As of October 1, 2003 4,793,000 individual entrepreneurs have been registered in Russia, or 3.3 percent of the country's population, deputy minister of taxes and levies Mikhail Mishustin said at a press conference on Wednesday.
He also reported that about 140,000 individual entrepreneurs are being registered in the country every year.
The deputy minister believes that not many people want to open individual business in Russia. That is why additional incentives should be introduced to further develop entrepreneurship.
Mishustin emphasised that beginning from January 2004 it will be the taxation bodies rather than municipal entities and registration chambers that will register individual entrepreneurs. He is also of the opinion that the new procedure "will allow to simplify the registration of individual entrepreneurs and remove excessive administration barriers in the development of small businesses." In compliance with the new rules, the registration procedure of individual businessmen will be of a declarative rather than an authorizing nature.