Starting up in Budapest soon

Hello everyone

I am planning to move to Budapest very soon. I have a flat in a central location and is quite good set.
Since I know there is a also a shortage of good worker hands  in Hungary, I am planning to take up construction.
I have been self employed bricklayer for + 20 years and builded several houses in Denmark.  I don’t imagine a hectic business plan with lots of employers, It is too stressfull. So I imagine having expat customers or English speaking Hungarians  since I don’t speak Hungarian, and only one customer at a time! So finish every job before starting a new! Can be difficult to keep but would be good!
Anyone have ideas to where I should post commercials?
Best Regards
Robert

If you want to be self employed in Hungary, you need to start a business. Do you have proper Hungarian certifications such as OJK certificates to start a masonry business in Hungary? Are you aware of the new laws and required database entries and payment regulations regarding construction and how much work it is to do proper billings?

Hello klsalle

Can you explain what is the OJK certificate? Your link gives no clue, unless maybe if I would know Hungarian language!
Obviously I have no idea about Hungarian rules and regulations, Billings etc. But I imagine a English speaking bookkeeper is helpful in this case! Looking forward to your answer

Your foreign certification is OK to work as an employee of a company as a mason, but to run a company yourself (even self-employed), you need the local certification, which is called "OKJ".

Though maybe you should investigate if this could substitute as an OKj certificate:
https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/docu … supplement

Thank you very much for the useful info... it should be a small formality!
Still I guess the challenge will be to find customers that don’t mind I am not speaking Hungarian!

Maybe learn hungarian?

Definitely, it is an easy language ! So guess few months and i am flying😂😂
Thanks the advices anyway👍 Think I will be fine.

Roblar :

Definitely, it is an easy language !

Well, there is some debate about that....  :cool:

https://pics.me.me/french-grammar-english-grammar-via-9gag-com-arabic-grammar-icelandic-16463208.png

But my biggest problem speaking Hungarian is my accent. Nobody seems to understand me because they can not understand my accent.

Also, as one thought, consider peddling your English language skills to possible employers. One of my biggest problems when renovating our house was our contractor nor his workers spoke English. I could mostly leave them alone, they knew what they were doing, but when an issue cam up it was complicated.....

And someone from Saudi Arabia, dripping money, is more likely to speak English than Hungarian......  ;)

Oops... link blocked again in my last comment as I added it after editing. It was just meant to be funny, so here it is:

https://pics.me.me/french-grammar-english-grammar-via-9gag-com-arabic-grammar-icelandic-16463208.png

May I suggest you're in error about English grammar

Try this

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTG9BXMQwnzUuwz1yAyUk7a96odqRiW3v1rBMt4IzRTO-MddA5s

Fred :

May I suggest you're in error about English grammar

You may have a point.

Hehe allright... I was ironic about the Hungarian language part!

Well, even if you only work for english speaking customers, how will you get english-speaking suppliers? Only having english-speaking suppliers will mean you will be very-very expensive!

Rawlee :

Well, even if you only work for english speaking customers, how will you get english-speaking suppliers? Only having english-speaking suppliers will mean you will be very-very expensive!

Buy online. Online is often actually cheaper. And any online store can be https://translate.google.com/ .. ed

Well, okay. maybe not always for bricks and cement (but it depends....*). But, even so, those two words are pretty easy to lean to get local suppliers. :)

And one can use use Google Translate on your phone for the details. I do that a lot now, Often and simply to remove the accent issue. It voices out the word or phrase in Hungarian, without accent (in a nice sexy female voice....  weirdly a benefit when dealing with construction suppliers --- who are mostly men.... :) ).

*I have bought a lot of very heavy things online -- and had them delivered. So it can be done.

I really dont Think this is an issue, lots of places to buy construction materials, ofcourse it Will be possible to find English or German speaking customer support😉 ich speeche auch gans gut Deutch🥳

Best of luck to you. Many good answers in this post.
Our old friend has a huge construction business  located near lake Velence.
I'm sure he has all the certificates needed to run the company but  as we personally know him I can state as a fact he never ever got his hands dirty in his life or knows the first thing about building a tree house.
It is all about who you know here in Hungary and this guy knows everyone.
He now has a construction yard for supplies and built 2 or more grocery stores near the lake, Aldi and Lidl perhaps more then those two.
It's a cut throat business here , this guy hired a all Romanian crew to pay less to his workers.
He and his wife ran their own restaurant near the lake, thank God it closed down because she served me raw bloody gizzards, don't have to know a thing here to make it, it's all about who you know.
Great idea that you have but hate to say it, you may be sorry when your local builders find out .

