Slovenia Market Entry

Slovenia Market Entry

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

Importation

EU rules and legislation are applied within the single market, and the rules of the EU’s common trade policy apply to third countries. Export or import licenses only apply to sensitive items such as drugs, narcotics, military material, dual-use material and technology, weapons, antiquities, works of art, etc. under conditions set within the EU single market. After joining the EU, a single harmonized EU customs system is used. Slovenia applies the so-called pan-European cumulation of origin, i.e. it recognizes as original those products that are made from materials and parts originating in these countries. Check smber for agriculture and fishing facts of Slovenia.

The Slovenian economy is relatively open. There are no specific limits for the import of industrial products, nor is certification an obstacle, new standards are shaped according to EU models. The sale of foreign products in the retail network is also not limited, the share of Slovenian goods in stores is not set. The area of ​​agriculture is specific, but the level of protection and support from the state is strictly subject to the common agricultural policy (CAP). Under the terms of the CAP, Slovenia supports its agriculture, or agricultural producers in the form of subsidies, guaranteed purchase prices, export support or advertising campaigns encouraging the purchase of domestic agricultural and food products.

For the import of a number of products, quality certificates are prescribed, which mainly concern electrotechnical goods, measuring devices or building materials. Agricultural products and live animals must pass a health, phytosanitary or veterinary inspection. All agricultural products, foodstuffs, goods that come into contact with foodstuffs (packaging, kitchen utensils), as well as toys, medicines, chemicals, cosmetics, etc., must pass an inspection procedure before entering the market.

Further information on the reporting obligation of selected products and standardization:

  • Chemicals Office of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection
  • Slovenian Institute for Standardization

Distribution, wholesale, retail

The distribution network in Slovenia is diverse, there are a large number of small and medium-sized companies operating on the market, which are engaged in import, wholesale and retail activities. In addition to them, a number of retail chains with a wide network of their own stores operate on the market. Most important foreign companies are present, either directly (company branch, subsidiary) or through a local representative.

Most of the goods on the market are of first-class quality, the consumer does not reflect too much on products of poor quality or of unknown or dubious origin, tradition plays an important role. More than half of consumers pay attention to the origin of products, the majority of consumers pay attention to quality. As domestic products are perceived to be of high quality, a large part of consumers prefers domestic producers. This trend is most pronounced in food, which is also supported by the Ministry of Agriculture through various national marketing campaigns. In the last 10 years, as a result of economic changes, consumers’ attitude towards price has changed, most consumers expect to maintain quality, but at the same time a competitive price, before purchasing, consumers more often calculate and compare prices. The same role is played by the ratio of quality and price in supply chains.

Excise duty

When importing products subject to excise tax (i.e. alcohol, tobacco, fuel and electricity), it is necessary to pay the tax in accordance with the Excise Tax Act ( Zakon o trošarinah ) to the local tax authority. Excise duty payers must register with the responsible institution at least 15 days before the start of production, storage, import or other handling of products subject to excise duty. The responsible institution will then issue a permit to operate the activity. On the basis of a permit to operate with products subject to excise tax, the excise tax payer operates a so-called tax warehouse (trošarinsko szkodzere). A tax warehouse is a precisely defined area where excise tax payers produce, store, receive or ship products subject to excise tax.

More information:

  • Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia

Verification of business partners, credit rating

  • Dun & Bradstreet doo
  • Data doo
  • Prva bonitetna agencija, doo
  • AJPES
  • TSmedia, doo

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

A large part of the Czech Republic’s exports are provided by local trading companies in Slovenia. Commercial representation is usually always recommended in sectors linked to state or public administration, in which purchases are made in the form of public contracts, e.g. healthcare, defense, security, rescue and other industries. The problem is the fact that sales representatives have a habit of setting high margins and the price is close to the Slovenian average. A small market leads to a preference for a smaller volume of sales with maximum profit, therefore it is advisable to discuss the issue of prices, margins, etc. in advance in the case of representation. A large number of Slovenian companies strive to obtain exclusive representation from the moment of co-operation, which is understandable given the size of the market and the high probability of unfair competition in the case of multiple representatives of one brand. however, it is advisable to condition exclusive cooperation for the target market on a trial period and a minimum purchase of goods or sales. However, the nature of the Czech company’s operation on the market also depends on the sector, its degree of saturation or pricing policy, which is why direct cooperation is preferred in some sectors. Direct deliveries to retail chains or larger manufacturing companies are common, for example.

