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Natural beauties and breath-taking scenery are definitely reasons many people are considering living in Croatia.
Besides, the economy and business opportunities are growing more and more by each day – being a young independent state, the economy is growing along with the expat community too. Many foreigners are taking the opportunity to enjoy Croatia’s perks - employment opportunities, schools, universities, and retirements alongside its shores.
From big cities such as Zagreb, Osijek, and Split to unique beauties such as Dubrovnik – Croatia has its fair share to offer. So, if you are considering Croatia as your next destination for work, pleasure, or relocation – there are great odds you will need to open a bank account.
We are sure you are confused with the Croatian administration (aren’t we all?) and maybe a bit afraid opening a bank account will be a long and painful process – but, don’t worry we got you covered.
In this article, we will cover everything about opening a bank account in Croatia in 2022.
If you plan to move to Croatia – either for investing, a new job opportunity, or studying you will certainly need to open a bank account.
The good news here is that a bank account in Croatia can be easily set up if you simply follow the requirements (i.e., documentation regarding your status and purpose of opening a bank account, but more on that later).
There are a lot of services banks are offering in Croatia – both if you are an individual or want a business bank account – from different currencies of your bank accounts, credit cards, online payment services to mortgages and loans.
If you are an individual that owns a business, you most absolutely need a bank account – you need a bank account for collecting your salary.
If you are a foreigner with a Croatian job – you also need to open a bank account – because of receiving your salary.
And if you are a foreigner or local investor that wants to open a company in Croatia – you must open a bank account for the minimum share capital and for any future financial transactions in the company.
Also, for opening a business/corporate bank account in Croatia you need to prepare the documents regarding the company and more details – but we will explain that in a bit.
Bank account in Croatia, whether you open it for business reasons or as an individual, you can choose between many different services. Once you open the bank account you will receive instructions from your bank for online banking services – you can do various financial transactions on these platforms (a lot of Croatian banks have their own apps and platforms). Their banking services are user-friendly and secured – with username and password.
Moreover, banks in Croatia have a special type of support for entrepreneurs - from a wide sphere of business loans and bank cards tailored to your business needs. Plus, you can access leasing & trade if you are interested in that.
If you are a business person you can ask for specific limits on your bank account and can even have a bank officer for transferring big amounts of money.
There are three types of bank accounts that can be opened in Croatia:
If you are a foreigner – we have good news - there are no restrictions on foreigners to open a bank account in Croatia. Your bank account in Croatia can be opened either in Croatian kuna (HRK), foreign currency, or as a multi-currency bank account.
Usually, opening a bank account in Croatia requires an ID and deposit or proof of residency – but we will discuss that in detail a bit later. When opening a bank account, you get a debit card and an overdraft of up to 30,000.00 HRK but that depends on the bank you choose and the type of account you open.
Bank charges for accounts vary from bank to bank and again, from the type of account – for example, if you are a student in Croatia – your bank account is free of charge.
Moreover, most banks in Croatia offer Internet and mobile banking services – you will be able to access your account(s) simply and can even do different transactions – like pay bills by scanning the QR code that can be found on every payment slip! You just need to authorize the payment and that’s it. Pretty simple & convenient, right?
First of all, to give you some courage – opening a bank account in Croatia is pretty easy!
You simply gather all the necessary paperwork (we’ll hop on to that soon), walk into a bank branch, and request the opening of your bank account.
The whole process of opening a bank account in Croatia is easy – and you don’t need to be a resident to open a bank account.
You just need to have these documents:
Once you gather all the documents you just go to the bank of your choice and a bank assistant will guide you through the whole process (most branches will have English speaking staff!) – from completing the paperwork (mostly filling in your personal information) to paying a nominal amount to open the account.
As soon as a certain amount is deposited your account is open! You will have immediate access to your funds – but you will need to wait for your ATM card. However, you can access the account in person at the bank. Your ATM card will arrive in five to ten business days - once delivered, you’ll be able to use it as you would any other debit card.
In most cases, a nominal maintenance fee for your account will be charged every month – but the exact amount depends on the bank you choose.
Also, some banks in Croatia even allow a foreigner to open a bank account online by submitting the documents and specific forms – but this depends on the bank. Therefore, if you have a specific bank in mind, you’ll need to check with them directly what’s possible.
