How can freelancers accept payments in other countries?

Since the end of February, Russia left from fifty to seventy thousand IT-specialists. It is difficult to calculate the total number of people who left, but, according to some sources, it is about 200 thousand people of different professions.

Some statistics:

  • Over the past two months, about 9,000 people came to Israel from Ukraine (almost three times more than in the whole of 2021), 6,000 people from Russia and 400 Belarusians, reports ministry.

  • According to Serbian media, in two months arrived between 20,000 and 30,000 people, and Belgrade banks are seeing an influx of Russians opening accounts.

  • In Uzbekistan since the end of February 2022 program more than 2,000 specialists took advantage of relocation for IT developers, and the dynamics of the influx of residents to the IT park doubled.

  • From February 28 to March 31, about 27,000 new accounts of non-residents in different currencies were opened in commercial banks of Armenia for more than 8,500 individuals, the vast majority of whom are Russian residents.

There are freelancers among those who have left. It is not so important who they are – designers, developers or targetologists, what is important is that in a new country they are ready to continue working in the usual way. However, the usual methods of receiving payment for their work are not available today.

Freelancers who have traveled abroad cannot use Russian VISA/MasterCard cards. Let’s figure out how it is now easy and legal to receive payments from customers from Russia and other countries while abroad.

Georgia

transactions with Russia. Almost all Russian banks are under sanctions in Georgia. Local Banks do not serve MIR cards, in addition, the acceptance of these cards for payment counts breaking the law.

International transfers. To receive transfers, you must open a bank account. This can be done without registering an individual entrepreneur – however, with the constant movement of funds on the account without documents, the tax office may have questions. It is easier to open an IP – this can be done remotely, the registration process takes about 30 minutes.

  • Account opening. To open an account and issue a card in most banks in Georgia, a foreigner will only need a foreign passport. Exceptions are Liberty Bank and Basisbank, which work only with residents. A complete list can be found on the website of the local Central Bank.

  • IP form. The registration fee varies from 20 to 50 lari (450-1100 rubles) for individual entrepreneurs and from 100 to 200 lari (2200-4400 rubles) for LLC. Registering a business takes up to two days.

  • Taxes. Income tax is 15%, however, with an annual income of no more than 30 thousand lari, a business is exempt from income tax, and a small business with an annual income of no more than 100 thousand lari pays 3-5% of income.

  • Residence. Without a residence permit, you can live in Georgia for up to one year. After this period, it is enough to leave for a day in neighboring Turkey, Armenia or Azerbaijan – the Russian Federation has established a visa-free regime with them.

    The presence of an individual entrepreneur with an annual turnover of at least 50 thousand GEL provides the right to obtain a temporary residence permit. It can also be issued by enrolling in a local university, buying real estate for at least $35,000, or by marrying the owner of a residence permit in Georgia.

    After six years of residence in the country with a temporary residence permit, you can get a permanent residence permit, which will also apply to family members.

Armenia

transactions with Russia. Transfers between Armenian and Russian banks go through the SPFS system (the Russian analogue of SWIFT), so it is real to receive money from Russia. In addition, it is quite convenient to pay with them on the spot – in the Republic of Armenia, MIR cards are accepted throughout the country’s payment infrastructure.

International transfers. In any Armenian bank, you can open an account with a foreign passport. It is possible to open an account online for individuals and non-resident legal entities.

In Armenia, non-residents can easily open an IP to accept payments as a legal entity. The process of registering a company will take 1-2 weeks, you will also need a social card – its registration will take 1-2 days, you only need a passport:

  • Account opening. In the application early one you can find out which banks open accounts for Russians. In most cases, a previously opened individual entrepreneur is enough to open an account, but some banks may ask for an additional social security card.

    Currency residents of the Russian Federation (that is, citizens of the Russian Federation in the status of an individual or having the status of an Armenian individual entrepreneur) can only credit rubles to their foreign accounts.

  • Registration of IP in the State Register of Legal Entities. It is carried out in the Business Entry one-stop shop at the Ministry of Justice, the employees speak Russian. Better to arrive early to avoid queuing. For registration, you will need a passport and its translation into Armenian so that there are no transliteration errors during registration.

    Legal address in Armenia. Needed to receive correspondence, including from the tax office.

    Armenian phone number. To buy a SIM card, you only need a passport, but it is important to clarify whether it will work in Russia if you are planning regular trips. Paid stamp duty. You need to have 3200 drams (about 480 rubles at the current exchange rate) in cash with you.

  • Issuance of a social security card. It is issued at the police station, it is better to come to the opening – in the afternoon the office is crowded.

    Required documents: international passport and its translation into Armenian. Social cards are issued the next day after the application.

Turkey

Transactions with Russia: MIR cards work in Turkey, but in fact they are accepted by ATMs of only three local banks and some outlets. Therefore, receiving transfers from Russia should not be a problem, except that sometimes you have to spend time on the road to an ATM.

International transfers: To open an account in Turkey, a foreigner will need either a residence permit or a tax number, which can be obtained from the Tax Office (Vergi Dairesi Müdürlüğü) of the city municipality or do online.

  • Account opening. To open a Turkish bank account using a tax number, you will need a standard package of documents: three 3×4 photos, TIN, the original passport with all the necessary marks on crossing the Turkish border, the original internal passport of your country, where the registration is indicated.

    Some Turkish banks ask you to take with you not only the passport itself, but also a copy of it. A copy is certified by a notary, translated into Turkish (only pages with personal data and registration). You will also need a document confirming your place of residence in the Republic of Turkey: TAPU for property owners or a lease agreement, a utility bill.

    If you plan to use Internet banking services in the future, you will need a SIM card issued by one of the mobile operators in Turkey.

    If you have a residence permit, you will need a copy of it, your TIN and a passport. The account will be opened on the day of application.

  • Residence. To apply for a residence permit, you must write an application and attach your passport, biometric photographs, medical insurance and a rental agreement to it.

How to receive money no matter where you are

One of the important differences between a planned relocation and a forced one is that you end up not in the country you wanted to, but in the one you were able to get to. The documentary and legal registration of one’s status in such a country limits, binds to a temporary place of residence.

In the current situation, the most convenient way for freelancers is to use special services that help make payments around the world, regardless of where the performer is located and what his tax status is. One of these services is Solar Staff. It guarantees the security of translations, regardless of the location of the customer and the performer.

You can withdraw money to cards, current accounts or electronic wallets. At the same time, cards are automatically recognized by the country of the issuing bank and are classified into two groups: Russian banks (issued in the Russian Federation) and foreign banks (issued outside the Russian Federation). The service allows you to withdraw funds in rubles, dollars or euros, performing automatic currency conversion if necessary.

Thanks to the use of Solar Staff, a freelancer does not have to open an IP in the host country – it is enough to get a card that will work in it or use an electronic wallet. For performers, the service is free, it is suitable for cooperation between Russian companies and foreign and Russian freelancers, and vice versa – for cooperation between freelancers from the Russian Federation and foreign companies. In addition, the service generates closing documents for the customer and the contractor.

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