Czech final products are not very well known among Slovenian consumers, the only exceptions are Škoda cars, beer, glass and porcelain products, but in general it can be stated that thanks to the cultural and physical proximity between the two countries, the Czechs are perceived as promising business partners. Czech products, semi-finished products and services are perceived positively, they are often interesting for Slovenian customers due to their competitive price and significantly better quality than, for example, products of Polish or Asian origin.

The most common legal form for business activities in Slovenia is doo (sro) or sp (OSVČ). The establishment of a joint-stock company (dd) is more demanding from the point of view of the organizational form, and it is necessary to use the services of notaries or legal offices. The EU common market also allows the performance of cross-border services according to the EU Directive on services in the internal market.

More information:

  • Portal Slovenia Business Point (SPOT) – information on forms of business, method of registration incl. electronic registration of companies etc.
  • Portal e-Uprava – state portal, online administrative services
  • Slovenian Bar Association – register of lawyers by area of ​​law, language or geographic area of ​​operation
  • Slovenian Chamber of Notaries – register of notaries by language or geographical location
  • AJPES – commercial register, register of annual rights, court register, credit rating, etc.
  • SPIRIT Slovenia – public agency for business, internationalization, foreign investment and technology support
  • Provision of cross-border services

Marketing and communication

Slovenia is a demanding market, used to high quality products. Customers attach considerable importance to the image of a foreign supplier and its products. In Slovenia, as in other countries, packaging and branding sell, so marketing and branding are also very important. Advertising in classic media, on billboards and means of transport is still very common, but financially demanding and limited in terms of target audience. In particular, the younger generation as a target audience moves much more often in the virtual world, which is why digital marketing, which is used on social platforms (FB Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads) and in search engines (Google Ads), has been on the rise for several years.. Due to the wide availability of data, digital marketing is also significantly cheaper and its reach can be noticeably greater than traditional marketing.

When presenting the company to potential business partners or customers, it is necessary to emphasize specific references and exports to demanding Western markets, certificates from foreign testing institutes (TÜV, ISO, etc.) and quality in promotional materials. For the initial contact and presentation of the company, promotional materials are optimal in English, in some regions exceptionally also in German and Italian, while Croatian or Serbian are less suitable.

Media in Slovenia

In Slovenia, there are a large number of newspapers, magazines and other periodicals where you can publish the offer of goods and services or advertising. The best-selling Slovenian dailies include:

  • Cannon
  • Diary
  • Finance
  • Evening

There are two press agencies operating in Slovenia:

  • STA – Slovak printing agency
  • Morel

From weeklies and similar periodicals you can use, for example:

  • Youth
  • Global
  • The Slovenia Times (in English)
  • Reporter
  • Democracy

The main TV and radio stations are:

  • RTV Slovenija (public)
  • PRO Plus (POP TV, Channel A)
  • Planet TV
  • Nova24 TV
  • Radio 1
  • Roll 202
  • Radio Student
  • SI Radio
  • Radio City
  • Radio Antena
  • Radio Salomon
  • Radio Koper
  • Radio Capris
  • Radio Ognjišče

More information:

  • Slovenian Chamber of Advertising
  • Public Relations Society of Slovenia
  • The Slovenian Marketing Association
  • Register of Slovenian media – official overview of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia

Issues of intellectual property protection

The protection of intellectual property in Slovenia is regulated by the Law on Copyright and Related Rights ( Zakon o avtorski in sorodnih pravicah ) and the Law on Industrial Property ( Zakon o industriji lastnini ). The main state office for the protection of intellectual property is the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office ( Urad RS za intelektelno lastnino – URSIL, The Slovenian Intellectual Property Office ). This office grants patents for inventions, registers and registers trademarks and industrial designs. There is no known case of damage to the rights of Czech entities in this area on the Slovenian market. Patents are granted on the basis of national applications or applications within the EU.

