Slovenia - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs

In general, business managers in Slovenia take a market-based approach to business.  Management in Slovenia tends to concentrate decision-making at the senior levels, with relatively little delegation of authority or decision-making to middle management.  In principle, one should not consider negotiations concluded until confirmed by the general manager or a clearly acknowledged decision maker.  Slovenians place a premium on personal contacts and correspondence, and personal visits are important in conducting business.  Clarity and continuity in communication are important.

Travel Advisory

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to consult its Slovenia travel guidance for information on the latest travel advisories.

Visa Requirements

Slovenia is a party to the Schengen Agreement.  As such, U.S. citizens do not need a visa for business or tourist stays up to 90 days within the immediate prior six-month period.  (Note:  The 90-day timeline starts on the date of first entry into the Schengen Zone.)  For other types of travel, a visa or residence permit must be acquired at a Slovenian embassy or consulate. 

American citizens seeking a stay between three and 12 months may apply for a long-term “D” visa (http://www.washington.embassy.si/index.php?id=4238&L=1), while those seeking a stay longer than 12 months may apply for a temporary residence permit (http://www.washington.embassy.si/index.php?id=5274&L=1.).  In both cases, U.S. citizens in the United States should begin the process with the Slovenian Embassy in Washington DC or the Slovenian Consulate in Cleveland.  For American citizens residing outside the United States, the application may be filed at the Slovenian embassy with jurisdiction over the individual’s country of residence. 

For information on travel to Slovenia, see the Department of State’s Slovenia travel guidance.  Travelers should also refer to the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana’s website.  U.S. citizens in Slovenia are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Pandemic has caused new rules for business travel, and they change quickly depending on virus spread.  Please check the latest status at Embassy Ljubljana site.

Slovenia’s entry and visa requirements and additional information for travelers, please see the State Department’s Country Specific Information page for Slovenia.  Travelers should also refer to the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana’s website.  U.S. citizens in Slovenia are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

U.S. companies that require foreign businesspersons to travel to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process.  Visa applicants should consult the State Department Visa Website and the U.S. Embassy Ljubljana visa page.

Slovenia is a member of the Eurozone and has used the euro since January 2007.

Slovenia has efficient postal and telephone services.  Email communication is widely used, and faxes are rarely used.  Local telephone calling card services are not available in-country, and long-distance charges tend to be high, even by European standards.  In most areas, tone-dialing has become standard.

The dialing code for Slovenia is 386, followed by the appropriate area code:  Ljubljana (1), Maribor (2), Celje (3), Kranj (4), Nova Gorica (5), and Novo Mesto (7), followed by a seven-digit telephone number.  Codes for GSM mobile phones are 30, 31, 40, 41, 51, and 70.  When dialed within Slovenia, the codes are 030, 031, 040, 041, 051, and 070, followed by a six-digit telephone number.  To dial internationally from Slovenia, one must dial 00 plus the country code.  Directory assistance is 1188.

Mobile telephone use is widespread.  Virtually every businessperson has a mobile phone, and many companies also have a general mobile number for the reception or information desk.  Three major service providers offer mobile telephone service in Slovenia:  Telekom Slovenije, A1, and Telemach.  Each company offers a range of services and packages, and consumers are recommended to compare tariffs and conditions carefully before entering into a contract.

Transportation

Ljubljana is easily accessible by air.  Jože Pučnik Airport is an international airport located 27 kilometers (approximately 17 miles) outside of Ljubljana, the capital city.  The airport is serviced by international airlines including Aeroflot, Air Serbia, Air France, Air Monte Negro, Brussels Airline, British Airways, Lot, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, EasyJet, Transavia, EL AL Israel Airlines, Finnair, Fly Dubai, Swiss, and Wizzair.  

