Laws and taxes
Excel Property Bulgaria recommends you to always use the services of a lawyer!
We at Excel Property Bulgaria are ready to provide high-quality legal assistance in the purchase and sale of real estate in Bulgaria for all our customers – from free advice on legal questions, complete inspection and preparation of all necessary documents for the implementation of a secured real estate transactions.
Real estate transactions are regulated by law matter that follows strict rules and procedures in order to ensure the effective acquisition and integrity of the property. Regulations containing rules on real estate transactions in Bulgaria are: the Constitution, the Property Act, Law on State Property Act, the Municipal Property Rates Act, Privatization, Law on Ownership and Use of Agricultural Land, Forest Law, Code of Civil Procedure, Law on Investment, Promotion Law on Spatial Planning, Law on Obligations and Contracts and the Condominium Act.
Under Bulgarian law, real estate transactions (purchase, exchange, etc..) must be carried out by issuing a deed recorded by notary in the area in which the property is located. Form of a Title deed is required not only for the transactions to transfer ownership of real estate, but also for the establishment of limited rights on the real estate (such as the right to build, use, etc.)..
After signing the deed, notary is obliged by law to register the transaction in the land registry, registering it in the registration office to the appropriate district court to allow the purchaser of the property to protect their property from claims of third parties.
Fees and expenses payable by law to issue a deed
Prerequisite to make a real estate deal, among other things, is also to be paid all provided by law taxes. When the transaction is a transfer (sale, donation, exchange) there are three main types of taxes to be paid: local tax, notary fee and registration fee. The sum of these three charges is broadly the amount equal to 3.5-4% of the property value listed as a material interest in the deed.
Tax on transfer of title (local tax):
to be paid under the Local Taxes and Fees. Its size is different for each municipality and is determined by the municipal council of the municipality in the location of the property. Upon the sale may not be less than 2% of the transaction value, taking into account the higher of the two values, namely the selling price of the property agreed by both sides and the tax valuation of the property made by the local tax office (but not less than the tax assessment).
This is the fee paid to the notary for the transaction according to property taxes. It is the same for the whole country, but is calculated using a special formula based on the transaction value. Again, the calculation takes into account the higher of the two values, which are the agreed price for the sale of property and tax assessment. It is important to know that if the notary is VAT registered (which is the general case), to the size of the notary fee is added VAT, which currently in Bulgaria amounts to 20%.
Fee for registration of the transaction in the property register (registration fee):
This fee is paid to the Property Register at the Registry Agency (or the Registration Office, as it once was). The amount of the registration fee is the same for the whole country and is fixed at 0.1% of the transaction value, due regard being calculated on the higher of the two values between the agreed price and the tax assessment.
Necessary documents for real estate transactions
1. Document certifying the ownership of the property (title deed, contract of sale, certificate of inheritance, marriage certificate or divorce judgment and others. – Depends on the case);
2. Certificate of property tax assessment issued by the local tax office;
3. Sketch of the plot (issued or revalidated in the last six months);
4. Cadastral plan/sketch for each facility subject to the sale (eg individual plans/sketches for the apartment, house, the garage and yard if you transfer shares of it) – if the region has an effective cadastral map;
5. If the property is acquired by individuals during the marriage and with no signed prenuptial agreement, it is necessary the appearance of both spouses – in person or by proxy and a certificate of marriage;
6. If the parties do not appear in person – we need:
– Notarised power of attorney with the right to sell the property.
– Notari sed declaration under Article 264, Paragraph 1 of TIPC (credited during the current calendar year).
– Notarised declaration under Article 25 paragraph 8 (former paragraph 7) of WNIS – only for individuals.
7. If a party to the transaction is a legal entity – it is a decision of the representative body (the General Assembly) to dispose of the capital under statute, certificate of good standing (valid up to 6 months), and evidence of the authority of the agent or attorney notarized persons who are authorized to enter into the transaction;
8. Additional documents – in each case the notary shall examine the documents and provides guidance for the necessary additional documents proving ownership and implementation of the specific requirements of the law;
9. IDs of the parties to the transaction;
Acquisition of real estate in Bulgaria by foreign entities or individuals
Direct acquisition of real estate:
Foreign individuals and legal entities may acquire directly buildings, rooms in buildings and limited property rights (the right to build, the right to use) in Bulgaria. As a result of the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union as specific provisions relating to the acquisition of real estate by EU nationals and legal entities registered in a Member State of the EU or EEA /. individuals and legal entities from countries that are not members of the EU and the European Economic Area, may acquire title to real estate under international treaties ratified pursuant to the Bulgarian Constitution, promulgated and enacted. Foreigners (from Member States of the EU or EEA and third countries) cannot acquire title to the property subject to the inheritance law.
Indirect acquisition of real estate:
Indirectly, foreign legal entities and citizens can acquire any type of real estate, including land, by registering a Bulgarian limited company to act as the acquirer. It is possible that such a Bulgarian legal entity to be 100% owned by the foreign investor. Another possibility for the indirect acquisition of real estate in Bulgaria by foreign individuals and legal entities is the purchase of shares in an existing Bulgarian legal entity, which can then act as an acquirer or may acquire equity shares of existing Bulgarian legal persons who already have the right of ownership of real estate in Bulgaria.
