Options for remote work from Bulgaria?

Hello and zdravejte!

I am about to move to Bulgaria from Scotland (for a number of reasons), and I am looking for the best way to "port" my job. I hope some members of this forum have similar experiences and can share their knowledge.

I am a software developer, working for an American startup. However, i don't live in the US, I am a British citizen and live in Scotland, working from home - for quite a while now, and without any problem. The only presence the company has in the UK is registration with HMRC to pay me and pay the PAYE and NIC (by contracting services of an accountant). They don't mind continuing this in Bulgaria, and can send the money to BG just as they did to the UK.

My worry is how do I set up paying taxes and social security in Bulgaria? I want to be fully legal there. Doeas my employe absolutely have to create a branch just to employ 1 person? Or can I register as self-employed in BG to pay taxes and social security myself - what's involved in this?

If anyone has experience of this kind, pleese share advice!


Hi, I suspect you will also need some kind of visa from the immigration department to work in Bulgaria.

Not yet. We are still in the EU, and it is almost certain that those who move before Brexit will be allowed to stay :)

Hi Sogy,

Yes, you can register yourself as self-employed. If you are in Plovdiv then you can go to the BULSTAT register on 'Bulevard 6-ti Septemvri' and ask there. They will ask you for originals and copies of your degrees.. If you don't speak Bulgarian then make sure to bring someone with you who can help. Regarding the procedures, have a look here: https://www.ruskov-law.eu/bulgaria/arti … loyed.html and here: https://www.ruskov-law.eu/bulgaria/arti … ncing.html

I am registered myself as an EOOD (Ltd.) so cannot provide personal experiences with the application for freelancer.. I hope the links can help you further.

Good luck!

Thank you Remedias! Wonder why they need diplomas, and how they decide which are "appropriate". Mine are in Physics (MS and PhD), so may not qualify me to be a lowly software developer :)

And yes, I'll be in Plovdiv. Are you there too?

BTW, how much hassle/expense is EOOD (for the same purpose)?

I don't speak Bulgarian (yet), but I understand quite some, and I speak Russian, which a lot of older Bulgarians speak very well :)

Hi Sogy,

The diploma issue really is a funny one.. I am also not sure in how far your diploma's need to correspond to your intended activity in BG.. The only personal example I have is that my partner tried to register himself here as a freelance journalist but BULSTAT asked for his degrees (which are not in journalism but in Russian and Slavonic studies) and we still have to follow up on this.

As for the EOOD.. The whole process of registration was quite straight forward and it cost around 350 BGN. It needs to happen at a lawyer's office and can be done within a day. Then you need to go to the NAP where quite a few procedures need to happen, which are too complicated to write here :-) In general it is a good idea to have a bookkeeper who can help you with all this. We tried to do it ourselves and just went through a lot of hassle and needed a bookkeeper in the end to sort out some paperworks anyway.. Monthly contributions for social security (pension, sickness, optional maternity leave, unemployment) are 30% and income tax is 10% flat.

Yes, we live near Plovdiv and are in the city a few times a week. Give us a shout if you want to meet for a beer or coffee and we can give you some recommendations if you like.

Best wishes

Thank you so much again, Remedias!

Once I get there (or closer to it), i will get in touch. Hope you'll share your lawyer and accountant with me, I'll need them. I think social security contributions are capped, so it's not that much. Also, there is an added problem of VAT registration, as my "turnover" will exceed BGN25000/yr, which adds to accounting costs... but still hope it's not excessive.

And yes, let's have some beer (or maybe wine?) together!

Sure! :-) let's be in touch closer to the time.

Best wishes

Got a reply to my question from an accountant in Bulgaria: the diploma must match the occupation, so I can't be a Software Developer with a diploma in Physics (this is really funny!).

But, yes, I can register a company and work through it. So beginning to work on this front.


1. Register as self employed in Bulgaria;

2. Set up your own company;

3. Work on a contract basis directly for your current employer.

4. Start working for a company, that has business with your present employer.

5. Other options might exist too.

There's absolutely no need for the company to create a branch here.

Taxwise probably options 1 and 3 are best.

Work related to your diploma - that is nonsense, no one will be checking it even if it exists and in such a case you can easily modify the "topic" of your current employment contract - no one will ever be interested.

Paying taxes is easy but depends on the work pattern you have selected.

patent tax for No. 1 + addition (not quite sure, but probably social security payments)

corporate tax for No. 2 + social security payments + income tax (flat rate 10 %) + another 5 % on the profit that you collect from the company (whenever)

not quite sure about No, 3, but basically income tax + social security payments

4. income tax + social security payments for No. 4

As you can see, the main components are basically the same, and the different options are almost balanced to generate similar tax payment.

Thank you so very much Kristiann!

Your option 3 is the most appealing to me, as I am already the company's employee and already Transatlantic(), and would like to continue as such, with minimal hassle and overhead for the company (they don't really need a branch at this moment).

However, how can I set up paying tax and Social Security in this scenario? You appear to be knowledgeable in this, could you give me advice?

I would check again on the degree matching the profession issue. My husband does not have an advanced degree (at all, he only finished high school) and he was able to register as a freelance programmer and later open an eood as a programmer. (His high school was a technical high school, but I remember his accountant having issues with his lack of a bachelor's degree at first). I would say registering as self employed is more difficult than opening a company, but that was just my experience in Varna. I gave up registering as self-employed after a bunch of trips to the office.