Exporting to Slovenia

Slovenia is one of a group of nine emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It's one of the most developed markets in the region and there are long-term growth prospects for UK companies.

Strong and growing economy

Slovenia’s economy is growing strongly and its GDP grew by 4.5% in 2018 (IMF, 2018). Purchasing power should continue to grow due to increasing employment, growing disposable income and better access to bank lending.

Access to markets

Slovenia is a gateway to south eastern European markets due to its geographical position. It has strong historical links with the neighbouring markets of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which results in cultural and linguistic connections as well as well-connected infrastructure.

Ease for UK businesses

English is widely spoken in Slovenia and British quality goods and services are well received. Furthermore, it has similar business, legal and technical standards to the UK, making it a friendly market for UK businesses. 92% of Slovenians speak at least 2 foreign languages.

Ease of doing business

40th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Euro

Business languages

Slovene, English

You may need a translator

GDP per capita

$26,234

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

4.5%

(IMF, 2018)

Time zone

GMT +2

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Slovenia have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Slovenia

Preparing to export

Taxation

InvestSlovenia provides detailed information on all applicable taxes in Slovenia.

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Slovenia, provided certain conditions are met.

VAT is applied at 22% on goods and services in Slovenia. A reduced rate of 9.5% can also be applied on some goods.

For more information on VAT in Slovenia, please visit Financial Administration website.

Corporate Tax

The corporate income tax rate is set at 17%. Tax relief is available for:

  • research and development (R&D) investment (100%)
  • investment in equipment and other long-term assets (40%)

Slovenia’s capital gains tax is set at between 0 and 25% (depending on a holding period).

Standards and technical regulations

Products and packaging should meet EU standards.

Local product law may vary. The Slovenian Institute for Standardization (website in Slovene) has responsibility for standards.

Product information on a label must be in Slovenian. It is mandatory that goods are labelled with composition, country of origin, size, and care instructions.

Operating in Slovenia

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

IP law, especially for patent protection, is not totally harmonised within the EU.

Local legislation created by the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office will impact protection in Slovenia. You should check that your intellectual property is protected.

Payment terms

An invoice must be issued for the supply of goods or services in Slovenia. The rules governing the issuing of an invoice are set out in the Value Added Tax Act and the Slovene Accounting Standards.

Invoices may be issued in paper or electronic form.

For more information, please visit Slovenia Business Point.

Business culture

The business culture in Slovenia is similar to the culture in Austria and the Balkan region. Slovenians tend to work efficiently, with a focus on results, which can sometimes come across as direct. However, this is part of a culture focused around respecting one another’s time.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.