Buying real estate in Bulgaria, buyer’s guide
Dear customers, we would like to thank you for choosing Excel Property Bulgaria to be your partner in buying a property in Bulgaria. It will be our pleasure to guide you throughout the whole process of acquiring a property in Bulgaria.
Once you have selected the properties of your interest, you have to organize a Viewing Trip. You may need to stay at least 3-4 days in Bulgaria in order to complete your property viewings and decide on your purchase – a property with or without land. Then you have to start the deal of acquiring the property.
The process of acquiring a property in Bulgaria takes between two to four weeks!
With this section we would like to help everyone who has considered purchasing a property in Bulgaria, by giving detailed information about every step of the process.
STEPS TO GO:
1. Find a property.
This might be the easiest and most pleasant part. You can browse our web-site by yourself and find what you are looking for. Excel Property Bulgaria offers a wide range of residential, commercial and holiday properties. You can always ask for help one of our brokers, by telling us your requirements. We will contact you right away with some offers that match your criteria.
2. Book a viewing trip.
Next you will have to think about visiting Bulgaria. You can book a viewing before you have made a reservation in case that you haven’t decided about a property. You can always ask for help one of the agents of Excel Property Bulgaria about the organization of your viewing. It will be a lot easier for you and it can be a lot cheaper. Free inspection includes:
– Meeting at the airport
– Transfer to the hotel
– Two nights accommodation with breakfast (stay can be extended, if necessary)
– Two days property viewings and meeting with sellers and investors
– And when the time of your departure has come, we’ll take you to the railway station or to the airport.
3. Make a reservation.
If there is a property you really like you can also put a deposit on it directly via internet, before booking your viewing trip and we will take it off of the market till you come. If you are in Bulgaria the reservation fee will be paid on the signing of the preliminary contract. Please bear on mind that the reservation deposit is non-refundable in case of your fault. Later the reservation fee is to be deducted from the first payment you make on your property.
4. Make sure that you know about all taxes and fees.
Now is the moment when you have to be very careful, before the signing of the preliminary contract. It is your absolute right to ask about everything that you need to pay. Usually what you have to pay is solicitor’s fees (includes preparation of preliminary contract, power of attorney, new title-deed, checking of all the documents for the deal), municipality taxes and notary fees, agency commission – 3% of the purchase price, but not less than 500 Euros. Here I would like to draw your attention on the fact that Excel Property Bulgaria doesn’t charge agency commission, except for city properties. We save you a lot of money, as you don’t have to pay for viewing of the properties and broker’s advice. These additional charges are usually around 3%-6% of the price.
5. Sign a preliminary contract.
When you have come to this part this means that you have made a final decision and you have negotiated the terms and regulations of the preliminary contract. You are about to make the purchase of your dream home and from this point on it is only the payments that you have to make.
6. Register a limited company (only if you are buying land or a house with land).
It is very important to know that this step is only for those who have decided to buy land in Bulgaria or a house with the land (most houses in Bulgaria are freehold). Foreign citizens are not allowed to buy land according to the Bulgarian constitution. For this reason you should set up a limited company in the country and make the purchase through your company.
For the registration of the company we recommend you using a solicitor. The solicitor’s tax for setting up a limited company is 350 Euros.
You will also need to open a dedicated company bank account to collect all share capital.
The minimum share capital necessary to form a limited company is 2 leva or 1 Euro (bank expences such as opening a bank account and transfers are approx. 40 Euros). Don’t forget that the money in this bank account is still yours and you will be able to use it as soon as your company is registered.
Your limited company will officially exist as soon as it is added to the Commercial Register of the Ministry of Justice on the Republic of Bulgaria.
7. Sign the Title-Deed (Notary Deed)
The last step in the buying process is to sign the Title-Deed (Notary Deed). At this point all payments must be cleared to the government or the owner or developer. The Title-Deed (Notary Deed)of the property is then transferred into your company name (or to you).
Congratulations – you’re now the owner of a Bulgarian property!
If everything is too complicated for you just look at the example below!
Let’s say that you are purchasing a lovely rural house at the price of 15.000 Euros.
* First you have to pay for the company registration 350 Euros to the solicitor (see our promotion – this promotion cannot be combined and supplemented with any other promotions).
* Next is the agency commission, which is normally 3% of the purchase price, but not less than 30 Euros. This means that being a client of Excel Property Bulgaria in this case you will save 500 Euros.
* After the company is registered before the finalization of the deal, the property should be checked by your solicitor as well as all the documentation and the ownership, which will cost you additionally 300 Euros.
* The municipality taxes and notary expenses you have to pay will be approx. 200 Euros. These are the taxes calculated on the tax evaluation price of the property. If you want to make the deal on the real “purchasing” price the taxes will be between around 5% of 15.000 Euros or approx. 750 Euros.
* If you would like to have your Notary Deed translated by a legal translator it will cost you 100 Euros.
* 15.000 Euros – Price of the property
* 350 Euros – Company Registration (for an apartment – no obligation)
* 350 Euros – Solicitor’s fees (checking the documents)
* 200 Euros – Municipality and Notary taxes (taxes when taken the “evaluation price”)
* 100 Euros – Translation of Title-Deed (no obligation)
16.000 Euros Total Price