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HOW TO CHECK A RUSSIAN COMPANY

There are several official public sources in Russia where you can easily check the basic credibility elements of your potential business partner. They are free of charge, do not require registration and take minutes to explore.

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To make the inquiries described below, you will need any of the company’s ID numbers: either “ИНН” (INN, taxpayer ID) or “ОГРН” (OGRN, a company's state registration number). You can request this directly from your Russian counterparty or just google it (use: “… [company name in Russian] … [director general's name] ИНН”).

Most of these services are available in Russian only. However, you can access them through the Google Translate (select: “Websites” in the menu above and then paste the link into the bar in the middle of the page). For typing in Russian, use any virtual (online) keyboard.

1. Public Corporate Register

The Public Corporate Register (EGRUL) is maintained by the Federal Tax Service and covers each and every legal entity duly established and existing under the Russian laws. If a company cannot be found in the database, be sure there is none of such in the Russian Federation.

The Register can be accessed here.

When entering the web site (1) switch to English; (2) put any of the ID numbers into the search bar; (3) press “FIND” and (4) press “GET AN EXTRACT” (to the right from the search results list):
The subsequent download is the official company certificate, signed with e-signature by the Federal Tax Service official, which can be used as a formal evidence of the entity’s legal standing.

The certificate is issued in Russian. Use Google Translate (select: “Documents”) to convert this into another language.

The certificate shows the following essentials:

Business name;
Legal address;
• Date of incorporation;
• Director General (or similar CEO position);
• Authorized Capital (Russian LLC’s mandatory minimum is RUB 10 000);
• Shareholders and share sizes (available for LLCs only);
• Main business activity.

Make sure the statement does not explicitly indicate any company information to be false (this may relate to the legal address or director general). If the company has ceased its activities or is subject to ongoing restructuring or liquidation proceedings, the statement will also reveal these details.

Reach out to us for a free basic check.

2. Financial Reports Database

From 2020, there is the public database of accounting (financial) reports (starting from reporting period 2019) in place. The database is also provided by the Federal Tax Service.

The service is available here. When entering the site, make a search first, then translate the resulting page with Google Translate.
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The service allows to checkout whether a company is duly filing its mandatory financials and evaluate the key figures of its business. If an enterprise has an authorised capital of RUB 10 000 while the assets are close to nothing and the debts are sky-high this should naturally be approached with caution.

The reports for years 2012-2018 may be obtained at the Federal Statistics Service.

3. Commercial Disputes Database

If a company is (or has been) involved in any commercial litigation (including bankruptcy) in Russia, this can be tracked through the official Commercial Disputes Database by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. The Database contains the full history of the case, including each procedural order and the final decision as well as all further levels of appeal.

The service is provided here (in Russian). If the website is not accessible from your region, contact us without obligation by email R.Saitov@viklaw.com or submit a written enquiry below.

When entering the site (1) put the ID number of a company at the “Участник дела” (Litigant) bar at the top and (2) press “Найти” (Search) button. The system shows the list of the cases that includes the case number, the court that is currently handling the case and the parties: “Истец” (Plaintiff) and “Ответчик” (Defendant).
The Database may give a valuable insight into a company’s typical modus of operation. A brief overview shows its clients and the amounts it operates with. A deeper research in the case files, that may require additional expertise, reveals the common types of disputes, typical reasoning, questionable contract clauses etc.

4. Enforcement Proceedings Database

Once a court decision on debt recovery has entered into force, the plaintiff can apply for the writ of execution and submit this to Federal Service of Court Officers (marshals), that is in charge of enforcement (money arrest and other coercive measures).

The official database of enforcement proceedings is accessible here (in Russian).

When entering the site (1) choose “Поиск юридических лиц” (Legal entities) in the menu at the top of the page; (2) select the company’s region in the first bar “Территориальные органы” (Regional departments); (3) put the full name of the company in the second bar and (4) press “Найти” (Search).
The search results show the details of ongoing enforcement proceedings, including owed amounts. Large sums may cause concern about the company’s financial stability. Small fines can be interpreted as an evidence of real business activities.

For the detailed risk assessment of dealing with a particular Russian company, please contact us at + 7 (495) 198-09-32 or info@viklaw.com.
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