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Moving life and company to Romania/Hungary?

hazi

New member
Hi members,
I was considering moving my life and company from Asia to EU.
My business requires local sales talent (English) and low costs in addition to normal quality of life for myself of course.

I have considered Hungary or Romania, due to reading about cheap workforce and easy taxation and dividends with accommodating population and pretty good life quality.
Advantage in Romania is the 0 taxation on up to 1M yearly revenue which i qualify for but I'm not sure Bucharest can provide such good life for expats. one disadvantage is high employment costs which is a factor to me as i intend o hiring local employees.

Would love to hear your thoughts about significant differences in taxation assuming i would open a local company and would be personally taxed there or about living as an expat with family in either of the places in addition to the potential of the place to hire local English sellers.


Thanks.
 

Sols

Entrepreneur
If your main focuses are access to skilled English-speaking labour in the EU and also want low tax, I'd take a closer look at Malta, Cyprus, and Ireland.

Plenty of expats in Malta and Cyprus, in addition to most locals speaking English.
 

KJK

Entrepreneur
Hungary in the future can become a huge mess and politically unstable, it can turn into a dictatorship pretty quickly, much worse than countries like Belarus. You can notice young people (who speak English/German) trying to leave the country when they can. Related to that is the fact that Hungarians are pretty nationalistic, not saying they are all neo-nazis or racist but don't expect same cultural openness you'd get in Western Europe or in big part of Asia. On the other hand, it is definitely more developed and mostly nicer than Romania.

Romania could be possibly very undervalued country in terms of quality of life compared to living costs (together with Bulgaria, Serbia etc.), however of course there are also some downsides. When you mentioned Bucharest, you should know that it is a pretty ugly city that can get depressing in winter, add to that the fact that there is no real public transport, no metro etc. so the traffic is worse than in India.

Not sure why exactly you chose these two countries specifically. Their capitals sound similar (Budapest and Bucharest), that comes to my mind.
If you are looking for cheap workforce, you'll likely get exactly that, shit quality.
 

maxmmm

Active Member
KJK you are writing a lot of misleading stuff. Bucharest and Budapest are nothing alike, Budapest is much more expensive, also when it comes to salaries. Sure there are racists but there are racists everywhere. You have to also compare cost of living, which is 4-5x higher in Budapest.

Comparing Hungary to Belarus is just absurd... Don't believe everything you read in the news. Government control of the media and justice system exists everywhere - even in the the richest western European countries and sometimes MUCH more so than in Hungary or Romania. Going by this logic any country in the EU is a dictatorship (and maybe they are lol). Plus last time I checked Bucharest had a great public transport system and a huge metro serving almost a million people a day.

Sure you will find workers in Malta and Cyprus but they will cost you 6-10x more than in Bucharest and probably 2-3x in Budapest.

Bottom line- take a flight, go there and experience it yourself. Preferably in the summer as as KJK said, winter in East Europe is depressing... although there are plenty of nice girls to warm you up.
However if I were you I would stay in Asia and stay far from the EU, there are plenty of countries that are cheaper, and where you can find english-speaking locals and also pay very little tax if any.
 

KJK

Entrepreneur
KJK you are writing a lot of misleading stuff. Bucharest and Budapest are nothing alike, Budapest is much more expensive, also when it comes to salaries. Sure there are racists but there are racists everywhere. You have to also compare cost of living, which is 4-5x higher in Budapest.
I never wrote that Budapest and Bucharest are similar. They are not. I mentioned the price difference as well and I am listing these two cities in one post because that is exactly what the OP asked - he asked about Hungary and Romania.

Also I am not saying that Hungary's political system is now equal to that of Belarus, what I am saying is that with the current government, current heading and a few more years, they can become more and more similar and it can turn even worse in Hungary for historical reasons.

I don't need anyone to refute my beliefs and experience.

Speaking of:
xenophobia and far-right in Hungary: Hungary's slow descent into xenophobia, racism and human rights abuses
Xenophobia in Hungary: Is the past becoming the present?
How Hungary Became a Haven for the Alt-Right
cultural openness in Hungary: Why Hungarians Don’t Speak Languages
state of democracy and free media in Hungary: New report: Hungary dismantles media freedom and pluralism
transport in Bucharest: Bucharest's chronic traffic problems make it Europe's most congested city

If you are from one of these countries and butthurt, then it is pointless to argue.

