Guidance

Bulgaria: providing services and travelling for business

Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Bulgaria.

Read this page in combination with the general guidance for EEA countries and Switzerland.

The authoritative source for Bulgarian market regulations is the Bulgarian government. This guidance links to official Bulgarian sources wherever possible.

Trade and services regulations in Bulgaria

If you’re a UK business providing services in Bulgaria, you need to follow Bulgarian regulations about:

  • getting an authorisation or a licence to provide a service
  • complying with local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

The Bulgarian e-government portal for service providers can help you:

  • learn about providing services in Bulgaria
  • understand local regulations
  • complete the relevant administrative procedures online

Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in Bulgaria to help you comply with specific regulations.

To check if EEA nationality requirements apply to you, contact the appropriate competent authority.

Trade reservations

To sell or provide services to customers in Bulgaria, you must follow local laws. If in doubt, you should get professional advice.

Reservations are part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They reserve the right of each party to keep or make new laws restricting investment, or the sale of services, in ways that would otherwise breach the rules in the agreement.

Check which reservations apply to the sale of services from the UK to Bulgaria. This includes an interactive tool to find reservations that are already in place.

VAT on sales of digital services

To use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers, businesses need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

Find out more about paying VAT on sales of digital services.

Ownership of companies registered in Bulgaria

If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in Bulgaria.

For information about setting up and running a business in Bulgaria, visit the Point of Single Contact.

Read more about this in our guidance on selling services to the EEA and Switzerland.

If you’re a UK legal professional who has investments in law firms in Bulgaria, contact the Bulgarian Supreme Bar Council (site in Bulgarian) for further information on the implications for your investment.

Business travel and entry requirements

UK business travellers and service providers may need a visa, work permit or other documentation.

Check our travel to Bulgaria for work guide for detailed information on:

  • types of visa and work permit routes available
  • exemptions that may apply to you or the activity you are planning to undertake

The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Invest Bulgaria Agency have more information about:

  • visas including intra-corporate transfers
  • work and residence permits
  • supporting documentation
  • other conditions

Check which actions travellers visiting Europe need to take.

Social security payments for employees

Check if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Bulgaria.

Recognition of professional qualifications

To check what you need to do in Bulgaria, read our guidance on professional qualifications in the EEA and Switzerland.

If you need to take action to secure the recognition of your professional qualification in Bulgaria, these sources can help you:

The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ) provides practical assistance and advice to:

  • professionals who qualified overseas and are interested in working in the UK
  • UK professionals seeking to practise overseas

UK statutory auditors working in Bulgaria

For UK statutory auditors, the Commission for Public Oversight of Statutory Auditors Bulgaria should be able to give more information.

UK lawyers working in Bulgaria

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Bulgaria, using either a Bulgarian or UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar association in the region where you are working or the Bulgarian Supreme Bar Council for specific advice.

Data transfer and GDPR

On 28 June 2021, the EU formally adopted ‘adequacy decisions’ for the UK, delivered through:

‘Adequacy decisions’ allow for the ongoing free flow of personal data from the EU/EEA to the UK.

Read guidance on using data in your personal business or other organisation.

Published 11 March 2019
Last updated 11 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Trade reservations' guidance. Updated 'Recognition of professional qualifications' with new UK contact point.

  2. Updated the following sections to reflect the changes created by the UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: overview, trade regulations, VAT on sales of digital services, business travel and entry requirements, social security payments for employees, recognition of professional qualifications, and data transfer and GDPR.

  3. Guidance for ‘Recognition of professional qualifications’ and ‘Social security payments for employees’ updated.

  4. Change to title to include travelling for business

  5. Update to 'Business travel and entry requirements' section

  6. First published.