nacionalna klasifikacija djelatnosti (National Classification of Activities)
- Uzgoj jednogodišnjih usjeva (Growing of annual crops)
- Uzgoj višegodišnjih usjeva (Growing of perennial crops)
- Uzgoj sadnog materijala i ukrasnog bilja (Growing of planting material and ornamental plants)
- Uzgoj stoke, peradi i ostalih životinja (Breeding of livestock, poultry, and other animals)
- Mješovita proizvodnja (Mixed farming)
- Pomoćne djelatnosti u poljoprivredi i djelatnosti koje se obavljaju nakon žetve usjeva (Ancillary activities in agriculture and post-harvesting activities)
Ancillary activities from the field of agriculture
- Land cultivation and maintenance
- Plant cultivation and harvesting
- Keeping and breeding of cattle
- Preparation, packaging, transport, storage, and or marketing related to these activities
- Service and rental related to these activities
Ancillary activities on the family farm
- Production of agricultural and food products
- Production of non-food products and other items of general use
- Catering, tourist, and other services and activities
- Other offers and activities
Activities within the OPG must be performed constantly. This means that they can’t be performed only seasonally, occasionally, or temporarily.
A holder of the OPG must be an adult person who is responsible for the business. The holder can be permanently or occasionally employed on the OPG.
Members of the OPG must be adults from the same household with the same prebivalište (home address). They can be permanently or occasionally employed by the OPG.
Members of the family may include:
- Extramarital partners
- People in a formal and informal partnership
- Blood relatives in a direct line
- Children and their spouses
- Grandchildren and their spouses
- Great-grandchildren and their spouses
- Extramarital partners of people in a formal and informal partnership
- Blood relatives in a collateral line
- Siblings and their descendants and their spouses
- Siblings of mother or father and their descendants) and their spouses
- Extramarital partners
- People in formal and informal partnerships
- In-law relatives and their spouses
- Spouses’ parents
- Spouses’ brothers and sisters and their descendants, spouses, extramarital partners, and people in a formal and informal partnership
- Stepchildren and adopted children and their spouses, extramarital partners, and people in a formal and informal partnership
- People who use the service of foster care in the household
Members of the household may include:
- Extramarital partners
- People in formal and informal partnerships
- People who live together in the same household, earn income and spend it together within the household
Production resources may include these items:
- Zemljište (land)
- Nasadi (plantations)
- Stoka (livestock)
- Zgrade za stoku (buildings for livestock)
- Pomoćne zgrade (auxiliary buildings)
- Skladišta (warehouses)
- Objekti za proizvodnju u zaštićenom prostoru (production facilities in protected area)
- Objekti s opremom za čuvanje, skladištenje, preradu i pakiranje (facilities with equipment for storage, warehousing, processing, and packaging)
- Objekti za prodaju (objects for sale)
- Objekti za boravak i usluge (accommodation objects and services)
- Poljoprivredna mehanizacija (agricultural machinery)
- Priključni, radni i drugi strojevi (working, additional, and other machines)
- Uređaji, alati i oprema (devices, tools, and equipment)
- Transportna sredstva (transport means)
- Rad (work)
- Stručna znanja (professional knowledge)
- Vještine (skills)
Production resources can be:
- Under the property of the owner
- Under leasing
- Under concession
Before opening an OPG, it is important to know the basic requirements. For starters, not just anyone can open an OPG.
In Croatia, an OPG can be opened by:
- Croatian citizens with prebivalište (permanent address) in Croatia
- People whose prebivalište is in EU or EEA member states and who have the right to use agricultural resources in Croatia
This is stated in the Zakon o obiteljskom poljoprivrednom gospodarstvu (Law on family farm):
(1) Fizička osoba koja ima prebivalište na teritoriju Republike Hrvatske može radi ostvarivanja dohotka ili dobiti proizvodnjom i prodajom proizvoda ili pružanjem usluga na tržištu obavljati samostalno gospodarske djelatnosti poljoprivrede u organizacijskom obliku OPG-a sukladno odredbama ovoga Zakona.
(2) Fizička osoba koja ima prebivalište na teritoriju druge države članice Europske unije ili potpisnice Sporazuma o europskom gospodarskom prostoru te Švicarske Konfederacije, ako ima pravo korištenja proizvodnih resursa na teritoriju Republike Hrvatske i koja ima zakonito odobren boravak u Republici Hrvatskoj u skladu s propisima kojima se uređuje prebivalište i boravište, može u Republici Hrvatskoj obavljati gospodarsku djelatnost poljoprivrede u organizacijskom obliku OPG-a sukladno odredbama ovoga Zakona.
Which translates to…
(1) A natural person residing in the territory of the Republic of Croatia may, for the purpose of earning income or profit by producing and selling products or providing services on the market, independently perform agricultural economic activities in the organizational form of family farms in accordance with this Act.
(2) A natural person who resides in the territory of another member state of the European Union or a signatory to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation, if he has the right to use productive resources in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and who has a legally approved residence in the Republic of Croatia in accordance with the regulations governing residence and place of residence, may perform the economic activity of agriculture in the Republic of Croatia in the organizational form of OPG in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
The process of launching a family farm in Croatia is as follows.
