How to open and close OPG (family farm) in Croatia

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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 will cover:

Types of activities an OPG can perform

The activities that an OPG can engage in are strictly defined. The complete list of allowed activities for an OPG in Croatia is below:

Agricultural activities

  • 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

Activities within the OPG must be performed constantly. This means that they can’t be performed only seasonally, occasionally, or temporarily.

Who can be a member of an OPG

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 adult persons of 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:

  • Spouses
  • Extramarital partners
  • Persons in formal and informal partnership
  • Blood relatives in direct line
    • Grandparents
    • Parents
    • Children and their spouses
    • Grandchildren and their spouses
    • Great-grandchildren and their spouses
    • Extramarital partners of persons in formal and informal partnership
  • Blood relatives in collateral line
    • Siblings and their descendants and their spouses
    • Siblings of mother or father and their descendants) and their spouses
    • Extramarital partners
    • Persons in formal and informal partnerships
  • In-law relatives and their spouses
    • Spouses’ parents
    • Spouses’ brothers and sisters and their descendants, spouses, extramarital partners, and persons in formal and informal partnership
  • Stepchildren and adopted children and their spouses, extramarital partners, and persons in formal and informal partnership
  • Persons who use the service of the foster care in the household

Members of the household may include:

  • Spouses
  • Extramarital partners
  • Persons in formal and informal partnerships
  • Children
  • Persons who live together in the same household, earn income and spend it together within the household

Production resources that can be used in an OPG

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

How to open an OPG (obiteljsko poljoprivredno gospodarstvo)

To open an OPG, an initial capital and qualifications aren’t mandatory as they are with other types of businesses like obrt, j.d.o.o. and d.o.o..

Basic requirements for opening an OPG

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
  • Persons 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, 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 residing 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 production resources in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, may perform economic activity in the Republic of Croatia. and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Steps for opening an OPG in Croatia

The process of launching a family farm in Croatia is as follows.

Step #1 Determine the holder and members of the family farm

The holder of the 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 the bank account that serves for the receipt of the money earned via:

  • Honorar (fees)
  • Renta (rents)
  • Obrt (a trade business) and other independent activities
  • Ugovor o djelu
  • Autorski ugovor (Author’s contract)
  • Scholarships
  • 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 on 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 request application to open an OPG

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 for all OPG applications:

  • 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 purpose of OPG:

  • Proof on 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 – Porezna uprava)
    • 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
  • A 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 for an OPG

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).

View list of offices according to Croatian counties and their contact information here. The same information is also available on this map.

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 (a family farm card).

Step #5 Register with 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 a 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)

How to close an OPG (obiteljsko poljoprivredno gospodarstvo)

An OPG can be closed in 2 cases:

  • If the owner decides to close OPG
  • If the 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 the OPG businesses can be found here.

Interested in other types of businesses in Croatia? Check out our other guides:

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