Bulgaria ranked 39th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report, which assesses countries’ business regulations and their impact. This is a drop of two places in the rankings compared with 2016.
In the “starting a business” category, Bulgaria dropped four places from 2016, from 78th to 82nd place.
Other categories in which Bulgaria dropped compared with last year included dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, and resolving insolvency.
Its rankings for trading across borders and enforcing contracts remained unchanged.
However, Bulgaria saw improvements in the ranking for paying taxes, up two places, and getting electricity, up six places.
The World Bank report, based on experience in Bulgarian capital city Sofia, said that, in starting a business, executing the minutes of the constituent meeting of the shareholders in a limited company; obtaining a notary certified statement of consent and signature specimen of the manager, and a certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the firm took a day and cost five leva – about 2.50 euro.
Depositing the paid-up capital in a bank took a further day, costing about 10 to 30 leva depending on the bank.
Registering with the Commercial Register took two days, costing 55 leva for electronic registration and 110 leva for a hard copy application.
Registering for VAT at the National Revenue Agency took 12 days. Registering a fiscal device (cash register) at the revenue agency took seven day, and meant spending about 50 to 200 leva.
Registering the commercial purpose of the company at Sofia Municipal Council to seven days. There was no charge, the report said.
In its global country rankings of business efficiency, Doing Business 2017 awarded its top spot to New Zealand, Singapore ranks second, followed by Denmark; Hong Kong SAR, China; Republic of Korea; Norway; United Kingdom; United States; Sweden; and, in 10th place, the Republic of Macedonia.
The world’s top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, are Brunei Darussalam; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Belarus; Indonesia; Serbia; Georgia; Pakistan; United Arab Emirates (UAE); and Bahrain.
“Simple rules that are easy to follow are a sign that a government treats its citizens with respect. They yield direct economic benefits – more entrepreneurship; more market opportunities for women; more adherence to the rule of law,” said Paul Romer, World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President.
“But we should also remember that being treated with respect is something that people value for its own sake and that a government that fails to treat its citizens this way will lose its ability to lead,” Romer said.
Doing Business data points to continued successes in the ease of doing business worldwide, as governments increasingly take up key business reforms. Starting a new business now takes an average of 21 days worldwide, compared with 46 days 10 years ago. Paying taxes in the Philippines involved 48 payments 10 years ago, compared to 28 now and in Rwanda, the time to register a property transfer has dropped from 370 days a decade ago to 12 days now.
(Photo: Vangelis Thomaidis)