Keep in mind that if you are a US citizen that wants to open a bank account in Croatia – you will have some extra paperwork. Some banks require filling the IRS tax forms or additional documents of identification – but again this depends on each bank.
Because of these extra formalities, you could wait for the approval of the bank before your bank account is opened in Croatia.
Opening a business bank account in Croatia
As said, if you are an investor that wants to register a company in Croatia you must open a bank account for the minimum share capital and future financial transactions in the firm.
For opening a corporate bank account, besides the documents mentioned above, you should prepare the company’s documents and details about the owners of the business.
There are specific documents you need to obtain in order to open a business bank account in Croatia:
The process is similar to opening a bank account as an individual - the bank will give you some forms to fill out, plus the contract stating the conditions for opening a bank account. You will also receive the credit card attached to the account and related to your company.
There are many banks in Croatia from which you can choose the one best tailored for your needs – from global banks to Croatian banks that are part of global groups to the mostly Croatian-owned bank.
If you choose a bank that is globally present you may have the possibility of adding an international element to your existing account, rather than opening a new account – but that is an option you should research once you decide on the bank.
Again, when choosing a bank, you should think about the purpose of opening the account – is it for business that is your own or you are an employee or for some other intention because some companies and Croatian institutions do business with specific banks, so you might want to check with your employer first.
Working hours for banks in Croatia are from 8 am until 8 pm Monday to Friday with many of them opening during the weekend – so you have plenty of time to plan your visit to the bank.
While opening a bank account we advise you to ask the bank assistant about the following things:
After gathering all the info, you might come to the conclusion that it is cost-effective to open a bank account with unlimited transactions (and pay a higher fee each month) than pay a lower account fee but have all the withdrawal and transaction fees add up.
But, that is just our suggestion as you should discuss these options with the bank official.
Which bank to choose?
As we mentioned earlier some of Croatia’s largest banks are foreign-owned: Zagrebačka Banka is owned by the UniCredit Group of Italy, Privredna Banka by the Intesa Sanpaolo Group of Italy, and Erste & Steiermärkische Bank by Erste Group of Austria.
We’ll discuss now the most popular Croatian banks which could have everything for your banking needs:
· Zagrebačka Banka, also known as ‘Zaba’, is Croatia’s largest retail banking company with more than 860 Zaba ATMs and 160 branches.
· It offers a large variety of accounts and features: student accounts with low and no fees; accounts for young people (under 18 years old) with zero fees; giro accounts in Kuna or foreign currency; MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards
· For more info you should check Zagrebačka Banka official website.
· Privredna Banka is Croatia’s second-largest retail bank with over 200 branches across Croatia
· It has a wide network of ATMs in Croatia so withdrawing money won’t be a problem
· It offers the following accounts and features: Visa Debit & Premium cards; private & corporate banking services, exchanging services, giro account, current account in kunas or foreign currency, different options for business bank accounts
· All other info can be found on Privredna banka official website.
· Raiffeisenbank is one of the most common banks in Croatia and its central bank is originally based out in Austria
· This bank is also widespread and known with over 78 branches in Croatia and numerous ATMs
· It offers the following accounts and services: all options of bank accounts, financing, leasing & investment banking; a comprehensive range of corporate credit and bank cards
· If you want to know more check Raiffeisen’s official website.
· This bank, also known as “Erste Bank”, has been operational in Croatia since 2000
· The bank holds 131 branches and 630 ATMs throughout Croatia, as well as access to several partner ATMs
· Erste & Steiermärkische Bank offers the following services and features: all options of bank accounts, savings and pension products; corporate banking and advisory services; Gold debit MasterCard; Diners Club credit card with rewards
· All info about the services can be found at Erste & Steiermärkische Bank.
Finding an ATM in Croatia won’t be a problem – there are many ATMs across the whole country. The only thing you should know is that if you withdraw money from an ATM that is not from your bank or your network you will pay a nominal fee for a withdrawal.
Moreover, almost all ATMs in Croatia have a limit for withdrawing money – (there are some with a limit of 3,000 kuna but that depends on the bank you choose) that is 2,000 kuna per day. If you want more, you will need to have to take your card to the bank and request assistance.
