Licensing is a state function and it translates into the issuance of a special permit for the right to carry out a specific type of activity by a legal entity or individual entrepreneur (performing work, rendering services that represent the licensed type of activity).

The most wide-scale areas of activity that are subject to licensing are the following: educational activities, medical activities, retail sale of alcoholic beverages, activities of installation, maintenance and repair of fire safety equipment for buildings and structures, and pharmaceutical activities. These 5 areas account for 384.4 thousand active licenses, or 62% of the total number of licenses (as of January 1, 2019).

The key legislative act in the field of licensing is the Federal Law No. 99-FZ of May 4, 2011 "On Licensing of Certain Types of Activities", which determines the licensing procedure for 52 types of activities. These types of activities are subject to fully unified procedures for organizing and implementing licensing, including the list of documents to be provided, the procedure for granting licenses, license renewal, license suspension, license revalidation and cancellation, organization and conduct of license control, maintaining registers of issued licenses and establishing open and public information resources on licensing, the use of electronic document management, reporting on licensing activities, assessment of licensing efficiency and effectiveness. With regard to 18 types of licensing activities, an independent licensing procedure has been established.

Thanks to the adoption of the Federal Law No. 99-FZ, the field of licensing has been modernized.

Unlimited license validity has been established. If necessary, the license may be terminated at the request of the licensee. Licenses obtained before the effective date of the law, upon expiration of their validity at the request of the licensee became unlimited too, which led to a reduction in the financial and material costs of licensees.

Electronic document management has been introduced. To simplify the documentation procedure during licensing, as of July 1, 2012, the license applicant and licensee have the right to submit to the licensing agency applications and documents for obtaining and renewing a license, as well as to receive notifications and other documents in the form of an electronic document signed with an electronic digital signature.

The licensing control procedure has been reformed. This measure ensures the protection of the licensees’ interests and extends to them the guarantees established by the Federal Law No. 294-FZ “On the Protection of the Rights of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs When Carrying Out State Control (Supervision) and Municipal Control”.

In addition, the Federal Law of December 27, 2019 No. 478-FZ introduced a registry model for the provision of licensing services. In accordance with the model, entries in the electronic registry are given the priority licenses in print format. This will allow to put together legally valid data in electronic form, and to reduce the costs of business entities and the state.

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