Associations, as voluntary and non-governmental organisations based on the freedom of association of more than one natural person or legal entity, are formed to achieve and promote a shared or general objective or interest that is not prohibited by the Constitution or by laws. Associations are formed before their registration with the Register, but they acquire legal personality only after registration, so associations have the freedom to decide whether they want to register or not.
Associations and representative offices of foreign associations are registered with the Register of Associations and the Register of Foreign Associations, which is maintained by the Business Registers Agency as a delegated duty within the purview of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government.
Those associations that opt not to register, and thus do not have legal personality, are subject to the legal rules governing civic partnerships. Associations entered in the Register can execute transactions independently, engage in economic and other activities in accordance with the law and apply for funds earmarked for the funding of specific programmes of public interest in the national budget or in the budgets of autonomous provinces or local self-government units.
The procedure of registering with the Register of Associations and the Register of Foreign Associations and the procedure for maintaining those registers are governed in detail by the Law on the Procedure of Registration with the Business Registers Agency and the applicable secondary legislation. Information on the registration procedure and all associations registered in accordance with the law is available on the website of the Business Registers Agency.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government handles complaints filed against decisions of the Business Registers Agency or the Registrar who maintains the Register of Associations and the Register of Foreign Associations and oversees compliance with the Law on Associations, while inspections are conducted by the Ministry through the Administrative Inspectorate.