PROFIRMS: WHEN YOU WANT TO START SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS IN BULGARIA


Radoslav Zankov, founder of the legal and accounting consultancy, on the safest way to steady growth

Profirms Radoslav Zankov.jpg

Having a great idea is crucial when starting a business, but so are a number of legal and accounting matters that need to be in the hands of a good professional. This is why smart managers and company owners partner with Profirms. The legal and accounting consultancy offers help to Bulgarians and foreigners alike who want to start business in Bulgaria, with focus on accounting, tax and startup services. The founder of the company, Radoslav Zankov, elaborates.

Do you remember how you realised that your professional mission is to help foreigners in Bulgaria to deal with the local tax and accounting system?

My professional mission is rather to help everyone, irregardless of their nationality or country of origin. Helping foreign citizens to start and grow a business in Bulgaria was something that came gradually and naturally, as my consultancy company developed. When I was starting, I never imagined that a moment would come when foreigners would make a significant part of my clients' base, let alone that they would become the majority. The latter is yet to happen, but if everything develops with the current speed in less than 2-3 years the larger part of Profirms client portfolio will be of foreign citizens for whom we have established Bulgarian legal entities that we actively serve.

Which are the key fields in which Profirms helps its foreign clients?

Generally, they are the same in which we help our Bulgarian customers, the only difference being that foreign citizens need more care. Of course, each business begins with an adequate choice of a legal form for doing business. In a large percentage of cases this is the limited liability company. Usually, foreign clients have three options: to open a branch of a company that already exists abroad; the mother company to open a completely new Bulgarian company; an individual, who is usually the owner or the partner in a foreign company, to become the owner of the new Bulgarian entity. Depending on the client's needs and goals we recommend the approach that will work best for their business, and then we realise it.

After the company is established comes a series of other administrative procedures such as acquiring the so-called official number from the National Revenue Agency for the company's owner or manager, VAT registration, registration of the individuals as self-employed or employed with a contract. Then the company can start operating as a Bulgarian legal entity.

Here comes what is arguably the most important and responsible part of our job, namely the tax and accounting service of the client. Any mistake or inaccuracy in these can have costly consequences. Luckily, I am supported in my work by a team of truly outstanding professionals who have been tested in time in literally hundreds of cases and situations that we have successfully solved for our clients.

What is the most important thing that foreign citizens and companies should know about the Bulgarian tax system?

That it is beneficial, just and safe. In the past we have often had foreign clients who were distrustful and even afraid of the Bulgarian business environment. However, during our partnership, all of them realised that when you are a responsible entrepreneur who respects and understands our system, it will pay you back times more because the taxes and social security payments are low and bureaucracy is rapidly diminishing. Often, we hear our clients say "we thought that local administration is clumsy, but the one in our country is much worse." We have heard this from people from France and Germany. Yes, our system has its faults but these are by far outnumbered by its advantages.

Which are the most common accountancy difficulties that they encounter?

I cannot single out a specific hurdle. We use exceptionally modern methods of work, literally all of our processes are automated and digitalised. The difficulties for the clients come from things outside of the system itself – for example, when their clients and contractors delay issuing invoices and/or payments, thus affecting the accounting processes. However, I cannot say that there is a general problem without an adequate and timely solution. Not with the services that we offer.

How can you help a foreign business to develop in the best possible way in Bulgaria?

By the most secure way – by offering a high level of services. Yes, it sounds trivial, but when the supplier of a service really knows what they are doing, they also know what to require from the clients and sets clear rules and boundaries of the process. This is a two-way street. You cannot have a quality service if both parties are not conscientious and professional.

In the past we have had clients who did not respect the process, as a result both parties suffered from this attitude. Often, the client perceives accountancy services as yet another boring obligation of sending invoices and accounting documents to the accounting company. Happily, we have been for years at a stage of our development in which we can choose our business partners. If we see that the client's attitude is not serious and they are not engaged in the process, we give them one chance to change. Then we end our partnership with them. Having clear rules in work and following them is the safest road to success for a business, irregardless of the field in which it operates.

You said you actively use digital technologies in your work. What is more important for quality accountancy service today – technologies or the expertise of the professionals at the company? How do you choose who will be part of your team?

Of course, people are more important. Technologies are of great help, save a lot of time etc, but nothing can replace a true expert. At least, not at this stage of technological development. One of my clients insists that AI is evolving with such speed that many professions will become redundant.

Through the years I saw for myself that the team is literally everything in a business. You might be a great professional but if you are incapable of gathering in one office quality people that can work together and look in the same direction your business will simply not grow and will probably stop. The quality of the individual is key. A proper, responsible and aware person can always learn how to be good at their job, the opposite will never happen. A person who is prone to conflict and trouble-making might be a good professional but will never become a good human. This, in my experience, could become a great problem for the team and the business as a whole.

This is why my approach when selecting people for our team is to seek good people first so that we have the best work environment. For us this is a priority.

Sofia, 4 Hristo Belchev St, floor 1

0877 901 730

office@profirms.bg

profirms.bg

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