Being the largest country in the world based on area, Russia stands in 9th place in terms of population. There are many types of business ideas in Russia, especially in bigger cities like Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Novgorod, and Samara, etc.
Whether you are a native or a foreigner, there are plenty of business ideas in Russia. Russia ranks among the top 20 economies of the World. Therefore, you have many business areas to explore in Russia.
List of Top 30 Business Ideas in Russia
With a vast area and a huge reserve of natural resources, the Russian economy is growing fast and thereby allows you to execute your business ideas in Russia within limited resources, on a small scale, and even from home. Let us classify the business ideas in Russia into four broad categories. They are:
- Medium Scale Business Ideas in Russia
- Small Business Ideas in Russia
- Home-based Business Ideas in Russia
- Online Business Ideas in Russia
Medium Scale Business Ideas in Russia
1. Cooking Gas Distribution
Cooking gas is an essential item with widespread demand. This can be a very good business for you, especially if you are based in a big city like Moscow.
You need to have the necessary government registration and license to open your cooking gas distribution business. Russia is rich in mineral and natural gas resources. So, this business will be a good one for you.
2. Engineering Firm
Russia is an industrially developed country and so there is always a demand for machinery. If you are technically skilled, you can start your business as an engineering firm.
There are plenty of opportunities for you to manufacture different kinds of machinery. You can manufacture machinery and equipment for different sectors like construction, medical treatment, printing, or drilling.
Do good researches on the demand for the type of machinery in the area where you wish to set up your business. Also, find out the availability of workforce and transport facilities.
There is a need for advertising for every company, big or small and Russia is no exception. So, you can think of starting an advertising agency in Russia, which is a good business idea.
You can design printed advertisements, make audio-visual advertisements, or banners and posters, flyers as per your clients’ requirements. Try to follow the local tradition, custom, and preference of Russia in designing or writing the content of advertisements.
Remember one thing: you have to be well aware of the media, online portals as well as social media prevalent in Russia and release the advertisements accordingly. Few successful advertisement campaigns will help to increase your client base many times.
4. Medicine Distribution
There cannot be any country or region in the world without the demand for medicine. Therefore, a medicine distribution business is a very good business idea for you to start in Russia.
Independent distributors have certain advantages in Russia, as the big Pharmaceutical companies prefer them to the big pharmacy chains. Hence, you can avail of this opportunity to grow up your business.
Remember to have a common idea of medicines like generic medicines, prescription medicines, or over counter medicines, etc.
In this age of digital revolution smartphones and mobile apps have become a kind of necessity. If you have the knowledge and skill to develop mobile apps, you can start your mobile app development company in Russia.
You can choose among the popular app ideas like games, healthcare, food, news, fashion, etc. However, it is better if you can do something innovative and try to establish your brand in the world of apps. Try to think of something beneficial for the family or child-centric other than games.
Small Scale Business Ideas in Russia
6. Fish & Seafood
Russia has a long coastline with access to three oceans, twelve seas, and numerous rivers. Therefore, you have plenty of opportunities in the business of fish as well as seafood. Russia has a huge demand for fish and seafood.
Therefore, you can start your fish farming business and expect a high return. You can begin your business on a small scale and gradually increase the size of your business with increasing profits.
The agricultural sector is important in the Russian economy. It is a major exporter of grains. That is why; farming can be a very good and profitable business idea. The major crop is wheat and it gives a very good return. The other important crops are barley, oats, potatoes, legumes, flax seeds, fruits, and vegetables like apples, carrots, cabbages, tomatoes, etc.
You can take agricultural land on lease. You can also buy equipment at a reasonable price. The Russian Government’s credit policy will also help you in setting up the business of farming. Thus, this is a profitable business idea for you in Russia.
Opening a butcher house is a very lucrative business in Russia. The meat production in the country has grown in recent times and so has the demand. Therefore, you can start your business of butchery in Russia as the consumption of beef, pork and poultry meat will continue to increase among the people, ensuring high profits for you.
In Russia, you need a Government license and permit to start a butcher house. The Government has certain specific locations where you can butcher an animal for consumption. Therefore, before you start your business, you have to obtain official permission for it.
9. Timber Transport
Russia is rich in forest resources. That is why timber is also abundant here, and Russia exports timber, which gives you a good business opportunity in this country. You can start the business of transporting timber from the forests to the processing centers. You can start this business on a small scale with one truck that you can drive yourself.
There is a good demand for timber in Russia. Therefore, this business can ensure high returns for you. Later you can scale up your business by adding more trucks and employing drivers.
10. Furniture Making
Associated with timber, comes the business idea of furniture making. You can start your business of furniture making in Russia, as the demand for home as well as office furniture is quite high in this country.
If you know the skill, it is very good. Even if you do not know, you can learn or take a short course on furniture making. Try to find a niche in your products, which will attract customers and make your business bigger.
11. Metal & Manufacture
Russia is rich in mineral reserves. There is also good demand for agricultural and other tools and equipment. Therefore, the manufacturing of metal tools is a prospective business area here.
