Favourable corporate and private tax regimes have turned Bulgaria into a popular destination for international investors. Law firms based in the capital Sofia are already offering wide-ranging services in English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin) and Russian. If you are thinking of investing in a property in Bulgaria and perhaps are also looking into moving there to start a business, the whole process can be handled by a law firm to ease your way into your chosen new country.
There are even specialist law firms dealing with the needs of developers, who need banking and financing services, as well as construction permits, title deed transfer and help with employment law matters.
If you are planning to start a certain type of business, for example an online gaming enterprise such as a casino, you will need an EU gambling licence. Law firms in Sofia can arrange that for you. Or you may want to start a financial institution or open a medical or healthcare facility, for which you will also need a licence. Similarly, tour operators and travel agents must be fully licensed to run a business in Bulgaria. If you are planning to start a haulier business, you will need a transport licence and haulier company set-up to get started in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria offers investors a variety of ways to obtain the right to stay in the country. The Bulgarian investor program for residency makes it possible to obtain a permanent residency permit and citizenship through investment in, for example, government bonds, or by purchasing real estate or a company registered in Bulgaria.
Another way to make use of this program is to open a trade representative office as a foreign company or to start a business from scratch. There are three principle types: a limited liability company and a joint stock company as well as the aforementioned trade representative branch. The program was introduced in 2013, and changes slightly every year, so contacting a law firm in Bulgaria is essential, if you wish to avail yourself of the advantages the program has to offer.
If your choice is to buy an existing business, multi-lingual lawyers in Sofia can also help with the due diligence process and undertake valuations on your behalf.
Buying Bulgarian Real Estate
Apart from dealing with what in the UK would be called conveyancing, lawyers in Sofia can assist with title deed transfer and act as notary. In addition to making sure you are the new legal owner of an apartment or house in Bulgaria, you may want to make a will and have someone who will be able to administer your estate and deal with probate. Law firms in Sofia tend to specialise, so you may need to consult two different firms for all your needs. Not all of them deal with private clients either.
Once you have bought or started your Bulgarian company's premises, you may want to arrange for insurance. Some law firms have specialists who deal with insurance and contract law.
Starting a Business in Bulgaria
Law firms based in Bulgaria can assist with company formation and registration of your business with the Bulgarian Commercial Register, but they can also represent you at general meetings of shareholders, so you won't have to be present at every meeting. In addition, they can help with taxation planning, VAT matters and corporate income and dividends tax.
You will also need help with share transfers, if you are either buying or selling a business in Bulgaria. To keep costs down, it is possible with some law firms to be put on a retainer, which will cover many different aspects of your commercial dealings in Bulgaria.
Here are three multi-lingual firms offering a variety of services:Vassilev and Partners
78, Vitosha Boulevard
Ground Floor, Office 1
Tel: 00359 2474 4306
New Balkans Law Office
19-B Patriarh Evtimiy Boulevard
Tel: 00359 2950 6239
London office: email@example.com Tel: 0044 207 183 0262
1 Tsar Asen Str.
email: office:trifonov.info and firstname.lastname@example.org
tel: 00359 32 624 104