The University of Bristol has conducted a survey which shows that a large percent of the Greek companies in Bulgaria are actually nothing more that ghost companies created to evade taxes.
The survey showed that of the 14,000 Greek-owned companies in Bulgaria, only 3,000, or three out of four of them are actually active companies.
There are several benefits for Greeks creating ghost companies in Bulgaria, and since the beginning of the financial crisis in Greece the number of Greek companies in the neighboring country has gone from 1,000 in 2006 to 14,000 today.
One benefit of setting up shop in Bulgaria is a lower corporate tax rate than in Greece as well as other perks such as lower road tax for vehicles. Also, a vehicle registered in Bulgaria does not have to pay road tax in Greece.
Another plus for Greek business owners is that they are able to avoid capital controls by using their Bulgarian bank cards at ATMs in Greece, allowing them to be able to access more cash whenever they might need.
Also business owners are able to dodge the more than 800 small and large business tax laws that have been created in Greece in the past few years.
The survey showed that 67 percent of the businesses that fled Greece for Bulgaria over recent years have done so “for survival.”