How can a bank account for a foreign company be opened in Russia?

On the basis of Article 13 of Federal Law No. 173-FZ dd 10.12.2003 "On Currency Regulation and Currency Control," non-residents on the territory of the Russian Federation have the right to open bank accounts in foreign currency and the currency of the Russian Federation only in authorized banks.

The foreigners who violate the currency legislation of the Russian Federation have the following types of liability:
  • administrative liability (the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation);
  • criminal liability (the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

Non-residents can transfer foreign currency and the currency of the Russian Federation from accounts in banks outside the territory of Russia to their accounts in authorized banks in Russia, and vice versa. Authorized banks are those banks that have the proper license (for example, Sberbank, VTB, etc.).

The procedure for opening and maintaining bank accounts of non-residents opened in Russia, including special accounts, is established by the Bank of Russia.

Currently, the Bank of the Russian Federation’s Instruction No. 153-I dd 30.05.2014 "On Opening and Closing Bank Accounts and Deposit Accounts" is in force.

Often, a foreign company does not have branches or separate divisions on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Then, first of all, a foreign company should be registered with the tax authority with the assignment of an individual taxpayer’s number and the issuance of a certificate of registration.

The tax authorities register foreign organizations in accordance with the provisions of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and the Order of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 293n dated 28.12.2018.

Registration of a foreign organization in connection with the opening of bank accounts in Russia is carried out based on the following documents:
  • an application for registration of a foreign organization in the approved form;
  • extracts from the Register of Foreign Legal Entities of the country of origin or other legally equivalent document confirming the legal status of a foreign organization;
  • a document of the authorized body of the foreign organization’s country of origin confirming its registration as a taxpayer, indicating the taxpayer code, or a document of the specified body confirming the absence of such a code;
  • constituent documents of a foreign company — notarized copies, apostilled or passed consular legalization.

The date of a foreign organization’s registration is the date when this information is entered in the Unified State Register.

If later a foreign organization wants to open one more account in the same or any other bank in Russia, it doesn’t have to be registered with the tax authorities again.

In accordance with the Russian Federation’s legislation, the registration of a foreign organization only in connection with the opening of the bank account does not lead to the implementation of any business activities by the organization on the territory of Russia.

To be registered, a foreign company must apply to the tax authorities at the bank’s location.

To open a current account for a legal entity created under the laws of the foreign country and having a location outside the territory of the Russian Federation, the Bank shall be provided:
  • a license if it is directly related to the ability of the client to enter into a contract under which the account is opened;
  • the card with samples of signatures;
  • documents confirming the authority of the persons indicated in the card of signatures to dispose of the funds on the account. In case the contract provides for the certification of the rights to dispose of the funds on the account using an analog of a handwritten signature, documents confirming the authority of the persons entitled to use it;
  • documents confirming the powers of the executive body of the legal entity;
  • documents confirming the legal status of a legal entity under the legislation of the country where the legal entity was established, in particular, documents confirming its state registration;
  • certificate of registration with the tax authority in cases stipulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

A notarized translation into Russian must accompany the documents written in a foreign language.

In some cases, the documents must be legalized. The apostille is affixed to the document itself or a separate sheet attached to the document.

A document legalized in the prescribed manner by a foreign state is subject to translation into Russian. Both the foreign document itself and the apostille affixed to it must be translated into Russian.
A card with samples of signatures of persons authorized to sign certain papers when conducting transactions on behalf of a foreign company is certified by a notary.
The Bank has the right to refuse to open an account if the confirming documents necessary for the identification of the client are not provided, or false information is provided, as well as in other cases provided by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

The opening of the bank account is completed when the corresponding entry into the Register of Open Accounts is made. The entry must be made no later than the business day following the day of the conclusion of the relevant contract.
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