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5 reasons to set up a company in Sofia, Bulgaria (Part I)

Ever considered moving your business operations to Bulgaria? The country’s tech ecosystem is practically booming, and attracting international investors with competitive advantages such as favorable taxes and highly skilled and cost-effective workforce. Here’s why to choose Bulgaria’s capital - Sofia:

1. Leading talent

Bulgaria has emerged as a regional talent hub and a preferred destination for international companies looking to set up an R&D or services office.

The National Statistical Institute reports that a significant number of local graduates obtain a higher degree and speak English. In addition, the country has strong traditions in mathematics and computer science. To be specific, Bulgaria is in the top 5 in the all-time ranking in competitive programming, following closely much bigger economies like China, Russia, and Poland, according to statistics by the International Olympiad in Informatics.

Bulgaria’s capital Sofia is the biggest regional economy in the country, as Sofia Invest reports. Here’re some key statistics regarding higher education in the country:

  • Over 110,000 students from 23 universities

  • 63 research centers

  • 83 private IT education centers with a total of over 8,000 graduates

  • 51.4% of the city’s working population holds a university degree

  • Nearly 70% of the students attended a language school

It’s worthwhile noting that there’s a need to modernize higher education and close the gap between university curriculums and the ever-evolving IT business demands. Recently, private tech-ed organizations have emerged to respond to this need.

Telerik Academy: partner to all IT companies

The first Bulgarian private tech-ed organization is Telerik Academy - a pioneer and a trusted partner to the entire tech industry, which continuously leads the way in tech education.

Furthermore, the Academy is one of the pillars of Campus X’s end-to-end tech ecosystem. Located onsite at the Campus, it helps our member companies and other leading IT businesses source top Junior talent and accelerate their success in a predictable and sustainable manner.

“Around 15% of our employees are Telerik Academy alumni. They have both the tech skills needed and the attitude of life-long learners. Most importantly, they get up to speed much faster than most junior developers – in some cases within the first few days,”comments Stoyan Damov, co-founder of Tick42, which is a Campus X member.

To put it in a wider context, Telerik Academy’s community currently includes over 130,000 people and 15,800 students (kids, high-school students, and adults), who have participated in its onsite programs to date. Between 300 and 400 people graduate from its career jumpstart programs annually and start working in the IT industry. Hence, the Academy grooms 10-15% of the in-demand software talent in Bulgaria (on a yearly basis the local software industry needs nearly 2,400 people, according to BASSCOM).

Seamless access to top talent

But there’s more. Campus X has recently entered a strategic collaboration with one of Bulgaria’s leading HR consultancy companies – BICA Services. The goal is to further empower our community and augment the well-established partnership with Telerik Academy.

By collaborating with BICA Services and Telerik Academy, we fulfill our promise to support and accelerate the success of companies based at Campus X,” says Boyko Iaramov, CEO and co-founder of Campus X.

Last but not least, if you’re new on the Bulgarian market, it’s crucial to receive prompt and effective assistance from some of the best HR experts in the country.

Want to power your organization with premium IT talent? Get in touch with Telerik Academy and/or BICA Services.

2. Low Taxes

Did you know that Sofia ranks 3rd in cost-effectiveness among the main European cities in 2020? Let’s take a closer look at the major business tax and fee rates in the country:

  • 10% corporate tax & personal income tax

  • 20% value-added tax (VAT)

  • 18.92% employer social security contribution

Tax payment

How do you pay taxes in Bulgaria? State taxes are administered by the National Revenue Agency (NRA). Meanwhile, the local taxes can be transferred to or paid in cash at any revenue branch of the Sofia Municipality. Check out the list of revenue branches here.

PwC Bulgaria: supporting the local tech ecosystem

With the goal of delivering a flexible serviced office with the added benefits of an end-to-end ecosystem, we’ve also collaborated with PwC Bulgaria, a global leader in auditing, tax, and consultancy services and one of the Big Four auditing firms. Last year, they opened an office at Campus X and launched the first-ever cohesive hands-on Corporate Governance program, which was exclusively available to our members.

“Using all our international expertise and proven professionals, we will support and advise companies from the local startup ecosystem. The goal is to help them grow their businesses successfully both in Bulgaria and abroad,” comments Orlin Hadjiiski, associate partner “Tax Services” at PwC Bulgaria.

There’s more…

If great talent and favorable taxes are not convincing enough to move your business to Bulgaria, stay tuned for Part II of our sequence. We’ll explore three additional advantages of the Bulgarian market. Keep up with us and see what follows next.

Need to focus on your business and eliminate the unknowns of setting up your presence in Bulgaria? Contact us now and benefit from the end-to-end experience we provide.


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