In terms of doing business Bulgaria is one of the most favourable locations in the EU.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union (EU), NATO and the WTO.
The Bulgarian economy is ranked 45th in the global competitiveness ranking according to the World Economic Forum (CIF) ranking (2020) which puts the country’s economy at the forefront of other Balkan countries.
Bulgaria maintains top positions in the Doing Business annual ranking of the World Bank.
In its 2014 Global Services Location Index™ A.T. Kearney ranks Bulgaria 9th Top country and a 1st destination in Eastern Europe for providing outsourcing activities, including IT services and support, contact centres and back-office support.
Bulgaria holds top positions in Europe for speed of the Internet used in major cities.
Geographical location advantages
Bulgaria has a strategic geographical location- it is located in the centre of the Balkan peninsula and it is only 3 hours flight from all major destinations in Europe, Russia and the Mediterranean region. The strategic location defines its geographical proximity and easy access to Central and Western European countries and facilitates fast connections between main economic centres. Five Pan-European corridors pass through the country, linking Northern Europe to Middle East and Northern Africa.
Due to its location Bulgaria provides direct access not only to the European market but also to other key markets such as Turkey, Middle East and North African Market.
Stable currency and future EUR adoption
Bulgaria has a stable currency-Bulgarian Lev (BGN) has been pegged to the Euro at the level of 1.96.
In addition, it should be noted that Bulgaria has been in ERM-II since 10 July 2020 which is an important milestone towards adopting the euro.
Corporate income tax rate in Bulgaria is 10%. Personal income tax is 10 %, flat rate. Industries in high-unemployment areas are granted 0% tax rate.
- Dividend taxation rate is 5%
- VAT rate is 20%
- Over 60 Double Tax Treaties apply in Bulgaria
Favourable business environment
Numerous other factors contribute to the development of a favourable business environment in Bulgaria, such as:
- steady economic growth and macroeconomic environment- the Real GDP growth of the country in 2019 is estimated at 3.7% according to the Economic Report of the European Commission. In terms of stable Macroeconomic Environment Bulgaria has a government debt of 20.2% of its GDP in the end of 2019;
- low costs for establishing a company and fast registration process- the required capital for the registration of a limited liability company (LLC) in Bulgaria is BGN 2 (EUR 1). The registration process may take from 1 to 3 business days;
- Bulgaria has one of the most competitive costs of labour in Central and Eastern Europe;
- favourable office rents and low cost of utilities. Bulgarian cost of electricity for industrial users is 70% of the European average rate;
- highly-skilled human resources- work force is well educated, highly skilled and multilingual. 60 000 students annually graduate from 51 universities. 98% of the high school students study a foreign language (usually English) and 73% study a second language (mainly German, French, Spanish, Russian).
Attractive IT destination
During the past years Bulgaria has built a reputation of an attractive IT destination mainly for developing software, establishing nearshore centres and outsourcing business processes. Some of the multi-national IT organisations operating in Bulgaria are companies like HP, SAP, Microsoft, VMware and others.
Some of the major factors for attracting international IT investments in Bulgaria are the advanced IT infrastructure, the multilingual and highly skilled tech professionals, as well as government initiatives in the technology and digital field (for example the National Program “Digital Bulgaria 2025”).
Meeting the IT market demands for qualified professionals is ensured with the implementation of ICT-focused curricula in Bulgarian high-schools, backed up with a solid language preparation, with large numbers of universities in Bulgaria offering ICT related programmes, and a range of ICT Certificate programs available in the country.