The Bulgarian law for foreign investments guarantees that investors are treated in a nondiscriminatory way. Foreign and local investors are treated equally and foreigners can perform their economic activities under the same conditions that apply to Bulgarian residents. Furthermore, the Law on Encouragement of Investments also stipulates the principle of international treaties over domestic legislation.
This means that if foreign investments are entitled to receive favorable treatment, as stipulated in an international treaty, this treaty will govern over local legislation, thus guaranteeing that the foreign investors receive the most favorable treatment.
The law in Bulgaria defines foreign persons as follows:
- a legal person that is not registered in the Republic of Bulgaria;
- a company registered abroad that is not a legal person;
- a natural person: a foreign national with a permanent residence abroad.
A Bulgarian national with permanent residence abroad may choose how he or she will be treated: as a Bulgarian national or a foreign national.
Foreign investments in Bulgaria
A foreign investment, as defined by law, is any investment made by a foreign person in:
- shared commercial companies;
- ownership title over buildings and limited ownership title over property;
- ownership title and limited ownership over movable property held as long term assets;
- ownership over an enterprise or parts thereof;
- securities and loans;
- intellectual property title;
- rights under various contracts.
Property rights in Bulgaria
Some of the most important legal provisions when it comes to property rights in Bulgaria refer to ownership titles over different types of property. Foreign persons may acquire ownership titles and limited ownership titles over property, but they may not acquire an ownership title over land.
Foreigners must be granted a permit for the acquisition of ownership titles over buildings and limited ownership titles on properties in the area of border zones.
There are no currency control restrictions for investments, including investments in equity, real estate, securities, intellectual property and concessions. Foreign investors do not need to fulfill any special registration requirements, other than those which usually apply to Bulgarian investors.
In Bulgaria, the Foreign Investments Agency governs the field of foreign investments.
Foreign investors may choose to begin their activities in Bulgaria by purchasing a property. Entrepreneurs who wish to receive more information about the types of companies that exist in Bulgaria can contact our Bulgarian lawyers for more information.
Our Bulgarian law firm welcomes both foreign investors and Bulgarian nationals and we are always ready to assist you in the best possible way.
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