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DOING BUSINESS IN BULGARIA
Located at the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria is a very interesting & strategic hub for start-ups & business point for foreign companies & investors between NORTH WEST & SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE.
Logistic connections are major airports (Sofia, Plovdiv, Bourgas and Varna) and two main seaports (Varna and Bourgas), which offer a quick access to huge consumer markets. What’s more, the cost of using Bulgaria as a strategic hub is very low and there are several tax exemptions on offer to urge businesses to invest in the country.
With very low rate of corporate tax rate of 10%, legally settled personal income tax of 10% Bulgaria offer a very competitive legal advantages next to its European neighbours, and the cost of labour and favourable office rents add to its appeal.
Starting a Business
It takes almost three weeks to start a business in Bulgaria, most of which is spent registering with the Commercial Register at the Registry Agency and filing for VAT. A deposit should be paid in full to a Bulgarian bank and articles of incorporation must also be completed.
Dealing with Construction Permits
Construction permit and construction works are by far the most arduous element of establishing a corporate entity in Bulgaria. Dealing with permits can take over 140 days to sort and requires sifting through some technical & legal procedures, including correspondence with the chief architect of the municipality, water authorities, the utilities provider, fire department, and many other inter-governmental departments.
Registering Living & Industrial Property
Property registration takes just over two weeks to complete. A sketch of the estate has to be drafted by the municipality and a tax valuation of the property should be made. A certificate of good standing then has to be issued for the seller and buyer and a certificate from the Real Estate Register has to be picked up before tax can be paid and final registration completed.
Getting Credit and Protecting Investors
There is a healthy public registry coverage, credit information index and legal rights index in Bulgaria, which makes obtaining credit relatively easy. Thanks to a strong regulatory environment, investor protection is also good.
It takes a little time for foreign companies make tax payments, which is largely spent dealing with social security contributions and VAT. Despite being tremendously competitive in terms of its fiscal policy, Bulgaria certainly makes businesses work hard to reap the rewards of such a system.
Trading Across Borders
Trading across borders is a very time intensive task, taking up 21 days when exporting and 17 when importing. It is also quite a costly affair, which is out of character for Bulgaria.
Enforcing legal contracts before the Bulgarian courts
It takes several weeks to enforce a legal contract in Bulgaria, which is far longer that the average time in Western Europe & Central Asia. There are several legal procedures to complete during the process, which is likely to be the reason for its longevity.
Resolving insolvency takes an average of several mounts to year, if the trial is moved to next court instance. Non-performance of a monetary obligation must be adjudicated before the bankruptcy court can determine whether the debtor is insolvent. There is a presumption of insolvency when the debtor is unable to perform an executable obligation under a commercial transaction or public debt or related commercial activities, has suspended all payments, or is able to pay only the claims of certain creditors. The debtor is deemed over-indebted if its assets are insufficient to cover its short-term monetary obligations.