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.
Stopping the improper use of insolvency proceedings
A client of our dispute resolution team (led by Kamen Shoylev and Yordan Neshkov) was recently the subject of an indirect claim by a Bulgarian bank with which this client has been engaged in a multi-stage dispute. Unusually, the bank acted through a vehicle registered in an African state, which made an unfounded claim in the tens of millions of euros against our client and sought the commencement of judicial insolvency proceedings against this client. The offshore vehicle was chosen to isolate the bank from liability and create certain evidential difficulties for our client's representation.
NBLO succeeded in terminating the insolvency proceedings, with direct loss fully awarded to our client. A second claim to recover our client's indirect losses is currently under way.
Where targeted in this way through insolvency proceedings, a company may be prevented from trading properly (e.g., by suffering restrictions on its financing or being unable to participate in public procurement).
Through our considerable experience in insolvency litigation, both entirely domestic and where there are European and cross-border elements, we are ideally placed to assist clients in resisting such attacks and recovering the real and considerable losses that may be suffered.
© New Balkans Law Office 2019