Since 2016, Sofia Municipality offers Class C Certificate for investment initiatives of municipal importance. Such projects must not exceed 2 million leva in total investment amount and must create employment for at least 3 years.
The certificate is issued by Sofia Investment Agency – below are described the terms and requirements of the Class C certification procedure:
“CLASS C” INVESTMENTS
Investment Projects of Municipal Importance: Certification Procedure
Investments of municipal importance (“Class C” investments) are determined on the basis of two criteria:
1. Amount of the investment
2. Employment, generated by the investment project.
Investments must be implemented within the administrative boundaries of Sofia Municipality and must fulfill the conditions of the Ordinance for Attraction and Promotion of Investments of Municipal Importance in Sofia Municipality and the Procedures for Issuing an Investment “Class C” Certificate (available only in Bulgarian).
The certificate for Investments Class C is valid for a maximum of 3 years from the date of issuing. Exceptions can be made for cases with “Force majeure” circumstances as specified in the Ordinance.
The investment amount must not exceed 2 million Bulgarian leva.
Important Notice: The application is available in Bulgarian language.
The investment incentives Class C can be issued for investments in tangible and intangible fixed assets and the new jobs related to them. The investment must take place within the territory of Sofia Municipality (in accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014).
1. The investment must be related to:
1.1. the setting-up of a new enterprise;
1.2. the extension of an existing enterprise/activity;
1.3. diversification of the output of an enterprise/activity into new products;
1.4. a fundamental change in the overall production process of an existing enterprise/activity.
2. The investment can be in any economic sector, except those that are specified in Article 13a of the Investment Promotion Act.
Investments in the following economic activities are not eligible for investment incentive certificate (as specified in the Regulations for Application of the Investment Promotion Act).
If the investor in any of the eligible sectors simultaneously executes activity in any of the excluded sectors, only investments in the eligible sectors shall be promoted. The investor is obliged to keep separate accounting to ensure activities differentiation and/or costs differentiation so the excluded sectors are not an object of investment incentives.
3. The investment amount must not exceed 2 million leva;
4. Тhe income from the investment project must be at least 80% of the total income of the enterprise of the investor.
5. Аt least 40% of the eligible costs of the tangible and intangible assets shall be financed by the investor’s own resources or by external financing in a form excluding public support.
6. Тhe investment must create employment that:
6.1. is directly related to the implementation of the investment project;
6.2. shall lead to a net increase in the number of employees in the organization, compared to the average number of employees over the previous 12 months;
6.3. shall be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years in the case of large enterprises and a minimum period of 3 years in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises.
7. The period for the investment execution must not exceed 3 years from the date on which works on the project commenced until the date of its completion.
8. The investment must not relocate outside Sofia Municipality for at least 5 years, and in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises – 3 years, from the date of its completion
9. The acquired tangible and intangible fixed assets must be new and must be bought under market conditions from third parties, independent of the investor.
I. Any person:
1. who has been convicted by an enforceable sentence, unless rehabilitated;
2. which has been adjudicated bankrupt or is subject to pending bankruptcy proceedings, or has made an out-of-court arrangement with the creditors (Article 740 of the Commerce Act);
3. which has been put into liquidation; who or which incurs any pecuniary obligations to the State or to the Municipality (Article 162 (2) of the Tax and Social-Insurance Procedure Code), established by an enforceable act of a competent authority, save as where a rescheduling or deferral of the said obligations has been allowed;
4. who or which has unpaid labor remunerations to factory and office workers, established by an enforceable penalty decree.
II. For the performance of privatisation contracts under the Privatisation and Post-Privatisation Control Act, or for the performance of concession agreements for extraction of natural resources under the Concessions Act, or for extraction of subsurface resources under the Subsurface Resources Act, and in performance of compensatory (offset) arrangements. Promotion also shall not be extended to investments for product manufacturing and activities, specified in Annex I of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, in accordance to Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of the European Commission for the implementation of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty in terms of the national regional investment aid scheme and in other cases, specified in the regulatory.
Shortened Administrative Services
The administrative services are provided to the investors by the Мunicipality via Sofia municipal or district administrations in 1/3 shorter terms than those envisioned in the relevant regulations.
