Estonian e-Residency Processes and How They Can Build Your Online Business

Estonia is the first country in the world to allow foreigners to become e-Residents without ever having to visit the country. In 2014, Estonia launched its e-Residency process, allowing all non-Estonians who apply and receive a special identity card to access many services in Estonia that were previously only available to citizens. Becoming an e-Resident of Estonia can have many benefits – especially if you’re an entrepreneur. How exactly can e-Residency help your business? Let’s find out.

What is the e-Residency process?

If you’re looking for a way to do business in Estonia without actually moving there and having to deal with a ton of paperwork, getting an e-Residency might be the easiest way. You can receive an e-Residency card anywhere in the world, provided you have access to an Estonian embassy nearby.

With your new smart ID, you get officially recognized digital identification that allows you to sign documents, set up companies, and even declare taxes. There are many more features available, and the e-Residency process is constantly evolving since 2014, with additional features being added regularly.

Why would you want to open a company in Estonia? As a member of the EU, NATO, OECD, and the eurozone, Estonia is a gateway to many lucrative markets. The country features very low startup and maintenance costs, as well as low taxes and minimal bureaucracy. Most of the country’s services are digitized, and services like tax declaration only take a couple of minutes to deal with, without having to actually go anywhere.

What are the benefits of an Estonian e-Residency?

In most cases, Estonian e-Residency is used by location-independent companies and entrepreneurs looking to do business in the EU. The program was designed to simplify the process of creating and managing a business in Estonia by foreigners, allowing them access to many useful services online.

As an e-Resident, you can apply for a business bank account and receive full access to secure online banking services, as well as international payment providers like Paypal. In addition, you’ll also be able to digitally sign official documents, making managing a company a breeze.

Doing your taxes is also possible through the e-Residency process, but obtaining the card itself doesn’t have any effect on income taxation. It also doesn’t establish income liability, so there’s nothing to worry about there. After becoming an e-Resident, you can manage all crucial areas connected with running a business, from banking to taxes, allowing you to operate a successful business in a remote country. Whether you’re a software engineer or a graphic designer, if your business isn’t location-dependent, you can freely benefit from Estonia’s e-Residency program.

How to apply for Estonian e-Residency?

The application process for e-Residency in Estonia is simple and quick. To apply, all you need is to fill an online form and deliver adequate documents, such as your national passport, as well as reasoning for your application. Usually, your reasoning shouldn’t influence the outcome by much – in general, if you have not been involved in financial misbehavior in the past and intend to do business in Estonia, you’re going to be accepted.

After paying a state fee and having your application accepted, you’ll have to travel to any Estonian embassy for an interview, which usually is only performed for identity confirmation purposes. After a successful interview, which itself happens approximately three months after sending the application, you’ll receive your e-Residency card, which will be valid for 5 years. After that time, you’ll have to get a new one and repeat the process.

Over 80,000 e-Residents and 17,000 companies established thanks to the e-Residency process

Back in 2021, the official survey showed that more than 83,000 e-Residents successfully applied for their smart cards, and almost 17,500 Estonian companies were founded by them! Entrepreneurs from all over the world choose Estonia for their business, as it offers 0% corporate income tax, paperless administration, and one of the most advanced digital markets in the world.

How could Mükellef help you?

To establish a business in Estonia, you’ll still need an Estonian address and a local contact, as well as advice in maneuvering Estonian business regulations. Here at Mükellef, we’re determined to help you create a company in Estonia from start to finish, supporting you in company establishment, bookkeeping, renting a virtual office, and opening a business bank account.

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