Virtual Office Croatia Signs Agreement with Slovakian Embassy

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, Virtual Office Croatia has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Croatia, thus expanding the list of embassies they work with, as well as with countries whose entrepreneurs are brought to the Croatian and European markets.

Virtual Office Croatia has thus become the main partner of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic for their companies expanding into the Republic of Croatia.

“The embassy automatically connects them with us and we continue to do business. So far, they’ve cooperated with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), but because of our innovative approach, they turned to us,” explained Matija Fontana, the director of Virtual Office Croatia, which has been offering services to both local and foreign clients since back in 2015 from its headquarters in virtual offices.

He added that the Slovaks recognised their Virtual Office concept as a modern and business friendly way of entering the not only the market of the Republic of Croatia, but that of the entire immediate region. Slovakia, on the other hand, wants to help its citizens invest here in Croatia, and Virtual Office Croatia, as a partner and as a private company, works hard to bring investors to Croatia.

Slovakia isn’t the only country with which it has started cooperation, and so far it has achieved successful working relationships with the Embassies of Indonesia, India, Australia, Austria, Germany, USA and more.

“We’ve been proactive towards some countries, and some others have been the ones to contact us,” explained Fontana, adding that they not only work with embassies as intermediaries for their entrepreneurs but also with foreign companies directly, allowing entrepreneurs operating outside of the EU to enter the bloc’s valuable single market through Croatia.

The director also explained how the current coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the actualisation of the concept of a virtual office, and as he pointed out in an interview last year, working from home has been actively enrouaged throughout the pandemic, which resulted in cancelling the lease of physical business premises and switching to more economical and flexible business. He pointed out that virtual offices aren’t just a trend today, but a response to the changing work habits that have occurred due to advances in technology and digitalisation.

“We’re contacted by many foreigners who have opened companies here in Croatia and started businesses here, and what we primarily have to thank for this is mostly the sort of branding done by successful domestic companies such as Rimac, Infobip and Nanobit. You wouldn’t believe how famous these companies are abroad, people who haven’t heard of Croatia have still heard of Rimac, for example the Japanese come to Croatia and tell us that they want to do business in the country where Rimac also operates and that’s a really big thing. The best thing in our whole story is that we enable them to not have to physically remain here in Croatia, and all the resources we use in business are Croatian resources, so people can stay abroad and yet still invest capital in Croatia,” emphasised Fontana.

”Opening a bank account for foreigners should be simplified”

When asked what makes it difficult and easier for them to do business, they say that everything depends on the project, if, for example, construction projects are in question, the procedures can become more complicated. They also note that it is no longer much of a problem to open a company in Croatia because such things can now be done relatively quickly. However, there are other problems.

“Currently, our biggest problem is that banks are inflexible and take up a lot of our time in checking our clients. Clients who come to Croatia can de facto open a company in a few days, but a big barrier appears when they need to open a bank account, unfortunately clients have to come to Croatia several times because of that, and we know how complicated the situation is with travel and border crossings at the minute. but I don’t think that’s solely a Croatian issue, but one faced by the whole of the EU,” explained Fontana.

He added that it should be easier to open a bank account, especially for clients who come from, for example, secure and safe countries such as Japan, Australia and the like.

“Perhaps it would be good to have a ”list of safe countries” from which investors and entrepreneurs could more easily open a bank account and start their businesses in Croatia. On the other hand, certain clients tell us that it is easy for them to do business in Croatia, with good information and logistical support, some projects are even easier to implement than they are in the rest of Europe because the entry costs are much lower here,” concluded Virtual Office Croatia’s director.

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