How to set up a Croatian company online using START: Guide for 2024

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Image by Christina Morillo

If you’re thinking about starting your own business in Croatia (and you’re a Croatian citizen), we’ve got some great news for you. The Croatian government provides a web application called START that makes opening a business infinitely easier, cheaper, and faster.

Before the launch of START (up until late 2019), starting a business was an expensive, time-consuming hassle involving notaries, lots of paperwork in triplicate, and a variety of government agency visits. Now with the START, the process is simplified.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to set up a Croatian company online using START

What is the START application?

The START application is an information system that allows citizens to start a private business online. START integrates multiple steps, procedures, institutions, and banks into one online process. Your company will be registered within only a few days.

This tool will reduce administrative procedures by up to 30% and drastically reduce your overall start-up costs.

Who can use START?

At this time, only companies with at least one Croatian citizen as a founder can use START. The person who registers the company through START must be a Croatian citizen older than 18 with prebivalište (permanent address) or boravište (temporary address) in Croatia and Croatian OIB.

[Read: How to get an OIB – Croatian identification number]

In the second phase of the establishment, businesses with one or more owners who are foreign nationals will also be able to use START.

Which types of businesses can be launched using START?

Using the START application, you may open 3 types of businesses:

[Read: Types of business in Croatia]

What services are available via START?

The START application includes the following services:

  • Registration of j.d.o.o. and d.o.o. companies in the Court Register
  • Registration of trade business in the Trade Register
  • Registration in the Registry of Business Entities (Croatian Bureau of Statistics)
  • Registration in the Registry of Taxpayers and VAT Registry, and/or registration of VAT ID Number (Tax Administration)
  • Request for opening transaction accounts (banks)
  • Registration in the HZMO (Croatian Pension Insurance Institute)
  • Electronic payment of fees and the company’s initial capital

It is important to note that at this time, you cannot use START for singular services such as registering for a VAT number. You can only use the START services as part of opening a business.

What are START’s advantages?

Here are some of the most important advantages of START:

  • You can launch a business remotely and online – You can skip the exhausting running around from one institution to another and do it by yourself without lawyers, notaries, or partners.
  • You can do all the necessary work in only one step – Instead of the existing manual 7 steps, you can launch a business in only one step. All processes, procedures, institutions, and banks are connected through one electronic form.
  • Automated data entry – After you enter the application, the system collects your personal data via your OIB and automatically fills out the form with data connected to your OIB. You only need to enter the data unavailable to public services through OIB. Once you enter it, all the e-forms will be automatically filled out.
  • Shorter launching period – Your business will be launched in only a few days. Requests given electronically have priority over written physical requests.
  • Lower costs – A notary public is no longer needed. Instead, an electronic signature is used. The court fee is reduced by 50%. Plus, you don’t need to walk around the city and spend money on gas, bus tickets, or documents in triplicate.
  • Everything is digital and linked – Electronic documents created through the system communicate with all the necessary institutions. These documents are digitally signed and verified.
  • 24/7 availability – You can use the application whenever you want.

How to use the START system

To use the system, you must have:

  • Certificate with your digital signature
  • Valid credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Maestro)
  • An active e-Građani user account for all members of the process

[Read: e-Građani (e-Citizens) – Online portal for Croatian government services]

To get started, open up the START application here.

Depending on which type of business you plan to open, user manuals are available:

  • Launching a trade business via START application – Download a user manual here
  • Launching a j.d.o.o or d.o.o. via START application – Download a user manual here

If you need any help using the application, contact FINA’s customer care.

Toll-free phone: +385 (0)800 0080

Working hours:

  • Monday – Friday: 7:30 – 22:00
  • Saturday: 8:00 – 13:00

View our other articles on opening business

START by e-Građani

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.

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