Bulgaria free zones

Bulgaria free zones

Bulgaria has several special economic zones, each of which offer the benefit of multiple investment incentives. The Bulgarian authorities distinguish two types of special economic zones: i) free economic zones and ii) industrial zones.

The Bulgarian free economic zones

    Register free zone company in Bulgaria
  1. The Bulgarian free economic zones (FEZ) are sizeable industrialized estates with high-quality infrastructure to support commercial and logistics facilities to foreign investors. FEZs are an ideal location for manufacturing and trading companies exporting their products to the EU, thanks to i) their convenient location close to transport hubs ii) low cost warehousing space and iii) competitive investment incentives compared to neighboring EU countries;
  2. The Bulgarian authorities currently utilize 6 free economic zones: i) Rousse FEZ which is the largest and most developed; ii) Vidin FEZ; iii) Plovdiv FEZ; iv) Bourgas FEZ; v) Svilengrad FEZ and vi) Dragoman FEZ;
  3. These free zones offers advantages including i) no import/export customs duties; ii) no VAT on exports produced within the zones; iii) and simplified customs procedures. The Rousse FEZ additionally offers i) cheaper land leases; ii) 24-hour live security surveillance and iii) staff project subsidies;
  4. In order to conduct operations in a Free Trade Zone, a company must obtain approval from the Free Zone Authority. Healy Consultants will be happy to assist our Clients interested in operating in an FEZ to i) evaluate the eligibility of their project ii) draft a detailed business plan fulfilling registration requirements and iii) register their company directly with the relevant government entity.

The Bulgarian industrial zones

  1. The Bulgarian government currently operates 5 industrial zones to promote manufacturing, including: i) Maritsa Industrial and Commercial Zone, ii) Rakovski Industrial Zone; iii) Kuklen Industrial and Commercial Zone; iv) Parvomai Industrial Zone and v) Letnitsa Industrial Park;
  2. These industrial zones provide the advantages to business including i) 100% corporate tax exemption; ii) rapid business setup implementation terms; iii) reduced land leases in co-operation with a bank; iv) excellent logistics and infrastructure support and v) cheap railway services;
  3. Foreign investors wishing to conduct business within one of the industrial zones must obtain approval from the Bulgarian Trade Register. Healy Consultants will be happy to assist our Clients to i) evaluate the eligibility of their project ii) draft a detailed business plan fulfilling registration requirements and iii) submit an application to the respective Government Authority.

Table of comparison between Bulgarian free zones

Free zone comparisonRousse FEZOther Bulgaria FEZsBulgaria Industrial zones
FEZs used mostly by which industry?ManufacturingManufacturing and logisticsManufacturing
Average annual warehousing space rent per 1000 sq. m. in €3,5003,500 - 5,0004,200
How long to set the company up?3 weeks3 weeks2 weeks
Registration with which government agency?Trade registerTrade registerTrade register
How long to open company bank account?3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks
Quality of utilitiesSuperbHighHigh
Allowed to sign sales contracts with Bulgaria Clients?YesYesYes
Allowed to invoice Bulgaria Clients?YesYesYes
Agent required to conduct business outside of FEZs?YesYesYes
Benefits for operations outside of FEZs?NoNoNo
Corporate tax payable in Bulgaria10%10%10%
Corporate bank account options?Unicredit BulbankSociete GeneraleAlfa Bank
Physical office space requiredYesYesYes
Subsidies for land purchases?YesYesNo
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesNo
Allowed to export goods?YesYesNo
No duties on imports and exports?YesYesNo
VAT exemption on imports?YesYesNo
VAT exemption on products sold in Bulgaria?NoNoNo
Can be wholly foreign ownedYesYesYes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in Bulgaria?YesYesYes
Foreign employee quota of?NoNoNo
Payroll tax exemption for foreign employees?NoNoNo
Social security contributions exemptions for foreign employees?NoNoNo
Minimum number of directors111
Minimum number of shareholders111
Tax registration certificate requiredYesYesYes
Individual shareholders allowedYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedNoNoNo
LLC company allowed?YesYesYes
Annual financial statements?YesYesYes

External readings

Contact us

For additional information on our free zone services in Bulgaria, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Petar Chakarov, directly:
client relationship officer - Petar
Bulgarian chamber of commerce and industry Bulgaria financial supervision commission Bulgaria government