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Darrell
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PostSubject: Company question   Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:35 am

Hi,
Just a quick question. Has anyone on the forum got their lichna carta and changed their property from a company to a personal home. If so what was the procedure and what cost was involved. We haven't got our lichna carta yet, we have another year to wait.
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davshaz
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:53 pm

This is what my lawyer told me recently

Does your property include land? If so, you need to wait for 2012 as the prohibition for owing land by EU citizens will be removed. If it's just a house
or an apartment then it can be done even before that date.

The transfer can be done in two ways:

Option 1. the company sells the property to you as person
Option 2. The company is liquidated and simultaneously the property is transferred to the partners in the company

The pros and cons:

For option 1, you need to pay notary fees(even at the lower possible price set), but the transfer ends in a week. The company is still existing.

For option 2 you don't pay notary fees, but the liquidation ends in 6 months. The company is closed.
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Blink
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:18 pm

This might help answer your question but as Dave says its about right.

Winding up (liquidating) a Bulgarian company

Many foreigners have been setting up limited companies in order to own land in Bulgaria. Now as the year 2012 is approaching, the restriction will be removed and there will be no need of the limited company for this purpose. Many people will prefer to have the property on their own name. So how you can do that? The legal way is to wind up your company and transfer the property on your name.

The liquidation process

If the limited company has been set up only for the purpose of owing a land we assume that the company is a dormant one. The easiest way to find that is to ask your accountant if they have filed nil annual accounts. So, if the company is dormant the liquidation should be a straightforward process. The biggest disadvantage of the liquidation is the time frame. The minimum legal term is 6 months. Basically the liquidation process can be divided in the following milestones:

(1) appointing a liquidator and sorting all outstanding taxes (both state and municipal ones)
(2) drafting the initial accounting balance report
(3) announcing the liquidation in the online Commercial register and submitting an invitation to all potential creditors of the company to present their claims
(4) transferring the property to the capital owners (company owners)
(5) drafting the final accounting balance report
(6) de-registering the company from the Commercial register

The longest stage is the waiting period after announcing the invitation to the creditors. The minimum legal waiting period is 6 months. This is why the liquidation lasts that long.

Liquidation costs

The liquidation process will involve accounting and liquidator costs, state fees and fees for transferring the property to the company owner(s). The final costs depend on the status of the company- are there any problems with it or its assets, how well the company papers were done during the years etc. A quote for liquidation costs (without property transfer fees) for well maintained dormant company would be about ? 500.

Transferring the property on company owners’ name

This could be done in several ways, but the most common are either by simulating a sale (company sells to the company owner) or by transfer as a liquidation share from the company to the company owner. In both cases the property transfer needs to be recorded in the Land Registry.
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:31 pm

We have intentionally delayed completing the purchase of our property in BG in the knowledge that in 2012 we can buy our property with land in our own names. At the moment we have payed a deposit with a Preliminary Contract with the owner. So the big question remains "
what date in 2012 does the new legislation come into effect"
. When can we buy our property in our own names and not through a company which we would have to set up?

c c
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Blink
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:55 am

Just got this from the lawyer

As of January 2012 this should be possible, since the 5 years term moratorium expires. This is valid except for agricultural land and forests where the moratorium applies for 2 more years.
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:02 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Just got this from the lawyer

As of January 2012 this should be possible, since the 5 years term moratorium expires. This is valid except for agricultural land and forests where the moratorium applies for 2 more years.

Many thanks Blink for the information. It is difficult at times to get straight answers on things that are changing within BG with the EU.

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therowfamily
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:18 am

This is very true itchyt and even when you think you have a definitive answer you then find its only a definitive answer of the question you didn't ask
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cowshed-sarah
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:43 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Just got this from the lawyer

As of January 2012 this should be possible, since the 5 years term moratorium expires. This is valid except for agricultural land and forests where the moratorium applies for 2 more years.


Good reply Blink but after asking around it seems that no one not even the Rea's know for definite so I would tread with caution.
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krypton
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:29 pm

I copied this from another site and it doesn't look good, I think something needs to be done about it but what? how on earth do they expect investment when they play games like this.


Foreigners now allowed to own land?

Called around to notaries we have worked with before. I have omitted the names of the particular notary but placed the town name and their answer


Ivaylovgrad – NO
Krumovgrad – NO
Kardzhali – NO
Ardino-NO
Nova Zagora - NO
Veliki Preslav- NO
Harmanli- NO
Yambol- NO
Shumen- NO
Svilengrad- NO
Gorna Oryahovitsa - NO
Svishtov- NO
Nikopol – NO
Elena- NO
Trun - NO


Interesting answers:

Elhovo - No, unless they have declarations from every EU member state that they either do or dont own property there.

Pavlikeni - NO, but on Monday may have another answer, is apparently checking something.

