The company name according to Bulgarian commercial law

The company name of a merchant is the name under which the merchant shall carry on his commercial business. In this sense, the company or trade name is an individual right of the merchant. It must contain the elements provided for in the Bulgarian Commercial Act, such as the legal form of the merchant, elements decided by the merchant - the company name, and freely chosen extensions that are not necessary resp. required only in precisely defined cases, such as “in formation”, “in liquidation” etc.

Article 7 (2) of the Commercial Act provides limits regarding the freedom of defining the company name. The trade name must correspond to the truth. It may not contain information that may mislead third parties nor may it infringe the public order and security. The trade name shall be inscribed in Bulgarian (Cyrillic).

The trade name is an individual right of the merchant. It allows the fulfilment of the merchant’s legal obligation to be identifiable in commerce. According to Article 11 (1) of the Commercial Act, it is an immaterial and absolute right. The merchant is entitled to request anyone that takes advantage of the trade name to cease this action illegally. The trade name belongs only to the person that registered it.

Being part of the merchant’s individuality, the trade name is arises as a right with the registration into the commercial register. Amendments regarding the merchant’s legal status are also to be reflected in the company name. Accordingly, the trade name may be changed upon the merchant’s request. In cases of liquidation or insolvency proceedings, the trade name must indicate these circumstances, as well as it must incorporate the extension “branch” and the status “in formation”.

The general rule regarding the transformation of a trade name is the principle of the national uniqueness, meaning that each trade name shall be unique and may not be assigned again to another entity. In the event of an application for registration into the commercial register of a trade name that already exists, the application shall be rejected. In this context, it is possible to pre-test and reserve the trade name at the commercial register. The reservation may be made for maximum 6 months but it does assign the right over the trade name.