My HU husband said perhaps you can do it and make a go of it since so many English speakers are moving to Hungary . The thing is in my opinion most ex-pats are not always willing to pay more then a local contractor will charge. Of course they love letting you deal with supplies, certificates, building codes and city hall but when it comes to separation of their funds they may not consider how hard it was for you to get everything legal for each job.
I know I seem negative but after over a decade here some things are very clear as to how it really goes.
At some point you will need to hire someone to help you out who speaks Hungarian or things will be very frustrating for you.

Hej Marilyn

Thanks for your long post and interesting story! Appreciate it... anyway i am not interested in having employees and big business! It might sounds strange but I got my reasons for that.
Generally people on this forum had more negative/ pessimism about starting up in construction in Hungary, and I am not expecting it to be a walk in the park!

Nobody came up with ideas to how I can find customers, except from that it is about”who do you know” well it function like that other places too! Also in DK... question and challenge for me will be how to get my first and second job in Hungary when the time comes!
And I don’t mind working for same amount like locals! Was not expecting to charge Danish prices😂😂
As I know there is a lot of foreign investors, I am trying to find some of them these dayes.
I feel you Hungarian husband is not completely wrong in the chance of the foreign investors or expats.

Roblar :

Generally people on this forum had more negative/ pessimism about starting up in construction in Hungary,

I count myself as "guilty" there.

Having had to renovate our house, piece by piece, over the past decade I am aware of the changing construction climate. A few years ago, I would have been more positive. But recent regulations have changed things... a lot. And not for the better.

I even know one foreign, German only speaking construction person (who did a lot of business with the local German speaking Expats here) who basically decided to retire rather than trying to keep up with the constantly changing regulations.  :(

Could it be that your German friend was doing both plumbing and electricity?
Regulations are alwayes more strict than the carpenter/mason...
I think that Denmark/Sweden/Norway have some of the hardest regulations in Europe, also for Mason... for example In Dk you have to use a rubbermenbran under tiles in bathroom, where in Hungary it is just a recommendation!

I'm not sure how one would advertize for services here other then perhaps posting on FB or FB Marketplace.
I know people would love to just call up a handyman who speaks English but from your side it isn't going to be a cake walk.
There are many laws and regulations that perhaps you will not be aware of and later have to pay or redo a job.
There is so much red tape in Hungary with rules and regulations that it might be a huge headache sooner or later.
I do wish you the best, one needs a lot of energy to start in a new country.

Roblar :

Could it be that your German friend was doing both plumbing and electricity?
Regulations are alwayes more strict than the carpenter/mason...
I think that Denmark/Sweden/Norway have some of the hardest regulations in Europe, also for Mason... for example In Dk you have to use a rubbermenbran under tiles in bathroom, where in Hungary it is just a recommendation!

There's a lot of bodging going on here in Hungary and no-one seems to care that much - except when it goes wrong.   Walls not straight and my extra special favourite annoyance, a belief amongst HU construction workers that water flows up hill.  Either pure laziness or alternate physics hereabouts.

I think there might be a possibility of being a project manager on house builds for foreigners - maybe that doesn't need a qualification so long as you're not inspecting something and just keeping an eye on people.   There are always problems here with the workers cutting corners and just plain cheating.   You have to stand over them.   That's a fallacy of cheap workers here - you need 2 x supervision .

We did it ourselves but Mrs Fluffy is Hungarian (and speaks almost fluent English).  But she's not an expert and the detail would not have been obvious.   We still have some odd things we need to fix.

I'm  in a discussion with one guy now who doesn't believe we need normal sized double seal drain covers for sewage/black water in our driveway. Instead he's saying can have "small ones".   I want normal sized ones so I can see what is going on and I can clean the drain out if necessary.  We already had to do it once but luckily I already had all the right equipment (pressure washer/drain cleaner accessory).

There's a lot of bodging for their convenience and their interests.   Quite annoying.

BTW, we have rubbery membranes under our tiles but it's painted on.

Roblar :

And I don’t mind working for same amount like locals! Was not expecting to charge Danish prices😂😂

https://www.fizetesek.hu/fizetesek/epit … an/komuves

Average net wage of masons:

342 403 HUF

Are you sure?

Roblar :

Could it be that your German friend was doing both plumbing and electricity?
Regulations are alwayes more strict than the carpenter/mason..!