Veliko Turnovo (two different notaries asked)

1) YES - if the buyer has lived in BG for more than 6 months
2) YES - without a problem, without even coming to BG, can buy personally with apostilled POA from UK.



Further reading

THE EUROPEAN Commission has referred Cyprus to the EU Court of Justice today for non-compliance with EU Treaty rules on the free movement of capital, specifically its failure to repeal restrictions on the right to buy a second home.

These rules give EU nationals, as well as nationals of Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, the unrestricted right to buy a second home in Cyprus. Since Cyprus’ accession to the EU in 2004, transitional measures were in force that could restrict such acquisitions but these measures expired on April 30 2009. As Cyprus has not yet repealed these measures, the Commission has decided to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Under the 2003 Accession Treaty, Cyprus was allowed to maintain transitional measures which imposed restrictions on buying second homes for EU/EEA nationals. These measures applied for five years after the Accession Treaty entered into force and expired on May 1 2009. By that date, the Cypriot authorities were obliged to repeal the transitional measures.

Following a reasoned opinion sent by the Commission on April 6 2011, authorities here requested and were granted an extension to the two-month period initially set for the government's reply. This extension aimed at allowing Cyprus to undertake all the procedural steps needed for the adoption of the necessary amendment.

But after the expiry of the requested extension, authorities only submitted a proposal for draft amendments without indicating any concrete timetable for its adoption.

In a statement released yesterday, the Commission noted that free movement of capital “is at the heart of the Single Market and constitutes one of its ‘four freedoms’.”
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sallyann
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:08 pm

Its all very interesting and I for one think it will be sometime before the possibility of buying like this is allowed throughout Bulgaria and even within the EU. The EU think they can set the rules for all and not take into account the countries own rules and laws how wrong they are. Don't hold your breath waiting for the changes I think they will be a long time in coming and then as already see it will be hit and mis.
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meandmine
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:27 am

Maybe this will throw some light on the question

No Need Of A Company to Buy Land In Bulgaria?

In Bulgaria the legal regime for acquisition of title and using of the ownership right over the real estates by foreigners is regulated by the Constitution of Bulgaria, by the Ownership Act and the Agricultural Land Ownership"
.
According to those Acts and the Constitution foreign physical persons and legal persons may acquire a right of ownership of land in the following cases:

- under the conditions and terms arising from the Contract for accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union
- by virtue of an international agreement which has been ratified, which has been promulgated, and which has entered into force for the Republic of Bulgaria
- through legal succession.
The legal framework for the acquisition of title over land plots is regulated in the third part of the Annex 6 of the Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania to EU as this Treaty says that:
- Bulgaria may maintain during five years from the date of accession the restrictions laid down in its legislation on the acquisition of ownership over land for secondary residences by nationals of the Member States or the States which are a party to the European Economic Area Agreement (EEAA) non-resident in Bulgaria and by legal persons formed in accordance with the laws of another Member State or of an EEAA State.
Note: secondary residence is any residence different from the main residence located on the territory of any country in EC
- Bulgaria may maintain in force for seven years from the date of accession the restrictions laid down in its legislation on the acquisition of agricultural land, forests and forestry land by nationals of another Member State, by nationals of the States which are a party to the European Economic Area Agreement and by legal persons formed in accordance with the laws of another Member State or an EEAA State.

This means that Bulgaria has a right not to allow acquisition of ownership over land for secondary residences by foreigners for 5 years after the date of accession which means till 1st January 2012 BUT it does not mean that Bulgaria is obliged to allow such acquisition exactly on 1st of January 2012.
Lifting of such restriction is connected with changes that should be applied to several Bulgarian legal acts and secondary legislation instruments, which changes were not made yet, nor there has started parliamentary discussion over it, which means that foreigners still should register a company in case they want to buy a land plot for secondary residences.
The Notary chamber of the Republic of Bulgaria had admitted that it is expected the Ownership Act to be changed as this change will be published and announced in the official state newspaper of Bulgaria - the State Guazette.
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madbird
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:51 am

I came over in Feb/march and still had to register a company,nobody knows when or even if this will ever change!!!!
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Andy
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:23 am

Got this from my solicitor

March 14, 2012

Buying regulated land in Bulgaria 2012

Because of the speculations, I decided to write this small post. I will try to clear out whether an EU citizen can buy regulated land directly in Bulgaria as from January 2012.

A common misunderstanding is that foreigners cannot buy regulated land directly if they own primary home in their native country. This was valid until 2012, but not any more. The legal grounds are Art. 29a of the Ownership Act:

Entities in Art. 29 para 2, who do not reside permanently in Republic of Bulgaria, can acquire land for secondary home property after expiration of the term, set forth by the conditions of the Treaty for Accession of Bulgaria to the European Union

The above articles was introduced in 2007, the year when Bulgaria joined EU. (Look below what I wrote last yesr) the prohibition term was 5 years since Bulgaria’s accession. As from January 2012, the prohibition term has expired, so pursuant Art. 29a Ownership Act, foreigners can buy regulated land directly, no matter if it is primary or secondary home property.

