Updated 08/07/2024 

As in any other country, in Bulgaria there is a certain procedure for acquiring a property and/or a car. In this article you will learn what the restrictions, the procedures and the necessary documents are. 

Purchase of buildings/land

If you have humanitarian or refugee status, or temporary protection, there are no obstacles to buying property. In general, a property in Bulgaria can be acquired by any foreigner legally residing in the country. However, there are some specifics.

As a foreigner you can:

  • freely buy buildings (house, apartment, office, shop);
  • acquire limited property rights, i.e. obtain the right to build your own building on someone else's land), use someone else's property for its intended purpose, for example by renting it out;
  • obtain a building right or a right of use (lease/rent) on agricultural land to use for crop production (e.g. fruit, vegetables, etc.) or for grazing livestock. In this case, the agricultural land does not become your property. You can only use it.
  • acquire land, but only in certain cases if you are:
    • an European Union citizens, but specifically if it is for a second home, agricultural land, forests, woodland;
    • inheriting by law, i.e. if a relative of yours who owns land in Bulgaria has died and you are their heir.  Under Bulgarian law only certain relatives can inherit. These are for example the deceased's children, spouse, parents and other blood relatives if the deceased has no family and no living parents.

Documents needed when buying a property

There are certain documents that must be presented when purchasing a property:

  1. Identity documents of both the seller and the buyer such as ID cards, passports.
  2. A document to prove that the owner owns the property, e.g. a notary act.
  3. Certificate of no burdens over the property, which is issued upon submission of a written application in a form to the Registry Office of the Registry Agency where the property is located. The application must be accompanied by proof of payment of the state fee – 10 leva for issuance within 7 working days and 30 leva for issuance within 3 working days . 

This certificate indicates whether there are additional liabilities attached to the property. For example, if it has a mortgage, deposited in pledge or something else. If you don't do this check and it turns out that the property has burdens, you could end up losing the property. 

  1. A document showing where the property is located such as a sketch or cadastral scheme (to be provided by the seller). 
  2. An up-to-date tax assessment certificate for the property, which is issued at the tax office of the "Local Taxes and Fees" department, according to the location of the property.
  3. Certificate of the seller's marital status to see what his marital status was when he/she acquired this property. Such a certificate is issued by the municipal administration at the seller's address registration.
  4. Marriage certificate of the seller, if married. 
  5. If the property was acquired during the seller's marriage, the other spouse must fill out a declaration that they consent to this sale.
  6. If the seller is divorced, the court order of the divorce must be submitted.
  7. If the property was obtained by inheritance, the seller should provide documents related to the inheritance, such as a certificate of heirs, death certificate of the deceased, the deceased’s will.
  8. A document that shows that a building was legally constructed. It is provided by the seller (e.g. Act 16, which is a document that proves a building is fit for use).
  9. Declaration of citizenship and civil status.
  10. The owner must provide recent receipts for paid utilities, i.e. electricity, water, heating.
  11. Declaration of the origin of your funds

Important! Make a preliminary inspection of the property you will buy to avoid the risk of future problems. Inspect it in person and request the necessary documents that prove ownership and the absence of any burdens and obstacles. 

Property purchase procedure

When you are starting a real estate deal, it is common to first conclude a preliminary contract. This contract is made in writing and is done in preparation for the final purchase contract. A part of the price, e.g. 10%, may be paid when the preliminary contract is concluded. The important point here is that if either party refuses to perform, the other party can ask the court to confirm the preliminary contract and then it will be considered that a final contract has been concluded.

When it comes time to conclude the final contract, all of the documents listed above should be submitted to the notary located in the area where the property is. This is because to buy a property you need to conclude the transaction in front of a notary with a notary act. If you do not speak Bulgarian, the notary must appoint an interpreter. 

Important! If the price of the property is is more than 10 000 BGN, the payment must be done through bank transfer. If you do not do this, you may be fined. The fine is 25% of the amount not paid by bank transfer. 

Once the notary act is ready, it must be announced in the Property Registry. This is done by the notary by submitting the notary act to the registry office where the property is located. 

You should know that at the notary, you will pay a fee that is pre-determined depending on the price of your transaction. For example:

  • for a price up to 100 BGN, the fee is 30 BGN;
  • 101 - 1000 BGN - 30 BGN + 1.5% for the amount over 100 BGN;
  • 1001 - 10 000 BGN - 43,50 BGN + 1,3% for the amount over 1000 BGN;
  • 10 001 - 50 000 BGN - 160.50 BGN + 0.8% for the amount above 10 000 BGN;
  • 50 001 - 100 000 BGN - 480.50 BGN + 0.5% for the amount above 50 000 BGN;
  • 100 001 - 500 000 BGN - 730.50 BGN + 0.2% for the excess over 100 000 BGN;
  • over 500 000 -1530.50 BGN + 0.1% for the excess over 500 000 BGN, but not more than 6000 BGN.

What to do once you have acquired the property? 

First, you need to pay the property tax to the relevant tax office of the Local Tax and Fees Department at the property's location. This tax is different each municipality and ranges from 0.1% to 0.3% of the tax evaluation of the property. This tax is payable upon transfer of ownership of the property. 

