Expand Business in Russia


Global Upside helps businesses expand into Russia by providing talent acquisition, human resources, accounting, payroll, tax, incorporation, and professional employer organization (PEO)/employer of record (EOR) services. Our comprehensive offerings create an end-to-end solution that helps you establish your business and optimize your operations, all while maintaining compliance with Russian laws and regulations.

The hiring and incorporation processes in Russia are often complex, time-consuming, and involve numerous legal and compliance challenges. Global Upside simplifies these processes and lifts the compliance burden from your business. Our teams have the experience and expertise required to help you establish a legal entity in Russia. We also offer PEO/EOR solutions to companies interested in hiring employees quickly, without setting up a legal entity in the country.

Capital City



Russian Ruble (₽) or RUB





Country Overview

Russia is located in Eastern Europe and extends through Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world, covering over 12% of the Earth’s occupied land area. Russia spans 11 time zones and shares borders with 16 sovereign nations. The population of Russia is 146.7 million, and due to its profitable legislature and revenue system, Russia has been an attractive location for foreign companies.

Increased political stability and higher domestic consumption beginning in the 21st century have led to economic growth in Russia. The requirements for opening a legal establishment as a foreign investor are nearly the same as a local investor. Nevertheless, all legalities must be taken care of prior to setting up an establishment.

  • Russia is one of the world’s leading producers of natural gas and oil
  • Russia is a top exporter of metals such as steel and primary aluminum
  • Russia’s main imports are machinery, equipment, and transport, chemical products, foodstuffs, and agricultural products

There are various options for structuring your business entity in Russia:

Representative or Branch Office

A representative or branch office is a physical establishment of a company that is separated from the organization’s main locations but is not classified as its own legal entity. Consequently, it is the head office that bears all the responsibilities, obligations, and actions of this setup.

Sole Trader

A sole trader is the easiest form of setup. There are no minimum requirements for share capital. Sole traders are not considered to be legal entities but can be registered for all taxation purposes. All profits and liabilities will be taken care of by the owner themselves.

Limited Liability Company

Limited liability company setups are extremely common. In this form of legal entity, the number of shareholders can range from 1 to 50. The minimum share capital required is ₽10,000. It is mandatory to pay half the amount during the incorporation and the remaining half can be paid within a span of one year.

Joint Stock Companies

There are two options for joint-stock company setups:

  1. Open joint-stock companiespermitted to transfer their stocks to the public. The minimum share capital requirement is ₽100,000.
  2. Closed joint-stock companies – can only transfer their shares within the shareholders. The minimum share capital requirement is ₽10,000.

The minimum time required for registering a firm in Russia is roughly two weeks.

Employees need to sign the contract with the organizations within the first 3 days of joining the work. However, if the employer does not provide an employment contract within the stipulated time frame, this calls for a breach of legislation.

The employment bond needs to mention the below details:

  • Working hours
  • Remuneration and bonuses
  • Job functions

Employees are entitled to the following eight paid public holidays:

  • Jan, 1: New Year’s Day
  • Jan. 7: Orthodox Christmas Day
  • Feb. 23: Defenders of the Fatherland Day
  • March 8: International Women’s Day
  • May 1: Spring and Labor Day
  • May 9: Victory Day
  • June 12: Russia Day
  • Nov. 4: National Unity Day

It is customary that all employee payments are done in rubles. Remunerations must be paid at least once every half-month.

The Russian Accounting Standards (RAS) are the standard criteria followed for accounting in Russia.

Corporate Tax

The corporate tax rate in Russia is 20%. 18% goes to the regional establishments and 2% goes to the Russian government.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

The standard VAT rate is 20%. There is a reduced rate of 10% for certain products and services.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018 and represents a broad revision of the regulations in Europe. It states that the employees have the right to information about the processing of their personal data.

Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Law

The Articles of the Russian Criminal Code defines corruption as:

  • Officials or management offering a bribe (Article 291)
  • Officials or management receiving a bribe (Article 290)
  • Misuse of official authority (Article 285)
  • Illegal use of authority (Article 201)
  • Saleable bribery (Article 204)

Bribery is a punishable offense. The following penalties are imposed on the legal entities for public bribery:

  • A monetary fine of maximum ₽5 million, or an amount equal to the wages an official earns over a period of 5 years, or an amount at least 100 times the amount of the bribe
  • A monetary fine of at least ₽4 million, or an amount equal to the wages an official earns over a period of 4 years, or an amount at least 90 times the amount of the bribe
  • Imprisonment for approximately 15 years for either giving or receiving bribes

For commercial bribery, the penalties for the proposer and receiver of the bribe are:

  • A fiscal fine of minimum ₽2.5 million, or an amount equal to the wages an official earns over a period of 2 and a half years, or an amount at least 70 times of the amount of the bribe
  • A fiscal fine of minimum ₽5 million, or an amount equal to the wages an official earns over a period of 5 and a half years, or an amount at least 90 times of the amount of the bribe
  • Imprisonment for approximately 8 years for the proposer of a bribe and 12 years for the receiver of a bribe