How to leave a Bulgarian company and resign as shareholder or director (manager) by sending a notice of withdrawal

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Participation (membership) in a Bulgarian limited liability company (LLC, LTD) is always set up in a specific order, namely by the will of the partners (shareholders), who are involved in the company incorporation, or in case of acceptance of a new shareholder after the incorporation of the company, by the will of the partners holding shares at the time of acceptance of a new shareholder. This kind of decisions are made at the General Meeting of the Shareholders, which is the only competent body on these matters.

That is not the case, however, when a partner decides to leave the company voluntarily. Shareholders may request to terminate their participation in the limited liability company any time. Quite naturally, in most cases, a shareholder who wants to leave the company may not find support from other partners about his withdrawal and they could disagree with the leaving partner. But that does not mean that one person must be bound with a company in Bulgaria forever.

Termination of participation in a Bulgarian limited company is a potestative right of each shareholder, that is, a partner always has the right to leave a company. This is a unilateral act, which does not need to be preceded by a special permission given by the General Meeting of Shareholders. The partner can exercise this right by submitting a written request for termination of his participation in the company, the peculiarity being that the request should be filed at least 3 months before the date of the withdrawal. This request plays the role of a notice of withdrawal and the expiration of the three-month period has an automatic terminating effect of the shareholding.

In order to produce the necessary effect, the resignation request should come to the knowledge of the company. The best way to ensure this is to send it in the form of a notary invitation, as the date of the delivery of this invitation is duly certified by a public notary.

Upon the expiration of the resignation notice period, and after the partner loses his/her capacity of a shareholder, the company has the obligation to record accordingly the change in the circumstances in Bulgarian Commercial Register.

In case the partner who has left the company has been also a manager (director) of the company, the General Meeting of the Shareholders should appoint a new manager, because it is not possible for a Bulgarian limited company to remain without a managing / representing person. Moreover, if a company remains without a registered manager for more than 3 months, a liquidation procedure may be initiated for this company by a Bulgarian prosecutor.

It is therefore undisputed that regarding the internal relationship between the partner and the company the partner ‘s withdrawal takes effect from the moment of the expiration of the 3-month period. That is not the case, however, regarding third parties who are not part of the company. For them any changes in respect of the company have effect from the moment of their entry in the Commercial Register as third parties cannot monitor the processes within the company. For that reason, it is to the best interest of the leaving partner, his withdrawal to be registered in the Commercial Register as soon as possible. Although the law does not contain explicit provisions in this regard, the permanent court practice accepts that the leaving partner has the right to request the announcement of his/her leaving himself, in case the company does not do so.

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