Exporting to Hungary

Hungary is a high-growth, business hub in the heart of Europe with a population of almost 10 million. As well as its favourable geographical location, Hungary offers a strong legal system and a modern business environment.

Ease of doing business

Hungary’s economy has been extensively liberalised through privatisation, foreign direct investment and the introduction of comprehensive commercial laws. Hungary’s business culture is similar to the UK’s and English is widely spoken, so UK companies find it easy to work with local partners.

Strategic focus

Hungary is the perfect place for British companies seeking to expand their operations in Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Many companies have selected the country to be their regional centre or global back office.

Educated workforce

Hungary’s well-educated and professionally trained workforce is one of the country’s main economic advantages for UK exporters who need to staff locally.

Ease of doing business

53rd

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Forint

Business language

Hungarian, English

You may need a translator

GDP per capita

$15,923

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

4.9%

(IMF, 2018)

Time zone

GMT +1

Opportunities for exporters

There are a opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Hungary have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Hungary

Preparing to export

Hungary’s legal system is largely in line with EU requirements. If you are considering a large-scale transaction you should consult one of the international law firms based in Hungary.


VAT

If you’re registered for VAT, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Hungary, provided certain conditions are met.

All enterprises supplying goods or services in Hungary must register for and charge VAT. Small businesses can choose to be VAT exempt under certain conditions.

The standard VAT rate is 27%, but rates of 18%, 5% or 0% apply to certain goods and services.

Corporate tax

You’ll find information on Hungarian tax for enterprises on the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary (NTCA) website.

Standards and technical regulations

Products and packaging should meet EU standards.

The Hungarian Trade Licensing Office (website in Hungarian, English translation available) is the main regulator. They set the standards that apply to foreign products coming into the country. There are special rules around registering and certifying certain products.

Labelling

Labelling should be in Hungarian. You should check with the relevant registration or certification authority about whether labelling needs to comply with Hungarian legislation on advertising and health and safety.

Operating in Hungary

Hungary's increasingly westernised business culture has improved ease of doing business. However, UK companies could encounter difficulties like legal barriers to public procurement.


Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property (IP) lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office is responsible for IP.

Business behavior

The use of English is rapidly increasing, however, you may sometimes encounter language barriers, especially when working with smaller companies and outside Budapest.

Business cards are used extensively. Hungarians often place their surnames first on business cards, printed in Hungarian. You should consider getting business cards printed in Hungarian, with surname first.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.