Russian lawmakers can deal a serious blow to the market of criminal history check, as they are considering including information about shareholders criminal records under the Article 159 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Fraud”) into the Unified State Register of Legal Entities (rus. ЕГРЮЛ). The data about the founders of bankrupt companies can also be added to the Register.

It is a widely known fact that some private detectives and security companies render criminal records check services to their clients. They provide information about the citizens involved in administrative and criminal litigations.

Quality of such information is quite low; nevertheless these services are popular in the market in the absence of legal alternatives. Adding the information about shareholders criminal liability (at least under several articles of the Criminal Code) into the official Register will allow many clients to quit using such dubious data.

However, this initiative has a negative side as well: in addition to increasing business risks, the amount of companies controlled by nominees and dummy shareholders may considerably grow. As a result, the approach to risk assessment while signing the contract with new partners may change a lot.