Types of Businesses in Croatia

If your planning to start a business in Croatia, the first step is deciding what kind of business to open. The type of company structure is critical to the success of your business, and should match your business goals.

In Croatia, there are 4 main types of businesses.

1. Udruga

An udruga is for non-profit organizations, whose primary function is to “protect their interests or for the protection of human rights and freedoms, as well as environmental, humanitarian, informational, cultural, national, pro-natalist, educational, social, professional, sporting, technical, medical, scientific or other beliefs and goals”. To start an udruga, you must have a minimum of 3 owners.

Good for: Non-government organizations, charities

Bad for: For-profit businesses

Dolac Market - Zagreb, Croatia

2. D.O.O.

A d.o.o. is the equivalent of a limited liability company, and is the most common business in Croatia. A d.o.o. can be owned by one or multiple persons.  To set up the company, 20.000 kuna in start up capital is required. However, if you are a non-EU national that plans to use the company as a basis for a residence permit, the start up capital required can be as much as 200.000 kuna or more.

Good for: All types of for-profit businesses

View our guide on how to open and close a d.o.o. company in Croatia.

Bol, Brac - Croatia

3. J.D.O.O.

A j.d.o.o. is the similar to a d.o.o. typically used for companies with limited start up capital. It only costs 10 kuna to start the company initially.

Good for: Businesses with low overhead and upfront start up costs such as online businesses

Bad for: Caffes, restaurants, manufacturing, retail

View our guide on how to open and close a j.d.o.o. company in Croatia.

4. T.O.

A t.o., which stands for “trgovački obrt”, is not a company in the traditional sense and is instead connected to a specific person and the type of “craft” in which they specialize. For example, locksmiths, hair stylists, and carpenters would all fall into this category. While a t.o. can have employees like a company, the business lives and dies with the person unlike a company e.g. the entity cannot go on without the individual who has registered their “craft” as a t.o.

Since the t.o. is not considered a traditional company, it does not require the standard 20.000 kuna of start up capital. You may not take in more than 300.000 kuna in revenue with an obrt.

If residency is not a concern of yours and you don’t plan on having more than 300.000 kuna in revenue, the obrt is a very favorable way of opening a legit business. Your tax obligation is much lower overall than with a d.o.o. or j.d.o.o., you’re not at risk of having a tax inspector showing up at your address and there is a lot less oversight as long as you make your contributions on time.

Good for: Individuals with a professional trade or craft

Bad for: Companies with revenue from multiple categories of business, Non-EU nationals that want to get residency through opening a company (as it is not allowed with an obrt)

View our guide on how to open and close an obrt in Croatia.

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27 thoughts on “Types of Businesses in Croatia

  1. Grant
    October 15, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

    Sara, 

       I've heard that with new laws you need to hire 3 full time Croatians if you are not an EU resident owning a business and are on a temporary VISA in addition to paying for an accountant.   It also seams that getting VISAs as an American without a business is more difficult as well. Can you comment on this?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      November 3, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

      Hi Grant,

      Yes, it is true that non-EU nationals who start a company in Croatia are required to hire 3 full time Croatians. You’ll also need to invest 100,000 HRK in start up capital.

      Every business regrdless of the owner’s visa or citizenship status is required to pay for an accountant, or have one on staff.

      Getting a visa as American without starting a business is very difficult. The only options other than starting a business are: volunteering (must be unpaid), going to school (student visa) or proving that you are financially independ (this one is rarely approved).

      Great questions. Thanks for reaching out!

      Sara

      {reply}

    • elvis
      July 16, 2018 @ 4:47 pm

      hi i am a young business man from Cameroon, ruining a very big company in my country. my late Dad is the former minister of finance in my country. so far i have been able to get share holders from all around the world to take share in my companies and most of them are benefiting a lot from their shares. we also have some companies operating for the past 7years in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. any business expatriate from in or out of this platform willing to hold shares or inquire about how our business is carry should contact me on (([email protected]) or better still call my company line on +237651912462.

      Best regards

      {reply}

  2. James
    April 24, 2015 @ 9:07 pm

    Hi Sara,

    So as an American, starting a J.D.O.O for an online business is not an option? I have a Internet Marketing company were I provide marketing services to US businesses. All I need is a phone and an internet connection.

