What is Commercial Rep office (CRO)?
Commercial representative office is meant to carry out non-proprietary activities, such as organising promotions, exhibitions or demonstrations, training or advertising of products or services, etc. Generally, its activities are effectively limited to marketing and providing support to the foreign entity. However, should a CRO engage in business activities in the country, it would qualify as a “permanent establishment” for tax purposes and the foreign parent company will be liable in Bulgaria for corporate income tax on the profit made as a result of the business activity of the CRO.
Who can register CRO?
Every foreign person/ entity that is entitled to conduct business under the national law of its home country can register a commercial representative office in Bulgaria with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
How long does it take?
It usually takes no longer than 5 business days for the commercial representative office to be officially listed and to obtain a unique number.
What are the benefits of CRO registration?
The main benefit is that foreign citizens who serve as representative of CRO are entitled to obtain long-term residence permit and can reside in Bulgaria until CRO’s termination.
Can CRO carry out business activities?
No, because CRO of a foreign company is not a legal entity as per Bulgarian legislation, hence it may not carry out business activities on behalf of its own. In case such transactions are concluded with local persons for the needs of the representation office, they shall be subject to the rules for transactions between local persons.
In brief, a CRO:
- Is not a legal entity
- Does not have to keep books except for payroll purposes
- May not conduct business activities
- Provides the opportunity its representative(s) to obtain long-term residence permits in Bulgaria
- Does not pay corporate taxes since no income is generated
- May not refund VAT credit