Register of Foundations of the Republic of Croatia

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Access the Register of Foundations

Under the Foundations Act, foundations are entered in the Register of Foundations in a county or the City of Zagreb, according to the seat of the foundation concerned.

The Register of Foundations is a central electronic database kept by a competent administrative body in the counties and the City of Zagreb (hereinafter: competent administrative body) in a uniform manner for all foundations in Croatia.

A foundation refers to assets intended to serve permanently, on its own or through revenues acquired by it, the achievement of a generally beneficial or charitable purpose. 

A generally beneficial purpose in the sense of the Act is that which promotes civic and human rights and freedoms, democratic institutions, development of the society and local communities, environment and nature protection, sustainable development, international developmental aid and cooperation as well as cultural, educational, scientific, spiritual, sports, health care, humanitarian or any other social activity promoting general public benefit and action for the common good, and contributes to achieving the highest values of the constitutional order of Croatia.

A charitable purpose in the sense of the Act is the purpose of supporting persons in need. 

The purpose of a foundation is also considered generally beneficial or charitable if it only concerns persons from a specific profession, national, social, linguistic, cultural, scientific, religious or similar group, persons connected by similar healthcare, social, cultural and other needs and interests, or persons living on a specific territory or covered by the activities of a specific non-profit association, institution or other legal person. 

A foundation is set up for an indefinite period. By way of exception, a foundation may be set up for a definite period, until the purpose of the foundation is fulfilled, if so defined by the foundation charter. 

A foundation may be set up by a domestic or foreign natural or legal person (hereinafter: the founder). 

The state government may set up a foundation only under a special law. 

The founder sets up a foundation by a foundation charter (decision, statement, will, contract, etc.). 

If a foundation is set up during the lifetime or operation of the founder, the founder's signature on the foundation charter must be notarised. 

If a foundation is to be set up upon the founder’s death, a statement on establishment of the foundation must be produced in the form of a will (testament). 

Foundation charter
A foundation is considered established when the foundation charter is signed or, when a foundation is established through a will, when the will is read. 

A foundation acquires legal personality on the date of its entry in the Register of Foundations of the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter: Register of Foundations). 

If a foundation is set up by one founder, it is done by a statement on establishment of the foundation (decision, will, etc.). 

If a foundation is set up by more than one person together, the foundation charter takes the form of a contract. 

The foundation charter must contain the following: 

1. personal name and domicile (natural person) or name and registered seat (legal person) of the founder(s)
2. personal identification number (OIB) of the founder(s), or their passport number if they have no OIB
3. name and seat of the foundation
4. purpose of the foundation
5. data on the assets of the foundation intended for achieving its purpose (basic assets).

The foundation charter may contain other provisions relevant to the establishment and activities of the foundation, as well as matters which may be regulated by the statute. 

The application for registration in the Register of Foreign Foundations must be submitted by the person authorised to represent the foreign foundation. 

The following documents must be enclosed with the application form for registration: 

- foundation charter
- decision on the appointment of persons authorised for representation
- decision on the appointment of members of the governing body
- certificate of appointment of the executor of a will
- evidence of the payment of funds intended for setting up the foundation or of other basic assets, which shows that the assets intended for the foundation are owned by its founder
- assessment of a sworn court expert from Article 9, paragraph (2) of the Act
- a copy from the companies register or other register for the foreign legal person acting as founder
- statement from Article 14, paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of the Act on using a person’s name in the name of the foundation
- final and binding decision of the competent court in case the will has been challenged
- statute of the foundation. 

A competent administrative body is obliged to decide on an application for registration in the Register of Foundations within 30 days of the submission of a proper application. 

Exceptionally, this deadline will be extended by 30 days if the competent administrative body deems it necessary to request an opinion on the compliance of the purpose of the foundation with special regulations from a ministry or other authority whose scope includes matters concerning the purpose of the foundation. 

For more information, please refer to:
Act on Foundations (Croatian text only). 
Ordinance on the Content and Manner of Keeping the Register of Foundations of the Republic of Croatia and the Register of Foreign Foundations in the Republic of Croatia (Croatian text only)