The speculation still exists, but I think this is supported by property agents who lose business. Just imagine how many companies will be liquidated and how many annual accounts and tax declaration will not have to be submitted. Property agents need to move on and stop spreading disinformation.

Buying land in Bulgaria without registration of limited company

The Bulgarian legislation have set a restriction for buying land by foreigners directly. This was changed when Bulgaria was accepted as EU member state in 2007. However, the accession treaty allowed Bulgaria and Romania to extend the restriction for few more years. Naturally both states took advantage of this option.

The right for extending the restriction is set in Annex 6, part 3 (movement of capital), point 1 to the Treaty for Accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU. The annex to the treaty for accession provides the right to Bulgaria to keep up to 5 years the restriction for the right of foreigners to directly own land in Bulgaria:

Notwithstanding the obligations under the Treaties on which the European Union is founded, Bulgaria may maintain in force for five years from the date of accession the restrictions laid down in its legislation existing at the time of signature of this Protocol on the acquisition of ownership over land for secondary residences by nationals of the Member States or the States which are a party to the European Economic Area Agreement (EEAA) non-resident in Bulgaria and by legal persons formed in accordance with the laws of another Member State or of an EEAA State

Even longer - 7 years – term is set for owing agricultural land and forests:

Notwithstanding the obligations under the Treaties on which the European Union is founded, Bulgaria may maintain in force for seven years from the date of accession the restrictions laid down in its legislation existing at the time of signature of this Protocol on the acquisition of agricultural land, forests and forestry land by nationals of another Member State, by nationals of the States which are a party to the European Economic Area Agreement and by legal persons formed in accordance with the laws of another Member State or an EEAA State. In no instance may a national of a Member State be treated less favourably in respect of the acquisition of agricultural land, forests and forestry land than at the date of signature of the Accession Treaty or be treated in a more restrictive way than a national of a third country.


The Bulgarian legislation have set a restriction for buying land by foreigners directly. This was changed when Bulgaria was accepted as EU member state in 2007. However, the accession treaty allowed Bulgaria and Romania to extend the restriction for few more years. Naturally both states took advantage of this option.

The right for extending the restriction is set in Annex 6, part 3 (movement of capital), point 1 to the Treaty for Accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU. The annex to the treaty for accession provides the right to Bulgaria to keep up to 5 years the restriction for the right of foreigners to directly own land in Bulgaria:

Notwithstanding the obligations under the Treaties on which the European Union is founded, Bulgaria may maintain in force for five years from the date of accession the restrictions laid down in its legislation existing at the time of signature of this Protocol on the acquisition of ownership over land for secondary residences by nationals of the Member States or the States which are a party to the European Economic Area Agreement (EEAA) non-resident in Bulgaria and by legal persons formed in accordance with the laws of another Member State or of an EEAA State

Even longer - 7 years – term is set for owing agricultural land and forests:

Notwithstanding the obligations under the Treaties on which the European Union is founded, Bulgaria may maintain in force for seven years from the date of accession the restrictions laid down in its legislation existing at the time of signature of this Protocol on the acquisition of agricultural land, forests and forestry land by nationals of another Member State, by nationals of the States which are a party to the European Economic Area Agreement and by legal persons formed in accordance with the laws of another Member State or an EEAA State. In no instance may a national of a Member State be treated less favourably in respect of the acquisition of agricultural land, forests and forestry land than at the date of signature of the Accession Treaty or be treated in a more restrictive way than a national of a third country.


Luckily the 5 years period expires next year -01.01.2012, so the restriction should be removed. You can read the full text of the annex VI for further details in this pdf
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:55 pm

We hope to have some positive answers at the weekend, my information on this subject is that the Notaries in different regions of BG have been slow in practising the new regulation and in some cases have blocked any attempt by purchasers from implementing the law. This has caused confusion as to if the new law is effectively in place or not. Suffice it to say some councils have been threatened with being taken to court in the knowledge that they will lose the case and the costs involved. The new law was effective from the 1st of January this year, maybe old Communist customs and practices are hard to shake off!!


c
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Company question   Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:27 pm

This topic has been posted elsewhere but here goes. Today I visited our lawyer to sign the usual tax declarations. I was told that I could now put my property in my name whenever I am ready!!! This is in VT and I was previously told by the same lawyer that the notaries were loathe to do this work until the guidelines were specifically challenged! After 5 years of knowing about this EU ruling? Don't you think its odd (or maybe not in Bulgaria) that once the accounts for 2012 have been submitted and paid for, that the new rule can now be put into operation?? Or maybe its because the accounts have to be done before closing the company down anyway, so it will be interesting to see if there has to be another set of accounts done on the closing in which case I will need an explanation. What say you? c
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