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COVID-19 Slovenia Update

Impact of the Sixth Anti-Corona Act on Lease Agreements in Slovenia

On 25 November 2020, the National Assembly of the Republic of adopted the Intervention Measures Act to Mitigate the Consequences of the Second Wave of the Epidemic (“Sixth Anti-Corona Act”), which shall enter into force the following day after being published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia.

Pursuant to Article 99 of the Sixth Anti-Corona Act, the tenants of business premises or business buildings which are owned by the Republic of Slovenia or by self-governing local communities (municipalities), who are significantly impeded or incapacitated from pursuing their business activities due to governmental measures connected with the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease, shall not be charged rent or part of the rent. This measure shall apply for the entire duration of the epidemic and during the period when in accordance with the adopted regulations, the pursuit of the economic activities was not permitted, i.e. from 19 October 2020 onwards.

To be exempt from payment of rent or part of the rent, tenants must fulfil the following conditions under Clause 3.1 of the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak (“Temporary Framework”):

  • the tenant was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ (within the meaning of the of Article 2, Paragraph 1, lit. 18 of Regulation (EU) No 651/2014)) on 31 December 2019;
  • the total amount of public resources granted to the tenant in accordance with Clause 3.1 of the Temporary Framework does not exceed the gross amount of EUR 800,000.00 (or EUR 120,000.00 if the tenant is active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, or EUR 100,000.00 if the tenant is active in the primary production of agricultural products);
  • the total amount of financing of the same eligible costs, which are also financed from other public sources, may not exceed the limits set out in the previous indent;
  • measures under the Sixth Anti-Corona Act do not preclude the granting of de minimis aid or aid granted under the General Block Exemption Regulation if provisions of relevant acts of the European Commission are respected.

The Sixth Anti-Corona Act does not regulate the exemption from payment of rent for tenants of business premises, which are owned by private companies or individuals. However, it provides for financial aid in the form of partial reimbursement of uncovered fixed costs (which includes the costs of rent under lease agreements for such premises).

To be eligible for financial aid, natural and legal persons (“Beneficiaries”) must fulfil the following conditions:

  • be registered for economic activity no later than 1 September 2020;
  • have at least one employee, or be a self-employed person, or have a shareholder or manager who is included in the binding pension and disability insurance on the day on which the Sixth Anti-Corona Act enters into force;
  • not be an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ (within the meaning of the of Article 2, Paragraph 1, lit. 18 of Regulation (EU) No 651/2014)) on 31 December 2019;
  • be unable to perform their economic activity or be able to perform its economic activity only in reduced extent due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • ensure that uncovered fixed costs are not covered from other sources, such as insurance, temporary aid measures, or support from other sources;
  • estimate that its revenue in 2020 will be reduced by at least 30 % or more compared to 2019[1] in the eligible period, which is from 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020.

The Beneficiaries whose revenue will fall between 30 % and 70 % compared to last year in the eligible period are entitled to financial aid in the amount of 0.6 % of revenue in 2019 for each month of eligibility (in total, a maximum of 1.8 %), while the Beneficiaries whose revenue will fall by more than 70 % in the eligible period are entitled to financial aid in the amount of 1.2 % of revenue in 2019 for each month of eligibility (in total maximum 3.6 %).

Additional limits should be taken into consideration, as the financial aid may not exceed EUR 1,000 per employee[2] per month and 70 % of the net loss in the eligible period (for medium and large enterprises) or 90 % of the net loss in the eligible period (for micro and small enterprises). If, after compiling the balance sheet in accordance with the accounting standards, it is established that a Beneficiary has received financial aid in an excessive amount, it will have to return it (without interest).

The total limit of the amount of financial aid (regardless of the number of employees and the amount of revenue) is EUR 3 million, if the Beneficiary was already registered before 1 October 2019, and EUR 800,000.00 if the Beneficiary became registered in the period between 1 October 2019 and 1 September 2020.

[1] If the beneficiary did not operate in 2019 as it was not registered, it must prove a reduction in relation to the average monthly revenue from registration until 1 September 2020.

[2] Self-employed person and shareholders or managers who are included in the binding pension and disability insurance are regarded as employees.

 

The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.