On 12 February 2016, the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted at first reading the Amending Act to the Not-for-Profit Legal Entities Act.
The proposed legislative amendments envisage elimination of the existing registration procedure applicable to associations, foundations and public benefit organizations which are entered into the register of not-for-profit legal entities at the regional court of their seat. In accordance with the new provisions, an entirely new register of not-for-profit legal entities will be established in the Commercial Register at the Registry Agency, where entries will be made of their initial registration, as well as of all subsequent changes.
The legal status of public benefit organizations will be established upon their registration in the register of not-for-profit legal entities in the Commercial Register and this it will no longer be necessary to maintain the existing Central Register of Public Benefit Organizations at the Ministry of Justice.
The bill sets out a one-month period for not-for-profit legal entities to apply for entry of all the details required for their registration in the relevant register in order to achieve more transparency and legal certainty. The existing legal framework does not specify any deadlines and therefore it might take months for some changes subject to registration, such as amendments to the Articles or Memorandum of Association or election of new managing bodies and others, to be entered into the register.
The transitional provisions of the amending act set the deadline of 31 December 2018 for all not-for-profit legal entities entered into the register with the relevant regional court to apply for re-registration into the register of not-for-profit legal entities at the Registry Agency. No state fee will be charged for the re-registration.