Twelve percent (12%) of the companies in Bulgaria complained about delayed payments by contractors or the state in 2017, Eurostat statistics showed.
Bulgaria ranked in the middle of the Eurostat ranking under this indicator, as 20% of the companies in Italy had the same problem while in Romania the number of firms complaining about delayed payments was only 4%.
The EU's statistics agency further said that a quarter (25%) of people who started a business in Bulgaria reported they did not experience difficulties. In neighbouring Romania the percentage stood at 28% while in the UK it reached 41%.
Bulgarian entrepreneurs also complained about lack of enough business and clients (21%), administrative burden (9%), financial hardship (5%) and lack of access to finance (4%).
The only category in which self-employed Bulgarians did not complain was lack of access to income
during sickness, indicating that tax insurance policies have no shortages, unlike in other European countries.
(Graphic Source: Eurostat)
Eurostat data also showed that self-employed people in the EU reached 33 million. Figures from the EU Labour Force Survey showed that across the EU as a whole, 48% of people who were self-employed in 2017 reported 'high satisfaction' with their current job. The results at the individual EU Member State level revealed a wide variation around the EU average.In three EU Member States, more than 80 % of self-employed people reported high satisfaction with their job: Sweden (83 %), Malta (82 %) and Denmark (81 %).
For a further 21 Member States the proportions were between 30 % and 70 %. Four Member States had less than 30 % of self-employed reporting high satisfaction with their job: Bulgaria (just below 30 %), Portugal (29 %), Cyprus (26 %) and Romania (19 %).
Self-employed people in the EU reported several reasons for becoming self-employed in the current job: suitable opportunity (23%), continuation of the family business (16%), usual practice in the field (15%), flexible work hours (11%), no job found as employee (11%) and request by former employer (2%).
As the main difficulties, the self-employed report high administrative burden (13%) and periods of having no customer, no assignments or projects to work on (12%), delayed payments or non-payments (12%), periods of financial hardship (9%), lack of influence on price settings (8%) and lack of income in case of illness (8%). Almost one third of them reported not facing difficulties (28%)
In fifteen EU Member States, “suitable opportunity” was most frequently mentioned as the reason for becoming self-employed, with the largest share in Bulgaria (42%), Italy (39%) and Hungary (36%). In three countries - Belgium (28%), Germany (21%) and Latvia (20%) - the most frequent reason was “usual practice in the field”. In another three - Poland (27%), Greece (25%) and Spain (24%) - “continuation of family business” was predominant.
“No job found as an employee” was noted as the most frequent reason in Romania (38%) and Cyprus (25%). In five countries - Austria (40%), Denmark (35%), the United Kingdom (27%), Luxembourg and France (both 26%) – the self-employed wanted to run their own business for “other reason”.