Open a bank account of a foreign company in Russia

Jan, 17 2024


The settlement account of a foreign company in Russia is a deposit opened in one of the Russian banks for mutual settlements with counterparties and other domestic and international financial transactions. 

It is important to take into account that any foreign company that operates in Russia has the right to open a current account with an authorized banking institution. This right is prescribed in Article 13 of Federal Law No. 173-FZ dated 10.12.2003 “On Currency Regulation and Currency Control”. What needs to be done for this, we will tell you in this article. 

Grounds for opening a current account 

Foreign firms do not always register their own branches or representative offices on the territory of the Russian Federation in order to transfer some of their functions to them. Thus, non-residents have a question: is it possible to open an account in Russia in this case? According to the explanations found in the letter of the Federal Tax Service of Russia dated 01.09.2014 No. CA-4-14/17456, foreign firms can open accounts in domestic banks without accreditation of any organizational and legal form only if they are registered with the tax authority in the country.  

Registration with the tax authority of a foreign organization involves the issuance of an appropriate certificate and registration of an individual tax number – TIN. To receive these business papers, the following set of documents must be submitted to the tax service: 

  • Statement of the management of a foreign company on tax registration in accordance with Clause 5.1 of Article 84 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation. 
  • An extract from the Unified State Register of the company’s registrar country or another document that can confirm the existence of a legal entity with such data.
  • A document that can confirm the status of a taxpayer in the country that has registered a legal entity. Such a certificate must contain the taxpayer’s code or its equivalent.  
  • Constituent documents of a foreign legal entity, including their photocopy and notarized translation. 
  • The Charter of a foreign company. 
  • Certificate of state registration. 
  • Decision on the creation and appointment of a manager. 
  • Passport of the CEO.
  • Power of attorney for representatives on the territory of Russia. 

All the above-mentioned documents must have a notarized translation and apostille.  

After a positive decision is made by the Federal Tax Service, the data on tax registration are entered into the EGRN. 

It is important to take into account that if there are grounds preventing the registration of a foreign company for tax registration, the inspectorate will make a negative decision. It should also be borne in mind that registration as a taxpayer does not give a foreign company the right to engage in entrepreneurial activity on the territory of our country. 

In general, the process can be divided into two main stages:  

Stage #1. Registration of a foreign company with the tax authority. 

As we noted above, this event requires the applicant to prepare and submit a certain package of documents, which are transferred to the IFNS at the place of registration of the selected bank. 

The procedure for registering a company for tax registration does not take much time and is completed within about 5 working days. 

Stage #2. Direct opening of a current account in the selected bank.  

Most often, the list of documents for opening an account corresponds to those business papers that need to be collected for the tax service. However, practice shows that each bank independently selects a set of documents that must be collected to open a deposit. Most often you may need: 

  • The requirement to register the holding structure. 
  • Accounting documents.  
  • A number of corporate documents, where there is an order to assume the position of CEO and so on.
  • License or permit for the right to conclude contracts on the territory of the Russian Federation. 
  • A card filled out according to the sample. 
  • Documents proving the powers of officials to be entered in the card. These entities will subsequently dispose of funds on the settlement account using their own signature.
  • A power of attorney to confirm the powers of the executive body of a foreign company. 
  • Documents proving the legal status of the company in the territory of the registrar country. 
  • Certificate of registration with the tax authorities. 

The deposit opening period coincides with the tax registration period and is 5 working days from the date of receipt of the package of documents. 

In what cases can the bank refuse to open an account?

The fact of opening any bank account is a concluded and signed agreement between a financial institution and a foreign company. As a rule, the agreement contains clauses on the bank’s obligations to transfer money to the specified account, as well as to dispose of them at the direction of the client.  

In the vast majority of cases, the bank does not have the right to refuse a legal entity, including a foreign one, the desire to open an account. This right is provided for by the legislation of the Russian Federation and the constituent documents of the bank. However, there are a number of cases when a financial institution may refuse a client on legal grounds:

  • Absence of documents on the registration of a foreign company for tax registration. As we noted earlier, this is the main criterion that gives the right to conclude an agreement with the bank. 
  • Lack of legal capacity of a legal entity. This means that the company is not yet registered in the register of the Unified State Register of Legal Entities in its country or has already been excluded from it.  
  • Refusal on the part of the client to comply with the requirements of tax legislation. This primarily concerns non-compliance with the requirements of Law No. 115-FZ “On countering the legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime and the financing of terrorism.” 
  • Unreliability of information about the company or about a trusted person who applied to the bank for opening a current account. This applies to those data that do not allow identifying the person in whose favor he intends to open a deposit. At the same time, it is important to take into account that if the authorized person already has legal relations with a particular bank, then a financial institution can register a deposit without the personal presence of a citizen. 

If a foreign legal entity has been refused to open a bank account, its representatives may appeal to the court to appeal against it and with a demand to compel to conclude an agreement. According to clause 4 of Article 445 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, a financial institution that unreasonably evades signing a contract is obliged to compensate a potential client for all losses incurred by a court decision. 

VALEN’s lawyers and accountants have extensive experience working with foreign legal entities on banking and tax support, including residents from unfriendly countries. 

We can perform any turnkey work, including: 

  • Obtaining a certificate of registration of a foreign organization in the IFNS.
  • Opening a checking account. 
  • Obtaining a token for remote access, which is subsequently transferred to the customer to start work.
Author of the article
Open a bank account of a foreign company in Russia
Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner
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