Open an E-commerce Business in Russia

Open an E-commerce Business in Russia

Updated on Friday 20th March 2020

Rate this article

based on 2 reviews

Open-an-e-commerce-business-in-RussiaThe number of enterprisers oriented towards setting up online businesses is continuously increasing in Russia. For example, e-commerce in Russia rose by 20% in 2016 compared to the previous year. Also, by the end of this year, e-commerce is expected to have a revenue of 1 trillion rubles, the equivalent of 16 billion euros, compared to the 14 billion euros earned by online retailers last year.
Those who want to set up an e-commerce business in Russia must comply with certain laws which provide for both the registration of a company, but also to the internet legislation. Our Russian lawyers can offer information on the laws related to creating an online store.

Registering a business for e-commerce activities in Russia

The Commercial Code is the most important law providing for the opening of a company in Russia, including an online business. Foreign enterprisers are also allowed to set up e-commerce companies in this country and sell goods and services online.
The first step related to opening an online business in Russia is to register a company with the Companies Registrar, followed by the registration of a domain name and the creation of a website. This way the e-commerce platform will be created. Also, having a merchant bank account which allows for safe transactions is mandatory when starting an online company in Russia.
Our law firm in Russia can assist with the registration of the structure used for the e-commerce company.

What are the most sold products by e-commerce platforms in Russia?

Electronics are among the most popular goods purchased by Russian citizens from online stores. However, those interested in offering other products will find various niches for their e-commerce businesses in Russia. Among these, online stores selling traditional clothes or handmade jewels and homemade cosmetics are less popular.
No matter the type of e-commerce platform one wants to set up, it is important to respect the legislation related to the retail licenses, but also the data protection regulations imposed in Russia.

Legislation related to selling goods or services online in Russia

Contrary to other countries, Russia has a strong legislation governing the establishment of online stores here. This is a great advantage for foreign investors opening companies in Russia who know what to expect and what their options are. The main laws providing for the setup of an online shop in Russia are:
  • the Audiovisual Services Law which provides for the creation of websites and advertising products in the online environment, among others;
  • the Consumer Rights Protection Law, which was amended in 2017 with the E-commerce Aggregators Bill which provides for the possibility of online payments upon the purchase of goods;
  • the Intellectual Property Law which guarantees the registration and use of domain names required when opening an online store in Russia.
Other Russian laws governing the creation of online shops are the Commercial Code and the digital signatures and authentication regulations.

How to create an online shop in Russia

The creation of a Russian online store implies the registration of a company with the Trade Register, according to the Commercial Law. Our Russian lawyers can handle this procedure.
Following that, specific requisites related to e-commerce must be fulfilled. Among these are:
  • buying a domain name;
  • creating a web platform;
  • setting up online payment solutions;
  • complying with the legislation related to informing the clients about their rights and obligations.
If you want to open an e-commerce business in this country and need assistance, please feel free to contact our Russian law firm. We can also guide you through the legal requirements online stores must comply with in this country.