Finding work is one of the more difficult tasks for expats in Slovenia, and so it's no surprise that many new arrivals decide to take things into their own hands and start a business for themselves. The good news here is that Slovenia is one of the EU countries where you can open an SP (sole proprieter) company relatively easily, quickly and cheaply.
If you are a foreigner in Slovenia and national of the EU, EEA or Swiss Confederation, then you can open an SP right away, and no starting capital is needed. But if you come from a third country, then before opening one you need to have held a valid Slovenian residence permit for at least one year. This permit could have been issued to you as a student, if you were previously employed in Slovenia, or for other reasons. Once you meet this requirement, you need to take the following steps:
1. Go to AJPES, which has its central office is in Ljubljana as well as 13 branches around the country, and register you company in the Business Register of Slovenia. There you need to provide the following documents: your EMŠO, your VAT number, personal identification document, the short name of the company, the longer name of the company, and the address of the company seat, i.e. the business address. Note: if the business address is a rented space, then you need to have an official form filled in and signed by your landlord. Some foreigners thus use the permanent address of a trusted friend, such as their romantic partner, or their partner's parents, as their business address. You also need to make clear what business activity you are going to do, according to the Standard Classification of Activities (SKD). Cost: 0.00 euros.
2. After that you need to go to the administrative unit in the area where you live and get a digital certificate, called sigen-ca, in order to get into the Slovenian eTax service. Digital certificates have a double role within the eTax service, as they ensure user identification and enable electronic document signing and submission, thereby replacing handwritten signatures. These are also free of charge.
3. Next, with the certificate that you registered a company, and all the other documents regarding your new venture that you get by post, you apply at your local administrative unit to get a single work permit (although this is only needed if you come from a third country). Usually you get this permit for one year, and then renew it the next. Many issues might arise during this procedure, and this process can take up to three months, although your administrative unit advisor will give more specific details on this. Note: Be sure to have valid health insurance during this whole process, and don’t let it expire. You can buy health insurance at any insurance company.
Your too can work from home and be happily self-employed, maybe. Photo credits: Live Happy Magazine
4. Of course, after this you need to open a business bank account and get an accountant, or if you’re interested accounting you can even learn to do it by yourself.
You can start work with many Slovenian and European companies. For more on this see the article How to become an a-typical tax payer. The taxes you will pay depend on the profit you make, whereas the contributions are fixed and always the same amount. You thus have to pay something every month, regardless of whether you’ve actually done any business, so in theory (and in practice) you may be paying more than you earn.
For more on the procedure to open an SP, read the official details here.