Public procurement market

The following laws govern the field of public procurement in Slovenia:

  1. Public Procurement Act ( Zakon o javnem naročanju)
  2. Law onPublic Procurement in the Field of Defense and Security
  3. Law on Legal Protection in Public Procurement ( Zakon o pravnem varstvu v prvovnih prvnej naročanja).

Public Procurement Act

  • In the field of general activities, a public tender must be announced for goods and services if the value of the contract excluding VAT is greater than or equal to EUR 40,000 and for construction works if the value of the contract is greater than or equal to EUR 80,000. For the area of ​​social and other specialized services in accordance with Directives 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU, the threshold is set at EUR 750,000, with the exception of services that fall under CPV activity codes 79713000-5, 79100000-5, 79110000-8, 79111000-5, 79112000-2, 79112100-3 and 79140000-7.
  • In the field of infrastructure projects, a public tender must be issued for goods and services if the value of the contract is greater than or equal to EUR 50,000 excluding VAT and for construction works if the value of the contract is greater than or equal to EUR 100,000 excluding VAT. For the area of ​​social and other specialized services, the limit is set at EUR 1,000,000, with the exception of services that fall under CPV activity codes 79713000-5, 79100000-5, 79110000-8, 79111000-5, 79112000-2, 79112100-3 and 79140000 -7.

The obligation to publish a public contract in the Official Journal of the EU applies to contracts with a value (excluding VAT):

  • General activities: ≥ EUR 134,000, respectively ≥ EUR 207,000 (depending on the type of contract) for goods and services, ≥ EUR 5,186,000 for construction works, ≥ EUR 750,000 for social and other specialized services with the exception of services that fall under the code activities CPV 79713000-5.
  • Infrastructure area: ≥ 414,000 for goods and services, ≥ 5,186,000 EUR for construction works, ≥ 1,000,000 EUR for social and other specialized services with the exception of services that fall under CPV activity code 79713000-5.

Law on Public Procurement in the Field of Defense and Security

  • For activities covered by this Act, a public tender must be announced and published for goods and services if the value of the contract is greater than or equal to EUR 40,000 without VAT and for construction works if the value of the contract is greater than or equal to EUR 80,000 without VAT.
  • In the Official Journal of the EU, orders that exceed the threshold values, without VAT, set in Article 8 of the European Council Directive No. 2009/81 must be published.

The majority of purchases in the state and in general in the public sector take place in the form of public contracts, with the exception of some sub-limit purchases, but even for less voluminous purchases, so-called small value contracts are usually tendered. Public tenders are usually entered only in the Slovenian language and the deadlines for submission of tenders are relatively short (usually 30 days, maximum 60 days). Business companies are therefore generally recommended to cooperate in the form of a local sales agency or participate in tenders in the form of a consortium with Slovenian companies with appropriate references.

The area of ​​public procurement is managed by the Directorate for Public Procurement (Direktorat za javno naročanje) at the Ministry of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, which covers the legislative area and the coordination of tasks for the efficient functioning of the public procurement system. An overview of current and already implemented public contracts is published on the eNaročanje portal, tender offers are submitted electronically through the eJN portal.

More information:

  • Public Procurement Directorate
  • eNaročanje – Slovenian public procurement portal
  • eJN – portal for electronic public procurement
  • TED – Official Journal of the EU

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

Considering the situation in the judicial area (a large number of pending cases, a large administrative burden), it is recommended to include directly in the contract a clause on the possible resolution of disputes, as well as a clause on the reservation of ownership until payment. Slovenian courts are overburdened, the hearing of cases is lengthy (2-5 years), enforcement of a court decision can take several years.

For new or unverified partners, it is recommended to request an irrevocable documentary letter of credit, possibly with deferred maturity or a bank guarantee or payment in advance. However, most Slovenian entrepreneurs reject these conditions, referring to their seriousness. Payment morale in Slovenia is comparable to the Czech Republic.

Payment discipline and payment deadlines are governed by the Act on the Prevention of Delayed Payments ( Zakon o právním zamud pri práčnih ). For private economic entities, the law stipulates a maximum payment period of 60 days, which can be extended by mutual agreement in writing, but it must not be an obviously unfair contractual arrangement. The 30-day payment period is prescribed by law only for public administration bodies. The due date is calculated from the date of receipt of the invoice, or from the date of delivery of goods/performance of services/completion of work, etc., if the invoice has not been received or the date of receipt of the invoice is disputed.

