Location independent business
Secure online banking
Online business administration
Digital signing of documents
Establish a company online
Estonian companies can be established, registered, and administered entirely online. In 2009 Estonia received a Guinness World Record for “fastest time to register a new legal entity” – just 18 minutes.
Estonian companies do not pay corporate income tax until distributions are made. However, e-Residency does not automatically determine tax residency. To learn about taxation and to avoid double taxation, please consult a tax professional. You can also find more information here and here.
Any entrepreneur or freelancer running a location-independent international business can enjoy the following benefits:
- Ability to register a new company online
- Low startup and maintenance costs
- Remote administration from anywhere in the world
- 0% company income tax until distributions are made, which means more money to invest (please check whether your company is subject to taxation in another jurisdiction).
- Minimal bureaucracy and clear tax framework
- Inclusion in the EU’s legal framework
- Increased perception of trustworthiness as a result of registration in EU.
Steps for registering a company:
- Contact a virtual office service provider to obtain a legal address in Estonia. We are currently working on quicker and more cost-effective options to obtain this required address. Please subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
- Register a company online at the Company Registration Portal
More information about different types of business entities, the process of establishing a company, accounting requirements, tax system etc. can be found in the Investment Guide.
Open a bank account in Estonia
Estonia is well-known for its user-friendly and secure online banking. The e-Resident smart ID card is approved by LHV, Swedbank and SEB banks in Estonia, with others planned in future. Please subscribe to our newsletter to remain informed as we confirm additional banking partners.
e-Residency does not guarantee a bank account. The decision to extend or deny banking services to an e-resident is made at the sole and absolute discretion of our partner banks, which have the right to ask for additional information.
- Secure online transactions
- User-friendly online account management
- Easy tax reporting
- Access to online payment service providers
Steps for opening a bank account:
- Visit a bank in Estonia1: currently LHV, Swedbank, and SEB support e-Residents
- Submit an application for a new account and wait for approval
- Upon approval, digitally sign the contract with your e-Resident smart ID card and return via e-mail to the bank
- You are now eligible to open an online payment service provider account
NOTE 1 For compliance reasons, opening a bank account today requires one face-to-face meeting. We are working to enhance this process. Please subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
Administer the company online
Managing a company remotely is convenient, and eliminates the time and expense of travel. Estonian businesses also enjoy some of the lowest administrative burden of any company in the world. The services now available to e-Residents to administer businesses online have been used by Estonians for many years in running their own enterprises.
- Remote administration from anywhere around the world
- No need to hire and correspond with a local director or representative (unless you want to!) — minimising risk and complexity
- Declaring taxes online saves time and expense
- State-provided online accounting software minimises corporate reporting burden
Steps for administering company:
Digitally sign documents and contracts
Digital signatures have been available in Estonia since 2000 and are used daily. More than 200 million digital signatures have been created in Estonia since inception.
- Contracts and documents can be digitally signed and sent to partners and colleagues within minutes
- Eliminates the need to send documents via expensive international couriers
- Digital signature provides higher level of security compared to handwritten signature
- E-mail digitally signed documents to your partner to countersign
Digital signatures are legally equal to handwritten signatures in Estonia, between partners upon agreement and with many service providers all around the world. It qualifies as an e-signature under EU Directive 1999/93/EC, E-SIGN law (15 USC 96) in the US and similar laws in other countries.