He was doing general construction. Mostly masonry. The largest change that tilted his decision is that most any construction typicality needs to be now tracked in a database (as I understand it, to avoid "black work" payments -- the government wants their cut of your money and don't believe you or your contractor are honest and are reporting payments and income). And the "paperwork" doing so is time consuming and only in Hungarian.

My Hu husband's step-pro was a HU mason. He passed away before the changes here in HU though.
He used to work on big projects in Russia because they paid better then working in Hungary.
Side note, he developed a love of drink as there was not much to do on off hours while out in nowhere with a bunch of other guys on the job site.
My husbands family has built many homes in Hungary and they are still standing after over 50 years so between his step- bro and step-dad they knew a bit about building, cellars too, everyone in my MIL old neighborhood would experience flooding in their cellars because of the wet land area but my FIL's cellar was solid with no leaks.
Even with all their "expert" knowledge they had to stop in the middle of building and get a "professional" to inspect at cetain points during the building, wiring, electric, plumbing and other major things had to be approved by gov. specs before they could continue the work. Sometimes it took a long while to get someone out to write the job off for them. The also had to file blueprints for everything they built, even their fences.

I know even in our little flat we can't just pull out utility meters and move them here or there, the gas, water or electric co. Has to do the work at our cost for whatever they charge.
If you work on apts. you may run into small hassles with the use of common walls or pipes, sounds a bit like a huge hassle with all sorts of possible legal issues.
I know ATM we noticed a small discoloration up by our front door by the ceiling. Rather a dark spot so we didn't notice before , only noticed because some plaster was falling down.
Our upstairs neighbor had a huge redo of their flat a few years back. Hired some real slow pokes who took over 6 months to work on a 50 sq. meter flat.
Looks like one of their "new" pipes is causing an issue in our flat.
Have to let them know about this soon for sure before it gets worst.
They had some shoddy work in their kitchen right after they moved in, they used a rooter thing to clean out the pipes. I thought the house was hit by a train the loud noise they made, we were fine but below us the dummies had broken a pipe and the people had a small flood in their kitchen.
They didn't make allowance for the bottom floor pipes having a turn in them and they just shoved that machine down the drain and broke the pipe. The upstairs neighbor had to pay for all the repairs from the half hazzard job they did.
Don't expect them to be too happy when we knock on their door soon and tell them they have a leak.

fluffy2560 :

I'm  in a discussion with one guy now who doesn't believe we need normal sized double seal drain covers for sewage/black water in our driveway. Instead he's saying can have "small ones".

I have had similar discussions. I don't get it. Put in the larger pipe, charge me more if you need to, but put in the size I want (bigger pipe needs bigger hole, more work, I get it). No discussion. Don't waste my time with opinion based discussion.

I just don't get it why they are even unwilling to get paid more for a job and rather stick to their narrow world view and maybe get paid less.  :/  There is no "customer is always right" culture here. So... I always thought that may be a business opportunity for those working specifically with foreigners who do expect that.  ;)

Fortunately, after some searching, I found a contractor who does all my "crazy" ideas as requested. I was so happy, I recommend him to others. He has gotten a lot of work from my referrals.... :)

I guess your link refers to the saluary of an employee? My latest numbers of info is about 350-400.000huf so fits with your link.

I am not plannning to be an employee!

Anyway the market now is not normal, the workers are throwing around prices just to get people off their back!! And even then the customer accept anyway!
Same pattern I remember from 2006-2007 right before reciession kicked in🥴

Sounds like Hungary is moving into same direction like Denmark with registration... it might seem bad, but in the longer run it is better! Only problem is that the prices going up for the consumer! But ever since I finished my mason education there were thick books and new regulations. It does not scare me to hear this about HU, and ofcource when a country have been the “Wild West” in the beginning regulations will seem bad.

Rubber menbran can be painted on! No problem😉
Damn I am getting so much feedback in this forum, I am surprised!!  thanks everyone but can’t reply back to everything🥳🥳

klsallee :

The largest change that tilted his decision is that most any construction typicality needs to be now tracked in a database (as I understand it, to avoid "black work" payments -- the government wants their cut of your money and don't believe you or your contractor are honest and are reporting payments and income)

https://hvg.hu/kkv/20180925_Minden_tize … n_dolgozik

Left-wing economic portal claims 12% of the workforce works unregistered. Construction industry has 35% rate. Yes, the increasing bureocracy is aimed at reducing this, not at "stealing your money". That is a lot of taxes not paid, and more importanly, a lot of people uninsured, and not paying their fair share of the burden. And then people cry for more money for education and healthcare, when they dont contribute on the other side.

