10 GREAT REASONS TO INVEST IN SOFIA
1. Regional Talent Hub
- Sofia has a well-developed recruitment base of highly skilled employees, especially in the ICT sector and the creative industries;
- 25 000 people employed in over 100 IT companies;
- 23 universities, over 100 000 students, 63 research centers plus several independent software schools;
- Most young people in Sofia speak English.
2. Easy to Start a Business
- Capital requirement of 1 Euro;
- Sofia is the third city in Europe in number of start-ups, with 90% of them in the ICT sector;
- Investor class C certificate is awarded to projects of regional significance.
3. Business Friendly Tax Rates
- The lowest corporate tax in EU – 10% flat;
- The lowest personal income tax in EU- 10% flat.
4. Competitive Business Costs
- The lowest overall labor cost per hour in the EU;
- One of the lowest office space costs in Europe. Low total occupancy cost per square meter per year – 223 Euro (2014);
- One of the lowest industrial energy prices in the EU.
5. Low Currency Risk
- The Bulgarian lev is pecked to the Euro;
- Investors will avoid additional risks of local currencies exchange rate fluctuations present in other non-Euro-zone countries.
6. Strategic Business Location Between Europe, the Middle East and Russia
- Use Sofia as your gateway into the markets of the Middle East and the Russian Federation, while setting operations in an EU-member country;
- Only 1 to 3 hours flights’ duration to connect with the biggest European hubs;
- Easy access to the entire European Union and next day delivery reach 550 million consumers market.
7. Developed Creative Industries Sector
- Sofia is a center of the cultural and creative industries. In 2014 it was awarded the title “Creative City of Film” by UNESCO;
- 7% of the professionals in the capital are employed in this sector, above the European average of 5%;
- Bulgaria ranks 29th out of 128 countries in “creative outputs” indicator for 2016 (Global Innovation Index). This is also considered an achievement for Sofia City, having in mind that more than 58% of this industry’s workforce is concentrated in the capital.
8. Great Digital Infrastructure
- High Broadband adoption;
- One of the highest average connection speeds in Europe;
- Wide Internet usage ability;
- Great ICT test market and good condition for the development of services of the digital and sharing economy.
9. Global R&D ICT Leaders Аre Already in Sofia
- Sofia is a regional ICT center with over 25 000 people employed in the ICT sector;
- Global IT R&D leaders like SAP Labs, HP, VMware, IBM, CISCO already operate large R&D centers employing, educating and developing thousands of highly qualified professionals;
- Total amount of expenditure on research and development activity (R&D) in Bulgaria rose by 27.4 percent year-on-year in 2015.
10. EU Funding Opportunities
- Companies registered in Bulgaria have access to EU funds on both – national and EU levels, which provides many opportunities for direct business partnerships with companies from various European countries.