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Russia – Self-Employment

Breakdown of how self-employment works for expats in Russia

Self-employment is possible for expats in Russia, but there are certain legal requirements that must be met. As a self-employed person in Russia, you will need to register with the tax authorities and obtain a tax identification number.

Detailed step-by-step guide on how an expat can register as self-employed in Russia

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how an expat can register as self-employed in Russia:

  1. Obtain a work visa: Expats must have a valid work visa to work in Russia. The work visa is typically sponsored by an employer, but self-employed individuals can also obtain one through the Russian Embassy in their home country.

  2. Choose your legal structure: Before registering as self-employed in Russia, you must choose a legal structure for your business. You can choose between a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC). A sole proprietorship is the simplest and cheapest option, but it offers no legal protection for the owner’s personal assets. An LLC offers more legal protection, but it requires more time and money to set up.

  3. Obtain a tax identification number: To operate as a self-employed person in Russia, you must obtain a tax identification number (INN) from the tax authorities. You can do this online or in person at a local tax office. You will need to provide personal and business details, including your name, address, and business activities.

  4. Register with the tax authorities: After obtaining your INN, you must register with the tax authorities. You can do this online or in person at a tax office. You will need to provide personal and business details, including the name of the company, the legal structure, and a description of your business activities.

  5. Obtain necessary permits and licenses: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses from various government authorities. These may include a commercial registration certificate, an industrial registration certificate, or a municipal license.

Can you work as a digital nomad in Russia?

Yes, you can work as a digital nomad in Russia. However, you will need to obtain a work visa or a long-stay visa if you plan to stay in the country for more than 90 days.

Breakdown of how an expat can start a company in Russia

Starting a company in Russia can be a complex process, but it is possible for expats. The most common legal structure for businesses in Russia is a limited liability company (LLC).

Detailed step-by-step guide on how an expat can set up a company in Russia

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how an expat can set up a company in Russia:

  1. Choose your legal structure: The first step in setting up a company in Russia is to choose your legal structure. The most common structure for small and medium-sized businesses is a limited liability company (LLC). An LLC offers limited liability protection to the shareholders and requires a minimum share capital of RUB 10,000 (approximately USD 130).

  2. Reserve a company name: Before registering your company, you must reserve a name for it. You can do this online through the Federal Tax Service’s website.

  3. Draft the company’s charter: The charter outlines the company’s purpose, ownership structure, and governance. You can draft this yourself or hire a lawyer to do it for you.

  4. Deposit the share capital: To register your LLC, you must deposit the minimum share capital of RUB 10,000 in a Russian bank account. You will need to provide proof of this deposit when registering your company.

  5. Register your company: You can register your company online through the Federal Tax Service’s website or in person at a tax office. You will need to provide personal and business details, including the name of the company, the legal structure, the address, and the shareholders.

  6. Obtain necessary permits and licenses: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses from various government authorities. These may include a commercial registration certificate, an industrial registration certificate, or a municipal license.

  7. Open a Russian bank account: To receive payments and pay taxes, your company will need to have a Russian bank account. You can do this online or in person at a bank branch. You will need to provide identification and proof of address.

  8. Register for tax: Your company must register for tax with the Federal Tax Service. You can do this online or in person at their office. You will need to provide personal and business details, including the name of the company, the legal structure, and an estimate of your annual income.

  9. Obtain necessary visas and permits for your employees: If you plan to hire employees for your company, you will need to obtain necessary visas and permits for them to work in Russia.

Incentives or Programs for Expats in Russia

There are several incentives and programs to encourage expats to become self-employed or set up a company in Russia. These include:


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  1. Skolkovo Foundation: The Skolkovo Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides funding, mentorship, and other resources to startups in the technology and innovation sectors.

  2. Small and Medium Enterprises Support Fund: The Small and Medium Enterprises Support Fund offers financing and support to small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia.

  3. Special Economic Zones: Russia has several special economic zones that offer tax incentives and other benefits to businesses in certain industries, such as technology, manufacturing, and logistics.

  4. Export Support Center: The Export Support Center provides resources and support to businesses that export goods and services from Russia.

In conclusion, self-employment and starting a business are viable options for expats in Russia. The process for registering as self-employed or setting up a company in Russia can be complex, but with the right guidance and support, it can be done. Additionally, there are several incentives and programs available to encourage expats to become self-employed or start a business in Russia.


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