Third-country nationals who are looking for a route to residence in an European Union States such as Bulgaria have a number of options. In addition to the popular government bond option (a focus for HNWIs), there are other routes which are significantly less capital intensive, but allow digital nomads and young entrepreneurs to settle in Bulgaria. A route to temporary residence is to register as a trade representative, appointed at a registered Trade Representation Office (“TRO”) of a Company (“the Company”) incorporated abroad.

Requirements related to the Company:

  • Incorporated no less than 2 years ago;
  • Active and tax-compliant for the same period;
  • Plans to explore the business environment in Bulgaria, research the market and prepare future expansion of business.

The Company may send up to three Trade Representatives depending on its plans and business needs.

The Trade Representation Office is actually not a separate company/entity (it does not need a director or have shareholders). 

The Trade Representatives are eligible for prolonged residence’ permits which allow them to settle in Bulgaria. This kind of residence permit has to be renewed annually. After holding a valid prolonged residence permit for 5 years (and living in the country for more than 30 months in this 5-year period), the Trade Representatives are eligible to apply for permanent residence and EU long-term residence.

It is important to note that a residence permit on this ground does not allow the Trade Representative of the Company to seek employment in Bulgaria under a labour contract in addition to being a resident – for the duration of the TRO residence.

After 5 years with the status a TRO resident may apply for permanent residence. Once granted, this allows employment and leads to citizenship..

Procedure

First steps: 

  1. Establish a Trade Representative Office;
  2. Provide an office address and long-term proof of accommodation in Bulgaria;
  3. Appoint two people as trade representatives;
  4. Prepare future expansion of the business to Bulgaria;

Certain steps need to be taken in Bulgaria prior to the trade representative being sent there. Our private client team will be able to advise and help with those based on our extensive experience in the field of corporate and immigration law.

For more information, please contact us at: or via our contact form.

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