Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Bulgarian Lev
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in


with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in


, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in


effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

Bulgaria is a country in Southeast Europe, officially known as the Republic of Bulgaria. It is bordered on the north by Romania, on the west by Serbia and North Macedonia, on the south by Greece and Turkey, and on the east by the Black Sea. Bulgaria is the sixteenth-largest country in Europe, with a land area of 110,994 square kilometers. Sofia is the capital and largest city; Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas are the other major cities. The Neolithic Karanovo culture, which dates back to 6,500 BC, was one of the oldest civilizations in modern-day Bulgaria. The area was a battlefield for ancient Thracians, Persians, Celts, and Macedonians from the 6th to 3rd centuries BC; peace came when the Roman Empire invaded the region in AD 45. Tribal invasions in the area resumed after the Roman state splintered. These lands were inhabited by early Slavs around the 6th century. The First Bulgarian Empire was established in AD 681 by the Bulgars, a semi-nomadic people who invaded the Balkans in the late seventh century. By evolving the Cyrillic script, it dominated much of the Balkans and had a major influence on Slavic cultures. The First Bulgarian Empire lasted until the early 11th century, when it was conquered and dismantled by Byzantine emperor Basil II. A strong Bulgarian revolt in 1185 created the Second Bulgarian Empire, which peaked under Ivan Asen II, but disintegrated in 1396 and fell under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries after numerous exhausting wars and feudal strife. The third and current Bulgarian state was established as a result of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. Many ethnic Bulgarians were left outside the new nation's boundaries, fueling nationalist feelings that led to conflicts with its neighbors and alliances with Germany during both world wars. Bulgaria became a one-party communist state after joining the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc in 1946. Following the 1989 revolutions, the ruling Communist Party relinquished its monopoly on power and permitted multiparty elections. Bulgaria then became a democratic country with a market economy. Bulgaria has been a unitary parliamentary republic consisting of 28 provinces with a high degree of political, administrative, and economic centralization since adopting a democratic constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a developing nation with a high Human Development Index and an upper-middle-income economy. Its market economy, which is a part of the European Single Market, is largely focused on services, with industry (particularly machine building and mining) and agriculture following closely behind. Corruption is a major socioeconomic problem in Bulgaria, which was named the EU's most corrupt country in 2018. The nation is also facing a demographic crisis, as its population has been declining steadily since around 1990; it now numbers around seven million people, down from nearly nine million in 1988.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

Employees will do it after four months of work at their employer and for a period of 20 days.

Public holidays

There are 15 recognized public holidays in Bulgaria.

Sick days

For the first three days of sickness, the employer pays 70% of the basic wage. From the fourth day of illness before complete recovery, Social Security pays 80% of the minimum wage.

Maternity leave

For 410 days, you will be charged at 90% of your minimum salary (average gross wage in the 24 months prior). Maternity leave will begin 45 days prior to the child's birth. The first 135 days must be completed.

Paternity leave

New fathers are entitled to 15 days of paid leave at a rate of 90% of their basic pay.

Parental leave

After the baby reaches the age of six months, the mother may pass any leftover maternity leave to the father.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Employer must provide employee a month's written notice prior to terminating employment. A notice term of up to three months may be specified in a business agreement.

Notice period

A notice period of at least one month and no longer than three months is required. The contract specifies the duration in detail.

Severance pay

If the employees are cut for reasons of redundancy, or economic causes such as if the company is closing or downsizing, they are entitled to one month pay in severance.

Probation period

The maximum probation period in Bulgaria is six months.

07. Working hours


A typical workweek consists of eight hours per day, five days a week.


Overtime is strictly regulated and is only permitted in certain circumstances. The workweek may be extended to 48 hours, but no more than 60 workdays per year may be added, and no more than 20 of these days may be consecutive. Employers must consult with representatives of employees, provide written instructions, and notify the government labor inspectorate prior to requiring additional hours. Employees under the age of 18 are not permitted to work more than 40 hours per week.

Overtime pay is typically paid to employees who work additional hours. Compensation for overtime work in the form of additional leave is prohibited. On weekdays, overtime pay is 150 percent of the regular pay rate; on holidays, it is 175 percent; and on public holidays, it is 200 percent.

08. Minimum wage


Bulgaria's minimum monthly wage is 650 EUR for all employees, regardless of age or experience. The Council of Ministers sets the minimum wage, so employers operating in Bulgaria should be aware of any changes to the law.

09. Employee benefits


The National Health Insurance Fund provides health insurance, and all inhabitants are required to contribute to it.

Food vouchers are widely used in Bulgaria, and they are tax-free up to BGN 60 each month. Employers will occasionally give private health insurance.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in


to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in


has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into


simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in


give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in


via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

Ready to get started? Our friendly staff is ready to assist you with all your questions, let's connect.