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How to become an Individual Entrepreneur (Self-Employed Person)?

A step-by-step guide to start your business as an individual entrepreneur

If you are a foreign citizen or a stateless person and have the intention to carry on business in Russia without forming of legal entity as a sole proprietor, you must perform the following steps:

  1. Obtaining a part or full-time residence in the Russian Federation.
  2. Defining the scope of your business.
  3. Preparing the set of the required documents for registering.
  4. Filing the required documents to the register office.
  5. Receiving the incorporation documents.
  6. Manufacturing the seal.
  7. Opening a bank account.

Starting a business!

1. Obtaining a part or full-time residence in the Russian Federation.

The document confirming the address of residence of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Russian Federation may be:

  • An identification document that contains information about the address of residence in the Russian Federation;
  • A residence permission in Russia (for foreign citizens and stateless persons, if they reside in the territory of the Russian Federation);
  • Certificate of refugee (for recognized refugees);
  • A temporary residence permission (for foreign citizens and stateless persons who do not have an identity document);
  • A certificate of temporary asylum in the Russian Federation (for foreign citizens and stateless persons granting temporary asylum).

2. Defining the scope of your business.

For doing some business activities in Russia a document about absence of conviction is required. Such a document must be arranged before the submission to the registration authority.

You need it if you intend to carry out certain types of entrepreneurial activity in education, training, and development of minors, organization of their rest and recreation, health care, social protection and social services in the area of youth sport, culture and art with participation of minors. A list of such activities is approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.

3. Preparing the set of the required documents for registering.

You should prepare a set of documents to be submitted to the registering authority, including:

  • Statement signed by the applicant on the state registration of a person as an individual entrepreneur (form R21001).

Witnessing the signature of the applicant by a notary is not required if the applicant submits the documents directly (in person) to the registering authority and simultaneously represents an identity document. In other cases, the signature of the applicant on the application shall be certified by a notary.

  • A copy of the document certifying your identity as a foreign citizen or stateless person. If the document does not contain information about the date and place of your birth, you must also submit a copy of your birth certificate or a copy of another document confirming the date and place of your birth.
  • A copy of the document confirming your right for part or full-time residence in the Russian Federation.
  • The original or a copy of the document confirming the address of your residence in the Russian Federation (if a provided copy of the document certifying your identity, or a document confirming your right for part or full-time residence in the Russian Federation does not contain information about this address).
  • Documents on payment of a state duty.
  • The document which determines the presence or absence of a conviction, and (or) the fact of criminal prosecution or of the criminal prosecution dismissal (if you intend to carry out certain business activities, the list of which is approved by the Government of the Russian Federation).

In case where a person registered as an individual entrepreneur, is a minor, the document confirming the right of the person to conduct business is needed.

Simultaneously with filing a package of documents for state registration you may apply to move to a simplified tax system (form 26.2-1). 

The application for state registration (form R21001).

The amount of the state duty for the state registration of a person as an individual entrepreneur is 800 RUR. Details concerning the payment of the state duty are placed on the website of FTS.

Documents shall be furnished with regard to the following requirements:

  • Submitted copies of documents must be certified by a notary. The exception is when the applicant himself or herself presents a copy of the documents directly to the registering authority and at the same time confirms the fidelity of copies of relevant documents in the original, which are returned to the applicant when the registration authority issues notice of the documents receipt.
  • Each document containing more than one sheet should be stitched and numbered.
  • Number of sheets should be proved by the signature of the applicant or the notary on the back of last sheet on an insertion place.
  • Application and the appendix should be filled in by the typescrypt text or by the hand printing letters with use of ink or a ballpen of dark blue or black colour;
  • If any section or point of section of the application is not filled in, at the corresponding graphs the crossed out section is put down.

Documents are filled in (issued) in Russian. Documents in a foreign language are subject to assurance by an apostille or consular legalisation and the subsequent translation into Russian. Translation should be notarized.
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Authenticity of the applicant’s signature on the application should be notarized.

Documents, in which the authenticity of the aplicant’s signature is witnessed by a foreign notary, are subject to assurance by an apostille or consular legalisation and subsequent translation into Russian. Translation should be notarized.

4. Filing the required documents to the register office.

You need to file a prepared set of documents to the registration tax authority at your place of residence in the Russian Federation.

You can file the required documents by the following ways:
  • paper filing by hand in the registration office (personally or through your authorised representative);
  • paper filing by post;
  • e-filing via the Internet, including the use of a single portal of public and municipal services.

Within no more than 5 working days since of receipt of the documents the registering authority should examine the documents submitted and either make the decision on your state registration as an individual entrepreneur making appropriate records in the State Register, or make the decision on refusal of registration.

An exhaustive list of the grounds for refusal of registration is defined by par. 1, art. 23 of the Federal Law № 129-FZ.

Registration of an individual entrepreneur is one-stop shop procedure following which the registering authority not only makes a business registration, but also registers a person for taxation purposes, sending electronically the company data to extra-budgetary funds and the statistical agency.

5. Receiving the incorporation documents.

If examination of your documents has passed successfully, on the day appointed by registering authority you can take out the following documents:

  • State registration certificate of a person as an individual entrepreneur;
  • The Tax Certificate (full name is the Certificate on registration in tax authority)
  • Extract from the Common State Register of Individual Entrepreneurs.

In case you did not refer to the registration authority for obtaining the documents, they will be sent to the legal address of your company. At the e-registration you can choose the way of receiving the documents.

Following the implementation of these actions you may carry on business as an individual entrepreneur without forming a legal entity.

6. Manufacturing of seal.

After receiving the registration documents of your registration as an individual entrepreneur you have the right (but you are not obliged) to make its seal.

Manufacturing of a seal is provided by a commercial organization at your choice.

7. Opening a bank account.

With a certificate of registration and company seal, you are entitled to open an account in any bank at your choice.

The procedure of opening accounts and the list of the required documents are defined by the Instruction of the Bank of Russia of 14.09.2006 N28-I.

Please, note that within seven days from the date of a bank account opening you must notify your tax authority with this information.

NB! When registering as an individual entrepreneur, the information on the validity of the document confirming the right of a foreign citizen or stateless person for part or full-time residence in the Russian Federation is entered in the State Register.

In case of expiration of the document confirming the right of a foreign citizen or stateless person to reside in the Russian Federation, their state registration as a private entrepreneur will automatically cease to be in force, from the date of expiry of the document.

The exception is when the applicant himself or herself presents a copy of the documents directly to the registering authority and at the same time confirms the fidelity of copies of relevant documents in the original, which are returned to the applicant when the registration authority issues a notice of the documents receipt;