Bulgarian Tourist Accommodation Registration for Apartments

tourist accommodation registration bulgaria категоризация на апартамент

To rent an apartment short-term through Airbnb, Booking.com and others, you need a bulgarian tourist accommodation registration to register your property in OP Tourism – Bulgaria as a place for tourists. The procedure is also known as so-called categorization, the same procedure as for guest houses and hotels. It takes about a month, and then you can work legally and undisturbed by neighbours who do not agree with short term renting.

The procedure described here is valid until October 2019. A new procedure is then enacted with a grace period until the end of the year. I will describe the new procedure in a separate publication.

OP Tourism Registration

Before you receive bulgarian tourist accommodation registration, you have to go to

OP Tourism, at 44 Oborishte Str., 1505 Poduyane, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Phone: 02 943 4728

You need to carry with you an ID card and a copy of a property ownership document. You have to decide whether you want to register as a company or a natural person/individual.

– Natural person – you must be registered at the address, it is not clear why.
– A company – this seems to be an easier procedure. Fill in a form. If you do not understand something, you ask the OP Tourism employees. They do not like being asked but they will help you.
You have to choose how many stars you want to get for your place. It’s not about the requirements you need to cover, but about what kind of fee you’re willing to pay. In my opinion, you do not need more than 1 star for an apartment. None of your guests will look at the stars they give you from OP Tourism in Sofia. But most will look at the stars that other guests give you in the reviews in the platform through which they book.

What’s next:

  • 20 leva is paid for the entry of documents.
  • After 14 days you go to get your temporary certificate so you can now work legally.
  • You get a phone call by OP Tourism in a few weeks. You are scheduling a day and an hour for them to come to an on-site inspection.
  • Then you get a permanent certificate, which is placed in the apartment in a visible place.

Create an account in the online guest entry system

After receiving the temporary certificate you need to call +359 2 9890802. This is the IT department of OP Tourism. Over the phone, they create an account in their online system. By the 15th of each month, you must enter the guests for the previous month. Here they want only the number of guests by country. After entering the guests for that month the system generates a declaration and automatically calculates your tourist tax total (0.40 per person per day). You have to pay the corresponding amount to NRA’s account.

In a nutshell, this is how you declare your tourist tax. They also use the same data for statistical purposes.

Paper Guestbook

Surprisingly, you do not just have to enter your tourists’ details in the online system, but you have to have them on paper. This happens in the ‘Register for accommodated tourists under Article 116’ or the so-called guest book. Of course, it is very difficult to find one and no one has ever heard of it even if they have it. You can check out Vega 33 bookstore, located here – https://goo.gl/maps/L1gQ7XAK4PA2 Tell them they surely have it if they tell you they do not know what you are talking about!

Registration for working hours

For those of you who have a cash register, you need to go to the appropriate municipality and register your place with working hours.

OP Tourism came to my apartment before they give me the permanent paper. They told me that I must also have working hours otherwise, I can get a fine. In the municipality, they say working hours cannot be issued to me because I do not have a cash register and I do not have to do this type of registration. They refused to give me a document that they would not register me. I spent some time talking to OP Tourism and the Municipality. One of them claim that I would be fined if I had no working hours, the other could not give me the document or an official refusal. I filed a written request in the office of the municipality asking to be issued working hours or a refusal to be issued officially. A month later I got working hours!

Registering the guests to the police

According to employees of OP Tourism you have to register the guests in the police every day. No one knows exactly how exactly to do this. It is not their job to know or to give you information as well. If they eventually come to check your place, they do not care whether you have registered in the police and are not checking for it. And there is no way to check it.

I have consulted with lawyers on the subject. According to them, the law nowhere says that you must register your guests daily in the police. The only thing you must do if the police ask you to is to provide information about a specific person they what to know about.

Change of purpose

I’ve heard from colleagues that from OP Tourism wanted them to change the purpose of their apartment. In my opinion, they have come to an incompetent employee. You do not have to change the purpose of your apartment. It remains an apartment.

Monthly Tax Declaration

Every month, whether you receive your bulgarian tourist accommodation registration quickly or not, based on the number of people and overnight stays you have declared, you have to pay your taxes to the NRA’s account. This must be done by the 15th of the current month for the previous month. The online system of OP Tourism generates the declaration and calculates the taxes automatically.

Example:
2 guests for 3 nights: 2 * 3 * 0.40 = 2.40 BGN

For the budget payment itself, be sure to enter the correct info:

  • Code: 442800
  • IBAN: BG21SOMB91308427577744
  • Document Type: 1 – Declaration
  • Document number
  • Date of the document
  • Payment period

Annual tax declaration

Each year, from 01.01 to 31.01, you have to fill in a 61R statement that you can download from the Internet. Fill the declaration and carry it to the NRA. The idea of ​​this statement is from the National Revenue Agency to find out if the statement says the same number as the sum of what you paid each month of the previous year, genius!

You carry the declaration in NRA. Employees will check it for you and tell you they’ll call if there’s anything you need to do more. Those I fall into are polite and really helped me.

For information requests, please contact me. 

 
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