Slovenia is one of the most developed countries in Central Europe, very friendly for economic cooperation with foreign partners. In recent years, Poland has strengthened its relations with Slovenia in this regard. In 2021, a meeting between the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Ljubljana, the director of the Slovenian Business Development Agency, and the President of the Polish-Slovenian Business Club, the TRIGLAV-RYSY Association, aimed to further improve the conditions for the development of Polish and Slovenian cooperation. However, openness can lead to a lack of vigilance. Not every Slovenian entrepreneur, like entrepreneurs from other countries, will prove to be reliable. Such a business partner may later turn out to be insolvent or even fraudulent. Moreover, in the era of the war in Ukraine, business contacts with companies associated with this conflict are highly sanctioned by the EU and Poland. How to conduct economic intelligence and check a company from Slovenia?
Slovenia is a country that shares many similarities with Poland. It is located in Central Europe, and the average wages are at a similar level. Both countries are members of the European Union and joined in the same year. Its economy, like Poland’s, belongs to the transitional group in the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings, meaning it is among the countries that are still competing based on efficiency but also have innovative advantages.
The main sectors of the Slovenian economy are agriculture, industry, services, and tourism. The dynamic development of cooperation between Polish and Slovenian companies is greatly influenced by the intra-community free movement of capital, services, and workers. As predicted by the state Economic Information on the www.gov.pl website, the facilitations introduced by the Slovenian government in the field of economic law and business activities should result in the future creation of partnerships between Polish entrepreneurs and Slovenian partners or the establishment of closer cooperative relationships. There is also a growing interest among Polish companies in providing services in Slovenia.
National and EU Sanctions
For over a year, Polish companies have been even more cautious about cooperating with foreign partners, including Slovenian partners. Due to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the European Union imposed 9 packages of sanctions on Russia by the end of 2022. Slovenia and Poland also imposed their additional sanctions. These sanctions target key individuals in Russia, as well as companies from Russia and Belarus. The trade in goods and services with Russian and Belarusian companies is prohibited. Polish entrepreneurs who violate these sanctions may face financial penalties of up to 20 million PLN and even up to 15 years of imprisonment. However, Russian and Belarusian entrepreneurs have learned to circumvent international bans by using complex holding structures established in other countries, where the actual ownership structure is difficult to detect. How to check a company from Slovenia to avoid sanctions?
Economic Intelligence: How to Verify a Slovenian Business Partner?
The verification of a business partner can be entrusted to a professional business intelligence agency that specializes in such assignments. Private detectives in Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw, or other cities will know how to obtain the necessary information to verify the current or future business partner.
The most important method of verifying a business partner and their potential connections with Belarus or Russia is to determine the ultimate beneficial owner and then check whether they are listed on the above-mentioned sanctions list maintained by the Ministry of Interior and Administration (MSWiA). The findings can be made in the Central Register of Ultimate Beneficial Owners maintained by the Minister of Finance: https://crbr.podatki.gov.pl/adcrbr/#/wyszukaj
Direct Inquiry to the Business Partner
If there are difficulties in determining the ownership structure of a business partner using available registers, another method of verification within the scope of economic intelligence is to directly ask the partner to confirm who their ultimate beneficial owner is. Of course, to authenticate the provided response, you can request the Slovenian entrepreneur to provide documents confirming their statements.
Environmental Intelligence – How to Check a Company from Slovenia?
An accessible way to obtain information about a business partner is to search the resources of the Internet. The verification of a company, whether it has a website, and the opinions about it can be checked. It is also possible to request references from other companies that have dealt with this business partner.
If we want to ensure certainty and prefer not to conduct the research ourselves, we can entrust the task to a research agency specializing in professional economic intelligence. Because there are many more sources of information than just the World Wide Web. For example, one can approach the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ljubljana with inquiries about a specific entity or inquire whether complaints have been received from other entrepreneurs. The Polish-Slovenian chambers of commerce can also provide similar information.
In the Public Information Bulletin of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, as the competent minister for the economy, a register of representations of foreign entrepreneurs is maintained. If we find the representation of our contractor in this register, we can assume that they still exist and are conducting activities.
Another register where you can check a contractor is the European Union VAT taxpayers’ register (VAT UE) and the EORI register. Companies and individuals wishing to engage in commercial activities within the European Union must use the EORI number as the identification number in all customs procedures.
You can also use the European Business Information System (ESIS), which provides access to information about companies from across the European Union. It is also worth checking if a company has the required permits and certificates, if they are necessary in a particular country.
Slovenian Business Registers
The Slovenian Business Register is maintained by the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services – AJPES. It gathers information about entrepreneurs based in Slovenia who are engaged in economic or profit-oriented activities, as well as subsidiary companies and other branches of enterprises. It also includes information about subsidiary companies of foreign entities conducting business in Slovenia. The register contains information about:
- Individuals engaged in sole proprietorship or registered and regulated activities
- Legal entities of public and private law
- Subsidiary companies and branches of enterprises
- Foreign enterprise branches
- Other entities
In the register, you can find the entity’s name, tax identification number (NIP), and information about founders and representatives. Access to the official Slovenian Companies Register is free, but registration is required. Searching is available by name or identification number of the company for all types of companies and includes detailed and historical information. The AJPES provides more information in Slovenian than in English. The options in the top menu include eRTR – data on company bank accounts (open, closed), JOLP – annual reports of companies, eOBJAVE – insolvency cases with documentation.
Other Registers – How to Check a Company from Slovenia?
The Central Securities Clearing Corporation of Securities provides a list of issuers and available securities on their website: https://www-en.kdd.si/. Similarly, the INFO STORAGE service at https://www.oam.si/default_en.aspx?doc=ISSUERS contains a list of issuers and securities with company contact information.
Gvin, a commercial paid register of enterprises (www.gvin.com), allows searching by the surnames of directors/partners/shareholders. It provides all financial data from annual reports (including years before 2008/2009, which are usually the earliest years for which annual reports are available in Ajpes). Information on tax payments, ongoing court cases, and credit ratings (the latter is a paid service by AJPES) is also available. If a company has changed its name, AJPES will not return any results, while Gvin will detect it and redirect the user to the ‘new’ company. Gvin offers all available documents in one place (except those that can only be found in the court register – company agreement, insolvency reports, statutes). Clicking on a company’s address allows seeing which other companies are registered there.
The Slovenian Ministry of Finance periodically publishes data on companies with tax debts on the website http://seznami.gov.si/DURS/main_neplacniki.html. The information is available in Slovenian.
The Office for Money Laundering Prevention, available at https://www.gov.si/drzavni-organi/organi-v-sestavi/urad-za-preprecevanje-pranja-denarja/, provides periodic reports on banking transactions and other transactions with companies in offshore jurisdictions (downloadable spreadsheets). Obligated entities must provide the Office with information regarding:
- Cash transactions exceeding 30,000 EUR (excluding audit firms, independent auditors, legal entities, and individuals providing accounting and tax advisory services)
- Transactions or clients with suspected money laundering or terrorist financing. Lawyers, law firms, and notaries are obliged to provide the Office with information regarding transactions or clients giving rise to suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing.
It is advisable to thoroughly check a contractor before engaging in any transactions or cooperation, especially to ensure they are not associated with Belarus or Russia. Violation of sanctions imposed on transactions with these countries can result in a financial penalty of up to 20 million PLN and imprisonment ranging from 3 to 15 years.
If you need more specific information or assistance in checking a company from Slovenia, please feel free to contact us.