The number of fully Romanian-owned companies who set up their headquarters in Bulgaria has increased eightfold over the past 5 years, according to Bulgaria's National Revenue Agency.
Thus, over 272 Romanian firms submitted corporate tax declarations to the Bulgarian tax authorities in 2010 compared with only 33 Romanian-owned companies in 2006, a year before Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU, the press office of the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency announced Tuesday.
The largest number of Romanian companies are registed in the Danube city of Ruse, which is only 60 km south of Bucharest – a total of 93. Another 93 Romanian firms are based in Sofia, and 22 are based in the Black Sea city of Varna.
Bulgaria has likewise seen a boom in the number of fully Greek-owned firms moving their headquarters to its territory.
A total of 2 072 Greek firms submitted corporate tax information to the Bulgarian authorities for 2010, a three-fold increase compared with 2006. About 800 Greek companies were registered in Bulgaria in the first half of 2011 alone, and about as many more as expected to so by the end of 2011.
The highest number of Greek companies are registered in the southwestern city of Blagoevgrad – exactly 800 – or 38% of all fully Greek firms registered in Bulgaria. Another 699 are based in Sofia, 127 are registed in Plovdiv, and 58 – in Pazardzhik.
According to officials of the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency, the growing number of businesses from Romania and Greece, Bulgaria's fellow-EU member states, moving to the country is primarily due to the low taxes and the considerable recent reduction of the administrative requirements for start-up companies adopted by the Bulgarian authorities.
At the same time, other experts believe that firms from Bulgaria's two EU neighbors Greece and Romania are said to be drawn to moving to Bulgaria not just by the taxes, which are the lowest in the EU, but also by the macroeconomic stability, and cheaper labor, real estate properties, rents and transport services. Unlike its EU neighbors Romania and Greece, Bulgaria has managed for the time being to do without international bailout assistance.
While many of the newly registered Greek firms are solely set up for the purchase of property or car purchases, a number of them are actively developing businesses.
According to data of the Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria, Greek firms employ about 82 000 people in Bulgaria.
A Romanian citizen was recently revealed to be the largest physical tax payer in Bulgaria's Danube city of Ruse.
Bulgaria currently has the lowest tax burden in the entire European Union, including flat 10% corporate and income tax rates.