Propery deals for over EUR 5000 will go through bank wire only!

Another "kick" on the free trade has been adopted by the Bulgarian government. As from July 1st 2011 an amendment in the Notatrial Act regulates that property deals worth more than 5000 Euros has to be paid through the notary trust account or dedicated bank account. The full text of the ridiculous Art. 25 is here:

(9) (New - SG. 41 of 2011, in force since 01.07.2011) Upon performing transactions, which set up, transfer, amend or terminate real estate rights, participants in the notary proceedings declare that the amount stated therein is effectively agreed.

(10) (New - SG. 41 of 2011, in force from 01.07.2011) The payments under para 9 in total over 10 000 BGN are made through a special bank account of the notary or bank account chosen by the parties in the bank.

So how come this is bad, someone will ask. Well, the state basically limits the payment options. What if I want to pay cash or what happens if you want to make a property swap? This examples complicates the proceedings and are grounds for  different law interpretations by the different notaries. The result is destructive - no clear regulation and confusion on the property trade market. Lawyers will have to argue with notaries and since we are the 'weak' party in the process, the lawyer are forced to accept the notary interpretation. Which is often against common sense...

Propery deals for over EUR 5000 will go through bank wire only!

Another "kick" on the free trade has been adopted by the Bulgarian government. As from July 1st 2011 an amendment in the Notatrial Act regulates that property deals worth more than 5000 Euros has to be paid through the notary trust account or dedicated bank account. The full text of the ridiculous Art. 25 is here:

(9) (New - SG. 41 of 2011, in force since 01.07.2011) Upon performing transactions, which set up, transfer, amend or terminate real estate rights, participants in the notary proceedings declare that the amount stated therein is effectively agreed.

(10) (New - SG. 41 of 2011, in force from 01.07.2011) The payments under para 9 in total over 10 000 BGN are made through a special bank account of the notary or bank account chosen by the parties in the bank.

So how come this is bad, someone will ask. Well, the state basically limits the payment options. What if I want to pay cash or what happens if you want to make a property swap? This examples complicates the proceedings and are grounds for  different law interpretations by the different notaries. The result is destructive - no clear regulation and confusion on the property trade market. Lawyers will have to argue with notaries and since we are the 'weak' party in the process, the lawyer are forced to accept the notary interpretation. Which is often against common sense...

General Meetings of the Condominium at Black Sea resorts (Varna, Bourgas etc.)

It appears that the builder's lobby in the Condominium Management Act has prevailed. The Act was adopted during the property bubble, when all builders had plenty of work and clients. They were trying to predict who they can benefit their further business and how to squeeze more out of the foreign buyers. They were trying to find loopholes and adjust the legislation in a way so their business can be run smoothly. In my opinion one of the loopholes is the ban for convening General Meetings during the summer season.

Art.13  para 8  of Condominium Management Act explicitly states:

(8) Except in urgent cases, a General Assembly shall not be convened during:

1. the period between 15th July and 15th September;

  1. days declared as official holidays;

  2. days declared as holidays by the Council of Ministers;

As you can see the ban matches the summer season i.e. when all holiday property buyers are going on vacation and stay in they apartments. Oddly and surely very convenient when all condominium members are in the building a General Meeting cannot be convened. In my opinion there should be distinction between summer and winter resorts properties. Unfortunately the law doesn't make that distinction.

Furthermore, because the owners can't attend the GMs, they need to authorize solicitors or other third parties. Builders count on the fact that power of attorneys involve costs (depending on the way you choose to notarize the document) and apartment owners don't bother making PoAs at all. This way the management of the condominium (usually the builder via a local limited company) creates obstacles and ensures themselves a majority on the GM and consequently adopting resolutions in builder's favour i.e. supporting their post development business.

General Meetings of the Condominium at Black Sea resorts (Varna, Bourgas etc.)

It appears that the builder's lobby in the Condominium Management Act has prevailed. The Act was adopted during the property bubble, when all builders had plenty of work and clients. They were trying to predict who they can benefit their further business and how to squeeze more out of the foreign buyers. They were trying to find loopholes and adjust the legislation in a way so their business can be run smoothly. In my opinion one of the loopholes is the ban for convening General Meetings during the summer season.

