Construction Permits

Construction and town and country planning in the Republic of Croatia represent an important part of the legislation, and are regulated by the Law on Physical Planning and Construction (Official Gazette, no. 76/07, 38/09).

The issue of investment in real estate construction in the Republic of Croatia is primarily concerned with the estimated period of completion of the investment. The deadlines for preparation of documentation and issuance of requisite approvals and permits exceed by far the requests of investor, who is at the same time involved in other activities necessary for realisation of the construction project.

Legislative efforts, as well as the activities of state construction inspections contributed to prevention of construction-urban chaos, and overall improvement of the condition in construction.

Among multitude of approvals and permits indispensable for lawful construction, the most important are location permit, building permit and usage permit.

Location (planning) permit

Town and country planning documentation determine the purposeful organisation, usage and allocation of area, as well as criteria and directions for development and protection of area.

The location permit is the mechanism of implementation of town and planning documentation, which determines the conformity of intended intervention with the existing documentation in force. It is  an administrative act.  

The content of the location permit and its issuance is prescribed under the Act on physical planning, and it is issued for each intervention, with rare exceptions. County office for physical planning is competent to issue the permit, unless the intended construction holds special interest for the state, in which case the Ministry of environment and physical planning is competent. Beside the owners of the land or the building, the owners of the adjacent real estate may participate in the proceedings for issuance of location permit.

The request should be accompanied by: the excerpt of the cadastral plan, the preliminary architectural design, preliminary stability design, consent of the electric power company, water supply company, sewage system company, gas company, Ministry of internal affairs, traffic, sanitary inspection, etc. A declaration of immediate neighbours expressing that they have no objections on the intended construction should also be presented.

Location permit determines: the form and size of the building plot, i.e. the scope of the intervention, the allocation of the building, the size and surface area of the building, the method and conditions for connection of the plot, i.e. the building to the public road and municipal infrastructure, as well as other elements necessary for the intervention, in accordance with special regulations.

Location permit is valid two years following the day it becomes final, and the process of obtaining the building permit should be instituted within that period.

Building permit


According to the Law on Physical Planning and Construction, which entered into force on October 1, 2007, the building permit is no longer necessary in all cases.


The construction of a building with a combined (brutto) surface area under 400 sq meters (600 sq meters for buildings of agricultural use) requires a decision on the construction conditions, which replaces the building permit. The construction of a building exceeding these parameters requires a confirmation of the main project.

The purpose of the building permit is to adjust the intended construction with the provisions prescribed under the Law on Physical Planning and Construction and public interests, which supersede the individual interests of the investor.

The building permit is the administrative act which gives the right to construct certain building on a certain real estate. The integral part of the request for issuance of the building permit is the location permit, main project of the building, technical, geo-technical and other surveys (except for the construction of a family house). The request is accompanied by the evidence of the right to build on a certain real estate, i.e. the excerpt from the land registry. The Law prescribes the possibility to amend the permit during construction, as well as to change the investor, which should be reported to the authorised body within 15 days.

The building permit becomes invalid ex lege, if the construction works are not launched after 2 years following the day it becomes final, however this period may be extended at the request of the investor.

The State administration office within the County is competent to issue the permit, unless the intended construction holds special interest for the state, in which case the respective Ministry is competent.

In case of fulfilment of all legally prescribed conditions, the competent body is obliged to issue a permit within 30 days after receiving the complete request.

It should be emphasised that in exceptional cases it is possible to start construction without the building permit, i.e. in cases of maintenance of the existing building, constructions which facilitate movements of the disabled persons, construction for military needs, construction of tombs, etc.

Attempting to minimize illegal construction, the Act prescribes that all buildings constructed without the building permit before February 15, 1968 are deemed constructed based on the valid building permit.


Usage (occupancy) permit

Under the Law, occupancy permit is mandatory for the use of a completed building. It is the instrument which assures the quality of construction, and is issued after technical inspection of the building, in which the building must comply with a number of strict conditions.

A special committee consisting of construction experts and representatives of state bodies conducts the technical inspection within 30 days as of the day the request for issuance of permit is received.

Completed building or other structure may only be used after the granting of an use permit.

Having an occupancy permit is a precondition for registering the new construction. In regards to the old buildings, the existence or lack of the usage permit is entered in the land registry.

Attorneys at law
Vukić, Jelušić, Šulina, Stanković, Jurcan & Jabuka

Nikole Tesle 9/V-VI
51000 Rijeka

Phone: 051/211-600
Fax: 051/336-884