According to Regulation of the EP and the Council No. 1896/2006, cross-border commercial disputes can also be resolved in the form of a European payment order (EPR) , which is a simpler and cheaper solution compared to a classic lawsuit. More information in the Czech language can be found on the Portal of European Justice.

Legal help

  • Slovenian Bar Association

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

Travelling, crossing borders

In Slovenia, which is an EU member state, the rules of free movement of persons apply. When crossing the border, it is necessary to have a valid identity document with you, i.e. passport or identity card. There are no specific conditions for traveling to Slovenia, areas with increased risk for foreigners have not been identified.

Current information on traveling through the territory of Slovenia, warnings and other useful information are available on the website of the Consular Office in Ljubljana, in the section Consular information and relevant sub-sections.

In a general sense, Slovenia belongs to very safe countries , the level of crime is low. Tap water is mostly of good quality and drinkable . There is a publicly available network of outdoor drinking water fountains in the capital city of Ljubljana.

Information about regions of tourist interest, monuments, attractions incl. information about accommodation can be obtained on the website of the Slovenian Tourist Board ( Slovenian Tourist Board ).

Health care

As EU citizens, based on Regulation 1408/72 of the Council (EEC), Czech citizens are entitled to necessary and urgent health care during their stay in Slovenia on the basis of presentation of the European Health Insurance Card, which has been valid in Slovenia since June 2004. Necessary and urgent health care means care in the event of a threat to life or health, which cannot be postponed until after returning to the Czech Republic. However, this care must be carried out in a state facility, or in a health center that is a contractual facility of the Slovenian Health Insurance Office ( Zavod za zdravstvo zavoranje Slovenije ). This care does not include transportation back to the Czech Republic. The patient receives the medicines in pharmacies with a prescription issued by a doctor. Hospitalization is recommended by the attending physician.

Traffic information

Slovenia has a high-quality highway infrastructure, the distances are short, so the most comfortable way of transportation is driving a car. Among other types of transport, you can use rail or bus transport. The largest airport is Ljubljana Airport ( Aerodrom Ljubljana ), which is located approx. 25 km from the center of the capital in the village of Spodnji Brnik (direction Kranj), the journey from Ljubljana takes approx. 30-40 minutes. Taxi services such as Taxi Metro, Taxi Rondo or Taxi Cammeo can be recommended. It is also possible to travel around the capital by public transport, which is covered by the LPP company, or use the city bike rental system ( BicikeLJ ).

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

The employment of citizens of the Czech Republic in Slovenia is governed by the conditions of employment of citizens of the EU, EEA (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland) and the Swiss Confederation. Workers from these countries have the same rights as Slovenian workers. Therefore, they do not need to obtain a work permit to perform work, but for monitoring reasons, EU and EEA citizens must be registered with the locally competent Slovenian labor office within 10 days of the employment relationship. The obligation to register is on the employer’s side. Registration forms serve for records and statistics and are the basis for control activities (terms of employment, compliance with labor legislation and collective agreements with the aim of avoiding the abuse of foreign workers and the circumvention of tripartite agreements).

The free movement of workers presupposes the full involvement of workers from EU countries in the Slovenian social system and the provision of health care to the extent provided in the country of which the worker is a citizen. Full harmonization of the social and health systems of the EU member states is expected in the future. Particular attention must be paid to certain aspects of Slovenian legislation relating to workers posted to Slovenia by an employer based in another EU member state.

Labor law conditions

  • Maximum length of working hours: statutory 8-hour working hours, if necessary it can be extended to a maximum of 10 hours per day, overtime max. 8 hours/week, 20 hours/month, 170 hours/year.
  • Minimum rest period: 30 min after every 4 hours, counted as working time.
  • Minimum length of vacation per calendar year: 4 weeks, or 20 days.
  • The minimum salary is given by the Minimum Salary Act ( Zakon o minimni pláci ) and from 2021 its amount is set in accordance with the minimum cost of living. The amount is set annually by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in cooperation with social partners. For 2022, the minimum gross salary is EUR 1074.43 .
  • The complete overview of labor law conditions is based on the Law on Employment Relations , i.e. Zakon o raznih razmerjih.