With all that said, I'd still probably prefer these two countries (RO,HU) for business and life if I was on a budget. The other two mentioned countries (CY,MT) are probably worse for finding talent, more expensive and they too have their advantages and disadvantages.
 

maxmmm

Active Member
Infomigrants.net, very credible source ;)

I'm not from these 2 countries but I care about people providing facts in the forum... saying a country doesn't have a metro nor a no public transport system is 100% wrong and tells me you haven't been there and have no clue what you are talking about.

Same about Hungary, it's become vogue nowadays for West EU countries to criticize Hungary\Poland for racism or lack of freedom... Have you seen any free press in Germany? Any criticism of government policy in the news or TV? let me know when you find it...

I don't care about your beliefs or experience and you're free to believe what you wish ... but I prefer giving people accurate representations of reality in the forum, based on actual experiences and not something I've read in Infomigrants.net or The Atlantic.

However I agree with you that Budapest is much more developed and nicer than Romania, and quality of English is not amazing.
 

KJK

Entrepreneur
100% wrong and tells me you haven't been there and have no clue what you are talking about.
I have lived in both these countries (HU,RO) for several months. And when I wrote that the traffic in Bucharest is worse than in India, that isn't a hyperbole, by that I mean exactly what I wrote, that the traffic and public transport in Bucharest is worse than even many Indian cities.

When you travel outside the capitals you see things more closely and more genuinely. I am not criticizing these countries, I'm stressing some points that the OP (who now lives in Asia and probably is from Asia) may find important.

Same about Hungary, it's become vogue nowadays for West EU countries to criticize Hungary\Poland for racism or lack of freedom... Have you seen any free press in Germany? Any criticism of government policy in the news or TV? let me know when you find it...
Yes I have seen a lot of free press in Germany. Merkel and other politicians are criticized pretty openly and indiscriminately because that is part of how a country works if it isn't to turn into a dictatorship.

Germany has one of the most developed privacy laws, most advanced freedom of press laws and civil liberties in the world. Of course the country had to go through historical periods (Third Reich) but that also means that the country won't turn into a neonazi or a dictatorship easily. When you do your research, you will find out that many of institutions aimed to prevent power takeover (which is happening in HU) actually have strong bases in Germany (GFF – Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V. – Wir verhelfen dem Recht zu seinem Recht or CORRECTIV - Recherchen für die Gesellschaft or Civil Liberties Union for Europe).

I'm not German, I am mentioning that because there really IS a difference.
 

hazi

New member
Firstly have you ever been to Romania or Hungary? :confused:
I've been to Hungary, was a pretty good experience specially considering the fact that i'm currently based in Asia (not Asian) so any western cloture seems like magic to me :).
I do plan visiting both countries but i wanted to isolate the business factor like taxation and workforce availability and price before taking my personal life in to consideration.
 

hazi

New member
If your main focuses are access to skilled English-speaking labour in the EU and also want low tax, I'd take a closer look at Malta, Cyprus, and Ireland.

Plenty of expats in Malta and Cyprus, in addition to most locals speaking English.
My issue is that I am limited to around 800$ all in all employment cost for sales agent and i'm not sure i can get these rates in any of the 3.
 

hazi

New member
Hungary in the future can become a huge mess and politically unstable, it can turn into a dictatorship pretty quickly, much worse than countries like Belarus. You can notice young people (who speak English/German) trying to leave the country when they can. Related to that is the fact that Hungarians are pretty nationalistic, not saying they are all neo-nazis or racist but don't expect same cultural openness you'd get in Western Europe or in big part of Asia. On the other hand, it is definitely more developed and mostly nicer than Romania.

Romania could be possibly very undervalued country in terms of quality of life compared to living costs (together with Bulgaria, Serbia etc.), however of course there are also some downsides. When you mentioned Bucharest, you should know that it is a pretty ugly city that can get depressing in winter, add to that the fact that there is no real public transport, no metro etc. so the traffic is worse than in India.

Not sure why exactly you chose these two countries specifically. Their capitals sound similar (Budapest and Bucharest), that comes to my mind.
If you are looking for cheap workforce, you'll likely get exactly that, shit quality.
Thank you for the info, the reason these 2 are the option is mostly the employment cost as I am limited to 800 euros a month all in all and i know that if you search good enough you can find decent english agents in these countries in addition to taxation benefits
 

hazi

New member
KJK you are writing a lot of misleading stuff. Bucharest and Budapest are nothing alike, Budapest is much more expensive, also when it comes to salaries. Sure there are racists but there are racists everywhere. You have to also compare cost of living, which is 4-5x higher in Budapest.

