Self-employment in Bulgaria is a relatively new economic and legal phenomenon. By 1989 the country was run on the model of a centralized planned economy, with 100% guaranteed markets and jobs. In just 23 years, ownership and labour relations have been transformed, laying the foundations of an open market economic model, including the modern, flexible and unregulated labour market. Prior to 1989, the ruling regime guaranteed full (100%) employment, the basic pattern of relationships being employment on permanent contracts. During the transition period, and as a result of the implementation of free market principles, different, previously unknown models of employment relations were applied very rapidly, one of which is self-employment. Nowadays, with the country facing such a severe and prolonged financial and economic crisis, coupled with the serious fall in income levels and living standards, the social and economic importance of job creation is represented to a significant extent by self-employment. For many Bulgarians without a job, self-employment is today the only way out of unemployment and poverty; however, self-employment also creates new opportunities for self-development. It provides opportunities for professional development and for new skills, motivating individual initiative and creativity.
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- Legal Status and Working Conditions of Self-Employed Persons in Bulgaria
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