The Serbian Association of Employers (SAE) was established in 1994, following the example of similar employers’ organizations in other countries. However, in accordance with the legislation in force at the time, SAE could only register with the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as an association of citizens. 

From its early days, the Serbian Association of Employers has been committed to improving the business environment. In cooperation with prominent economists and academics of the time, and especially the then Governor of the National Bank of Yugoslavia, SAE prepared two publications with its proposals for amendments to the existing monetary and financial system and possible ways of privatization of state-owned companies. These publications, as well as numerous subsequent activities, increased SAE’s reputation and recognition among private entrepreneurs and the general public and led to the expansion of membership. However, due to political pressures of the regime, the Association was forced to completely suspend its activities at the end of the 1990s.

In 2000, after the collapse of the Milosevic regime, conditions were created for the reactivation of SAE. In 2006 the Republic of Serbia became an independent state and since then the Serbian Association of Employers has been present on the international scene independently. In the same year, SAE became a member of the International Organization of Employers.

In the following years, SAE continued to expand its membership and activities that clearly distinguished it from other business associations of businessmen and entrepreneurs in Serbia. SAE is the only representative employers’ organization at the national level and is represented in numerous national tripartite bodies, forums and working groups. By becoming a member of BusinessEurope in 2011, SAE has confirmed its reputation and engagement at the international level.