Once again, the Ministry of Justice proves to be existing in some other legal realm. So are the Bulgarian Courts. As you probably already know, the companies which have not re-registered by 31 Dec 2011 are subject to compulsory liquidation. The proceedings of this liquidation have been “patched” to the Trade Register Act just before the deadline was in effect. Naturally, as everything done in the last minute, this seems to be an unfinished work.
Paragraph 5, point 4 of the Supplementary provisions of the Trade Register Act:
(4) The co-operations and trader’s last registration court prepares and sends by 1st October 2012 to the Agency a list of unreregistered sole traders and foreign companies branches, for which no re-registration has been requested in the term of § 4, point 1 as well as a list of all companies and co-operations for which a re-registration have not been requested in the same term. The list contains the number of the company file, the trade name and business address, the legal representative and Bulstat code, provided to the court, by the Agency.
So far so good. The text says “by 1st Oct 2012″, which means that the courts should be ready even before that date. After all they have 10 months to prepare a list. How difficult that could be? Thanks to the state owned company Information Services PLC they have already this data digitised. Even more, some courts use it for issuing Certificates for Good Standing of the companies. Again, how difficult that can be?
Having spoken to a couple of judges, chiefs of Commercial Departments in two different courts, I was notified that the courts don’t know what to do, as there is no internal regulation of this procedure. Apparently, “prepare a list” is not enough for them. Where is the self-regulation of the court if they cannot create a simple internal procedure to prepare a single list? Obviously they are waiting for the Ministry of Justice to do the work for them.
This affects ate a huge scale all companies that failed to re-register. Most of them want to initiate voluntary liquidation in order to avoid further costs. The only obstacle now is the list. You may say that they’ve waited 3 years and can wait few more months and you may be right. However, think of the UK and Irish owners who have registered these companies as “holding” tools and didn’t know that such huge reform in the Commercial Register will happen. that’s why they’ve missed the deadline. Delaying of these lists will cause more ambiguity and concerns.