Comparing Hungary to Belarus is just absurd... Don't believe everything you read in the news. Government control of the media and justice system exists everywhere - even in the the richest western European countries and sometimes MUCH more so than in Hungary or Romania. Going by this logic any country in the EU is a dictatorship (and maybe they are lol). Plus last time I checked Bucharest had a great public transport system and a huge metro serving almost a million people a day.

Sure you will find workers in Malta and Cyprus but they will cost you 6-10x more than in Bucharest and probably 2-3x in Budapest.

Bottom line- take a flight, go there and experience it yourself. Preferably in the summer as as KJK said, winter in East Europe is depressing... although there are plenty of nice girls to warm you up.
However if I were you I would stay in Asia and stay far from the EU, there are plenty of countries that are cheaper, and where you can find english-speaking locals and also pay very little tax if any.
I appreciate the advice and basically agree but first, I'm sick of asia, second, the employees here have mentality issue and even though the english is pretty good, the vibe is far from being western.
 

JimBeam

Active Member
Here are some quick facts about both countries:
- Hungary CIT 9% - Romania CIT 16% (1-3% possible for micro companies until 1M/year)
- Budapest is more beautiful but also more expensive then Bucharest
- @KJK wrote they have no public transport - not true - they have a metro lines (Budapest also has oldest metro in Europe)
- Didn't drove in Bucharest myself, but traffic jams in Budapest can be annoying and it I personally hate driving there since every time I loose 1 hour/day... And if you need to go over the bridges - you're fucked....
- Learning Hungarian language is almost impossible while learning Romanian is much easier
- Hungary may face potential political issues in future
- I would say that chances having problems as foreigner are pretty low (but are still higher in Hungary than in Romania)

If you really want to go to Hungary or Romania, the best advice I can give you is try to stay away from major cities. For example Timisoara in Romania or Szeged in Hungary are both 3rd largest cities in both countries. You can expect much better prices for just about anything in there (lower rents, better quality of living, relaxed lifestyle, no traffic jams, cheaper services, less expat/foreigner rip-offs etc). On the other hand both cities have Universities so it won't be that much of a hustle to find some talents and you'll pay them less for same amount of work compared to main cities. Timisoara even has a small airport that's well connected with rest of Europe and you can find tickets even around €20, great for weekend getaways to Italy, Spain or France (check Wizzair). You probably don't even need a car for both cities and you could use a bike or e-scooter go get around (taxi on days with bad weather). Both cities have trams.

So, if you could get that 1-3% tax for micro-company, and that the choice is between these two countries - I would probably pick Romania (Timisoara).
 

hazi

New member
Thank yo
Here are some quick facts about both countries:
- Hungary CIT 9% - Romania CIT 16% (1-3% possible for micro companies until 1M/year)
- Budapest is more beautiful but also more expensive then Bucharest
- @KJK wrote they have no public transport - not true - they have a metro lines (Budapest also has oldest metro in Europe)
- Didn't drove in Bucharest myself, but traffic jams in Budapest can be annoying and it I personally hate driving there since every time I loose 1 hour/day... And if you need to go over the bridges - you're fucked....
- Learning Hungarian language is almost impossible while learning Romanian is much easier
- Hungary may face potential political issues in future
- I would say that chances having problems as foreigner are pretty low (but are still higher in Hungary than in Romania)

If you really want to go to Hungary or Romania, the best advice I can give you is try to stay away from major cities. For example Timisoara in Romania or Szeged in Hungary are both 3rd largest cities in both countries. You can expect much better prices for just about anything in there (lower rents, better quality of living, relaxed lifestyle, no traffic jams, cheaper services, less expat/foreigner rip-offs etc). On the other hand both cities have Universities so it won't be that much of a hustle to find some talents and you'll pay them less for same amount of work compared to main cities. Timisoara even has a small airport that's well connected with rest of Europe and you can find tickets even around €20, great for weekend getaways to Italy, Spain or France (check Wizzair). You probably don't even need a car for both cities and you could use a bike or e-scooter go get around (taxi on days with bad weather). Both cities have trams.

So, if you could get that 1-3% tax for micro-company, and that the choice is between these two countries - I would probably pick Romania (Timisoara).
Thanks a lot, Timisoara was indeed a valid option for us due to the large amount of students there.
 

Skadevolder

New member
To chime in on Hungary, as I lived there for three years.

800 Euro for wage is not unrealistic, however when the requirement for english speaking it might be a stretch, as Hungary are lacking English speaking personell, and the most big corps' customer service departments already scoured the workforce for English speaking personell.

While the Corporation tax is only 9 %, we encountered immense problems with the Tax administration, crazy denial of deductables and so forth. But n=1, so maybe I was just unlucky.
 
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