Maxima Legal lawyers told Forbes what will change in business laws in 2023

Maxim Ali - Partner Nikita Deynega — Partner

In the past year, Russia regularly introduced amendments to legislation that changed the rules of the game for entrepreneurs.

Nikita Deynega, Senior Associate and Head of Tax & Administrative Law Practice at Maxima Legal, explained to Forbes Russia that the main trend in 2022 was the reactivity of changes: many of the amendments to laws were adopted in response to the anti-Russian sanctions. According to the expert, the tendency to constantly establish, adjust, and repeal anti-sanctions restrictions by adopting various laws will continue in 2023.

At the same time, as Nikita pointed out, most of the initiatives of 2022 concerned tax and currency legislation, but new tax regulations will also be introduced in 2023. For example, a significant change for Russians working for local companies from abroad could be the reduction of income tax (personal income tax) from 30% to 13%, as proposed by the Ministry of Finance. “The development of the initiative is also closely watched by companies that have already relocated, [but continue to operate through a Russian legal entity], or are planning to relocate. [If the tax is not reduced] they will need to budget for additional payroll costs in order to maintain the same level of financial security for employees,” commented Nikita Deynega.

Furthermore, Maxim Ali, Partner and Head of  IP/IT practice at Maxima Legal, told Forbes Russia that starting from June 2023, “long-awaited” changes in the field of intellectual property will take effect in Russia. They will allow individuals without the status of individual entrepreneurs, including self-employed citizens, to be right holders of trademarks.

Now a trademark can only be owned by a legal entities or individual entrepreneurs, so complicated situations are often created, Maxim said. “For example, an individual entrepreneur died and his heirs have no an individual entrepreneur status. Or a legal entity goes into liquidation and all property [including trademarks] has to go to the founders without individual entrepreneur status. In the end, an entrepreneur himself may sometimes forget about these features and fail to monitor that his status of  individual entrepreneur is terminated”.

Under current law, if a trademark is inherited by a person without an individual entrepreneur status, he or she  must either obtain the status within one year, or transfer the rights to the trademark to another individual entrepreneur or a company. Otherwise the trademark may be terminated prematurely. According to the expert, in practice there have been “very offensive” cases for rights holders: An  individual entrepreneur voluntarily terminated its status and because of this lost the right to a trademark. “Formally, in such a case there was not even an extra year to re-register as an  individual entrepreneur [and regain trademark rights],” explained Maxim Ali.

To read the full article (in Russian) please visit Forbes Russia website >>>