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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I obtain finance in Croatia?
A. Whereas traditionally it was often difficult to secure finance to purchase a property in Croatia, today this is a far easier exercise and something which is becoming more widely available. Main residence or foreign mortgages are becoming more readily available on increasingly flexible terms. Hypo-Alpe-Adria bank; one of the leading banks of Croatia, has now opened an office in the UK in order to provide mortgages to British citizens, and Ancro has worked with the bank and negotiated special finance packages for British citizens who wish to buy property in Croatia.

Q. Is property in Croatia Leasehold or Freehold?
A. In most cases property in Croatia is freehold.
Q. How do I know if the property has 'clean title'?
A. Croatian property is registered at the Land Registry Office, which is comparable to the UK Land Registry. In general there are no problems or complications regarding ownership history and title with new build properties. As part of our standard procedure Ancro ensures that a developer has ascertained ownership of the plot through the Land Registry Office, and we also confirm that the physical description matches the Cadastral Plan. We dealing with only with quality developers with good reputations, so there are no problems.
Q. In addition to the cost of the property itself, what other costs are involved in buying property in Croatia?
A. The costs depend on which way you acquire the property: as a private purchase by an individual or purchase via a Croatian limited company. Costs also depend on whether you sell the property prior to purchase completion or whether you keep the property for long-term investment. A private purchaser must pay a 5% Government tax (comparable to stamp duty). If the property is bought via a Croatian limited company this tax is avoided. VAT is normally included in the purchase price for newly-built properties. Legal fees (including the Notary fee) are approximately 1% of the purchase price. If you sell a property prior to signing the Final Property Sales Contract a one-off fee of approximately 50 euros must be paid for endorsement of the contract between the vendor and the purchaser.
Q. What costs are associated with running and maintaining a property?
A. There are local rates and taxes which depend on the particular area. As an example, in Istria there is a Non-Residents' tax of approximately £0.15 per m2 of the housing space per annum, and a Ground Tax of approximately £0.18 per m2 per annum.
Q. What is the Capital Gains Tax in Croatia?
A. If the property was acquired by an individual Capital Gains Tax of 35% must be paid. If the property was acquired via a Croatian limited company the Capital Gains Tax is 20%. If the property is sold after three years or more then both cases are exempt from having to pay Capital Gains Tax.
Q. What are the implications if I want to rent out the property?
A. If you rent out the property, you will be liable for personal income tax. You will need to register with the Croatian Tax Authority because income tax obligations cannot be paid from abroad. If you are not living in Croatia you will therefore need to appoint an agent in Croatia to receive correspondence from the Croatian Tax Authority on your behalf. Ancro can assist you with making these arrangements. If the property is indirectly owned (e.g. a foreign individual is a shareholder in a Croatian company which owns the property), the property can be rented out and the Croatian company will be liable for corporate profit tax. When a company rents out a property VAT is charged.
Q. Can foreign citizens purchase real estate in Croatia?
A. Yes. Prior consent is needed from the appropriate Croatian Ministry. This consent will be given automatically to citizens of countries with a reciprocity agreement with Croatia unless the individual has an adverse history in Croatia. The procedure usually takes from six months to a year.
Q. Is there any way of avoiding this delay?
A. Yes. Foreign citizens can establish a company in Croatia. Once it is incorporated the company can immediately purchase property.
Q. Can foreign citizens sell real estate in Croatia?
A. Yes. There are no limitations.
Q. What is the tax on real estate purchase in Croatia?
A. There is a 5% property purchase tax. The tax is based on the price of the property in the sales contract and on an evaluation of the market value of the property by the tax authority.
Q. When must the property purchase tax be paid?
A. The purchaser has 30 days after the execution of the sales contract to register the purchase with the tax authority. The tax authority will then determine the amount of tax and notify the purchaser. The purchaser then has 15 days to pay the tax after receiving the notification from the tax authority. If the tax is not paid within 15 days interest is charged.
Q. Can a property sales contract be signed and verified in another country?
A. Yes. In such a case it would be best to do it at a Croatian embassy or consulate. If it is done before (for example) a public notary, the verification must be translated into Croatian by an appointed court interpreter.
Q. What is the amount of the deposit on a property purchase?
A. The usual amount is 10% of the contracted price, but the actual amount can be whatever the parties agree.
Q. Does the seller pay tax when real estate is sold?
A. No, but if the property is sold within three years of purchase the seller has to pay income tax (35%) on the increase in price (sales price minus original purchase price). There may also be local taxes, which are determined by the local municipality.
Q. Can anyone set up a company in Croatia?
A. Yes. Any individual or foreign company can set up a company in Croatia provided there is no adverse history in Croatia.
Q. What form does incorporation take?
A. The most common form of incorporation in Croatia is a Limited Liability Company, with the abbreviation d.o.o. (equivalent to iLtd.î in the UK). A d.o.o. company can have a sole shareholder owning 100% of the shares. The shareholder can be an individual or a company.
Q. What is a minimum capital for a d.o.o. in Croatia?
A.The minimum initial capital is 20,000 Croatian kuna. This capital can be used for the companyís business, such as purchasing a property.
Q. What is the cost of setting up a d.o.o. company?
A. In addition to the capital requirement, there are a lawyerís fee, a court registration fee, compulsory advertisements and a notarization fee. In total these come to approximately Ä1000.
Q. What the requirements for directors of a d.o.o. in Croatia?
A. A d.o.o. is represented by its management. The management consists of at least one person, who acts as Director/President.
Q. Can a foreign citizen be the owner and the manager of a d.o.o?
A. Yes. A foreign citizen can be the sole owner of a d.o.o and a member of the d.o.oís management.
Q. How much is the VAT rate in Croatia?
A. The Croatian VAT rate is 23%.
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