As industrialization is on the rise in Russia, you can take advantage of this and start the business of making small parts and tools of machinery on a small and medium scale. These tools have a good demand, which will help your business grow faster reaping more profits.
Tourists from all over the world visit Russia round the year. There are plenty of places of tourists’ interest like the Siberian Tundra to beaches along the oceans and seas to the Kremlin, Lake Baikal, Red Square, Hermitage Museum, Saint Basil’s Cathedral to name a few. This proves that tourism is an excellent business in Russia. You can start your tourism business in Russia and expect good returns.
Your service can range from booking tickets, arranging for accommodation in different hotels to organize conducted tours as well as luxury cruises according to the wish and demands of the tourists. Do good research on the geography and rich historical heritage of Russia and plan different types of conducted tours.
13. Gift Shop
Opening a gift shop is a very profitable business in Russia. The Russians are fond of gifts and it has a rich heritage of handicrafts. Therefore, you can start a business of a gift shop on a small scale.
The Russians love to buy gifts and the tourists coming to this country buy gifts and souvenirs. Hence, your business will have a good profit.
14. Coffee Shop
The people of Russia are very fond of coffee because of the cold climate. That is why; you can very well start a business coffee shop. You do not need a very high investment for this business.
Remember, you have to select a proper location for your coffee shop to flourish. Choose a crowded and busy place for your coffee shop, like the marketplace or the office area or areas where tourists visit frequently.
15. Bar & Snacks Joint
This is a good small-scale business idea in Russia. People are fond of drinks and snacks, especially grilled snacks. You can start your business of bars and snacks serving different types of drinks, cocktails, and a variety of snacks.
Remember to find a good location, where you can also have an open bar, where your investment can be less. To be innovative, you can include cuisines of different countries in your snacks menu, which will attract customers and set up a brand value for your business.
Home-based Business Ideas in Russia
The bakery is a good home-based business idea in Russia, as bakery items have a worldwide demand. You can start this business from your kitchen, with a little investment in a good oven and some utensils.
You can start with basic items like bread, sponge cakes, and cupcakes and deliver them to your locality. It depends on word-of-mouth publicity as it works well in the food business. You can also take the help of flyers or social media.
After some time, try to make signature items like special cakes and pastries, tarts, doughnuts, etc. Give special discounts on festivals, make your presence in small parties, and get together. This will help you make more contacts, which means getting more orders and some office orders also.
17. Cleaning Service
Cleaning service is a good business area, as the demand for it is constantly increasing. You can do this business from home, in your capacity. You need to have good contacts and an eye for cleanliness.
This can be a home-based business, where you can have your office and use your cell phone or make a website for contacts. You can do both domestic as well as office cleaning. You need little investments in vacuum cleaners, cleaning lotions, cloth, and room fresheners.
Start your business in your neighborhood and then scale up the business with more contact through the website, social media, and distribution of flyers.
18. Language Translation
The Russian language is a popular language, next to English in internet usage, one of the official languages in the United Nations and the space stations. If you are conversant with a language other than Russian, like English, French, Spanish, etc. a translation service is a prospective business for you in Russia.
You can start the business from home with the translation of different official documents, legal documents, or even literary translations from other languages to Russian. All that you need is a computer and a good contact level to get the job. You will get payments on either per page or per word basis.
Remember one point: you can do this job online also. You get many translation jobs from different online portals like Upwork, Freelancer, etc.
19. Children’s Service
If you are fond of children and can manage them well, children’s service can be your profitable business in Russia. One can start it at home and give different types of services.
You can give them pre-school training, or teach them dance or music. Furthermore, one can also give language lessons or conduct fitness classes for the kids. All of these have a good demand in Russia and can get you a good income.
20. Financial Consultancy
Financial consultancy is always a good business idea. Russia has a good demand for such consultants. If you are a certified financial expert, this is a very lucrative business idea in Russia.
You can set up your consultancy service at home with a computer and a stable internet connection. It is better if you can have your website, describing the details of the services you can provide. Start your business with your known people and add their comments to the website. This will fetch you more clients.
You need a good and thorough knowledge of the banking system, investment opportunities, Government laws, and the economic structure of Russia. Try to make good contacts and publicize your service network through online and print media advertisements, social networks, and flyers.
21. Designer Clothes and Accessories
The new-age Russians have a great preference for designer clothes and accessories. If designing is your passion, or you have an eye for designer clothes and accessories, this business is an extremely bright and prospective business idea for you.
This can be a good business to start from home. Remember to do good research on the choice and popularity of the types of clothes and dresses in the country. Since Russia has a severe winter season, do not forget to design for the winter fashion, like sweaters, hats, boots, etc.
22. Printing and Copying
As the Russian economy is rising and industrialization is on the rise, there is always a demand for quick printing and copying services. Therefore, you can figure yourself in this business and you can start this business from home.
You can start with printouts, 3D prints, flyers, covers, and large-scale copying and scanning of documents. You need good printers, copiers and advertising your service. Remember, to be successful in this business, you have to be prompt in service and particular about the deadline.
