Doing Business In Croatia

  1. Croatia’s ranking is 84th out of 185 economies in Doing Business 2013, recording a 4 point decline compared to last year. This decline reflects lower scores in six indicators compared to last year.
  2. According to the most recent Enterprise Surveys (2007), the top 3 obstacles to running a business in Croatia include Access to Finance, an Inadequately Educated Workforce, and Tax Rates.
  3. According to the Investing Across Borders Indicators, Croatia is one of the more open countries to foreign equity ownership. Overt legal ownership restrictions are in place only in the transportation sector, where foreign ownership of air transportation companies (domestic and international) and airport operators is limited by the Act on Air Traffic (Official Gazette No. 132/98, 100/04, 178/04, 46/07) to a maximum of 49%. Thus, foreign ownership in the transportation sector group is more restricted than the regional average in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. On the other hand, with no restrictions in place in the media, electricity, and telecommunication sectors, Croatia is more open in those sector groups than its peer countries in the region. It takes 9 procedures and 23 days to establish a foreign-owned limited liability company (LLC) in Croatia (Zagreb).
  4. In the latest World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators report (2010), Croatia is between the 60th and 70th percentiles for each indicator.
  5. Croatia’s economic freedom score is 60.9, making its economy the 83rd freest in the 2012 Index. Its overall score is 0.2 point lower than last year, with notable deterioration in the management of government spending and in business freedom. Croatia continues to fall behind other emerging economies in the region, and its overall score remains below the regional average.

Source: World Bank


Visa Information

Business Etiquette

Initial Meetings

Business in Croatia is formal and consequently initially reserved. Once a relationship develops this will change. Initially at least:
.   Use the handshake with eye contact and a smile.
.   Wait for a woman to extend her hand first.
.   Greet the person with the appropriate salutation for the time of day. 
.   Use professional business titles.
.   Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual. 
.   Include titles and professional qualifications on business cards.
.   Although not a absolutely necessary having one side of your business card translated into Croatian shows some thought. 

Communication Style

Direct and straightforward talk is valued in Croatia, however there is also an emphasis on choosing your words correctly and being diplomatic so as not to cause upset. Often, the level of the relationship will determine how direct someone is or can be. For newly established relationships diplomacy is key so you may find people are not always willing to speak their minds. 

Business Meetings

Meeting schedules are not very rigid in Croatia. There may be an agenda but it serves more as a guideline for the discussion than anything else.

.   Be prepared for lengthy meetings. People may go off on tangents plus time is never a factor to bring a meeting to a close.
.   There may be some small talk at the beginning of meetings. This would become more important as the relationship develops. Never jump straight into business as this may come across as rude.
.   Initially at least, be sure to temper your communication style if you are used to being quite direct. Building the relationship is more important initially and should be focused upon. 

General Business Hours