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.

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.

Learn 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.

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

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the UK and the EU have agreed provisions to facilitate the movement of business travellers, including those who supply services.

See the latest information on travel to the EU.

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

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:

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

As part of the wider UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the free flow of personal data from the EEA to the UK will continue after 1 January 2021 for no longer than 6 months, until adequacy decisions come into effect.

As a sensible precaution during this 6 month period, it is recommended that you work with EEA organisations who transfer personal data to you to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.

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

Published 11 March 2019
Last updated 28 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. 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.

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

  3. Change to title to include travelling for business

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

  5. First published.