Step #1 Determine the holder and members
The holder of the family farm can be a natural or legal person who holds prebivalište as noted above.
Step #2 Open a giro account
The person who will be the farm holder must open a giro account. A giro account is a type of bank account that serves for the receipt of money earned via:
- Honorar (fees)
- Renta (rents)
- Obrt (trade business) and other independent activities
- Ugovor o djelu
- Autorski ugovor (author’s contract)
- Student awards
- Student work
All the money from the giro account can be spent, but you cannot spend more money than you have, i.e., you can’t overdraw. The money put in the giro account is taxed. Taxes on earnings from non-individual work are paid by the employer. In all other cases, the owner of the giro account pays taxes for the received income.
Step #3 Prepare your application
The formal request to open an OPG is called Zahtjev za upis u Upisnik poljoprivrednih gospodarstava (Application for entry in the Register of agricultural holdings). There is a variety of documentation that must be provided as part of this application request.
The following documentation is mandatory:
- Completed form – Download it here
- Copy of an ID card of the holder and members of the family farm
- Statement on the selection of the holder of the family farm from the family farm’s members
- Copy of the contract for the giro account
- Posjedovni list vlasnika i ovlaštenika za prijavljene katastarske čestice (Possession certificate of the owner and authorized person for registered cadastral parcels)
- Copy of the certificate from the land register or contract on lease or concessions (production resources, as noted above)
The following documentation is optional, depending on the purpose of OPG:
- Proof of possession of documentation for performing ancillary activities:
- Zahtjev za upis dopunskih djelatnosti (Form for ancillary activities)
- Dokaz o upisu u registar poreznih obveznika (Proof of entry into the register of taxpayers from the Tax administration)
- Proof of meeting the conditions for performing ancillary activities
- Potvrda obveznika poreza na dohodak ili dobit (Certificate of income or profit taxpayers) – You can get it at Porezna uprava
- Notification on opening a protected account which is possible to open if your activities include cattle breeding – You can get it at FINA
Step #4 Submit the request
The application must be submitted at an APPRRR office. APPRR stands for Agencija za plaćanja u poljoprivredi, ribarstvu i ruralnom razvoju (Agency for payments in agriculture, fisheries, and rural development).
APPRRR will issue Rješenje o upisu u Upisnik poljoprivrednih gospodarstva (Decision on entry in the Register of Family farm).
Once the decision is issued, the family farm will receive its jedinstveni matični identifikacijski broj – MIBPG (unique identification number). The holder of the family farm and its members get iskaznica OPG-a (family farm card).
Step #5 Register with the Tax administration
To register at the Porezna uprava, the Rješenje o upisu u Upisnik poljoprivrednih gospodarstva is needed. The OPG will be registered to the Registar poreznih obveznika on the basis of the OIB of the owner.
Step #6 Make a pečat
You will need to have a pečat made for the OPG.
Pečat must include at least this data:
- Name of the OPG
- Name and surname of the owner/holder of the family farm
- Full address of the headquarters
What is a pečat?
A pečat is an official and legal signature of a company. It is a physical stamp that serves as proof of the authenticity of documents such as contracts, invoices, and forms submitted to the government. Without pečat (stamp), documents don’t have the same legal value.
Step #7 Register with the pension program
Pension accounts will need to be registered for the family farm holder and all of the family members of the OPG. This is done at Hrvatski zavod za mirovinsko osiguranje – HZMO (Croatian pension insurance institute)
Step #8 Register health insurance
Health insurance accounts must be set up for the family farm holder and all of the family members of the OPG. This is done at Hrvatski zavod za zdravstveno osiguranje – HZZO (Croatian health insurance fund)
Note: Private companies often send scam emails to young entrepreneurs and currently open businesses, so be aware. Read received e-mails carefully and pay only the fees that must be paid to the state.
People with family farms of an economic size of fewer than 3.000 euros who are not taxpayers do not have to register in the Register of OPGs. They are entered in the Register of Farmers maintained by Agencija za plaćanja.
If they achieve an economic size of the farm greater than 3.000 euros, become liable for income or profit tax, or voluntarily choose the organizational form of OPG and the associated status (because they intend to engage in the economic activity of agriculture in the next calendar year in the economic size higher than 3.000 euros) must submit a request for entry in the Register of OPGs by June 15 of the next calendar year.
An OPG can be closed if:
- Owner decides to close OPG
- OPG’s resources have been ruined
To close the OPG, you must go to the APPRRR. You will have to fill out the same form you filled out when opening the OPG, but this time you must emphasize that you are closing the OPG.
APPRRR will bring the decision on closing the OPG. After this, they will register the checkout of the OPG into the Upisnik poljoprivrednih gospodarstava.
More information on OPG businesses can be found here.
View our other businesses guides
- How to open and close an obrt
- How to open and close an udruga
- How to open and close a j.d.o.o.
- How to open and close a d.o.o.
Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.