This has nothing to do with goverment stealing. I know its hard to grasp the idea, but the economic policies of the government are emulated accross the continent. Like the online cassas - now copied by half of Europe.

Rawlee :
klsallee :

The largest change that tilted his decision is that most any construction typicality needs to be now tracked in a database (as I understand it, to avoid "black work" payments -- the government wants their cut of your money and don't believe you or your contractor are honest and are reporting payments and income)

https://hvg.hu/kkv/20180925_Minden_tize … n_dolgozik

Left-wing economic portal claims 12% of the workforce works unregistered. Construction industry has 35% rate. Yes, the increasing bureocracy is aimed at reducing this, not at "stealing your money". That is a lot of taxes not paid, and more importanly, a lot of people uninsured, and not paying their fair share of the burden. And then people cry for more money for education and healthcare, when they dont contribute on the other side.

This has nothing to do with goverment stealing. I know its hard to grasp the idea, but the economic policies of the government are emulated accross the continent. Like the online cassas - now copied by half of Europe.

Please do not put words in my mouth. Only you used the word "stealing". Not I. By quoting me and adding such commentary is implying I suggested this. I did not. Whatever marble you have rolling around in your head on this topic is entirely your problem. So I won't own it.

Clearly, I have no problem with fair tax rates (just look at my many prior postings over the years on topics such as no one should hire black work), or the government wanting a cut of your money and doing what is proper and appropriate to make sure such taxes are paid.

Rather, or more simply, the problems start when the rules, regulations, paperwork and taxes are not clear or fair, so that cheating and rule avoidance becomes rampant. When rules, regulations, paperwork and taxes are fair and easy to use, most people follow them and pay them. A government that can not trust its citizens to play by the rules should first do a bit of self examination if their rules, regulations, paperwork and taxes are fair, unambiguous, easy and appropriate.

So I do have a problem with incompetent government rules and systems (and the current government has added a lot of those) that were so poorly thought out and implemented that they over burden small businesses. Making it difficult for such small businesses to operate. I can only assume you do not run a small business, else you would not be making such a silly comment.

That is true in a country where capitalism ruled for hundreds of years. But here, mere 30 years ago, "communism" was rampant, and it it told people they can do it. I had colleagues who took the leftover "25" kms of cables from the factory to sell, and it was okay for everybody. Half of the population lived with this mentality, and the other half was raised by them. Why do you think torrenting is the most common on this half of the continent?

The fancy explanations westerners come up with dont work east of the iron cutrain.

Besides of sociological reasons, anglo-saxon people believe the state is for the people, while eastern cultures believe the individual is for the state (the country). We are smack dab in the middle, showing signs of both beliefs. This manifests in such things as this issue, where you think the government's responsibility is to make an environment good enough for companies to operate in, while at the same time the government sets the tax so high it prices out many entities from the market.

And this is not a problem that needs to be solved, as neither side is inherently correct. China has existed with their mentality for 6000 years. This is a situation people have to work with. Sometimes, the result is discontent because of the lask of opportunities, and sometimes the result is a highly resourceful population who can find back alley ways noone else can.

As a sidenote, taxes are not "your money". The net price is your money, the rest is put on solely because of the taxes. If there were no taxes, you would not be asking for more (would you?). If you consider the difference between the net and gross yours, then you imply theft.

klsallee :

...I have had similar discussions. I don't get it. Put in the larger pipe, charge me more if you need to, but put in the size I want (bigger pipe needs bigger hole, more work, I get it). No discussion. Don't waste my time with opinion based discussion.

.....There is no "customer is always right" culture here. So... I always thought that may be a business opportunity for those working specifically with foreigners who do expect that.  ;) ....... I was so happy, I recommend him to others. He has gotten a lot of work from my referrals.... :)

I'm sticking to my guns over these drain covers.   Vehicles will drive over it so it needs to be substantial.  I can see online the costs of a "10 tonne" double seal galvanised cover is only about 10-15K HUF so you'd think it wouldn't be worth arguing about!  The actual trap/concrete off the shelf isn't going to cost much either other than the digging etc.  Why even argue about it - I'm paying?!   

Really strange thinking but Mrs Fluffy insight is there's a mentality to "save money" even though it's not their money or their business and even if it's against your wishes.

I was working with a guy from Croatia and he said it's worse there - they will alter the plans or the design on the fly because they like their solution better, never mind what the approved and agreed plans say.   He said he had to tell them to reverse their ideas and put in the correct solution more than once.   Basically they thought they knew better and they were prepared to argue with him about it.  Why?!  Very odd.

