Small business will be opened for foreigners

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The government agrees to admit foreign small and medium-sized enterprises to the Russian market on the same preferential terms as domestic companies. One of the reasons for removing restrictions is that the goods and services offered by Russian small business for government contracts are often not competitive. But lifting of prohibitions for foreigners will require the creation of a system of confirmation that a foreign legal entity is a subject of small business.

Equal opportunities

The Ministry of Economic Development proposes to remove the restriction on the total share of participation in the authorized capital of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 49% for foreign legal entities. This follows from the amendments to the law "On the development of small and medium-sized businesses in the Russian Federation" prepared by the Ministry, with which learned.

At present, this restriction affects the receipt by companies of the status of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). The lack of status affects the access to tax, administrative and financial benefits.

The proposed abolition of the restriction will not be complete - a company with foreign participation will receive the status of SMEs only if the investor is also a small or medium company.
For a foreign investor, which is not considered by SMEs under Russian law, a 49% restriction in the authorized capital remains.
Today, a small or medium company is recognized by two main criteria - the number of employees and revenue. The average is an enterprise with the number of employees up to 250 people and the marginal revenue for the year to 2 billion rubles. Small is an enterprise with employees no more than 100 and annual revenues of up to 800 million rubles. The status of a microenterprise with a staff of up to 15 people and revenues of up to 120 million rubles is also legally defined. in year.
The status of companies affects the receipt of benefits - most of them are provided for small businesses.
Tax benefits can be used through a simplified taxation system or a single tax on imputed tax. In addition, for small businesses, there are supervisory holidays, preferential leases for buildings and premises. Also, the state guarantees for SMEs a 15 percent share in public procurement.

The government from time to time supports small business and direct subsidies. In 2017, for example, subsidies are provided for reimbursement of part of the costs under leasing contracts and for compensation for interest on loans and borrowings.

Representatives of the business community are not against the proposed innovations. Public Commissioner for the Protection of Small and Medium Business Viktor Ermakov said that "this is the norm that was expected."
According to him, "entry to the market for foreign SMEs and competition will increase, and will encourage Russian enterprises to develop."
He notes that now, for example, the norm on participation in the state order of Russian SMEs is difficult to fulfill due to the low level of quality of products and services and a low level of competitiveness in different sectors.
Identification of SMEs
The cancellation of the threshold of 49% for foreign investors in Russian SMEs is not raised by anyone in the government. The bill is coordinated in the FAS, the Federal Tax Service and the Ministry of Justice. The amendment of the legislation will facilitate greater involvement of foreigners in participating in SMEs and attracting foreign investment, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade believes.

It was more difficult to agree on how to identify foreign SMEs and keep the barrier for large foreign companies.
"Now there is not as such an authority that establishes belonging to SMEs. This happens automatically on the basis of information at the disposal of the Federal Tax Service and received in the framework of the provision of tax reporting, "- explained" "in the Ministry of Economic Development.
Since December 2015, the register of small and medium-sized enterprises is maintained by the Federal Tax Service. In the base of tax specialists 20,4 thousand medium enterprises and 266,9 thousand small enterprises were registered. In the case of foreign founders, the tax does not have information on foreign organizations - whether they refer to small, medium or large businesses.
The abolition of restrictions for foreign SMEs will require the creation of a system for confirming the status of a foreign legal entity.

The Ministry of Economic Development proposes to carry out identification by a declarative procedure. Confirmation of compliance of foreign legal entities with the average number of employees and the amount of income from doing business is proposed to be based on the conclusion of an audit firm or an individual auditor.
The only ministry that challenged the adoption of the law, removing restrictions from foreign SMEs, was the Ministry of Finance.
Moreover, the department does not object to admit foreigners to this sector of the economy, but only challenges the auditors to provide the FTS with information on foreign SMEs in full.

As a result, the bill came to the government with a table of disagreements that would require agreement in the White House.