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Tips for Registering Software with the Ministry of Digital

March 04, 2024
6 min.
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For eight years, our team made do with third-party off-the-shelf and cloud-based business management software. Their sidebars provided functionality for various activities, were extensively expanded, and proved inconvenient. However, the primary concern with external software was the lack of control and dependence on them during system failures. Fueled by growing dissatisfaction with third-party software in 2019, we decided to create our own, tailored to meet the requirements of our digital agency.

We gradually digitized the company's workflows and transferred them to a corporate system. After four years of development, we successfully created a genuinely useful tool for agencies, studios, and IT departments. Recognizing the practical significance of our ERP system, we felt the need to share it with colleagues and officially bring the software to the market. Additional motivation for inclusion in the registry came from the incentives provided by the Ministry of Digital:

  • reduction of insurance contributions to 7.6%,
  • exemption from VAT on the sale of software licenses,
  • advantages in government procurement and other incentives.

To formalize MTunit, we sought assistance from a company specializing in legal support for software registration with the Ministry of Digital. While expert guidance significantly simplified the complex process, it did not eliminate a set of challenges.

 Challenges in Software Registration We Encountered

  1. We had to invest a considerable amount of time in creating a detailed description of the functional capabilities of our ERP system, as well as in developing installation and operation instructions for the software. A step-by-step guide was necessary to ensure that Ministry of Digital specialists could correctly deploy and verify the software instance we submitted. It's worth noting that providing only a link, even for a cloud product, is not allowed.
  2. Unexpectedly, we faced stringent limitations on the software stack, leading us to rewrite part of the code due to the inclusion of libraries prohibited in Russia. However, this resulted in our software being entirely Russian-developed.
  3. We were unaware that the company needed corresponding accounting documents. Until 2023, our financial management was outsourced, and the specialist was not deeply involved in the agency's operations. When we hired an in-house accountant, they had to quickly familiarize themselves with the information and prepare the required documentation, including orders and acts related to software creation and the asset ledger.
  4. During the development process, we did not consider the naming of the future program. When it was time to submit documents, what was initially a non-priority task turned into a problem. Our team hastily went through ERP names, considering over 100 options from marketers and employees from various departments. In the end, we concluded that retaining the working title of the system was the best choice.
In early October 2023, we successfully registered our proprietary software – the MTunit ERP system for digital agencies. Our development is now listed in the Unified Registry of Russian Computer Programs and Databases under number №19395.

While we prepared everything required, the process consumed a colossal amount of resources for data gathering and analysis. If our team had known in advance what challenges awaited, we would have documented from the beginning and avoided being constrained by tight timelines. To prevent similar challenges for you, we offer detailed recommendations.

Tips for Those Who Want to Register Software

Take Your Time, or You Might Be Late

Don't rush to submit your application to the Ministry of Digital if you have a raw product or MVP without a detailed written breakdown of functionality. It's especially crucial not to approach the ministry if you're at the very beginning of software development. In the initial stages, focus more on documentation, backlog, risks, and budgeting.

Build a Dedicated Development Team

It's a mistake to embark on a project without the necessary resources: people and time. You need a dedicated team that can accomplish all tasks within the planned budget. Don't forget about a financial safety net for unforeseen circumstances that may force you to pause or extend the project. Sick leaves, resignations, and salary increases are also part of the equation.

Establish Order

Keep track of development time, concurrently describing functionality, and notify the accountant about collecting the necessary documentation on their end. If you have multiple legal entities or firms, determine which one will hold the software on the balance sheet.

Seek Professional Help

While we didn't seek a company to handle everything for us, preferring to understand the document preparation process ourselves, attempting to register software with the Ministry of Digital without expert legal assistance is akin to a ticket to hell. On the second or third attempt, you'll either give up or still turn to specialists.

The optimal solution is to opt for consulting and support. This way, you'll grasp all the registration processes and learn how to submit additional reports to the Ministry of Digital annually. Thanks to our partnership experience with legal experts, we gained the skills needed, which we plan to use in the future to register our new IT products.

Web application development

We will work out the concept, create an adaptive interface, expand the functionality of digital products and test for errors. We will find approaches even to non-standard tasks. You will receive a web application based on a modern technology stack with relevant solutions for your business.

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Publication author:

Lubov Azarnova