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Registration of non-profit organizations

Non-profit organizations’ main objective is not the realization and distribution of profits but achieving scientific, cultural, political, sporting, religious or other purposes. They can implement their activity in private or public benefit.
The two main types of non-profit legal entities are associations and foundations.

1. Association:

  • - it is established by three or more persons;
  • - if the association conducts its activity in public benefit, founders can be at least seven natural persons or three legal entities;
  • - The supreme body is the General Assembly, consisting of all members and the governing body is the Management Board, consisting of at least three members.

The association is established with its entry in the register of non-profit legal entities, kept by the Registry Agency to the Minister of Justice.


Documents necessary for the registration of an association:
  • - An application for entry in the register, signed by all board members;
  • - Articles of Association;
  • - Minutes of the Constituent Assembly;
  • - Consents with specimen signatures of the persons representing the association;
  • - Other documents provided for in a normative act.

2. Foundation:
  • - It can be established during founder’s lifetime (by a unilateral act of incorporation) or upon death (by a will or testament);
  • - Founders can be Bulgarian or foreign natural persons or legal entities;
  • - It is necessary in the act of incorporation to be specified the objectives and the provided property;
  • - The governing body is sole or collective.

The foundation is established with its entry in the register of non-profit legal entities, kept by the Registry Agency to the Minister of Justice.


Documents necessary for the registration of a foundation by donation:
  • - An application for entry in the register – signed by the founder or the governing body chosen by him;
  • - Act of incorporation – if the foundation is established during founder’s lifetime, it is necessary the act to be notarized;
  • - Protocol with the decision of the governing body of the legal entity-founder for the establishment of a foundation with a donation;
  • - Consents with specimen signatures of the persons representing the foundation;
  • - Bank statement certifying the amount transferred to the account of the foundation;
  • - Other documents provided for in a normative act.

Documents necessary for the registration of a foundation by a testament:
  • - An application for entry in the register – signed by the founder or governing body chosen by him, an entry also can be requested by the executor of the testament, the beneficiary, the heirs of the founder;
  • - A copy of the testament;
  • - Death certificate;
  • - Certificate of inheritance;
  • - Proof of ownership of the testator on the transferred property;
  • - Consents with specimen signatures of the persons representing the foundation;
  • - Bank statement certifying that the amount from the heritage is transferred to the account of the foundation;
  • - Other documents provided for in a normative act.

3. Non-profit legal entities in public benefit

Non-profit legal persons determined to conduct activities to the public benefit (non-profit organizations in public benefit) have a characteristic scope of activity. They spend their property on:

  • - Development and strengthening of civil society, civic participation and good governance;
  • - Development and strengthening of spiritual values, health care, education, science, culture, engineering, technology or physical culture;
  • - Support for children, for people with disabilities and for individuals and communities at risk of social exclusion;
  • - Protection of human rights or the environment;
  • - Other objectives defined by law.

This type of legal entities are managed and represented by a collective supreme body and a governing body. The registration procedure of a non-profit legal entity in public benefit largely coincides with the registration procedure of non-profit legal entities in private benefit.


There is also a specific requirement:
  • - Registration of an association in public benefit can be done by at least 7 natural persons or 3 legal entities.