Rawlee :

....I had colleagues who took the leftover "25" kms of cables from the factory to sell, and it was okay for everybody. Half of the population lived with this mentality, and the other half was raised by them. Why do you think torrenting is the most common on this half of the continent?

....

I was recently somewhere and this old news article was being discussed.   61 miles of cable would weigh an awful lot - 80 tonnes mentioned in the article.  I hope the fishermen became better educated over the losses. 

I think your torrenting comment doesn't work for me. It's not the same thing. TV shows "belong to no-one" in the downloaders mind as it comes out of the ether and therefore nowhere.   

The cable on the other hand is physically worth something - I don't think even back in the Commie days the authorities would have tacitly agreed to theft from the people.  In China they still execute people for theft of "public" property.

Rawlee :

That is true in a country where capitalism ruled for hundreds of years. But here, mere 30 years ago, "communism" was rampant, and it it told people they can do it. I had colleagues who took the leftover "25" kms of cables from the factory to sell, and it was okay for everybody. Half of the population lived with this mentality, and the other half was raised by them. Why do you think torrenting is the most common on this half of the continent?

The fancy explanations westerners come up with dont work east of the iron cutrain.

Oh please..... You apparently never lived in the USA or know much about history. Plenty of "leftover cable sales" there too. Historically, look up things like "Tammany Hall". Where do you think the phrase "it fell off the back of the truck" came from?

The only difference is "who paid who to get what benefit". It is called corruption (deal making/old boy networking/etc. etc. etc). Corruption (et al) is global. You are simply expressing your global ignorance to state otherwise. People are basically the same everywhere. Hungarians really need to stop blaming "Communism" for basic human behavior,. The "west" has simply installed more efficient, easy to use, accounting methods in recent years which created.... no difference. Still plenty of corruption.

Rawlee :

As a sidenote, taxes are not "your money".

IMHO.... A rather "leftist" viewpoint...  :D

I doubt any Republican member of the US congress will agree with you. For example....   ;)

In short, I will state... well, that is merely our opinion. I have another opinion. After all, if I did not work to make *my money* there would be nothing for the state to tax.....

But I do think that the state does have a right to some of *my money*. After all, to make *my money* I used state built social resources such as roads.... How much of *my money* is appropriate compensation, and how such compensation is best accounted for and paid for such common social resources, is up for debate.  ;)

In short.... I assume we can agree to disagree.

And since you did not state otherwise, I can only assume you do not own a business, and are simply arguing from a "wage slave" pro-government persona....  :cool:

I see the things turned totally political😂 well enjoy that one🥴
since my birth country started the import of Muslim people, I am off political topics! Just saying with this political statement😜

Roblar :

I see the things turned totally political😂 well enjoy that one🥴
since my birth country started the import of Muslim people, I am off political topics! Just saying with this political statement😜

Well... I am trying to keep it "business related"

But since business is dependent on government regulations... It is hard to differentiate the two. And that need have nothing to do with immigrants/migrants/expats/ etc. A different topic.

Business should be about business. Period. And having dealt with small company ownership in three countries, I certainly have my views about small business operations from a real world perspective. So not just expressing "opinions" from the gallery.... Being a back seat driver.... simply Kibitzing...

Great and I agree, so what kind of business you have in Hungary?

Most of the business activities that I have engaged in world wide have been under the rather broad umbrella of "consulting". I can not go into it more. I often deal with sensitive topics. Non-disclosure agreements.

Meanwhile, one of my hobbies is DIY renovating our house. I had to learn masonry here (my carpentry skills were mostly useless). I am no expert. But after a few years, I can now lay a decent straight brick wall and plaster a wall. I can still not do a stone wall however. That is an art form. .:D

“Consulting” well okay it is a broad spectrum, but fair enough😉
Hey, any kind of hand work is about having the interest and not give up in the beginning! I had several apprentice over the years, it takes 4 years to become a Carpenter/electrician/Mason/plumber in Dk, few times they quit after 6-12 months through zero interest!
Then there is ofcource the type of person that simply can’t work with the hands! Personally I find great satisfaction in creating with my hands! But financially I found biggest satisfaction through a few deals way back moving  pallets of haircare products from Spain to Dk as a mittleman, not even touching the product, but earning a years work of Masony in a few months!
Unfortunately I got shut down on that deal.

Roblar :

“Consulting” well okay it is a broad spectrum, but fair enough😉

Yes. Very, very broad. I once saw a t-shirt that said "I am not unemployed... I am a consultant". :)

I wish I had such a t-shirt. I tickles the absurd twisted humor in me.... :D

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