All ATMs in Croatia have an English-language option. Also, you can get your funds from your Revolut, Curve, or Monese account from Croatian ATMs. Just make sure you refuse the "DCC" (Dynamic Currency Conversion) when prompted to get good conversion rates.
While living and working in Croatia, you may make the big decision to purchase a home or to decide in investing in your business. For doing both of these things you will need a larger sum of money.
To do that, most people must acquire a mortgage loan (called “hipotekarni kredit” or “hipoteka”) or a business loan from a Croatian bank to fund their home purchase or develop their business.
As for mortgage loans - they usually have lower interest rates and longer repayment periods than consumer credit, so they can be more cost-effective. It’s worth noting that the type of mortgages available in Croatia is more limited than those in other European countries. As with all mortgages, you’ll also need to meet the specific criteria of the lender.
It is important to state that all EU nationals have the right to buy a property just the same as Croatian citizens, but if you are not from the EU the process gets a bit complicated.
Croatian banks offer mortgages to foreign-registered (non-residents) who want to buy a property in Croatia, but they have some additional requirements, such as extra screening, sometimes the request to deposit guarantees at their bank, to bring in other assets as collateral, or to leave a person with regular income in Croatia as co-debtor.
The story is different if you are planning to run a business in Croatia. It then concerns a business loan. For business loans, we advise you to contact the banks directly as they have different financial plans depending on your needs.
As we mentioned many times in this article, the Croatian currency is the kuna. It is loosely aligned with the EUR (euro) at an exchange rate of 7,5 (1 EUR = 7,5 HRK). Croatian kuna was introduced in 1994, replacing the Croatian dinar (which was introduced to replace the Yugoslav dinar) at a rate of 1 kuna for 1000 dinar. We know, many changes of currency in such short history of the country!
You will usually find a short version of kuna in the forms of KN or HRK – so don’t get confused all of these represent the same, Croatian kuna. One (1) kuna is sub-divided into 100 lipa (which interestingly enough means linden tree!).
Croatian kuna comes in classifications of 10, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 as well as coins of 1,2, and 5. The lipa comes in 1,2,5,10,20,50 coins although the lipa is not loved a lot – many of the shops will often round the bill down to avoid dealing with them.
Even though the euro is not an official currency in Croatia many businesses (especially tourist ones!) will accept the euro as a method of payment.
EUR in Croatia
To be honest, the official Croatian currency is kuna but many transactions are done in euros. Property sales or car sales are often done in euro, and contract prices are often written in euro, but with a clause saying the euro price can convert into kuna at the day's rate of the Croatian national bank.
Since Croatia is mostly a touristic country, tourism plays a major part in the economy – and it has flexibility in accepting foreign currencies. That means that restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels, especially on the coast, will accept foreign currency, mostly the euro.
But good news, especially for foreigners came in 2021 because Croatia just signed a memorandum with the European Commission, and the member states of the eurozone, which details the steps that will enable Croatia to join the eurozone.
The Croatian government has set a clear date – January 1, 2023, as the date when Croatia should be ready to join the eurozone, and the official announcement of Croatia's entry into the eurozone is expected in the middle of this year.
From the beginning of 2023 the Croatian kuna will change over to the euro – with a transition period from 2 weeks for both currencies in circulation and citizens will be able to continue to pay in kuna but after those payments will be in euro.
Since Croatia's dominant economic sector is tourism entering the Eurozone will be hugely beneficial for the development of tourism but also other sectors as investing in Croatia will be easier for foreigners.
Let it be clear – Croatia is one of the most beautiful places to live and work in – from being an entrepreneur that wants to up-scale a business, or a digital nomad trying to find a safe & beautiful place to set up your residence, Croatia is an excellent choice.
Considering the new digital nomad visa, entering the eurozone in 2023 – this is the right time to begin with planning your business in Croatia.
It is very simple to start a business in Croatia as the foundation can usually be completed within a few days and there is a large tendency to reduce administrative requirements.
From hotels, bars, tourism agencies, family farms, retail and trading companies, real estate firms – these are some of the ideas for business opportunities in Croatia!
Croatia awaits you!