Posting of employees – Notification obligation

1) In the case of posting workers abroad, the employer is obliged to register the employee using an electronic form at the relevant labor office in the place of activity ( Zavod Republike Slovenije za zaposlovanje ).

  • form Registration for the provision of services by an employer with its registered office in another EU member state, EEA or the Swiss Federation (available in Slovenian and English)

The following information must be reported in the form:

  • Employer data (name, address, country of origin, responsible person)
  • Type of services
  • Place of activity
  • The duration of the performance of the activity
  • Service provider/subscriber
  • Data on employees, residence in Slovenia, etc.

The conditions for the posting of foreign workers are regulated by the Law on the Employment of Foreigners ( Zakon o zaposlovanju, samozaposlovanju in delu tujcev ) and the Law on the Provision of Cross-Border Services ( Zakon o zaponoslovanju, samozaposlovanju in delu tujcev ). More about the issue of posting employees in English: http://www.napotenidelavci.si/en/

2) The next step is to register the temporary residence of posted workers at the foreigners’ department of the local municipal administration (Department for Foreigners, Administrative Unit). Registration must be done at the place of planned residence of the workers, a list of all municipal offices is available at: http://www.upravneenote.gov.si/

It is usually necessary to submit the following requirements for an application for each worker:

  • Confirmation from the Slovenian Labor Office (step 1)
  • Personal document (Citizenship card, passport)
  • Photo
  • The employer’s confirmation of the employment relationship or the employment contract or another type of similar document that proves the contractual relationship between the sending company and the posted workers.
  • A contract from which the purpose of sending the workers is obvious, e.g. a contract between the client and the subcontractor, i.e. between the Czech company and the company for which the Czech company will perform cross-border services.

Before starting the performance of cross-border services, it is necessary to have at least step No. 1 formally completed, but due to the active labor inspectors (they are especially active in the case of foreign companies), we generally recommend that Step No. 2 be completed as soon as possible.

More information:

  • Labor conditions, Slovenian legislation: Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
  • Legal Information System of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Slovenian Labor Office ( Zavod za zaposlovanje RS )
  • Posted workers information portal

Fairs and events

Overview of the most important fairs:

Ljubljana
organizer: GOSPODARSKO RAZSTAVIŠČE doo
website: https://www.ljubljanafair.com/

  • ALPE ADRIA – an international tourism trade fair with an emphasis on sustainable development; subtopics camping and caravanning
  • GAST EXPO – international fair of gastronomy, equipment and HORECA
  • DOM – international trade fair for the construction industry
  • COLLECTA – the international collecting fair
  • NARAVA, ZDRAVJE – nature, health, healthy nutrition
  • AMBIENT – international furniture fair
  • DOM+ – an international trade fair for building furniture, cooling and heating technology, assembly structures

Celje
organizer: CELSKI SEJEM dd
website: https://ce-sejem.si/en/

  • SPRING FAIRS – 6 International Spring Fairs (Health & Alternative Medicine, Beekeeping Conference, Gardening & Homeware, Coffee, Gastronomy, Wedding Fair)
  • AGRITECH – agricultural and forestry technology fair
  • TEROTECH – industrial fair for the maintenance and cleaning of machines and equipment
  • International Industry Fair – industrial fair for toolmaking, foundry and welding, materials, components and advanced technologies
  • Car & Maintenance, MOTO BOOM, Utility Vehicles & Logistics – international automotive fair, transport and logistics, commercial and delivery vehicles
  • MOS – international fair of crafts and business

Gornja Radgona
organizer: POMURSKI SEJEM dd
website: https://www.pomurski-sejem.si/en/

  • MEGRA – international construction trade fair
  • MEDICAL – international fair of modern medicine
  • LOV – international hunting and fishing fair
  • NATURO – international fair of activities and rest in nature
  • AGRA – international agricultural and food fair
  • INPAK – international trade fair for packaging, packaging technology and logistics
  • SOBRA – international trade fair for defense, security and protection

Slovenia Market Entry