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.
An ~€1M claim on behalf of real estate consultants
NBLO’s dispute resolution lawyers represented UK-based real estate consultants who had structured a € 40-million-worth commercial property project on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. In breach of an applicable contractual obligation, the consultants had not been paid the agreed success fees for their services. The then director of the defaulting party had been tragically shot dead in the meantime.
Following a hotly contested first instance, with below-the-belt attempts by the other side (the least untypical perhaps being the claim that the contract had been a forgery and a trial-within-a-trial on the issue), our team succeeded in obtaining a judgment at first instance. The parties were then able to achieve a significant settlement.
The key skills we were able to bring to bear in providing a solution included searching for solutions across the problem domain; appropriately involving representatives of Bulgaria’s EU partner member-states to buttress judicial independence; and resourcefully dealing with heterodox approaches by our judicial opponents.
© New Balkans Law Office 2019