Legalization and translation of your Company’s documents for use in Bulgaria
Certification, apostille, legalization and certified translation. What is the difference?
If you own or represent a non-Bulgarian Company and you intend to open subsidiary in Bulgaria (ie your foreign Company becomes shareholder of Bulgarian Company), you want to open bank account of your foreign Company in Bulgaria, setup a Trade Representative Office or perform any other official activity, you will have to provide the statutory documents of your foreign Company alongside with a current Certificate of Good Standing.
The Commercial Register
These documents are usually issued from your country’s Commercial (Trade) Register. In some countries like the UK, it is the “Companies House”. In other countries, the certificates are issued by the local municipalities, etc. In any case, the Company documents have to be originally signed and stamped (certified) by the issuing authority.
The Hague Convention
The next step is the already certified Company document to be legalized. You get a public document “legalized” by asking your government to confirm that the public official’s signature, seal or stamp on the document is genuine. For the countries, members of the Hague Convention of 1961, the legalization of the documents is done by means of placing an apostille stamp (sticker). If the issuing country is not a member of the Hague Convention, the process is somewhat more complicated. Please get in touch with us if the latter is the case. You can read more about apostille and the contracts for legal aid that Bulgaria has signed with different countries.
Bulgarian Foreign Ministry
The ultimate step is translating the legalized document and legalizing the translation with the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is of utmost importance to take into consideration that the translation has to be done by a special (so called “sworn”) Bulgarian translator who is registered and authorized by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry to perform translations. Only such translations will be finally legalized by the Ministry and with that last step, the document is ready for official use in Bulgaria.
Some practical tips: Sometimes some Names (ie person’s names, company’s names, streets, even cities, etc.) can be translated into Bulgarian differently, due to the Cyrillic alphabet’s particularities. If you want these names to appear, or more importantly to match some predefined criteria, please communicate that with so we can inform the translator about this in advance. If such “adjustments” are acceptable for the translator, it is perfectly legal to implement them. Another important thing is that one page of translation means 1800 characters (including spaces) output text. For example, English text results in about 20% more Bulgarian output text, so this has to be also taken into account.