Moving business from Ukraine to Bulgaria


War is never a good thing. Ukraine had many thriving business which are suffering right now. One of the solutions is to move business and employees (as much as it can be done) to a close friendly country.

Why Bulgaria is good place to move your Ukrainian business

Bulgaria is relatively close, but far enough to be safe from the conflict. It's part of EU and NATO. Black sea coastal cities such as Varna and Burgas offer great opportunities with fair price accomodation and business. Bulgaria uses cyrillic alphabet, so Ukrainians would be able to adapt easy.

Moving your Ukrainian business

As with every new business, you will need to register a local company. A limited liability company (EOOD) is the most straightforward choice. It is easy to setup and can be up and running as quick as in 3 business days. Depending on your desired company structure, it can take a bit longer e.g. if you wish to open a subsidiary of another foreign holding company. In such case it won't be more than 2 weeks.

We'll be honest. Banks allover EU are overwhelmed by the Anti Money Laundering regulations. This complicates the process for opening business bank accounts. However, many FinTech companies such as Revolut, Wise, iCard etc. are happy to get new business customers and they open bank accounts for startup businesses without too much hassle. Sometimes, if your Ukrainian business had good business relations with a bank and if that bank has a branch in Bulgaria, it will be easy to get new bank account in Bulgaria for the same business. Such banks are Raiffeisenbank, ProCreditbank etc.

Moving your Ukrainian employees to Bulgaria

Despite Bulgaria's has a legal requirement that not more than 10% of the company employees can be non-permanent-residents, you can still move 100% of your employees and basically keep your existing company team.

The above restriction can be overriden by applying the rules of EU Directive 2001/55. The Directive grants rights to access to the labour market to all Ukrainians who apply for temporary protection status. If this procedure is followed, your Ukrainian employees can be 100% employed by your new Bulgarian business without any restrictions.

Who can benefit of the above procedures

Any business owner of Ukrainian business can benefit of the above procedures. Especially beneficial this would be to coastal businesses of Odessa, as Varna and Burgas are also located on Black Sea Coast, so their marine related work can continue without major interruptions.

Software companies may also benefit of the very good connectivity infrastructure in Bulgaria.

Beneficial tax regieme

Bulgarian corporation tax is flat 10%. Being part of EU, any business owner can take advantage of unrestricted EU trade (excise goods have their own regime in the internal EU trade).

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