New Jurisdiction: Bulgaria (970,000 companies)

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Щастливи сме да Ви представим нашата нова юрисдикция – България!

The Bulgarian company register adds over 900,000 entities, which takes us to more than 140 million companies in OpenCorporates in total. The complete register is made available as open data XML files that can be downloaded from the Open Data Portal of the Republic of Bulgaria, under a permissive CC-0 public domain licence.

The open data files contain full output from the Trade Register (known as BRRA) in XML format, and are presented as date-based files that contain records of new and updated companies.

In Bulgaria, all companies were required by law Закон за Търговския регистър (Trade Register Law) to re-register on 1 January 2008, and the commercial register therefore contains only this set of companies, as well as those registered since then. Companies that had registered with local administrative courts and were dissolved prior to 2008 are not available in the BRRA register.

In addition to firmographic data, information is available on officers, filings, industry codes and branches. Given the significant amount of information published by the register as open data, Bulgaria ranks in the top 3 of jurisdictions listed on the Open Company Data Index.

Understanding the Bulgarian register from both a technical and legislative perspective was a complicated undertaking, even with a native Bulgarian speaker on our data team. For example, the XML files provided by the register were extremely complex, and a number of attributes were poorly defined in the original schema documentation. This meant a considerable amount of effort had to be spent interpreting the data and understanding the schema. As an example, officer nationalities are all recorded in Cyrillic, requiring us to manually map them to ISO standard jurisdiction codes.

Research carried out into the history of company registration in Bulgaria allowed us to understand that the data would only contain companies that had re-registered in 2008 following the centralisation of local court registers into the new BRRA register. Getting to grips with the regulations behind this was a complicated task, and as always, we couldn’t have done it without the help of our community, including the local lawyers, accountants, translators, and specialists in Bulgarian company registration law who helped us work through the details, and ensure the Bulgarian dataset met our rigorous quality control.

We would like to say thanks in particular to Bozhidar Bozhanov who helped us understand the XML file data structure. In addition, our friends at Ontotext also provided invaluable assistance.

Благодарим Ви от все сърце!

Data attributes

Fields available in OpenCorporates from this dataset:

  • Company Number
  • Company Name
  • Alternative Name – Legal Name
  • Previous Names
  • Company Type
  • Current Status
  • Incorporation date
  • Dissolution date
  • Filings
  • Registered Address
  • Headquarters Address
  • Industry Codes
  • Officers
  • Shareholders (only for European Holding Companies)
  • Total Shares
  • Branch flag – “F” for Foreign branches of non-Bulgarian companies
  • Retrieved at – Date of export from the open data portal

Additional notes for data attributes

  • Incorporation date Given that the register required all companies incorporated prior to 2008 to re-register on 01 January 2008, the original incorporation date for these companies is not available. The incorporation date is available only for companies incorporated after 01 January 2008.
  • Active/Inactive companies There are only two different statuses available in the register – Active (Активен търговец) & Closed (Заличен търговец).
  • Dissolution dates The dates are delivered based on the last appearance of a company in the data, and if the status of this company is “Closed”. This also can be applied to only a subset of companies going forward from 01 January 2008. In addition, we used the field called “Срок на дружеството (Duration of the company)” in order to identify the expiry date for some companies. This data will be displayed as “Expiry Date” in OpenCorporates it is future-dated.
  • Industry Codes The Classification of Economic Activities 2008 (CEA-2008) scheme is used in Bulgaria to describe the business activities of a company, and this can be mapped to the EU NACE Rev.2 classification scheme. During analysis of the company dataset, we discovered that company registration forms actually allow end-users to free-type the industry code and description, which are then transcribed into the register “as-is”. This had the effect of the majority of companies having codes and/or descriptions not matching the official scheme. We analysed the top 1000 industry codes entered, and have manually mapped them, which has allowed for industry code coverage for 4% of companies. We will look to extend this coverage in future.
  • Jurisdiction of origins and officer nationalities Since these two fields are written in Cyrillic, we map the values to the correct ISO codes which can be used properly from our API services.
  • Filings Some filing type names have been derived based on a mapping table of xml enums to their equivalent filing types as named on the register website. Links to filings in the register are available, however access to some filings require users to be registered with the Bulgarian Trade Register.
  • There are additional data items available in the source files that are not currently mapped to the OpenCorporates Company schema. We plan to extend the data available in OpenCorporates in future, which will include limited beneficial ownership data for foreign branches of companies, where the owner resides in one of the 25 EU Overseas Countries and Territories and other low-tax jurisdictions. These companies are required by Bulgarian law to register their beneficial owners.

Photo by Alex Angelov

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