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What are associations?


An association is any form of free and voluntary association of several natural or legal persons who, to protect their profits or advocate for general interests, and without the intention of making a profit, are subject to the rules governing the structure and operation of this form of association.

The establishment and operation of associations in the Republic of Croatia are regulated by the Associations Act (Official Gazette 74/2014). The association can be founded by at least three founders, both able-bodied natural persons and legal entities, both domestic and foreign. The founders can be only natural persons, only legal persons, or natural and legal persons together.

The founders of the association may also be minors over 14 years of age and adults deprived of legal capacity in the part of concluding legal transactions with the prior certified consent of the legal representative or guardian.

If they want to have a legal personality, associations are entered in the Register of Associations of the Republic of Croatia run by state administration offices in regional self-government units and the City Office for General Administration of the City of Zagreb, which, depending on the association's headquarters, apply. An association may have its own organizational forms (branches, affiliates, clubs, etc.) with or without legal personality.

Who runs the association?

The association is managed by the association members directly or through their elected representatives in the bodies of the association, as prescribed by the statute, the basic general act issued by the association's assembly. The Assembly is the highest body of the association, and other bodies of the association can be determined by the statute. The association is represented by one or more natural persons.

How are associations funded?

The achievement of the goals determined by the statute of the association is financed by income from membership fees, voluntary contributions, donations, and gifts, by performing income-generating activities and income from the property.

Programs and projects of interest for the common good in the Republic of Croatia implemented by associations can be financed from the state budget, the budget of local and regional self-government units, European Union funds, and other public sources. The method of financing is regulated by the Decree on criteria, criteria, and procedures for financing and contracting programs and projects of interest for the common good implemented by associations (Official Gazette 26/2015).

Can associations unite?

Associations may associate in alliances, communities, networks, coordination, or other forms of association, regardless of the area of ​​their activity, and are free to determine the name of that form of association. Such a form of association may have the status of a legal entity, and the Law's provisions on Associations shall apply to it properly. Associations can join international associations and other organizations.

Foreign associations, established based on the legal order of a foreign state, may also operate in the Republic of Croatia.



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