Establishing a company in Bulgaria

The Republic of Bulgaria is in Southeast Europe surrounded by Romania to the north, Macedonia and Serbia to the west, Turkey to the southeast, Greece to the south and the Black Sea to the east. The region has served as an important crossroads throughout history, and its land is dotted with relics and artifacts testifying to the most ancient processes of human society living in Europe. The population is 7.5 million, the majority of which is ethically Bulgarian. The capital is Sofia, and the official language Bulgarian, a language written in Cyrillic script as in Russian. Establishing a company in Bulgaria is a good starting place from which to do business in the entire Balkan area, and there are many additional advantages, such as low operation costs, a short flight from Israel and an attractive, inviting business environment.

Bulgaria’s geography is relatively diverse, including Black Sea beaches, green plains, and the mountainous landscapes of the Balkan. It has several skiing resorts with excellent slopes and skiing facilities that are open during the winter months. Due to the country’s location at the cross point between continental winds and seaborne winds from the Mediterranean Sea, the local climate varies greatly from region to region. Winters are generally extremely cold, with temperatures dropping below zero, while summers are unusually warm for Europe. It has many resorts along the Black Sea, such as Varna, and these provide popular tourist destinations for Europeans and Israelis.

  • In Bulgaria the internationally accepted gestures signifying “yes” (nodding up and down) and “no” (side to side) are done in reverse, so when Bulgarians nod their heads this mean “no”, and when they shake their heads it means “yes”, a fact that may be confusing to visitors.
  • During the ‘80s Bulgaria made real efforts to reestablish its relationship with Israel, ties that had been severed during the Six-Day War. Among other things, they invited Shulamit Shamir, wife of then Foreign Affairs Minister Yitzhak Shamir, to visit the country where she had been born. Although the visit was a private event, the Bulgarians treated it as an official occasion and it received widespread media coverage.
  • Bulgaria’s image does not usually evoke thought of high-quality wine, but the country is in fact one of the world’s leading wine producers, offering a wide range of excellent vintages.

From 2007 onward Bulgaria has been a full member state in the EU, although not a member of its monetary pact, and so still uses its own local currency (although in 2015 this may change). The Bulgarian coin is the lev (BGN), GDP is 103 billion USD and per capita income 15,000 USD. Over the years the country based its economy primarily on agriculture, but the years of Soviet Communist rule transformed it into a very industrialized state, and so it remains to a great extent.

The major economic sectors are the services sector, industry, agriculture and a relatively large public sector. Bulgaria has not been blessed with many natural resources (and almost no fossil fuels) but it does have some oil and gas, and slightly more metals, ore, coal and lumber. Thanks to its geographic location and the network of pan-European transportation routes within its borders it constitutes a major transport route between East and West Europe towards Turkey and eastward.

One of characteristics of Bulgaria is an excellent work force that works for low wages, making it an especially attractive market.

Sofia is a financial and business center and the gateway to various business activities in the Balkan region and in Europe. The country does not impose a capital gains tax, its corporate tax is one of the lowest in the EU (10%), and personal taxes usually do not exceed 10%.

General Information


Type of company

Limited Liability Company ODD / EOOD

Relevant Companies Law

Republic of Bulgaria, Commercial Law, Chapter 13

Offices

Bulgarian law requires companies to provide a local office address

Language of original incorporation documents

Bulgarian and English

Finance and Taxation


Currency

BGN (pegged to the euro)

Corporate tax rate

10% for individuals and corporations

Standard share capital

1 EUR

Office Holders


Company Secretary (Secretary)

 
Obligation to appoint company secretary

Not required

Obligation to appoint local secretary

Irrelevant

Type of entity that may function as company secretary

Irrelevant

Director

 
Obligation to appoint company director

Required

Obligation to appoint local company director

Not required

Minimum number of directors

1

Type of entity that may serve as company director

Individual and/or company

Shareholders

 
Obligation to register shareholders

Required

Obligation to register local shareholders

None

Minimum number of shareholders

1

Type of entity that may register as shareholder

Individual and/or company

Type of shares

Registered shares

Accessibility of Information


Company registrar

Names of shareholders are accessible to the public

Annual Assembly and Reporting


Obligation to hold annual assembly

Required

Obligation to prepare financial reports

Required

Obligation to submit financial reports

Required

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