Q: Do I have to register a company in Bulgaria in order to take part in public tenders? If I have a local partner, do I have to set up a joint venture in Bulgaria in order to take part in public tenders?
A: As a matter of first principles, any individual or organization can take part in a public procurement process in Bulgaria, irrespective of whether they are Bulgarian or foreign resident or registered.
Consortia and associations of such persons enjoy this right likewise.
However, the awarding authority would typically issue tender documentation containing precise requirements regarding the legal form, legal, financial and technical capabilities expected of participants in the tender.
It is a common for organizations to form joint ventures with local partners in order to more easily meet the requirements set by the awarding authority. Local partners may have good know-how and this may be one of the reasons why you wish to work with them, but you and they do not have to form a joint venture. A joint venture can be structured as either a new organization separate from those of the two joint venture partners or as a contractual arrangement negotiated with a local partner.
We have been providing day-to-day corporate and commercial advice to the Bulgarian subsidiary of Filter AS, an Estonian joint-stock company with operations across Central and Eastern Europe. Recently, we have supported the management team of the company in preparing and submitting its bid in a public procurement project financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
© New Balkans Law Office 2017