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Photograph: Freeimages.com

 In Croatia 9,526 companies were established and 4,537 folded in the first nine months of this year, a survey conducted by the Bisnode business information firm shows.

By comparison, in the same period last year 9,651 companies were started, only 138 more than the number of those that went out of business.

"The situation now is much more positive because in the first three quarters of 2014 for every company that folded one new company opened, while in the same period of 2015 for every company that folded two new ones opened on average," the survey said.

The largest number of companies opened in March 2015, namely 1,400, while 400 closed down, which means that for every company that was wound up 3.49 were established.

The largest number of newly-opened companies in the first three quarters of the year was registered in Zagreb -- 3,146, and the largest number of those that went out of business was also recorded there -- 1,716. By comparison, 3,189 companies were founded in Zagreb in the same period last year, or 43 more than this year, and 3,308 were closed, nearly twice as many as this year.

The best ratio of newly-established and closed companies was recorded in Lika-Senj County, where for every company that was wound up 10.57 new ones opened. Only seven business entities closed down in this county in the first three quarters of the year.

The smallest number of newly-founded companies, namely 72, was recorded in Pozega-Slavonia County, where 1.22 new companies were started for every one that went out of business.

The survey showed that the largest number of new companies was launched in the retail sector -- 1,911. This sector also recorded the largest number of companies that were wound up -- 1,484.

The best ratio of newly-established and closed companies was recorded in the education sector, where for every company that folded 4.20 were started. The ratio in the services sector was 3.98 and in arts, entertainment and recreation it was 3.74.

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