Special permits and licenses in Russia

Special permits and licenses in Russia

Updated on Monday 03rd February 2020

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Russia is the world’s largest country and its business potential is highly valued by foreign investors. The country has access to important natural resources and it has a consumer market of over 140 million people. Entrepreneurs who want to open companies in Russia should be aware that the country does have some limitations for business activities and special permits and licenses are needed for performing activities in various business sectors.
Our lawyers in Russia are ready to help you invest in the country and deal with any legal requirements.
Federal Law no. 99-FZ on the licensing of certain types of activity which entered into force in 2011 replaced Federal Law 128-FZ that previously regulated business activities in Russia. The new law reduced the list of activities that require licensing from 105 to only 49. 

Special permits and licenses needed in Russia

The Federal Law on regulating the licensing system in Russia stipulates that certain businesses must notify the commencement of their activities. The list of activities that must follow this procedure includes:
- manufacturing and sale of special gaming equipment,
- manufacturing and repairment of measuring instruments,
- ensuring aviation security,
- exhibiting and collecting arms, etc. 
In Russia, 49 activities require special permits and licenses in order to operate. For some activities, such as import and export, VAT registration in Russia is required. The list of regulated activities includes:
- medical and pharmaceutical activities,
- restoration of historical and cultural monuments,
- arts trading,
- firefighting,
- passenger traffic and others. 
Licenses issued under the new law do not have a validity term. Any licenses obtained before 2011 need to be reissued upon their expiration date.
Federal Law no. 99-FZ does not apply to the licensing of:
- the use of nuclear energy;
- activities performed by lending institutions;
- activities performed by private pensions funds or specialized investment funds;
- clearing and insurance activities and others.
Our Russian lawyers can help you obtain the necessary permits for performing specific activities, as required for your business in Russia.

Other requirements for business activities in Russia

Trade businesses in Russia need to observe the special trade regulations for certain types of commodities and products including: alcoholic products and products that contain alcohol, electric power, weapons, pharmaceutical products, certain foodstuffs and household goods, perfumes and cosmetics, computer and database programs, construction materials and products and many others.
Our law firm in Russia can help you comply with all the legal requirements for doing business in Russia. Please contact our Russian lawyers for a detailed list of our legal services.