Bulgaria

About

The Republic of Bulgaria is located in Southeastern Europe at the Black Sea. With about 111.000sqkm it is Europe`s 14th largest country but it only has about 7.3 million inhabitants. The capital is Sofia. Bulgaria is a member of NATO and the European Union since 2007. The currency lev (BGN) is pegged to the Euro at 1.95583 leva for one euro. One of the lowest personal and corporate tax regimes and overall low public debt are main drivers for economic growth. Main industries are mining and increasingly tourism. Please find more information here.

Main Advantages

  • Residency in EU member country
  • Free movement within the Schengen zone after accession
  • Lowest tax rates within the EU
  • Only 6-9 months until residency is permitted
  • More than 60 international tax treaties
  • No language requirements
  • Fast track option to citizenship within 2 years possible
  • Financing options for Citizenship Investment Program 

Taxation

Is generally based on worldwide income however conditional tax exemption on world income is possible with the program.

  • Income Tax: 10% flat
  • Capital Gains Tax: 10% flat
  • Deductions and allowances are available
  • Inheritance Tax: 0,4 – 6,6% (depending on relationship of beneficiary and municipality)
  • Gift tax: 0,4 – 6,6% (depending on relationship of beneficiary and municipality)

Cost of Living

Cost of living is relatively low in Bulgaria. The rent for a 1 bedroom appartment in the capital Sofia can be as low as 4200USD/year. The purchase prices can start at about 98000USD. You can find more detailed information here.

Requirements

The Investment Encouragement Act of the Republic of Bulgaria allows investors to obtain a permanent residence permit. In order to qualify a foreign direct investment of 1 million BGN (511.292€) must be made. There are several options to do this:

    • Full investment: Applicant must invest 1 million BGN in one of the following three investment possbilities for five years:
      1. certificate of deposit issued by a Bulgarian licensed bank (net return approx. 3% p.a.)* **.
      2. government bond portfolio (net return approx. 4% p.a.)* **
      3. investment into public companies, i.e. shares of listed Bulgarian companies. It is possible to establish tailor made companies for an individual applicant, which can be used by the investor to direct a company`s investment into any project incl. real estate at his discretion within or outside Bulgaria.** ***
      4. real estate investment in holiday resort (guaranteed return of 5% p.a.)**
    • Financed Investment: A deposit of 180.000€ is made by the applicant which covers the cost of financing the full amount. In order to qualify for this solution a worldwide net assets of more than 1 million €  have to be proven.

* Estimated return, subject to change ** Investment options are under investment management contract with Prinz von Preussen Financial Products Ltd. and investments need to be maintained for five years. ***Additional cost of approx. 50.000€; 3 months time needed

General requirements include:

  • Legitimate source of funds has to be proven
  • Applicant has to travel to Sofia for application three times
  • Prinz von Preussen charges an all inclusive fee for guiding applicants through the entire process. Please ask us for details.

Click to download information on Bulgarian EU residence and citizenship

Click to download application form

Citizenship

There is fast track program that offers citizenship within two years. After one year of permanent residence status the resident can double the initial investment  by putting 512.000€ in the capital of a Bulgarian company that needs to carry out a so called Priority Investment Project. This second investment must by hold for at least 3 years.

Useful Links

Invest Bulgaria (Official Government Agency for Foreign Investment)

Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs

Official Tourism Portal of Bulgaria

Updated June 5th 2014