Croatia, a relatively small country, has a spectacular 6,278 km coastline on the Adriatic Sea with more than 1,100 islands, of which only 66 are inhabited. This coast is considered to be the most beautiful in Europe with innumerable bays, inlets, coves and beaches. There are also many historic places such as Pula, Trogir, Split, Hvar, Korcula, and Dubrovnik. On the Adriatic coast alone, there are six historic places which are listed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
Croatia enjoys three different climates: The coast has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with a high number of days of sunshine per year. Summers are hot and dry and winters are mild and wet. Most islands receive more than 2,600 hours of sun a year. Temperatures drop slightly as you move inland, where the climate is continental and moderate.
Croatia is divided between the Latin-influenced coast and an interior which is more Central European. The official language is Croatian, although English is spoken widely, particularly in larger cities. The capital is Zagreb with almost 800,000 inhabitants.
Croatia is established as a parliamentary democracy and guarantees the right and inviolability of private property. Also, rights acquired through capital investment are constitutionally guaranteed. Free transfer and repatriation of profits and capital are guaranteed to foreign investors. Asset forfeiture is possible only following a final court decision.
Croatia declared independence in 1991, and in 1992 became a full member of the United Nations. On July 1, 2013, Croatia became a 28th full member of the European Union, which opened up new opportunities for entrepreneurs in areas including trade, investment, and financial flows.
Since 1998, Croatia has seen a steady growth of tourist visits and overnight stays. Croatia had an increase of 35% in tourist arrivals between 2010-2015. 14.3 million tourists visited Croatia in 2015, and the number is expected to continue to increase.
Some of the many advantages of Croatia include:
- Most beautiful coastline in Europe with unspoilt nature, rich culture and mild Mediterranean climate
- Full Member of European Union
- New investment tax incentives with possibility of 0% profit tax (Investments Incentives Law)
To establish yourself or your business in Croatia will require securing relationships with key stakeholders such as government officials, bankers and corporate professionals. You need experienced consultants to build a network of contacts and help you to become established in your new environment.
The specialised services of Haskew Law are a resource and complement to major law and consulting firms. We can help other firms and their clients with the unique and specific details required by the business relocation process and related tax planning.
Real Estate in Croatia
The Croatian real estate market is fairly well developed. Land and house prices are still very favourable, particularly on the islands where there are beautiful stone houses built in the traditional style. Also in the beautiful historic towns such as Dubrovnik, Hvar, Zadar or Korcula there are excellent opportunities to acquire prime location real estate at reasonable prices.
Although the purchase of real estate is straightforward, it is nevertheless advisable to make use of professional assistance. After the estate agent or attorney prepares the contract, the parties sign the contract and notary certifies the signatures. The notary's fees are very low since the notary only certifies the signatures. Following that, the estate agent or attorney requests the registration of the property on behalf of the buyer. EU citizens can freely purchase property in Croatia, except agricultural land and protected areas. Non-EU citizens can purchase residential and commercial property in Croatia providing that they get an approval by the Ministry of Justice.
The approval is issued if there is reciprocity, i.e. if Croatian persons can purchase real estate in the country of the purchaser. While such an approval can take up to 12 months, it can easily be avoided if the property is bought by a domestic company, which can be entirely owned and controlled by a foreign person. In that way, the transfer tax on real estate of 5% can also be avoided during each subsequent sale of the property.
To acquire real estate or to establish residence in Croatia will require securing relationships with key partners such as government officials, bankers and corporate professionals. You need experienced consultants to build a network of contacts and help you to become established in your new environment.
Interesting Facts about Croatia
Did you know...?
- That the Dalmatian dog from the film "101 Dalmatians" was named after Dalmatia, in which most of the Croatian Adriatic is located
- That the first public theatre in Europe was opened in 1612 on the island of Hvar, in the town which "Conde Nast Traveler Magazine" chose at fifth place on its Top Ten list of best island towns in the world
- That by the end of the third century AD, the Roman emperor Diocletian decided to construct his palace in the place where the city of Split is located today. The Palace of Diocletian is one of the best known integral architectural and cultural constructions in the world, which, due to its preservation and beauty, UNESCO entered in its registry of World Cultural Heritage in 1979
- That in the small town of Trogir, 30 km away from Split, founded in the 3rd century BC, there is one of the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic complexes in the world. Trogir is an excellent example of a medieval town built on and conforming with the layout of a Hellenistic and Roman city and it is therefore also on the World Cultural Heritage list of UNESCO
- That, before Newton's discovery, the town of Dubrovnik, which has been on the World Cultural Heritage list of UNESCO since 1979, owned a telescope which was constructed by Marin Getaldic (1568-1626), the greatest Croatian scientist of that time
- That the necktie has its origin in Croatia (in Croatian: Kravata, English: Cravat, French: Cravate, German: Krawatte, Italian: Cravatta, Spanish: Corvatta) and that the word "cravat" came from the word "Croat" (Hrvat in Croatian); so called because worn by Croats in the French army during the Thirty Years' War. In their own way, with the cravat, the Croats have started conquering the world from the coasts of the Adriatic Sea from 17th century. The consequences of that conquering are today felt around the necks by 600 million businessmen worldwide
- That Marco Polo (1254-1324), an adventurer, merchant and one of the best known world travelers, whose book "The Travels of Marco Polo" is the first tourist book in the world, comes from Korcula on Korcula island in Croatia
- That in 1458 Benko Kotruljevic from Dubrovnik wrote one of the first books on world economic literature, "On Trading and the Perfect Merchant", and that he was the first to establish the basis of modern double-entry book-keeping
- That Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was staged in Dalmatia
- That the writer Vladimir Nabokov always spent his summers in Opatija as a boy
- That Agatha Christie spent her second honeymoon in Dubrovnik and Split
- That James Joyce was a teacher of English in Pula from 1904 and 1905, in the town that has existed for three millennia with one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres worldwide
- That the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson spent their vacations in Dalmatia
- That Luka's Pit ("Lukina jama"), the 10th by depth in the world (1,392 m), is located in Croatia on Velebit Mountain
- That the founder of San Marino, a small independent republic in the northeast of Italy, was the sculptor Marin from the village Lopar from the island of Rab
- That the ball-point pen was invented by a Croat, Eduard (Slavoljub) Penkala (1871-1922), that it bears his name and is in daily use
- That the names of two Croats are on the map of the Moon - names of scientists J. R. Boskovic and A. Mohorovicic
- That two winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry came from Croatia - Lavoslav Ruzicka (1939) and Vladimir Prelog (1975)
- That Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the father of alternative current electricity and technology of wireless communications, after which the unit for magnetic induction is named, was born in Croatia, and that he refused to receive the Nobel prize he had to share with T. A. Edison
- That Anthony Maglica, the owner of the well-known company Mag-Lite, comes from Zlarin island from Dalmatia. Mag-Lite flashlights are among the ten most famous American export products, used by astronauts and deep sea explorers, amongst others
Haskew Law assists foreign individuals in real estate purchase transactions, real estate structuring, and advise on all aspects of investing and doing business in Croatia. Please contact us for more information or to arrange for an initial personal consultation.