Why is Bulgaria an interesting place?
Well, we’d say that there are three main reasons:
- It’s easy to get a residency
- Low taxes
- Costs are quite low
Bulgaria has a flat 10% tax rate and 5% on dividends. We will do a separate video and article on the topic of Bulgarian taxes.
This is, in general, a low-cost country. Food is affordable, taxis are the most affordable we’ve ever seen (exactly the opposite of Norway), rent is affordable especially if you are willing to live outside of the city center.
Prices in real estate vary drastically, based on location. The most expensive areas are about 10 times more than the least expensive areas in the city. This being said, even in the most expensive areas you can get an amazing apartment for 1000 EUR per month.
If you are starting a business here it will go quite smoothly. Wages are still quite low, especially in comparison to Western Europe, but not as low as in Serbia or the Philippines. A coder will cost you anywhere from 1500-3000 EUR per month, an average employee in Sofia would make less than 1000 EUR per month.
One big disadvantage is the lack of the English language. Most of people will struggle with English, especially the older generations. We had quite a few problems in banks, because of language barriers. Other foreign languages are not common either.
Forming a company can be done in less than a week
If you are an EU citizen who wants to relocate to Bulgaria, it will be quite simple and easy. You could move here, open a company and get a residency in a few days.
If you are not an EU passport holder who wants to come here, you have 2 options (besides job opportunity in Bulgaria):
The first option is to have a foreign company register a trade representative office in Bulgaria. Based on this trade representative office you can get a type D visa.
This visa allows you to get your long term residency and a foreigner’s ID card in Bulgaria. This will give you a year of residency if you are from a non-EU country, and 5 years if you are an EU passport holder. It can be easily renewed in both cases.
Getting this D visa is a little bit of a hassle. You’ll need to gather all the documents and take them to a Bulgarian embassy outside of Bulgaria. Typically you would apply in your home country, however, this doesn’t have to be the case. After about a month you would come back and pick up your visa.
After this, you would come to Bulgaria and apply to their immigration office.
This process will cost you a couple of thousand EUR.
The other option is a residency by investment program. You can get citizenship by investment here as well.
Even though Bulgaria is the part of EU they are not part of the Schengen zone. This is a disadvantage but they are working on joining it. We will have to wait and see.