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Your business: how to open a collection agency

Until recently, collection activities in Russia did not have legal regulation, but since July 2014, everything has changed. Now the rights and obligations of collectors, as well as debtors, are precisely spelled out in the law. Moreover, now the agency for the collection of problem debts has the right to exist – previously, all such companies acted “semi-legal”. However, the opening of a collection agency is not only difficult in legal matters, but also in matters of organization, because the risks of such an undertaking are very high. At the same time, the state imposes certain requirements on such organizations, and not every entrepreneur is able to fulfill the prescribed instructions. The main thing is that today there is an opportunity to open legally a collection agency and even make money in this direction, although in general the government is more interested in helping debtors (in any case, recent legislation is more beneficial to them).

For a start, there is a need to register your legal entity, while becoming an individual entrepreneur is not worth it – this is fraught with the inability to engage in such activities, and the nature of the work is such that it will be easier to act as a legal entity. Although formally IP can become a collection agency. The registration procedure is, in general, standard, and obtaining licenses for collection activities is not required, but you need to understand that only an agency that is part of one of the self-regulating organizations that unite collectors is legal. The main condition when choosing an SRO for a novice entrepreneur is that at least 10 collection agencies should be part of it. Only in this way can a self-regulating organization be recognized as acting within the legal field. But the conditions for joining an SRO may vary greatly depending on its charter, somewhere a membership fee may be required, somewhere – generally required monthly payments, an SRO may form an insurance fund, and members of a self-regulating organization may be required to provide it. It’s hardly possible to say precisely here — after the registration, the entrepreneur will have to contact more than one office in order to compare all the conditions in all of them. It should also be borne in mind that in the region of work there may be a limited number of such firms, because the law came into force relatively recently, and the market has not yet been fully formed. That is, an entrepreneur should understand that he starts such a business, in which there are still a lot of difficulties and ambiguities, and even experienced businessmen who have been holding collection agencies for many years can not quite adjust their work in accordance with new realities. It should be noted that the company itself must have an insurance fund, because the work of collectors implies the possibility of causing some harm to the debtors, at least moral, and the company must be able to answer for the consequences of its activities. The amount of the insurance fund can be very large (from 10 million rubles), and therefore not every entrepreneur will be able to open such a company. That is, in essence, simply opening an agency does not require a large amount of money (even 500 thousand may be enough to open a small office), but its work must be provided with reserve funds, because the collector may be responsible even to individuals.

Next, you need to think about finding space for your agency, and many offices are opening, renting a very small room. However, here you may be faced with the fact that in the process of working you will need more space, and a specially equipped one. The fact is that when collecting debts, the debtor’s property may have to be withdrawn, and it must be kept before being sold somewhere, and outsourcing companies can help if the agency does not want or is not able to maintain its own full-fledged warehouse. In general, it is enough to open a representative office with a size of 30-50 m2, in a larger area there is simply no point, because at first it is unlikely that you will have to have a significant staff. So, you need to look for office space, and not necessarily in the central areas of the city, because the agency does not have to take a large number of people.

The cost of rent depends on a huge number of factors, but in any case, an entrepreneur will have to rely on a rather large amount by the standards of his region, because it is the office space that should be rented, preferably, already equipped with everything necessary or at least simply renovated. Calling accurate prices makes no sense, because when comparing cities of federal significance and small provincial settlements, the difference can be several times. Another thing is that it is not worth opening a collection agency in a small town, because there will not be work there at all, although it will be much easier.

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