The rise of digital nomadism has transformed the way people work and live, offering unprecedented freedom and flexibility. For many, Bulgaria has emerged as an appealing destination for digital nomads due to its affordability, beautiful landscapes, and rich culture. However, before embarking on your freelance journey in Bulgaria, it’s crucial to understand the legal aspects that will shape your experience. In this article, we will explore key legal considerations every digital nomad should be aware of when freelancing in Bulgaria.
While English is widely spoken in the business world, especially in larger cities, learning some basic Bulgarian phrases can be helpful for daily life and local interactions. Bulgaria has developed a reliable and fast internet infrastructure, making it suitable for digital work. Ensure you have a stable internet connection for your freelancing activities. Joining local and international business or freelancer communities can provide you with valuable networking opportunities, professional support, and insights into the freelancing scene in Bulgaria.
Visa and Residence
If you’re an EU or EEA citizen, you can enter Bulgaria without a visa and stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. For longer stays, it’s advisable to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit. This is especially relevant for digital nomads planning to live and work in Bulgaria for an extended period. To obtain a TRP, you typically need to demonstrate a legitimate reason for your stay, such as work or self-employment. If you are a third country citizen you can apply for the so called Freelance working Visa.
Once in Bulgaria, you must register with the local authorities within 30 days if you plan to stay for more than 90 days. This registration involves providing a valid address in Bulgaria and obtaining a Certificate of Foreigner’s Registration. It’s essential to maintain updated information with local authorities to remain in compliance with Bulgarian law.
Taxation and Social security contributions
Understanding the Bulgarian tax system is a critical aspect of freelancing in the country. Bulgaria offers a competitive flat tax rate of 10% on income, making it an attractive destination for freelancers. To ensure tax compliance:
- Register as a self-employed individual.
- Keep accurate records of your income and expenses.
- File your annual tax return within the specified deadline.
Non-compliance with tax regulations can result in penalties and legal consequences.
Bulgaria has a social security system that covers various benefits, including healthcare. Freelancers are required to make social security contributions to access these benefits. The amount you contribute will depend on your income and the specific benefits you want to access. Understanding the social security system is crucial for ensuring your well-being during your stay.
Legal Business Structure and Banking considerations for Freelance in Bulgaria
If you would like to be a freelancer in Bulgaria, do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you move to Bulgaria where to establish and grow. You can write to one of our team members in LinkedIn, if you feel ok with it, too.