We investigate how the perception for wide-spread bribing culture affects rural non-farm startup plans in transition. The study contributes to the literature on rural entrepreneurship and the role of institutional factors as drivers of entrepreneurial decisions. Using primary farm household data from Bulgaria and relying on Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior, we tested the mediation effects of corruption perceptions over attitudes, norms and perceived control. Evidence for partial mediation through attitudes was found. Stronger corruption perception is correlated with both stronger start-up intentions and positive attitudes towards it.