23. Selling Handmade Goods like Candles, Jewelry
Handmade goods have a good demand in Russia among both the locals as well as the tourists who visit Russia throughout the year. This is a prospective business idea for you and can be home-based.
If you have a knack for making things like Candles (preferably perfumed ones) or jewelry, this is an ideal business for you. You can also buy handmade things from lesser-known sources and sell them from home.
Social media is a good platform for publicity and getting orders in this business. Do not forget to do the research on the choice and popularity of the handmade items and structure your business accordingly.
24. Sports Goods Supply
Russia is a land of numerous successful sportspersons and sports plays a very prominent and important role among youngsters. Therefore, you can start a home-based sports goods supply business.
You can sell sports equipment like rackets, skis, balls and other things like jerseys, boots, balls, etc. Do good research on the type of sports prevalent in your area of business and keep things accordingly.
Try to keep in touch with local schools, colleges, and sports training institutes to scale up your business and get more clients.
25. Private Nursing Service
With the increase in the aging population, the demands for private nurses are increasing in Russia. You can start this business by providing the service yourself. This is a good home-based business idea.
You can also hire nurses under you and monitor the nursing service from your home. Try to make a good contact base locally and if you want to pursue the business with hired nurses, make sure they are efficient and trustworthy.
Online Business Ideas in Russia
26. Academic Consultancy
There are many colleges and universities in Russia, where international students come to study. They need guidance in the new land with admission formalities and a host of other areas. Some Russian students aspire to study abroad at higher levels.
This situation creates a good business opportunity for you as an Academic Consultant. You can start this business online with the facilities of video chat and other online communication. You must also have a good idea of the academic scenario and admission formalities of different universities in Russia and other foreign countries.
Arrange for online form filling and online tests at your center for value addition. Also, try to find out the best stream and institution for the students.
27. Retail Trading
Online retailing is a very good business idea in Russia, as the purchasing capacity of the Russians is very good. This can be your ideal online business.
You can trade on several things from groceries to daily provisions, from beauty products to organic fruits and vegetables. You need to do good research on the demand for goods in your area of business.
28. Virtual Assistant
The concept of virtual assistants in different companies and business houses is gaining popularity every day. This is your business opportunity online, sitting at your place. Moreover, you can serve several clients as a virtual assistant and get a good income.
You can get many contacts through portals like Freelancer, Truelancer, and Upwork. Upload your CV and give preference to the job of Virtual Assistant. You will get several contacts.
29. Star A Blog
There are several famous blog writers in Russia. You can also start your blog writing business online in Russia. There are many subjects and angles of blog writing for you to choose from.
You can write blogs on traveling, income opportunities, history, and culture of Russia, the evolution of the culture, or the rising economy of Russia. Think of your expertise or area of interest, and select the subject.
30. Online Machine Tool Rental Service
There are many farmers or small manufacturers in Russia, who cannot afford to buy all the necessary tools required for their work. Hence, you can start an online tool rental business for them.
You can rent tools like a mower, hand drillers, welding machines, forklifts, spanners, screwdrivers, hammers, chisels, and many more. You have to buy them and rent them out online and get a good income.
Can a Foreigner start a Business in Russia?
Yes, any foreigner can start a business in Russia. However, If you are an outsider and wish to invest in a business idea in Russia, you need to follow certain norms and formalities. As a foreigner, you have several options to start your business in Russia.
- You can register your business as an entrepreneur or proprietorship company.
- Start your business in Russia as a branch of your business elsewhere.
- Russian Government can also allow you to set up your business as a Limited Liability Company, Partnership, or a Public-Private Joint Venture Company. In this way, your Legal entity can be established.
The Changing Economic Face of Russia
The large country with a large economy and high purchasing power of the people- Russia presents a bright picture in different kinds of business ideas for you to develop and get profits.
With the end of the Soviet era, the approach towards development and liberalism has changed in Russia. The Government is now more open to new business ideas and foreign investments. Digitization has made filing and registration simpler and faster.
There is scope for competitive prices and a better quality of goods and services. The scope of the training of the workforce has increased. This results in a better quality of customer service in the country.
With a high percentage of the population receiving high-school education, the workforce of Russia is educated compared to any other European country. The price of labor may not be very low, but it is low in comparison to other European countries.
How to Start a Business in Russia?
Thus, you can see, your business ideas in Russia can very well be successful. However, to be successful in your business, you have to remember certain things
First, you have to be thorough about the Government norms and regulations about the business idea you are going to execute. There are many rules, licenses, permits for different types of business ideas in Russia and you are required to follow them.
Secondly, any business idea in Russia needs good research on supply, demand, and popularity. You have to do good research on the demand for the product or service you are planning to offer.
Thirdly, for any business idea in Russia, you have to build up good local contact to be successful. This is especially applicable to businesses from home. Local contacts will fetch you more clients and build your professional goodwill.
Last, but not least is your dedication and a good idea on the business idea in Russia, its significance in the country. Remember, without a good idea and knowledge, it is not possible to achieve success in any of the business ideas.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their business. Our aim is to educate the entrepreneur on the various stages of entrepreneurship.