Welcome to one of the best kept secrets of the Mediterranean – the tiny country of Montenegro.
Perched on the eastern shores of the Adriatic opposite Italy, Montenegro is about the same size as Cyprus. After spending most of the twentieth century under the control of communist Yugoslavia, Montenegro is once again proudly independent.
The final separation from Serbia came as the result of a referendum in 2006 where the vote was narrowly in favour of Montenegro going its separate way. Unlike another referendum we could think of, the result was accepted and implemented immediately. Since then this country of just over 600,000 people has made huge strides, joining NATO and putting plans in place to qualify for EU membership by the middle of this decade.
What makes Montenegro so special? Firstly, its beauty. The Adriatic coast enjoys a Mediterranean climate with 300 days of sunshine and very mild winters. Just look at the azure waters of the Adriatic and the clear blue skies.
But there’s a lot more to Montenegro than a beautiful coastline. Montenegro means Black Mountain and the country boasts five national parks including the mountainous Durmitor and the spectacular Skaddar Lake that covers 40,000 hectares. One of the best known beauty spots is Kotor, nestled in what has been described as the Mediterranean’s only fjord. Kotor and its surroundings are now a Unesco heritage site and its Old Town is the main destinations for thousands of tourists disgorged from the giant cruise ships that navigate Boka Bay.
Further to the North is Tara Canyon, at 1300 metres the deepest canyon in Europe and second only to the Grand Canyon worldwide. There are even a selection of ski resorts in the mountainous north of Montenegro with prices that might surprise you if you normally ski in the Alps.
The second appeal of Montenegro is the welcome it offers to overseas investors, whether that’s people buying a home or people looking to build a business here. Ownership of real estate brings residency rights, while the newly announced citizenship by investment programme gives you the chance to gain a Montenegrin passport with access to 122 countries. The country has adopted the euro so it fits with any sensible currency diversification strategy.
If you want to start or transfer a business here corporation tax is just 9% while income and capital gains tax are an equally attractive 9%. There’s no inheritance tax and no tax on transfers to immediate family members. It’s a sign of how attractive Montenegro’s tax regime is perceived by the international community that one of the fastest growing nationalities to invest here are the Swiss!
The highest tax here is the 21% VAT charged on new homes, but if you set up a company you can reclaim that tax within a couple of months of completing the transaction. Don’t worry about the details, we have an English speaking team who can take care of it all for you.
The third appeal is accessibility. There are two international airports, one in the capital Podgorica and the other on the coast here in Tivat. You can also fly into Dubrovnik in neighbouring Croatia and it’s a short hop over the border. The government is focused on elite tourism, so they only grant planning permission to carefully selected high end projects. Montenegro is the second fastest growing travel and tourism economy in the world, averaging nearly 6% a year growth for the last decade.
So why not take a look for yourself? We can help you organise an inspection trip and our local Opulent Homes team will pick you up at the airport and give you a guided tour of the country and our very carefully selected properties. With investments from three hundred thousand to five million there’s something for most budgets. SO if you’re looking for a sunshine home that comes with the benefits of a second residency or passport and low, low taxes, it’s time to take a very close look at one of Europe’s best kept secrets, Montenegro.