How to Start a Business in Slovenia
Sooner or later, any good entrepreneur is looking for ways to expand their business, and many choose Europe because of its prospects. However, not all EU countries make it easy for foreigners to set up a company, setting almost unrealistic rules. But this is not about Slovenia. The government even helps non-residents by reducing taxes and simplifying filing documents. The authorities are even working on additional treaties to encourage foreign investment, such as the absence of double taxation in several regions.
It is worth mentioning that it is possible to become a legal entity here in 14 days, and often even faster. You’ll be eligible to open a company in Slovenia just in two weeks with the possibility of a distance registry. Therefore, let's consider all the mandatory steps, general conditions, advantages and other details.
The diversity of business presence in Slovenia: choosing the perfect form for your successful business
The country offers a variety of options for entrepreneurs looking to start a business or expand their presence in the European market. Each form has its unique features, and the choice of the right type depends on the specifics of your business and your goals.
An individual entrepreneur
The main advantage of this type is the simplest registration. This form stipulates that the owner is the sole proprietor of the company and has no restrictions on liability for obligations. He is solely responsible for all debts and obligations of the company. No initial capital is required to establish a sole proprietorship, but the entrepreneur must have sufficient funds to support their activities.
A limited liability company (DOO)
This is perhaps the most common form of business in Slovenia, which minimises the risk of an individual owner since their liability is limited to the company's share capital. Participants (founders) pay a share of the share capital and in the event of bankruptcy or debt problems, their assets remain untouched. In this case, the share capital is at least €7,500 and must be paid in when the company is registered.
Public limited liability company
This is also a very popular choice among Slovenian businessmen. It allows the company to issue shares and raise money from investors. Owners and shareholders are not personally liable for the company's obligations, but their share capital may be lost in the event of bankruptcy. The share capital for a public limited liability company must be at least EUR 25,000, of which at least EUR 12,500 must be paid upon registration.
A general partnership (DNO)
Requires at least two local or foreign individuals or legal entities to form a partnership by signing a partnership agreement. The partners bear unlimited liability for the results of the partnership. Again, no capital is required, which gives more flexibility in start-up and organisation. It is a frequent choice of entrepreneurs who are looking for partners for joint activities and are ready to bear joint and several liabilities.
Here are a few more ways to establish a business presence. For your convenience, we suggest you familiarise yourself with them in the table below.
Set up an office to act as a branch of the parent company. A branch is not an independent legal entity but functions as an additional subdivision.
A subsidiary is a structure dependent on the parent company. It can be established by both local and foreign legal entities wishing to enter the local market.
Representative office registration
A representative office is similar to a branch, with the difference that the subsidiary will act as an independent entity. It is not allowed to sign contracts on behalf of the company, but it can conduct market research to support the promotion of the foreign parent company.
Benefits of opening a company in Slovenia
Slovenia, located in the heart of Europe, attracts foreign investors with its strategic geographical location and some other advantages. Let's take a look at why foreigners choose this country to invest in and set up their companies:
But before you can enjoy all the benefits, you need to meet the conditions. Businessmen get the right to hire foreigners only afterwards:
- An investment of EUR 50,000;
- Hiring an EU resident with a work contract for at least six months;
- Reaching a turnover of EUR 10,000 for six months in a row.
If you plan to set up a company in Slovenia, you need to take some important steps to register as a non-resident. Let's take a look at the main ones:
- Identify business priorities and draw up a business plan: This is important to calculate all the risks involved and to understand what you want to achieve.
- Obtain an identification number for non-resident founders: Register for and obtain a tax identification number for all non-residents who will be members of your company.
- Select and approve the company name: Make sure it is unique and take care of the official registration.
- Gather information about the members and management: You need detailed information about the people who will be in management positions.
- Confirm the address of the registered office: Make sure you have a real address for your future company in Slovenia.
- Contribute to the share capital: Provide financial support for the company by contributing at least 25% of the share capital.
- Draft and execute the statutory documents: Some of them require notarization.
- Submit documents for state registration: Contact the local regulatory authority and submit the entire package of documents.
- Resolve financial issues: You need to register for taxation and open a bank account.
- Obtain the necessary licences and permits: Be careful when registering, as well as issuing certificates. Only correctly completed documents are considered valid.
What documents do you need?
The package of documents is fairly standard, so you don't have to spend much time. The main papers include:
- Articles of Association or partnership agreement;
- A bank statement on the deposit of capital;
- Original and copies of the founders' passports and CVs;
- Tax number issued by the Slovenian regulatory authority;
- A document with the address of the future company.
Taxes for foreign entrepreneurs
Let us consider the tax system for non-residents, here are its main aspects:
- Corporate tax: The general corporate tax rate in Slovenia is 19%. This is one of the lowest rates in Europe, which makes the country an attractive place for investment and business.
- Dividend tax: A 15% tax is paid on dividend income paid to non-resident companies. This rate may be reduced if there are tax treaties between Slovenia and the country where the parent company is registered.
- Real estate income tax: A 15% tax is paid on real estate income registered to foreign companies.
- VAT: The usual VAT rate in Slovenia is 22%. There are also reduced VAT rates for certain goods and services.
- Social subsidy: Employers are obliged to pay social security contributions on the employees’ salaries, which is approximately 16% of the salary.
Considering the possibility of opening a company in Slovenia, foreigners receive many advantages that make this country attractive for business. The strategic location, developed infrastructure, loyal tax system and simple registration process make it easy to enter the local and European markets.
One of the strongest arguments in favour of Slovenia is the good business climate and support from the government. Proactive investment policy and the creation of favourable conditions for business development ensure the success of foreign firms in the local market.
In general, opening a company here is a profitable and promising choice for foreign entrepreneurs. The combination of a flexible business system, loyal legislation and a promising market allows you to implement ambitious business plans and ensure the stable development of your company in the heart of Europe – Slovenia.
What makes Slovenia attractive to foreign entrepreneurs?
The country has a favourable business climate, developed infrastructure and a low corporate tax rate (19%), which makes it an attractive place for business.
What are the main forms of business presence available?
Foreigners can choose a form of business presence, such as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, public limited company and others, depending on their needs and business model.
What is the corporate tax rate in Slovenia and are there any exemptions or benefits for foreign companies?
The general corporate tax rate in Slovenia is 19%. Dividends paid by foreign companies are subject to a 15% tax rate. Reduced rates are also possible if tax treaties with other countries are in place.