Second, you need to change the electricity and water batches to your name. This is done by declaring to the relevant service provider that there has been a change in home ownership. E.g. with Sofia Water, this can be done via their website. When changing the owner of an electricity account, e.g. Electrohold requires a declaration form to be completed and the notary act to be submitted. 

Buying a car


There are no restrictions on buying a car in Bulgaria. However, you should bear in mind that you can only register this car in Bulgaria if you have a long-term or permanent residence permit and if you are a person with refugee or humanitarian status. Currently, people with temporary protection CANNOT register their car in Bulgaria.

Car purchase procedure

When it comes to buying a car, the purchasing procedure depends on whether or not the car is already registered with the Road Transport Control (KAT in Bulgarian) of the Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Interior.

If the car has not been previously registered in Bulgaria

In this case, it is enough to have a written sales contract signed by both the parties. 

You have a period of 1 month from the acquisition of the vehicle to register it at the traffic police (KAT) according to your permanent address of residence pointed on your Bulgarian identity document

When registering an unregistered or newly imported car in the country, there is also a set of documents you need to submit: 

  • A template application that is generated for you at the KAT desk.
  • Your ID.
  • A valid EC certificate of conformity issued by the car manufacturer. It certifies that the car complies with the requirements of the European Commission and is allowed to move freely within the European Union.
  • Ownership documents with vehicle identification details (e.g. contract, invoice) submitted in an original and a copy. The copy will stay with the Traffic Police.
  • Document of civil liability insurance.
  • If the car is imported from outside the EU, a customs document for import into the EU is required;
  • If registration plates were used when bringing the car to the place of registration, they shall also be returned; 
  • Proof of payment of a product fee for products that produce mass produced waste (the so-called "eco-fee"). This fee can be paid via bank transfer to the State Enterprise for the Management of Environmental Protection Activities (SEPA), after which the document of the paid fee is presented to the traffic police upon registration. It can also be paid at a private company that collects such a fee - usually located near the traffic police buildings. The amount of the fee varies depending on the type of car you are registering.
  • If the car has already been registered in another country (EU or non-EU), a document from that country confirming the previous registration and a declaration of ownership must be submitted.
  • Proof of conducted roadworthiness technical inspection, if available. If it is not available or has expired, a technical inspection is carried out at the registration point of the Traffic Police.  An example of the document that you will receive after you pass the inspection  is available at this link.
  • Document for paid state fee - 35 leva.

After the registration you must declare to the municipality of your permanent address that you own this car within 2 months from the date of registration by submitting a declaration form. 

If the car is already registered in Bulgaria

In this case, the written contract must be concluded before a notary, with notarisation of the signatures of the seller and the buyer. This can be done at any notary in Bulgaria.

You need the following documents:

  1. Identity documents of the seller and buyer (ID card, passport).
  2. Vehicle registration certificate part 1 and part 2 (so-called large and small, “talon“ in Bulgarian).
  3. A document that the car tax has been paid in the respective municipality of the car owner's permanent address.
  4. A document showing the insurance value of the car. You can request such a document from any insurance company. It certifies the market value of the car.
  5. Compulsory third party liability insurance policy from the seller. If the car is a new import, you must make such an insurance with one of the insurance companies available in Bulgaria.
  6. A written statement from the seller that there are no unpaid taxes or other fees on the vehicle. The seller may apply for such a declaration from the National Revenue Agency or ask a notary to verify whether or not such debts exist . 
  7. Declaration of marital status of both parties. 

The notary usually checks whether there are any burdens on the car, whether the insurance and taxes have been paid, whether it has passed a technical inspection. We also advise you to check these things before buying a car by requesting the relevant declarations/certificates from the seller and respective institutions.

What should you do after you are done with the notary?

You are obliged to register the purchased car in your own name within 1 month after acquiring the car

Registration is done at the KAT in accordance with your permanent address. 

For registration you must submit: 

  • A template application is generated for you at the desk;
  • A copy of the contract of sale;
  • Proof of payment (35 BGN if you are in different districts with the seller and 20 BGN if you are from the same district);
  • Your ID;
  • Document of civil liability insurance;

If you live in different districts with the seller, you will receive a new registration certificate ( “Talon“ in Bulgarian) in addition to new registration plates - the old ones must be returned. 

If you and the seller are from the same district, you don't have to change the registration plates. Then you can register the car on the same day of the transaction with the notary, and you must inform him that you want to do so and pay a state fee (20 BGN), which the notary will pay via the Ministry of Interior's electronic portal

Then you must declare to the municipality of your permanent address that you own this car within 2 months of registering the car by submitting a declaration form. 

Car taxes in Bulgaria

Once you own a car in Bulgaria, you have to pay an annual tax. The tax is set by each municipality differently and varies according to where your car is registered. 

This tax is paid in two equal installments per year: 

  • by 30 June; and 
  • by 31 October of the year in which it is due.

 If you prepay by June 30, you get a 5% discount for the whole year.