How to Hire Remote Employees In 

Bulgaria

The Basics

Currency
Bulgarian Lev (BGN)
Employer Taxes
18.92% - 19.62%
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Official Language
Bulgarian

Employment in 

Bulgaria

Hire Independent Contractors

Independent contractors or freelancers are self-employed individuals who provide services to companies as a non-employee. This is one of the most common ways companies tend to hire non-local designers, engineers, support reps, etc.

For legal and tax purposes, independent contractors are not classified as employees. They may work for multiple clients, set their own work hours, negotiate their pay rate, and decide how a job gets done.

For example, the IRS says that if an independent contractor or freelancer does work that can be controlled (what will be done and how it will be done) by an employer then they are, in fact, classified as an employee.

As you can imagine, hiring someone as an independent contractor versus an employee is a fine line to tread.

While there are benefits when you choose the contractor route, there are quite a few drawbacks to consider and you’ll need to weigh them carefully to determine the best fit for your company.

Benefits of Hiring Independent Contractors
Time savings: Hiring through a subsidiary or EOR can take months of onerous paperwork and legal wrangling. This is only multiplied if you want to hire in multiple countries.
Reduced overhead: You can save tens of thousands of dollars in onboarding costs by hiring through a company like Panther. You also have fewer responsibilities to provide benefits, further reducing overhead.
Greater flexibility: Contractors can be brought on as-needed. If they are not a good fit, you can choose not to renew them without incurring significant additional termination costs.
Reduced legal risk: Contractors generally don't have the host of legal protections that typically cover full-time employees.
Disadvantages of Hiring Independent Contractors
Risk of Misclassification: While it's important to understand local contractor law, for most firms, misclassification risk is minimal.
Lack of Control: For a worker to be classified as a contractor, they should be allowed to work independently on their assigned tasks. Hiring full-time employees offers a wider range of management options.
Lack of Loyalty: Contractors come and go as-needed. Many companies hire contractors for short-term work, which makes it difficult to cultivate loyalty.

Set up a subsidiary in 

Bulgaria

A foreign subsidiary is a company that operates overseas as part of a larger company who’s HQ is in another country.

Establishing a foreign entity is great for having an international presence and accessing new markets. Though, setting up a subsidiary in Bulgaria can be expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. It's not for the faint of heart.

To set up a subsidiary in Bulgaria, you have to:

  1. Register your business name and file articles of incorporation
  2. File for local bank accounts
  3. Learn and keep track of the local employment laws
  4. Set up local payroll
  5. Hire local accounting, legal, and HR people

If you're lucky, this process can take months. If you're not so lucky, it can take up to a year. And on average, it costs about $50k-$80k, all-in-all, to get setup. And that's just for Bulgaria.

Use an Employer-of-Record (EOR)

An employer-of-record (EOR) is a company that hires and pays an employee on behalf of another company.

An EOR is typically used to overcome the financial and regulatory hurdles that often come with employing remote workers.

Each country has its own payroll, employment, and work permit requirements for non-resident companies doing business in their jurisdiction. Meeting those demands can be a huge obstacle when it comes to hiring remotely.

At Panther, we help companies employ and pay people in over 160 countries, without having to set up a foreign subsidiary. Payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and more are all handled by us, at a fraction of the cost.

Outside of saving you months and tens of thousands of dollars, other advantages of using Panther are:

  • Ability to attract talented and motivated employees from all over the world.
  • Full legal compliance: There is no risk of violating local employment laws.
  • Transparency: Employees are still your employees. All the work, processes, operations and day-to-day business belong to you, the company, just like with any other employee. Panther just takes on all of the responsibilities, obligations and admin work related to your team's employment.
  • No risk of misclassification

Because you no longer have to set up your own subsidiary, you’ll save a ton of time and tens of thousands of dollars using Panther.

Paying Remote Employees

Paying employees in Bulgaria is not the same as paying workers in your own country. Employees have to be paid using Bulgaria’s employment and payroll standards.

This means that you have to know, understand, and keep up with 1) fluctuating currency changes, and 2) local payroll and tax laws in the countries you’re looking to hire in.

Outside of the laws and regulations around payroll, there may be different conditions surrounding leave, overtime, termination, and more. As you can imagine, maintaining this kind of regulatory knowledge can be challenging. But it is crucial and necessary to follow local legislation.

After, you’ll have to determine the best way to pay your international employees. This can be done in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

Pay through a local entity

One of the most challenging (and expensive) parts of paying international employees is setting up the infrastructure to do so.

Before you start to run payroll, you have to register your company as the local employer in the country the worker resides in. As you can see in the “Set up a subsidiary” section, this is a multi-step process that can take up to a year and put you on your way to bankruptcy.

Work with an EOR

Outside of EORs acting as the full admin employer, many also provide remote payroll.

For example, at Panther, in just 1-click, you’re able to pay your entire global team, anywhere in the world. We send you an invoice each month, charge you in US Dollars, and pay your employees the same amount in their local currency.

We factor in currency fluctuations and use the mid-market rate plus any applicable fee passed on by our provider at cost at the time of billing.

Bulgaria

 Specific Information

Working Hours

Full-time employment is considered 40 hours weekly, and 8 hours daily.

Overtime

Overtime cannot exceed 3 hours per day (2 hours at night) over two consecutive days, 6 hours (4 at night) in a week, 30 hours (20 at night) in a month and 150 hours in one year.

Overtime is paid at a rate of +50% for regular days; +75% for weekends; +100% for national holidays.

Payroll Tax

Employer

Employer

  • Social Security + Unemployment
  • Accident at Work & Occupational Illness Fund
  • Health Insurance

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is 650 BGN/month.

Payroll

Pay Cycle

Salaries are paid on monthly basis. Payday is agreed between the employer and employee.

13th Salary

Not required by law.

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

PTO is calculated by the:

  • 20 days minimum, and can be used by employees after 8 months of service at their company. 

Public Holidays

There are 16 public holidays.

Sick Days

The duration of sick leave entitlement provided to workers is dependent on how long they have been employed by their employer:

  • The employer pays 70% of the basic income for the first three days of sickness.
  • Social Security provides 80% of the basic income from the fourth day of sickness until full recovery.

Maternity Leave

410 days, paid at 90% of basic income (average gross wage in the 24 months prior). Maternity leave can begin 45 days before the birth of the child. The first 135 days are mandatory.

Paternity Leave

New fathers are entitled to 15 days leave paid at 90% basic income rate. 

Parental Leave

After the baby reaches the age of 6 months, any part of the remaining maternity leave can to transferred to the father. 

Other Leave

None.

Marriage Leave

In the event of their marriage employees are entitled to paid leave for 2 days.

Bereavement Leave

Employees are entitled for two days of leave to attend the funeral of a family member.

Termination

Termination Process

An employer must provide the employee with a month’s written notice regarding the termination.

The notice period can be up to 3 months if stated in a contractual agreement. 

Notice Period

The notice period in Bulgaria is:

One month minimum, three months maximum, depending on terms of the contract. 

Severance Pay

The Severance Pay in Bulgaria depends on:

Employees who are cut for reasons of redundancy or if the company is closing or downsizing are entitled to one month’s pay in severance.

Probation Period

Probation period is 6 months.