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  1. #1
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    setting up your own company in Moscow

    has anybody got experience of setting up their own company and then using this to obtain a work visa for oneself?

  2. #2
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    Check MoscowExpats FB group.

  3. #3
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    I would do a consult with 1) Attorney, 2) Accountant. Well worth it.

    or (the way I did it)

    1) Rent the space 2) Hire an office manager 3) Let the office manager do all the setup work!
    "Defund the Social Sciences." - Fantastika, 2020

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  5. #4
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    This is very simple and cheap process but the maintenance is expensive. If your questions is still valid, do not hesitate to ask for suggestions.

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  7. #5
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    My experience was the opposite of Tasel's; the set-up was expensive but the maintenance cheap and not so tough.
    I set up an HQS visa which is probably what you'll want to do, since you'd need a licensed business (school) to be able to set up plain work visas, and the licensure process as I understand is timely, complicated,and costly (the best flat-rate, generic quote I got was $5k).

    So, to issue yourself an HQS visa you:
    1. Register your company in Moscow (60k-ish rubles)
    2. Issue yourself a work permit and then HQS visa, through your own company (80k-ish rubles)
    3. A foreigner cannot initially be the general director of a Russian company, and you'll probably want to make yourself the general director, to make all the paperwork-signing and processing easier, so you'll pay the legal office to do that for you eventually (15k)
    4. Just pay yourself the minimum salary of 167k (maybe it's more now, for 2020?) each month, including all the taxes (you're exempt from pension and healthcare but will pay income tax, workman's comp, and some third cheap tax (take-home pay on the 167k should be about 145k.
    5. Don't forget that you'll be paying "profit" tax on your company's revenue quarterly, too, either 10% flat rate or 15% on the remaining revenue after deducting expenses, as I recall.

    Good luck on your coming adventure! )
    I am fascinated by Russia, this country with frigid weather, hard souls, and hot girls!

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  9. #6
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    I wonder if you'd be saving money if you locate your office or company outside of Moscow city limits? (besides rent of course).
    "Defund the Social Sciences." - Fantastika, 2020

  10. #7
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    The savings would very small. The rent for your office or office address would be less but the rest are the same. Also, if you don't have any activity on your company for the first year, you can choose 6% (УСН) simplified tax system. To change from one tax system to another can be done only at the end of the year and if you miss that turn, you have to wait for next year end.

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicklcool View Post
    My experience was the opposite of Tasel's; the set-up was expensive but the maintenance cheap and not so tough.
    I set up an HQS visa which is probably what you'll want to do, since you'd need a licensed business (school) to be able to set up plain work visas, and the licensure process as I understand is timely, complicated,and costly (the best flat-rate, generic quote I got was $5k).

    So, to issue yourself an HQS visa you:
    1. Register your company in Moscow (60k-ish rubles)
    2. Issue yourself a work permit and then HQS visa, through your own company (80k-ish rubles)
    3. A foreigner cannot initially be the general director of a Russian company, and you'll probably want to make yourself the general director, to make all the paperwork-signing and processing easier, so you'll pay the legal office to do that for you eventually (15k)
    4. Just pay yourself the minimum salary of 167k (maybe it's more now, for 2020?) each month, including all the taxes (you're exempt from pension and healthcare but will pay income tax, workman's comp, and some third cheap tax (take-home pay on the 167k should be about 145k.
    5. Don't forget that you'll be paying "profit" tax on your company's revenue quarterly, too, either 10% flat rate or 15% on the remaining revenue after deducting expenses, as I recall.

    Good luck on your coming adventure! )
    Also, for the HQS visa, you need to submit quarterly reports to the interior ministry (МВД).

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  14. #9
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    Don't know if you still need help, but here goes, in random fashion.

    Small detail but very usefull in troubled times and for micro-companies: in the Ustav documents, make sure the address of the company says "gorod Moskva", and not a specific address. Because you're likely to change the Ustav down the road, or change addresses. It's a headache in docs with the nalogovoya.

    Get the cheapest office possible. Get a clean address - there shouldn't be many companies registered at the same address. That counts for open spaces as well. Some of those offer rent for 9000 rubles a month. I pay about 25k right now, for a desk in a good business center, in the office of someone I trust. People keep telling me I pay too much.

    Minimum salary for a gen dir is 16k or so, and you'll have to pay taxes and social benefits. You can put the gen dir on unpaid vacation for a while, but avoid to do that too often.

    Get the cheapest possible accountant, but do get help setting up everything if you're not fluent in Russian. Ustav, svidetelstvo, etc. Especially everything the tax authorities and pension funds need.

    To become gen dir you'll first need to have a director role in the company. So hire yourself as Economic Director, with a veto/signature on all payments. This will make the transition to gen director easier at the banks as well.

    The HQS is the cheapest option on a yearly basis, if you can afford it. Set-up is almost painless. Please check, but I believe that if you're on an HQS already, you won't have to leave the country to get your new one. This has been the case for me in the past.

    Open a simplified OOO if you plan the company to stay small. 10% tax on revenues, and you can lower that in some cases. Some quarters I've paid 6%. I don't know how my accountant does that...

    Paying yourself in dividends isn't as great as it used to be, since the tax rate is now 15%. I'd maximize your salary, depending on the capital you want to re-invest.

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