Access to finance
Access to EU finance
This site will help you to apply for finance supported by the European Union. To access EU finance, click on your country to locate banks or venture capital funds that provide finance supported by the EU:
National sources of finance
The simplest way to obtain finance in Bulgaria is to take out a loan. You can obtain finance regardless of the legal status of your enterprise, including if you are self-employed or a freelancer, as long as what you do fits in with the definition of a business under the Bulgarian Trade Act (TZ).
Credits are subject to certain rules set out in the law.
There are also rules on raising funds on the capital market.
A credit line for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources has been set up for relevant projects. This programme gives credit lines to participating Bulgarian banks, which for their part provide loans to private companies for industrial energy efficiency and renewable energy-related projects.
Credit lines are also offered by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and by the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund (KIDSF). This credit line combines EIB loans with subsidies from the KIDSF.
The Bulgarian government has developed a number of schemes and programmes to help fund businesses. One example is the Energy Efficiency Fund. This fund acts as a finance institution by granting and guaranteeing credit, while also being a consultation centre. The fund concentrates on energy-saving projects.
The Bulgarian government has also set up a National Innovation Fund. This fund finances scientific research projects up to BGN 500 000 AND technical feasibility projects up to BGN 50 000.
Access to EU funding
Local contacts work together to prepare applications for finance under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme. This includes consultations on technical and administrative matters concerning offers on putting forward projects, finding project partners and participating in tenders for national co-financing funds, where applicable.
Bulgaria provides national coordinators from the National Contact Network to administer the Seventh Framework Programme. These coordinators cover over 20 industrial sectors, depending on their specialist field. Financing programmes and the periods they cover are posted on the network's website, and focus on applied science.
The Operational Programme 'Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2007-2013' has been one of the programmes co-financed by the EU Structural Funds since Bulgaria's accession to the EU.
The administrative procedures for applying for credit from commercial banks are determined by the banks themselves and are described in detail on their websites. The government imposes strict requirements on the banking system to ensure its stability.
In addition to traditional loans, many Bulgarian banks now provide funding to enterprises through 'factoring'. This financial service includes:
- funding based on invoices issued by goods and service providers, i.e. on the payments due from clients to suppliers;
- administrating the accounts on which payments are due to the supplier;
- encouraging an increase in turnover between supplier and customer.
You can find a full list of banks licensed to operate in Bulgaria on the website of the Bulgarian National Bank.
One of the most widespread ways of financing a company's business activities is by listing on the stock exchange. The securities market in Bulgaria has risen dramatically in the past few years, with large numbers of companies now trading on it.
There are a number of rules involved when a decision is made to raise finance by listing a company on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE). These rules have been set to protect the stability of the capital market. To register on the stock exchange, your company needs to be a public entity. You must prepare a public offering prospectus to be approved by the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC). Details of the steps to be followed can be found on the FSC's website.
You can also seek finance from non-banking financial institutions. Some of these are licensed investment brokers, who offer the opportunity to invest the funds of individuals and legal entities on the capital market.
Another source of finance are bond loans, which have a set repayment period. You can get information about these loans from investment brokers.
In recent years, many individuals and companies have used finance brokers to obtain credit. Doing this simplifies procedures and saves time. Going by this way does not necessarily mean that the cost of the loan will increase. Many brokers offer free consultations.
In Bulgaria, various non-governmental funds are also available. They offer funding to businesses operating in various sectors in Bulgaria. SEAF is a global venture capital fund management company based in Washington D.C.
The Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund assists small and medium-sized companies and encourages joint enterprises between Bulgarian and western European companies. The Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund (BAEF) is a private corporation incorporated in the USA
You can find information on support available to companies who would like to invest in Bulgaria on the website of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which places particular focus on promoting foreign investment in the Bulgarian economy. The EBRD website gives detailed information about all related procedures and the types of finance available, some of which include supplementary financing with commercial banks.
Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.