Other airports in Slovenia and neighboring countries are listed below, with the distance and travel time to Ljubljana by car in parentheses: 

  • Graz, Austria (186 km; approx. 2.25 hrs)
  • Venice, Italy (229 km; approx. 2.5 hrs)
  • Vienna, Austria (391 km; approx. 4 hrs)
  • Trieste, Italy (121 km; approx. 1.5 hrs)
  • Zagreb, Croatia (150 km; approx. 2 hrs)
  • Klagenfurt, Austria (88 km; approx. 1.5 hrs)

Slovenia’s transportation system is very good.  Highways connect most cities, and numerous border crossings into neighboring countries are easily accessible.  Air travel within Slovenia is not available, but it is also not necessary given the country’s small size.  Major cities in Slovenia have efficient public transportation systems, relying mainly on buses and taxis.  In Ljubljana, buses require a prepaid “Urbana” card, which may be purchased easily at newspaper stands or post offices.  Taxi service is readily available at designated taxi stands or by telephone.  While taxis are metered, taxi companies have the right to set their own rates, which may vary widely.  Be sure to check the posted rate before using a taxi.  It is usually cheaper to call a taxi by telephone than to take a taxi waiting at a hotel or a stand. 

Slovenia joined the Schengen zone in 2007.  With Slovenia’s accession to the Schengen zone, land border check checkpoints with Austria, Italy, and Hungary were removed.  Slovenia implemented Schengen zone rules for air travel in 2008.  Since Croatia’s accession to the EU in 2013, the Slovenian-Croatian border is no longer an external border of the EU customs territory, although it is still an external Schengen border.  This means the movement of goods across the Slovenian-Croatian border is now free, with no customs formalities required, but movement of people is subject to customs and passport control.

The Schengen Borders Code allows member states to temporarily restore border controls at internal borders in the event of a serious threat to public safety or internal security.  For example, as a result of the 2015-16 refugee crisis, Austria reintroduced border controls on some of its land borders with Slovenia and Hungary.

Language

Slovenia’s official language is Slovene, a southern Slavic language with some resemblance to Croatian and Serbian. Hungarian and Italian languages are also officially recognized.  Slovene is written in the standard Roman alphabet, with several additional letters.  Most businesspeople in Slovenia speak at least one foreign language, with English being the most common.  German is also useful in some parts of the country, and a number of people in areas bordering Italy speak Italian.  When necessary, translators and interpreters may be hired through the Slovenian Association of Conference Interpreters (telephone: +386(0) 41-648-416, email: zkts@zkts.si).

The EU has 24 official and working languages, including Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish.

Health

For the latest travel advisory, please see the U.S. State Department website

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Local time is GMT + 1.

Daylight savings time is between March 27, 2022, and October 30, 2022. 

Typical business operating hours in Slovenia are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Business travelers to the European Union seeking appointments with officials in the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, should contact the U.S. Commercial Service in advance by telephone at +32-2 811-4817, by fax at +32-2 811-5151, or email at brussels.ec.office.box@trade.gov.  A current directory of staff and locations worldwide is accessible on the U.S. Commercial Service website.

Holidays

In 2022, the following holidays will be observed in Slovenia.  Most businesses in Slovenia will be closed on these days.  In addition, many Slovenians take several weeks of vacation in late summer, and most businesses are lightly staffed in August.

January 1-2—New Year’s Day

February 8—Prešeren Day

April 18—Easter Monday 

April 27—Resistance Day

May 1-2—May Day

June 25—Statehood Day

August 15—Assumption Day

October 31—Reformation Day

November 1—All Saints Day

December 25—Christmas Day

December 26—Independence and Unity Day

The U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana observes both American and Slovenian holidays.  A full list of all 2022 Slovenian and American holidays is available at https://si.usembassy.gov/holiday-calendar/.

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings

Personal or household items temporarily imported by domestic and foreign natural persons entering Slovenia for a temporary sojourn are generally exempt from customs duties.  For more information, please consult the Commerce Department’s Market Research Library or the Country Commercial Guides.