Legal & Regulatory

Establishing a Foreign Business in Russia – New Issue of Russia Briefing Out Now

Posted on by

The new issue of Russia Briefing magazine, titled “Establishing a Foreign Business in Russia“, is out now and available as a complimentary download in the Asia Briefing Publications Store.

In this issue:Establishing a Foreign Company in Russia

  • Registering a Foreign Owned Trademark in Russia
  • Setting Up a Representative Office in Russia
  • Setting Up a Branch Office in Russia
  • Setting up a Limited Liability Foreign Owned Company in Russia

Foreign investment in Russia has undergone a metamorphosis over the past few years, from the tit-for-tat placing of sanctions upon Russia by the West, to the alternative development of trade and supply routes with the East. China’s King Long now provides the Scania buses that used to ply the roads of St. Petersburg and Moscow, but there are many other examples of Russia’s changing trade patterns.

At the recent St. Petersburg International Investment Forum, the number of delegates and deals signed hit record highs, showing that Russia’s decision to look East has been entirely justified. The waves of investment coming from China – which is seeking to secure long-term energy, commodities, agriculture, and trade routes to keep its economy on track – are having a highly positive knock-on effect on Russia. Russia also hosts the 2018 FIFA World Cup next year – this new edition of Russia Briefing is a timely one as investors scramble to get into a country that is benefiting from both China’s own One Belt, One Road (OBOR) ambitions and the World Cup.

Continue reading…

Free 2017 Guide On Expat Life & Business in Russia

Posted on by

russia-book-coverLuc Jones, a Partner with the Antal recruitment practice in Moscow, has just published the third edition of his guide to living and working in Russia, the archly titled “Why Russians Don’t Smile“.

The book, which runs to 174 pages, contains nineteen sections dealing with everything from etiquette to language to entertainment, with a lot of detail about how best to operate within a Russian business environment. A selection of tips:

  • Don’t arrange business meetings before 10am. Russians do breakfast at home.
  • Business Russians generally don’t drink vodka at lunch.
  • Don’t believe everything you’ve read in International media about Russia.
  • Do arrange business cards, and preferably with a Russian translation on one side.
  • It can be considered bad luck to shake hands across a door entrance. Do in inside.
  • Always give an odd number of flowers. Even numbers of flowers are for funerals.
  • Business attire is conservative. Black suit, white shirt. Leave pink in the wardrobe.
  • Russians use two names, their full and shortened, and they may not appear similar.
  • Russians buy expensive. Mark ups on luxury brands are often higher than in Europe.
  • Russia is often considered a terrible place to do business but a great place to make money!

Continue reading…

Setting up a Limited Liability Foreign Owned Company in Russia

Posted on by

Op/Ed by Natalia Galdeskaya, Olimp Consulting

Establishing and operating a Limited Liability Company (LLC, in Russian: OOO) is the best route for foreign investors entering Russia to buy and/or sell products or services. These are legal entities and can be formed by either just one individual, or several individuals or legal entities.

Comparing a Russian LLC to a Russian Representative Office or Branch Office

  • The LLC is legally independent (it can be party to a legal relationship, suitor, and defendant before the court), and can possess its own property and assets;
  • LLCs are not liable for Parent Company debt;
  • LLCs can use international tax planning techniques such as those associated with the reallocation of funds (payments of loan interests, dividends, license payments etc.) for reducing tax obligations and increasing profitability;
  • LLCs can function in the Russian market through subsidiaries using Partnership Intermediary Agreements (a subsidiary can import goods and act as the declarant on Russian Customs);
  • An LLC can apply for use of Russia’s simplified tax system.

Continue reading…

Setting Up Bookkeeping and Accounting Systems in Russia

Posted on by

By Natalia Galdetskaya, Olimpline Consulting

Foreign invested companies often encounter administration difficulties when first establishing operations in Russia, as the local reporting requirements differ from those in their home country. Reporting back to head office must still be provided in standard corporate protocols, while local mechanisms must also be adopted to be in compliance with Russian laws. Foreign companies establishing a Representative Office (RO) or Branch Office (BO) in Russia may encounter some challenges in adjusting their procedures for getting started.

Continue reading…

Setting Up a Branch Office in Russia

Posted on by

By Natalia Galdetskaya, Olimpline Consulting

Branch Offices in Russia differ from Representative Office (RO) establishments as they can perform direct commercial activities and generate local income. For this reason, they are often the preferred vehicle of choice for foreign investors looking to commence trade and import-export functions in Russia. However, like ROs, foreign investors local Russia risk is minimized as they are not categorized as Russian legal entities.

Continue reading…

Setting Up a Representative Office in Russia

Posted on by

By Natalia Galdetskaya, Olimpline Consulting

Russia is still under economic and trade sanctions from the West, and this has meant the country has had to adapt and find new markets and trade corridors. At the same time, the devaluation of the Ruble has meant that Russia is very good value right now.

Continue reading…

Registering a Foreign Owned Trademark in Russia

Posted on by

By Natalia Galdetskaya, Olimpline Consulting

Foreign investors wishing to sell product in Russia should be aware that Russia acknowledges main international intellectual property conventions such as the Madrid Agreement Concerning International Registration of Trademarks and the Paris Convention for the Protection of the Industrial Property.

Continue reading…

New Belarus Visa Plan May Open Door to Easier Russian Access for Foreigners

Posted on by

According to the Russian ambassador in Minsk, Belarus, Alexander Surikov, a joint Russian-Belarusian workgroup is reviewing a recommendation for a common visa area for the two countries before 2018.

The media quoted Surikov as saying, “We described it as a mutual recognition of travel visas”. Surikov reportedly continued: “A person who receives a travel visa to the Republic of Belarus will also have the right to visit the Russian Federation. Vice versa, a person who gets a Russia visa will have the right to go to Belarus. A group of experts has been set up. It includes representatives of the Russian and Belarusian Interior and Foreign Ministries who are getting down to more detailed discussions of the issue. I don’t think the discussions will produce immediate results but we’ll sure get some result this year.”

Continue reading…

Russia and India to Boost Economic Cooperation and Trade

Posted on by

By Marina Romanova

prime-minister-narendra-modi-and-russian-president-vladimir-putinIn a way to re-establish “the special and privileged nature’ of their strategic partnership, Russia and India have set the goal of boosting bilateral trade to US$30 billion and mutual investment to US$15 billion by 2025.

However, Russian-Indian trade cooperation leaves much to be desired. For Russia, India is in 19th place in terms of turnover, according to 2014 data, while for India – Russia is in 34th place only. In 2015, this turnover was further reduced by another 18 percent which is, as Russian president Vladimir Putin phrases it, “largely associated with volatility on the global markets and in exchange rates”.

Continue reading…

Russia and Vietnam Aim to get US$10 Bln in Bilateral Trade by 2020

Posted on by

By Marina Romanova

russia-and-vietnam-aimIn May 2015, after six years and eight rounds of negotiations, Vietnam signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Russia-led Eurasian Union (EU). Although, it took another 17 months for the deal to finally come into force in October 2016, Vietnam became the first and only country so far to establish a free trade zone with EU, comprise of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
Many observers believe FTA with Vietnam was possible due to special historical ties between two states.

Continue reading…

Never Miss an Update

Subscribe to gain even better insights into doing business in Russia. Subscribing also lets you to take full advantage of all our website features including customizable searches, favorite, wish list and gift functions and access to otherwise restricted content.

Scroll to top