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Bulgaria

HOW TO OBTAIN FOREX LICENSE IN BULGARIA

For Forex brokers who are planning to work on the territory of Europe but not ready to pay 170.000 euros per year for maintanance Cypriot or Maltese licensed company we recommend to consider Bulgaria.

In Bulgaria, the forex companies are considered as investment companies and conduct their activities on the basis of a license for providing investment services (Investment Services License (ISL), which identifies the services that company allowed to provide, as well as concerning which financial instruments.

According to Bulgarian legislation the forex market trade is considered as a type of investment activity, that is not allowed to without a license obtained by the Financial Supervision Commission. It means that investment brokerage activities on forex market must be licensed.

The Financial Supervision Commission is a central regulator of the securities market, financial and investment services. The Commission is a member European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

Forex Market in Bulgaria is developed almost on a level with other European Union countries.

Undebiable advantages of forex license in Bulgaria

  • Corporative tax in Bulgaria 10%, VAT - 20%, whereas corporate tax in Cyprus 12.5% and VAT - 19%.
  • Bulgaria has a sufficient experience in obtaining brokerage licenses. Highly trained specialists and specialized departments are created in the Financial Supervision Commission, as well as in Cyprus. Thus, in Bulgaria brokerage license issuance is not a new practice, which is extremely important.
  • In Bulgaria, investment company regulation provided by the same European regulatory documents that Cyprus and other EU countries. Thereby, there are the same requirements to the company's authorized capital. Authorized capital is not allowed to use in economic activity and will be frozen on the Bulgarian bank account.
  • State fees for issuing the license are significantly lower than in Cyprus. For example, for consideration of the documents by stp license commission will take about 2200 euro.
  • Legal services for supporting the entire process will appear to be at least twice cheaper than in Cyprus.
  • The office maintenance costs in Cyprus, including office rent, staff salaries and other costs varying € 170,000 - 210,000 per year. In Bulgaria, costs will be twice cheaper! Even more can be saved by renting an office not in Sofia, but in a smaller city.
  • To operate in other EU countries after receiving Bulgarian license, the license holder must to passes the certification procedure in the other jurisdiction.
  • When applying form to the commission the applicant is required to pay only 25% of the authorized capital. And only after Commission agrees about the issuance of a brokerage license, the applicant pays in account the remaining 75%.
  • Contribution to the investment compensation fund is significantly less than in Cyprus. The exact amount is calculated depending on the type of license.
  • Bulgaria - a multilingual country where people speak English, Russian, Bulgarian.
  • Bulgaria has stable relations with Turkey and other Balkan countries. The biggest trade partners of Bulgaria are Belgium, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, meaning that Bulgaria has very well-established trade relations with the European Union.

Legislation

The main regulatory legal act for activities in the equity market, financial and investment services, is Markets in Financial Instruments Act (MiFIA).

Licensed Activities

  • funds
  • financial instruments different from the funds
  • money market instruments
  • shares of collective investment schemes
  • options, futures, swaps, forwards and other derivative contracts on funds, currencies, interest rates or other derivative instruments, indices or financial indicators that can be granted in physical form or cash
  • CFDs and other financial instruments

Local office requirements

Required. The head office must be located on the territory of Bulgaria.

Management

The company must be managed at least by 2 directors, who should be EU residents. Managing Directors must have significant knowledge and experience in the financial sphere, that is documented (education certificates, labor book, etc.).
The company also must hire an accountant and submit financial reports. Moreover the license holder company is required to be audited annually.

Authorized capital

As far as the Bulgarian investment company follows the general European standards described in MiFID2004 / 39 / EC (as well in MFIA), requirements to the authorized capital will be identical to the Cypriot and Maltese.

- STP License € 125,000 (BGN 250,000)

- Market maker license € 740,000 (BGN 1 500,000)

The total authorized capital will be submitted to the applicant account in Bulgarian bank and will be frozen for the duration of the license.

The great advantage and difference from Cyprus is when applying a form to the commission the applicant is required to pay only 25% of the total authorized capital. And only when the Commission agrees to obtain a brokerage license, the applicant pays the remaining 75% to account.

Also, in Bulgaria as well as in Cyprus there is a concept of the Investment Compensation Fund. In Bulgaria, it is a small amount that depends on type of license (€ 2,000-5,000).

Close attention Commission draws to the source and clarity of the shareholder funds. Money, including replenishing the authorized capital must be earned by a shareholder in a legally clean way.

Terms

5-7 months from the date of submission documents to the Commission

Read also related artiles (in russian):

Obtaining forex licenses in various European countries

AUTHORIZED CAPITAL OF CYPRUS FOREX. How much money to prepare for conducting forex business in Europe?

Which jurisdiction to choose for obtaining forex license? 

SBSB offers help in obtaining brokerage license in Bulgaria and other jurisdictions. Please check our list below.

If any help in obtaining brokerage license need, please, feel free to contact our specialists via phone-call (numbers required can be found in contact list on the internet page) or by submitting a form located on the left side of the page.

Keywords: Brokerage license, forex license, forex license in Europe, licensing, license forex Cyprus