Art.13  para 8  of Condominium Management Act explicitly states:

(8) Except in urgent cases, a General Assembly shall not be convened during:

1. the period between 15th July and 15th September;

  1. days declared as official holidays;

  2. days declared as holidays by the Council of Ministers;

As you can see the ban matches the summer season i.e. when all holiday property buyers are going on vacation and stay in they apartments. Oddly and surely very convenient when all condominium members are in the building a General Meeting cannot be convened. In my opinion there should be distinction between summer and winter resorts properties. Unfortunately the law doesn't make that distinction.

Furthermore, because the owners can't attend the GMs, they need to authorize solicitors or other third parties. Builders count on the fact that power of attorneys involve costs (depending on the way you choose to notarize the document) and apartment owners don't bother making PoAs at all. This way the management of the condominium (usually the builder via a local limited company) creates obstacles and ensures themselves a majority on the GM and consequently adopting resolutions in builder's favour i.e. supporting their post development business.

Cargo truck drivers have problems with Bulgarian Transport Police

The main cargo road between Western Europe and Turkey goes through Bulgaria. The increased trade consequently leads to increasing land cargo transportation, mainly by trucks. Because Turkish transport companies are not very much familiar with the Bulgarian transport laws, they usually have problems with the Traffic police.

The usual problem are speeding, not having the right cargo and truck documents, lack of tachograph (or not working properly) etc. If the driver is stopped by the Traffic police/Transport authority and defaults in the truck/cargo/documents are found, the driver and the transport company will be fined and issued a penalty document ("akt").

In that case the transport company will need a lawyer to take care of the legal formalities and appeal the fine/penalty. A fine to the transport company or to the driver are clearly putting a bad mark on the trade and business of the company. Therefore a lawyer could be of big help. Usually the penalty forms have formal mistakes and when challenged in court the penalties are canceled.

The lawyer will find the formal mistakes in the penalty document and will ask the court to cancel it. This will result returning of any money paid for the penalty.

Cargo truck drivers have problems with Bulgarian Transport Police

The main cargo road between Western Europe and Turkey goes through Bulgaria. The increased trade consequently leads to increasing land cargo transportation, mainly by trucks. Because Turkish transport companies are not very much familiar with the Bulgarian transport laws, they usually have problems with the Traffic police.

The usual problem are speeding, not having the right cargo and truck documents, lack of tachograph (or not working properly) etc. If the driver is stopped by the Traffic police/Transport authority and defaults in the truck/cargo/documents are found, the driver and the transport company will be fined and issued a penalty document ("akt").

In that case the transport company will need a lawyer to take care of the legal formalities and appeal the fine/penalty. A fine to the transport company or to the driver are clearly putting a bad mark on the trade and business of the company. Therefore a lawyer could be of big help. Usually the penalty forms have formal mistakes and when challenged in court the penalties are canceled.

The lawyer will find the formal mistakes in the penalty document and will ask the court to cancel it. This will result returning of any money paid for the penalty.

Online gambling license regime in Bulgaria

When we talked about Internet gambling license will soon be available in Bulgaria, we thought the Parliament will pass the bill really quickly because of the big interest, the real gambling companies have in Bulgaria. Now, as some of the comments pointed right, companies holding non-EU gambling license don't care about getting an EU one, because they can operate on-line virtually anywhere.

We can see some "non-gambling" websites which offer free poker games, but they also offer paid membership where you can actually gamble. It appears the Gambling Commission is unable to sanction them, or at least nobody urged them to.

The fact is that the bill is still pending for discussion in the Financial Parliament Commission since 2009. Apparently it will be there for another couple of years.

Online gambling license regime in Bulgaria

When we talked about Internet gambling license will soon be available in Bulgaria, we thought the Parliament will pass the bill really quickly because of the big interest, the real gambling companies have in Bulgaria. Now, as some of the comments pointed right, companies holding non-EU gambling license don't care about getting an EU one, because they can operate on-line virtually anywhere.

