The article deals with analytical constructions consisting of a delexicalized verb and an abstract noun, semantically equivalent to a verb, in business documents of the late 17th century. The currently much-discussed question of interpretation of such constructions is touched upon, in particular the completeness of the term "semantic cleavage of the predicate" is disputed. Lexico-semantic and syntactic features of verbs and nouns used in constructions of this type are considered. The author argues that a tendency to extensive use of similar structures in the business language, which developed during the 18th century (a turning period for the Russian language), had emerged already at the end of the 17th century. This point is illustrated by Transbaikalian business documents from that chronological period.