Individualized Administrative Assistance
Free of charge assistance by the Sofia Investment Agency’s experts, in front of the competent authorities, including:
1. Providing information to the investors concerning the procedures applicable to the specific investment project, in accordance to its specifics and the relevant regulations;
2. Assistance in filling, submitting and receiving the necessary documentation, by the institutions involved and after the payment of all taxes (in accordance to the relevant regulations);
3. Establishment of contact between the investor and the respective administration, responsible for the issuing of the necessary documents.
Acquisition of Ownership or Limited Rights In REM
Class C certified investment projects are eligible to acquire private municipal properties, deemed necessary for the investment project realization, after negotiations and evaluation (in accordance to Investment Promotion Act, the Regulation for Application of the Investment Promotion Act and the Ordinance).
The investment promotion measures may be applied in respect of legal persons wherein the investor whose investment project is certified holds minimum 75% of the registered capital.
INCENTIVE CERTIFICATE CLASS C PROCEDURE
Submit an application form to the Mayor of Sofia via Sofia Investment Agency.
Download and fill in the application form and submit it to Sofia Investment Agency.
Note: The application form has to be submitted before the start of the investment project.
Attach all relevant documentation as described in the application form.
Note: All foreign language documents must be translated to Bulgarian.
Review of the Application form and all supporting documents.
Sofia Municipal Council Resolution
On the basis of the evaluation of the application, Mayor of Sofia Municipality will prepare a proposal for the certificate’s issuance and will submit it to the Sofia Municipal Council.
The Council has 30 days of receiving the proposal to issue the Class C investment certificate or to refuse to issue such.
The mayor of Sofia Municipality, on the basis of the Sofia Municipal Council’s resolution, shall issue the Class C investment certificate.
During the certification procedure, our team can help you with:
1. Economic analyses of the business environment in Sofia;
2. Meetings with experts from Sofia Municipality ;
3. Provision of information about Sofia-City Region, its industrial areas, infrastructure, unemployment rate, availability of skilled labor force, education level;
4. General advice and assistance in starting a business;
5. Consultation on administrative matters related to deadlines, fees etc.;
6. Organization of office and conference rooms in the initial phase of interest demonstrated by the investors;
7. Advice on business planning, potential suppliers identification, joint venture partners or alliances, provision of information on incentives and financing;
8. Help in finding appropriate staff;
9. Establishment of contact with public institutions, NGOs, financial institutions and governmental authorities;
10. Information about tax regulations and custom policy;
11. Organization of business events;
12. Accompaniment to the specific immovable (building), presentation of its advantages and disadvantages;
13. Presentation of the rental or purchase opportunities;
14. Information about Sofia Municipality;
15. Consultation in solving problems within the competence of local authorities and assistance in solving problems within the competence of police, fire, public health authorities and other institutions.
1. Availability of municipal immovables that can be rented or sold and the specific requirements;
2. Availability of vacant manufacturing or administrative buildings, their condition and investment requirements;
3. Labor force– number and structure of population, level of education, qualification, employment, salary levels (by sector);
4. Developed sectors and development priorities and plans of Sofia and Sofia regions (prerequisites, available resources, transport accessibility, economic activity profile, marketing profile, etc.);
5. Availability of municipal infrastructure and opportunities for its development through partnership with the private sector;
6. Price of land, water, electricity, gas, district heating, transport, human resources and others;
7. Data on the Services sector;
8. Economic development projects at Municipal level;
9. Projects implemented by private companiesи.
Detailed information about the certificate issuance procedure for investment “Class C”, incentives, opportunities and responsible authorities can be found in the Ordinance for Attraction and Promotion of Investments of Municipal Importance in Sofia Municipality and the Procedures for Issuing an Investment “Class C” Certificate.
In accordance to the Investment Promotion Act, Sofia Investment Agency maintains on its website a web page with the:
- List with vacant immovables and document templates, related to the procedures for issuing an investment “Class C” certificate.
- Annual reports for the issued “Investment Class C” certificates.
CLASS A & B INVESTMENTS
Investment projects exceeding 2 million Bulgarian leva can be awarded with class “A” or “B” certificate by the Bulgarian Investment Agency (BIA).
Detailed information on the procedure for issuing the certificate, necessary documents, requirements and incentives related to these classes, can be found on BIA’s website.