Do you own a property through a limited company in Bulgaria? Please read below, as you might be affected by a major law change concerning your property.
History of the process
If you have bought a property in Bulgaria before 2010, most probably you have set up a limited company in Bulgaria as well. Having a limited company as a holding company for the property was a requirement back then. This is not the case any more. Any EU citizen can own regulated property (e.g. regulated land, apartment, house etc.) directly on their personal name.
Company owners who failed to re-register their companies
As we have wrote here and here , all active companies have been moved to a centralised Companies Register. The government couldn't (more likely didn't want) do it automatically, so it set deadlines for companies' owners to do it themselves. If anyone had failed to do it, the company had to proceed with a compulsory liquidation.
What if I own a property and have failed to liquidate my company?
Luckily, you still can keep ownership of your property, at least if you can sort things out by the end year 2022. If you fail to do it, you can lose your property and you can't challenge this in the future. You need to appoint liquidator who would prepare all the paperwork and initiate the process in the Companies Register.
After the process is initiated, the company will be automatically de-registered and the liquidator will have to transfer the title of the property to the company owner or to a third party (appointed by the owner) . This also can be a part of your estate planning process, so you could coordinate the process with your UK/Irish estate planning agent.
Owning agricultural land or forest
If you own a agricultural land or a forest, your situation is a bit trickier. Bulgarian government passed a law, where they impose restrictions on who can own agricultural land. The basic rule is that only a resident of the country can own such land or if it is a company, the company has to be owned by a resident OR if not owned by a resident, it has to be at least 5 years old.
As you can see the above restriction doesn't get along too well with the compulsory company liquidation, as you most likely are not Bulgarian resident and don't have another Bulgarian company, matching the criteria.
We, at MH Legal, can help you with the process at a very reasonable fee. You can contact us through our contact form or just leave a comment below and we'll get back to you .