Mundos Freedom Rating (0 to 10)

Mundo’s freedom rating is essentially a freedom index whereby our team of specialists rate a combination of freedoms which include freedom from violence and personal attacks, financial freedom from high taxes, business freedom from government interference, and especially from socialism and communism.

Political Stability: 9

The last 30 years of political history in Bulgaria have been conditioned by a sequence of events that have tested the political elite and the society. 

The country went from living under a totalitarian communist system to building a democracy and a rule of law with guarantees for all its citizens. Today the country is governed under a parliamentary system where a great diversity of political parties coexist.

It has been a complex path but the results are plain to see: 

Bulgaria ranks 69th out of 179 countries in Transparency International's corruption perception index.In the world peace index, it ranks 27th. It is ranked 45th on The Economist's democracy index with a score of 7 out of 10. Member of the EU and NATO.

These data are due to the stable and efficient state management, and the fact that the country seeks to give a positive message to the world and its partners in order to continue improving living conditions in the country. Let us remember that although Bulgaria has had a constant economic growth of 3% per year, there are still many inequalities and problems within its society that the current system has not been able to solve by itself.

Personal Safety: 9

In general terms Bulgaria is a safe country. Its crime rate is low, the most common or usual crimes are car thefts or night assaults.

There is some risk of encountering pickpockets, especially in larger cities such as Sofia. Follow some basic precautionary guidelines to avoid such a situation, and use common sense.

Its cities are mostly safe as far as muggings or kidnappings are concerned, but it is preferable to avoid streets that are lonely and poorly lit.

Lone travelers should not have any problems. However, it is advisable to have a guide to advise you where you should go to avoid getting lost.

In this case, the areas that we recommend avoiding according to crime data from the Ministry of the Interior are:

Areas around the Pliska Hotel in the capital Sofia

Lion's Bridge and Lvov Most parks.

On the other hand, using public and private transportation is relatively safe and reliable. However, there are risks from reckless drivers who commit infractions. Especially on busy avenues.

Also, the country has years of stability and peace. It is not a territory where you can be a victim of a terrorist attack by armed groups or organized crime. 

Thus, we can conclude that Bulgaria is a safe country. There is a bad opinion that Balkan countries are considered unsafe. However, Bulgaria is not. Here you will find yourself protected and without any personal physical risk.

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Lifestyle: 8

If you are thinking of moving to Bulgaria, you should know that you will find a quiet and quite sober country in terms of lifestyle. 

The country has undergone a reduction in population density in recent years, which opens the opportunity for foreigners to live there. In fact, the main visitors to the country are young people from other European countries for university studies. 

Thus, there is the possibility of finding a young and diverse environment in terms of nationalities. 

On the other hand, the country is full of ancient architecture and well-preserved nature reserves. There is no excuse to stay at home or in a hotel when visiting Bulgaria for business or tourism. You have the chance to visit medieval churches, museums that house works of art and archaeological exhibits of great importance. 

We recommend visiting the National Art Gallery and the Archaeological Museum in Sofia. 

Likewise, bars, pubs and restaurants operate throughout the week. Nightlife in the capital and other cities starts at 10 p.m. and ends at 6 a.m. without any restrictions. 

You can move around the country by rail or private car without any inconvenience. You can also find bicycle rental services to explore parks and green areas.

Bulgaria is a little known destination that is open to foreigners. Be part of the experience of being in a quiet and safe environment where you can have a modest life away from the noise.

Tax System: 7

In Bulgaria the authority in charge of tax collection is the National Tax Agency.

Taxes in Bulgaria are collected at the state and municipal level. The most important and highest percentage tax rates are federal taxes. These federal taxes are divided as follows: 

-Tax related to personal income

-Social security

-Corporate taxes

-VAT

What are the tax rates?

Bulgaria has one of the lowest tax rates in the Balkan region. However, its VAT rate is the same as in other EU countries. 

-Income tax 10%.

-Social security tax 12.5%.

-Corporate income tax 10%.

-Hotel services 9%

-VAT 20% VAT

Both nationals and foreigners are obliged to pay these taxes. Obviously with a right to a refund in the case of VAT.

The VAT refund is requested as long as there are no outstanding taxes to be paid. The application for refund must be submitted on the 14th day of the month following the tax period.

In Bulgaria individuals pay taxes both as employees and as self-employed. Employers are subject to a monthly tax deduction on the employee's salary. Self-employed persons make a prepayment of income tax, which is refunded after filing their annual tax return.

Investment Potential: 8

Bulgaria offers a number of opportunities that are available not only for large companies but also for small and medium-sized companies. 

The country is currently ranked 49th in the "Doing Business" survey. This is a very favorable position for a country that thirty years ago moved from a statist and planned economy system to a free market economy. 

On the other hand, it is a country where the tourism and services sectors have greater investment and boom. However, sectors such as petroleum derivatives, telecommunications, automobiles and technology are also open to foreign investment and are quite easy to set up or invest in. 

As for the labor force, the country has a labor force of more than 2 million Bulgarians. The exodus of more than one million Bulgarians posed a problem in this regard, especially in terms of young labor. However, the government prior to the COVID 19 pandemic has proposed the initiative of importing foreign labor to occupy mainly areas of technological innovation. 

The country also has a partially developed infrastructure. Roads connect mostly towns and cities. There is also a nationwide railway system. The internet has good speed and the service is increasingly expanding with a nationwide penetration of almost 90%. 

Strategic sectors to be recommended for investing in are: 

-Nuclear energy

-Fossil fuels

-Railway systems

-Information and communication technology

-Tourism

TOTAL: 41 of possible 50

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