In the year 2000, my partners and I launched the PETERKA & PARTNERS law firm in Prague, Czech Republic. Over time we developed an ambitious idea - to create an integrated regional law firm, which at first seemed almost impossible. However, after years of dedication and hard work, we became a strong alternative to the global giants and local law firms active in the CEE region through their networks or best friends.
An additional support instrument that targets not all small-sized1 enterprises in Bulgaria but only those with annual turnover of more than BGN 500,000 (approximately EUR 255,653) is now in the pipeline. This support measure is channelled again through the Operational Programme “Innovation and Competitiveness” and is building on the previous measure that targeted micro- and small-sized enterprises that offered grants in the range of BGN 3,000 (approximately EUR 1,534) and BGN 10,000 (approximately EUR 5,113) (we have informed you about this in a previous alert).
The final conditions are not yet available, nevertheless, according to the conditions and forms of the support initially disclosed, such small-sized companies could receive a grant of up to BGN 50,000 (approximately EUR 25,565). What is more, small-sized businesses that have already been granted financial support by the previous measure mentioned above could apply as well. Their applications will be assessed in light of the already received grant, and the amount of money they request under the new measure will be reduced to set a limit of BGN 50,000 (approximately EUR 25,565) in total.
Branches of foreign legal entities are not entitled to receive this grant. Further, certain sectors are excluded as well, e.g., food and beverage manufacturing.
It seems that Bulgarian small-sized enterprises must meet certain criteria to be entitled to this grant. For instance, companies must have carried out business in 2018 and 2019 and must have a drop in turnover of 20% or more in a period of 3 months between 1 February 2020 and the month preceding the month of application compared to the turnover for the same 3 months in 2019. The candidates are able to choose 3 months which are not successive and it is not compulsory each month to have a drop in turnover of at least 20% but the average of those 3 months is calculated (e.g., a candidate could choose to compare the average turnover from April, June and August 2019 with the average turnover from April, June and August 2020 and prove a drop of at least 20% in those months).
Companies must use this support to cover certain expenses/costs which, among others, are actually completed and paid by the company after 1 February 2020 and up to the final date of the respective project, and are reflected in the company’s accounting documentation. Companies may use this support for the payment of various expenses/costs such as costs for raw materials, supplies, personnel costs (including gross remuneration and social security contributions), etc.
Certain costs, however, are explicitly excluded from the scope of the grant, e.g., leasing costs, costs related to bank loans, interest on loans and bank fees, taxation, personnel costs if the company has received the “60/40” employment measure for the period covered by this grant, etc.
1 Under Bulgarian law, small-sized companies are companies with (i) an average number of staff of fewer than 50 and (ii) an annual turnover not exceeding BGN 19.5 million (approximately EUR 9.970 million) and/or whose asset value does not exceed BGN 19.5 million (approximately EUR 9.970 million).
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This document reflects the status as of 19 October 2020. This document is for informational purposes only and may not be considered a legal opinion or advice.