Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Bulgaria. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.
(1) The sketch of the estate is drafted by the respective Municipality
The draft of the estate is a graphic sketch of the estate with its borders, square meters, and number of the area where the estate is situated. This draft is issued at the Cadastre of Real Estate.
If the sketch is for a real estate in the urban area, principally, the sketch is issued by the local Cadastre Agency. In case the sketch is required for agricultural land, the sketch is issued by the respective municipal agricultural and forest agency. If for the respective territory there is no cadastre card adopted and approved, then the sketch is then issued by the Municipality.
Agency: Local Cadastre Agency
(2) Obtain a tax valuation of the property
The tax valuation of the property is issued by the respective tax authorities. A tax valuation is mandatory for every property transfer.
Agency: Sofia or Local Municipality - Tax department
(3) Issuance of certificate of good standing for seller and buyer
Certificate will be obtained at the Registration Agency or Regional Court depending on whether the company has re-registration with the Commercial Register. As of January 1, 2008 all companies in Bulgaria are registered by the new centralized Commercial Register. The companies are to be re-registered until 31 December 2011 with the Commercial Register.
Companies in Bulgaria are registered with the respective regional court depending on the address of the company. This certificate is issued by the registration court.
The certificate is needed to show that the company is registered and existing, and that the person who signs on behalf of the company is actually the authorized person to sign. The certificate can be obtained online since 2009.
Agency: Registration Agency or Regional Court
(4) Obtain a non-encumbrance certificate from the Real Estate Register
The express procedures are implemented in the Tariff for the taxes collected by the Registry Agency, published in State Gazette, issue 94 of 25 November 2005, last amended State Gazette issue 77 of 29 September 2009.
Agency: Real Estate Registry
(5) Obtain a tax clearance certificate
The tax clearance certificate, showing that no taxes are owed, is obtained from the local tax department for both the buyer and the seller, according to Taxation and Insurance Procedure Code in effect as of 1 January 2006, namely Art. 87, paragraph 6.
Agency: Local Tax Department
(6) The notary executes the transfer deed
The notary executes the transfer deed and collects the money for payment of the state fee (transfer tax) and the registration fee. Usually the notary pays the state and registration fees. This is done for the clients’ convenience. The parties can pay the fees at the account of the tax authority where the estate is situated and bring the receipts to the notary.
Local tax for acquisition of real estate varies between 0.1% to 3% of either the (i) the purchase price or (ii) the tax evaluation of the real estate (whichever one is higher). The local tax is subject to determination by each municipality on yearly basis (Local Taxes and Fees Act).
(7) Registration of the notarized deed at the Registry
The notary will register the notarized deed at the registration office with the respective district court. This can be done by the parties too, but it is most common that the notary will do it (and it is included in the above fees). The notary will pay registration and state fees collected previously. Registration should take 1 day, but it can take up to 3 days during busy periods.
According to the Notary Public and Notarial Activity Law the notary has to submit the notarized deed in the same day it is signed. If a notary public does not perform their obligation for entry of a notary deed or other notary certified act with the real estate register, the interested persons are entitled to claim the suffered damages. Furthermore, the interested persons may address the Notary Chamber regarding the violations of the notary's obligations. This may entail disciplinary proceedings against the respective notary public. This law also ensures that the notaries public have access to the National Database "Population" and to the National Automatic Information Fund for personal identity documents. It also introduced an obligation for the notaries public to make special checks in the database and the fund when performing notary certifications connected to rights over real estates.
Agency: Registration Agency
(8) Parties receive a copy of the registered deed
Parties will receive a copy of the registered deed the same or next day the deed has been registered by the notary.