What you should keep in mind when opening a bank account in Russia

An important step for business set up on the Russian market is the opening a bank account in Russia. While this is rather easy for an individual, it is quite elaborate for a legal entity (in international comparison), having a lot of requirements that must be considered.

Firstly, certain information has to be provided about the registered company, especially about its ownership structure. The Central Bank of Russia requires that the beneficial owners of the shareholder have to be disclosed when their share exceeds 25%. Most of the banks also require information about the shareholder group. Partly, they need details about the planned turnover of the new Russian legal person and partly, details about the shareholders’ turnover for the last two years.

Secondly, when opening a bank account in Russia, it should be noted that some international banks require an existing bank account of the parent company at the same bank. Also, some banks will not open an account for clients whose turnover doesn’t meet the defined minimum requirements.

A complicated and often amended topic is the legal regulations regarding the signatories. The signers’ authority is determined by a signature card. This card is either signed in the bank or in the presence of a notary and when done abroad, it must be notarized and apostilled. The signing authority can be given to the general director and other employees of the new company. But it can’t be given to employees of the parent company if it is an OOO (LLC). Only in case of a branch or a representative office, can the employees of the head office be registered on the signature card. For online banking, it is also possible with an OOO to create an additional authorization level. In this case, another person, besides the registered person on the signature card, must authorize the transaction in addition to the general director. This extended authorization, a so-called “electronic third-party signature”, is also commonly given to employees of the parent company.

Considering the complexity of this procedure, a professional consultation will guarantee a smooth process when opening a bank account in Russia which is a basic requirement for a successful Business Set Up in Russia.

Contact our expert:
Alex Stolarsky
Director for Legal, Compliance and Tax
+7 / 495 / 956 55 57