Trade Representative Office / Bulgarian Residence Permit

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Bulgarian trade representative office registration

Residence permit in Bulgaria for trade representatives

Trade representative office in Bulgaria can be registered and operated by any foreign company according to Bulgarian legislation. Representative offices are different from branch offices. They can be used only for marketing and advertising of products or services of the mother company. They are not allowed to trade on their own account, any sales are made directly by the mother company, but they can hire staff and keep their own accounting records. All expenses for the maintenance of the representation are also covered by the mother company.

Registration of trade representative offices is made with Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sofia or its local divisions. The application cannot be filed online; it must be submitted either by a legal representative of the company in person or by an authorized attorney. The application must be accompanied by official documents for the status of the mother company (such as certificate of good standing, certificate of incorporation, etc.), documentation regarding its activities, financial status, expansion plans, etc. as well as information about the physical person/s appointed for representatives. Before filing the documents, they must be duly notarized and legalized, translated into Bulgarian and certified for authenticity by Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The whole procedure, inclusive of preparation of legal documentation can be completed within a month. The trade representative office should have real address in Bulgaria so a rental contract must be presented to the registration authority as well.

To summarize, foreign company should match the following criteria:

  1. The foreign company must have history for more than one year
  2. It must be active and in good financial state
  3. Annual financial statements and tax return of the company will are required and must show profit for previous years
  4. A business plan for the company expansion in Bulgaria is required
  5. The trade representative office needs a real office in Bulgaria

Bulgarian trade representative office registration is a standard method of promoting and expanding a business in another country. But apart from expansion, the registration of a trade representative office of a foreign company in Bulgaria has another benefit. The establishment of a representative office is a method of obtaining a long-stay residence permit in Bulgaria (for up to one year) for non-EU citizens. Up to three persons, appointed as representatives, can obtain visa type D and long stay permit card through the establishment of one representative office.

Once the trade representative office registration is completed, the physical person/s appointed for representative/s in Bulgaria can apply for visa type D. The application is filed with the Bulgarian embassy in the country of current citizenship of the applicant. The basic requirements for the applicants are to have clean criminal record, to have accommodation in Bulgaria, a bank account and an insurance, proof of which is presented to Bulgarian authorities at the time of the application. The visa is usually issued within 3 months and is valid for six months. Only after obtaining the type D visa, the representatives can come to Bulgaria and apply for a residence permit (up to one year).

The holder of Bulgarian long stay residence permit card is entitled of multiple entries and stay in Bulgaria. The residence permit card must be renewed every year which is a relatively easy procedure and after five years the person can apply for a Bulgarian permanent stay residence permit. Another benefit is that the family of the representative (spouse and children under 18) can also move to Bulgaria based on his residence permit.

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