    Thanks

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 26, 2015 @ 9:58 am

      Hi James,

      If you are doing an online business, then yes, a j.d.o.o. would be a good option. Keep in mind that as an American you’ll have to prove that you’ve invested 100,000 Kuna in the business through an audit at a later date. 

      Cheers, Sara

      {reply}

  3. Arundeep Singh
    May 17, 2016 @ 2:27 pm

    Hi Sara,

     

    Thanks for providing simple information. Are there more details on T.O? 

    Is it still active way to register as business? 

    From resident permit perspective, does it works the same way as D.O.O?

    If someone wants to provide private coaching services e.g. for badminton, tennis and related racket work etc, is that considered in this category?

    Also, does this also need accountant ?

    Regards,

    Arundeep Singh

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      July 5, 2017 @ 1:45 pm

      Hi Arundeep,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Yes, we recently published an article all about opening and closing a T.O. (Trade Obrt): https://www.expatincroatia.com/how-to-open-and-close-a-trade-business-in-croatia/

      I’m not sure that a T.O. qualifies for residency, but I will find out and update this thread.

      Yes, private coaching services would qualify for this type of business. You do not need an accountant for a T.O.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

    • Petar Salinovic
      July 26, 2017 @ 11:14 am

      Hi Arundeep,

      Opening a T.O. does qualify you for residency under the following conditions:

    • If you have invested at least HRK 200,000.00 in the establishment of a company or craft
      If you have at least 3 Croatian nationals employed
      If your gross salary is at least the same amount as the average gross salary in the Republic of Croatia in the previous year
      If your craft does not operate with loss If you submit proof of payment of tax debts and contributions in the Republic of Croatia.
    • Citizens of EU Member States are not required to meet these conditions.

      We’ll have a more detailed post published about this topic as soon.

      Stay tuned!

      Regards,
      Petar

{reply}

  • Jorge Pease
    November 7, 2016 @ 3:30 am

    I have a really unorthodox question … Next year I am going to quit my job and build yachts to sail and sell and then repeat so the intent is to do it as a business. I have a manufacturers ID here in the USA but I have many friends in Croatia and could probably do it a little cheaper there and I long for a change of scenery. I would be paying rent for the location to build and wages to the mandatory number of people for the duration of build (about 1 year).  Plus purchasing a variety of materials and services that would total around 450K … Would it be best to do this as a T.O? Once built it could take awhile to sell, I wouldn't want to maintain employee salaries and overhead until we do sell. Does that mean I lose my visa or any ideas? 

    {reply}

    • Sara Expat in Croatia
      November 7, 2016 @ 11:48 am

      Hi Jorge,

      Thanks for reaching out! You may not qualify for a visa as a T.O. If you are a non-EU national, you would need to start a j.d.o.o. or a d.o.o. and hire at least 3 Croatian employees to qualify. I can put you in touch with an immigration lawyer if you’d like personalized guidance. Feel free to email me at [email protected] for that contact.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  • David McConochie
    February 23, 2017 @ 10:54 pm

    Hi Sara,

    I'm English and buying a property in Istria.

    I'll be renting it for a month or two in the summer and occupying it for the rest of the year.

    Should I buy it in my own name or form a Croatian company to own it ?

    Waiting for your advice.

    Thanks,

    David

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      July 5, 2017 @ 10:52 am

      Hi David,

      Thanks for reaching out! Recommend discussing this with an attorney. You can contact me by email for a referral: [email protected]

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  • ANDRE' DU PLOOY
    March 30, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

    Hi Sara

    What are the conditions for a South African company to register a DOO in Croatia.

     

     

    {reply}

    • Sara Expat in Croatia
      May 4, 2017 @ 9:42 am

      Hi Andre,

      Thanks for reaching out! I would recommend contacting a lawyer to discuss your specific situation. You may email me at [email protected] and I’ll provide you a reference.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

    • Mark Choonoo
      September 4, 2018 @ 4:15 pm

      Hi Andre and Sara

      I am a South African and settled in Croatia with a company recently registered in ZA and will register one in Croatia. Did you get an answer to your question?

      {reply}

  • Alok Kumar Tekriwal
    November 14, 2017 @ 2:56 pm

    Very Nice

    {reply}

  • Lucas Cruz
    June 7, 2018 @ 6:22 pm

    Hi, Sara! Thanks for all these helpful articles!

