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Jacobs, Cordova & Associates worked with the Government of Bulgaria on a radical reform of the business registry, which the Government agreed to adopt in April 2005. This reform removed the registry from the judicial courts to an administrative unit in the Ministry of Justice, unified 26 registries into a single national registry, and created the first electronic registry in the country. This reform brought Bulgaria into compliance with EU directives. JC&A wrote the first analysis to systematically assess in Bulgaria the benefits and costs of various alternatives for reforming business registration. JC&A designed Bulgaria’s far-reaching Business Registration Reform. On April 20, 2006, the Bulgarian Parliament voted 170-0 to overturn a Presidential veto on the Commercial Registration Act (CRA) supported by USAID. The law had been previously adopted, then vetoed by the President. Members of Parliament emphasized the importance of this reform law in improving Bulgaria’s business climate. USAID stated that the new registration law, taking effect on October 1, 2006, “is a high-profile and meaningful reform legacy…It will unlock judicial resources removing registration from the court system and set up a simplified and speedy registration procedure under the executive branch of government.” Bulgaria became the third country in Eastern Europe to take business registration completely out of the courts.

Bulgaria, USAID Commercial Law Reform Project, 2003-2004.