Russia Business Records And Commerce
Business records include records of manufacturers, trading companies, banks, and other commercial establishments. Since Russia was a totalitarian Communist regime since WWII until 1991, capitalistic enterprises were suppressed. Free enterprise is beginning now to take hold since the fall of USSR.
The St. Petersburg archives often have records of Foreign companies who did business in Russia. These records can include lists of local workers, letters from individuals, contracts, etc.
It helps a lot if the person you are researching had a job in the Soviet era and you know the location of that job. Every ministry, institution, factory, railroad, etc. maintains an archive of its own, which is available for the descendants. To find the personnel file of an ancestor (containing a mandatory handwritten autobiography and filled-in detailed questionnaire forms) you will have to know the year of his/her departure from this job. Each year, the files of dismissed personnel are archived in an alphabetical order.