    I have one doubt that maybe you can answer me.

    I am from Brazil and want to move to Croatia at the end of the year. I have been in Croatia for 6 months before.

    I was considering to open my own company to get a resident permit, but I dont know how would it have to be and if it is possible for me.

    I am working with trading, as Day Trader, with Brazilian market.

    My question is if I could open some business just to keep working with that from Croatia?

    It would be like working online, but I would not have any incomes from Croatia.

    Thanks for your time!
    Lucas

    {reply}

    • Andrea Gladoic
      June 11, 2018 @ 11:14 am

      Hi Lucas,

      I’m glad that the articles are helpful to you!

      I recommend reading this post https://www.expatincroatia.com/how-to-residency-opening-business-croatia/ as it can help with your inquiries regarding residence permits and opening a business in Croatia.

      As you will see in the article, if you plan on opening a business in Croatia as a Brazilian, you are required to invest 200.000 kuna of start up capital plus hire 3 Croatians full time. You’ll also need to pay yourself a minimum salary, taxes, pension and health insurance through the business. For these reasons, it is not advisable to open a business in Croatia solely for the purpose of residence.

      I also recommend reading this post https://www.expatincroatia.com/types-of-visa-in-croatia/ to see other options of getting a residence permit in Croatia.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,

      Andrea

      {reply}

  • arshad
    July 16, 2018 @ 5:43 pm

    Hello

    I am planning to move Croatia to start business either with DOO or TO.
    I am married with 3 kids (age 13,8,1) & wife.
    I am not EUU citizen & need a visit visa to enter Croatia which I already have.

    I understand 200,000 KN I need to invest for my residence permit but that is for DOO what about TO.
    Also when I will get residency what about my family.
    I will visit my family planning to start business so am I able to change visit visa to residence within Croatia, & I don’t want to live without family, so what can be the best option. Will I get family residency along with me or not.

    Arshad

    {reply}

  • Christina Van Vuuren
    July 29, 2018 @ 4:57 pm

    Hi. I am a citizen of Croatian but have lived most of my life abroad. My brother, my husband who is an Austarlia citizen and myself would like to purchase property to start a bed and breakfast/rental accomadation. What type of business licence do we require? Could you send us links on the requirements and perhaps insurances one would need?

    Thank you
    Christina

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 4, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

      Hi Christina,

      I am not familiar with the permits required for a bed and breakfast. I recommend consulting with a lawyer. If you email me, I can recommend one.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  • Vira
    August 7, 2018 @ 5:33 pm

    Hi,
    We (my husband and I) are the USA citizens and would like to purchase an apartment in Croatia and then rent it out and use it for ourselves (minimum time) when not rented. Should we buy it in our names and then form a company; or purchase it in a name of a Croatian Company? Is that possible to contract with someone else who can run the rental business for us?
    Thank you!
    Vira

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 24, 2018 @ 11:58 am

      Hi Vira,

      First, it’s important to keep in mind how you intend to stay in Croatia and live here. As Americans, you cannot purchase property as individuals and purchasing property does not entitle you to residence. You start a company then purchase the property, but you could not live there. You can gain residence by opening a company, but there are steep requirements. I recommend reading this post: https://www.expatincroatia.com/how-to-residency-opening-business-croatia/

      Yes, you can contract someone to run the business for you. However, it can take time to find someone you can trust to do this.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  • Rocky Loke
    September 25, 2018 @ 9:26 pm

    I am a Malaysian and wish to open up a Asian restaurant in Dubornvik , can you please advice me the proceduces. Thank you

    {reply}

    • quentin goh
      November 13, 2018 @ 9:09 pm

      HI Sara,

      I am thinking for doing an import/export business since I have identified several items which can be marketing back in my country. Pls let know if you have some idea on rents in Zagreb? Is it possible to register the business to the address of where I reside? For the 100,000 kuna for set up, do u have any idea how long for all the documentation,etc is required before you are formally set up? Cheers

      {reply}

      • Expat in Croatia
        December 11, 2018 @ 12:56 pm

        Hi Quentin,

        You may only register the business at a Croatian address. BUT, there are many accountants that will allow you to register at their business address in exchange for a monthly fee.

        It usually takes less than weeks to complete set up of the company.

        Here is detail about the cost of living in Zagreb: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Zagreb

        Regards,

        Sara

        {reply}

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