We can see some "non-gambling" websites which offer free poker games, but they also offer paid membership where you can actually gamble. It appears the Gambling Commission is unable to sanction them, or at least nobody urged them to.

The fact is that the bill is still pending for discussion in the Financial Parliament Commission since 2009. Apparently it will be there for another couple of years.

EU transport lincese - cargo and passenger licenses

Note to our Greek partners: Εάν θέλετε να αποκτήσετε της ΕΕ επιτρέπουν των οδικών μεταφορών από τη Βουλγαρία, μπορείτε να χρησιμοποιήσετε το ελληνικό πιστοποιητικό σας για την επαγγελματική επάρκεια. Περισσότερες πληροφορίες μπορείτε να βρείτε εδώ
Bulgarian law is offers one of the most liberal procedures for obtaining cargo and passenger transport license. The authority that issues the licenses is Executive Agency "Automobile Administration". The benefits of getting a Bulgarian cargo or passenger transport license is that it is issued relatively quick (within 20 days) and almost no initial checks are done. This means that you can register a new company and get the license. Of course there are mandatory requirements which you need to meet, such as:
  • your company need to be in good financial condition. Luckily the law sets what is good condition:  your company has to show in its balance sheets possession of at least 9000 Euros if you apply for one vehicle license and +5000 Euros for every other vehicle you apply for. To be absolutely clear here is one example:
You apply for license for 3 trucks. This will be: 9000(first truck) + 2 x 5000(the rest two trucks) = 19000 euros. This is the amount that your company accounts should show that you possess. This amount can also be available through bank guarantee or borrowed from third party.
  • Your company should hire a person who has passes the state exams for qualification for transport company management. This is a special license issued upon successful passing of the state exams for transport company management. Anybody can get this qualification certificate as long as he/she is fluent in Bulgarian and learns the exam prep papers. IF a foreigners applies for such transport management qualification certificate, the high school diploma needs to be legalized in the Bulgarian Ministry of Education.
  • The full package of application documents can be prepared by our Varna lawyers. We can apply and get your cargo and passenger transport license by using a power of attorney. This enables us to act with minimum efforts put by you in this process.

Currently many Romanians and Greek transport companies has benefited from our transport license services.

EU transport lincese - cargo and passenger licenses

Note to our Greek partners: Εάν θέλετε να αποκτήσετε της ΕΕ επιτρέπουν των οδικών μεταφορών από τη Βουλγαρία, μπορείτε να χρησιμοποιήσετε το ελληνικό πιστοποιητικό σας για την επαγγελματική επάρκεια. Περισσότερες πληροφορίες μπορείτε να βρείτε εδώ
Bulgarian law is offers one of the most liberal procedures for obtaining cargo and passenger transport license. The authority that issues the licenses is Executive Agency "Automobile Administration". The benefits of getting a Bulgarian cargo or passenger transport license is that it is issued relatively quick (within 20 days) and almost no initial checks are done. This means that you can register a new company and get the license. Of course there are mandatory requirements which you need to meet, such as:
  • your company need to be in good financial condition. Luckily the law sets what is good condition:  your company has to show in its balance sheets possession of at least 9000 Euros if you apply for one vehicle license and +5000 Euros for every other vehicle you apply for. To be absolutely clear here is one example:
You apply for license for 3 trucks. This will be: 9000(first truck) + 2 x 5000(the rest two trucks) = 19000 euros. This is the amount that your company accounts should show that you possess. This amount can also be available through bank guarantee or borrowed from third party.
  • Your company should hire a person who has passes the state exams for qualification for transport company management. This is a special license issued upon successful passing of the state exams for transport company management. Anybody can get this qualification certificate as long as he/she is fluent in Bulgarian and learns the exam prep papers. IF a foreigners applies for such transport management qualification certificate, the high school diploma needs to be legalized in the Bulgarian Ministry of Education.
  • The full package of application documents can be prepared by our Varna lawyers. We can apply and get your cargo and passenger transport license by using a power of attorney. This enables us to act with minimum efforts put by you in this process.

Currently many Romanians and Greek transport companies has benefited from our transport license services.