As with starting a business anywhere, there are many steps to take before the business is up and running. After making important decisions such as the type of company, tax structure, and executive board you wish to have, you will need to open an account in a Russian bank and deposit your initial minimum amount of share capital to establish the financial basis for your company in Russia. The team at Jus Privatum can make recommendations about the best banks to work with and help you with opening the right kind of account.
Considerations to Make When Choosing a Banking Partner
Every businessman or woman knows that you have to be careful when selecting an institution to manage your money. There is no exception to this rule in Russia. Sometimes, foreigners are confused by the system and are more likely to be dependent on guidance from banks or lenders here than they would be in their native country. It is important to do your research here just as you would in your home country, and Jus Privatum attorneys can help with that.
As with banks in any country, you should ask the following questions about the bank you are considering working with in Russia:
- Does the bank have strong financials and a history of success?
- Does the bank have experience working with small or medium-sized international businesses?
- Are bank employees familiar and comfortable with the industry you are in?
- Does the bank offer the mix of services and products you may need in the future? Are these services and products proposed for a fair fee?
- Are you able to easily meet with the international account managers you need to see?
- Are bank officers and employees comfortable working with foreigners?
Once you find a bank that answers these questions to your satisfaction, you will need to understand the process for opening an account.
Your Bank Will Be Your Partner in Daily Business Activities
Modern bank services, including e-banking, can make the administration, management, and control of your business interests easier for you. The bank you choose will also be responsible for the foreign currency control measures in Russia applicable to almost all of the company's international transactions.
The major Russian banks, whether a local or international brand, provide high-level services for companies with foreign shareholders and for representative and branch offices of foreign companies. For example, English- or German-speaking bank employees are available for international clients, and most major banks offer English versions of online banking software.
A major Russian domestic bank may be the best choice if you are planning to get support from the Russian federal or regional administration. There are a number of banks responsible for participating in state investment and support programs for agriculture, innovation, industrial development, and other economic sectors. The type of business you are opening may determine which bank will work best for you.
Documents Needed for Opening a Bank Account in Russia
The list of documents necessary to open a bank account in Russia may slightly vary in different banks, but the basic list of documents is based on pretty detailed instructions of the Central Bank of Russia and comprises the following:
- Foundation documents, depending on the form of the business ownership
- State registration certificate
- Certificate of registration with a tax authority
- Confirmation of the registered address of the business entity
- Licenses to engage in activity subject to licensing
- A card with authorized signatures and a seal imprint duly notarized or certified by the bank
- Documents evidencing election or appointment of persons listed in the specimen signature card
- Completed bank account opening application forms as required by the bank
In addition, banks are required to request information on the ultimate beneficial owners of a legal entity, the company’s planned business activity types, annual turnover, and more.
If you are unable to be in Russia to open the bank account, you may be able to open an account with some banks through a remote process. However, at some banks you may be required to be physically present to pass the interview with a bank official personally and to sign the account opening forms in front of a bank official, who would then certify the documentation.
Opening a bank account in Russia is a real challenge and may be even more complicated than registering a legal business entity. The process could take up to several weeks. The bank may reject your account application if your company’s business activities are not in line with the bank’s compliance policy.
The Jus Privatum Team Can Facilitate This Process
There are many factors to be considered when choosing a bank to manage your company’s financial affairs. We have helped many foreign investors through the difficult process of opening bank accounts and can offer advice and recommendations on the best banks, bank services, lending officers, and payroll assistance for you. Along with our legal expertise, we have extensive knowledge and experience with all aspects of running a business in Russia. Do not hesitate to contact us through the contact link on this page. We are here to help you achieve your goal of doing business in Russia.