The e-Residency programme offers people from developing countries access to the digital infrastructure and legal frameworks of Estonia so they can capitalize on the opportunities of e-commerce.
Thanks to a simple online application process, applicants can quickly obtain a a government-issued transnational digital identity. Once confirmed as Estonian e-Residents, they can then register a company online, perform e-banking transac- tions, access international payment service providers, declare taxes online, manage a company remotely, and digitally sign documents and contracts. They also benefit from the EU’s legal framework – and the increased perception of trust that goes with it.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in running a location-independent international business. Applicants are required to pay a nominal fee and must pick up their e-Residency identity card from an Estonian embassy anywhere in the world.
- Give entrepreneurs and businesses access to the digital infrastructure of an EU country
- Increase your country’s potential for international e-trade
- Reduce start-up and maintenance costs for local e-businesses
- Promote financial inclusion and location-independent business
- Allow local companies to benefit from the legal framework of the European Union
- Develop an enabling policy environment for business and e-commerce
- Eliminate national borders and restrictions
- Enhance your physical communications infrastructure
- Ministry of the Interior and its IT and Development Centre
- Police and Border Guard Board
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Estonian embassies and consulates worldwide
- Ministry of Finance
- Information System Authority
- Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia
- Government Office of the Republic of Estonia
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
- Enterprise Estonia
- Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
- Nasdaq, Inc.
Meet the beneficiaries
Thanks to the e-Residency programme, companies can be created more easily – and much faster. The streamlined online process makes it simpler to establish, register and administer a new Estonian company. In 2009, the time required to register a company was recorded at just 18 minutes – earning the programme a place in the Guinness World Records for the “fastest time to register a new legal entity”.
Find out here steps to register
Estonian e-Residency Program Director.
Favourable conditions for growing e-commerce
With the e-Residency programme, companies all over the world have easier access to the e-commerce market.
The e-Residency identity card, which is valid for five years, allows its holder to digitally sign, authenticate and encrypt documents. It also opens up access to international payments providers, such as Google and PayPal, and to fintech services.
Furthermore, the programme offers paperless administration and a simple tax system with a 0% corporate income tax as long as profits are reinvested in the company. Such conditions are very favourable for the development of e-commerce, especially in the SME sector.
digital identities awarded
new companies founded by e-Residents
countries have fielded applicants
e-residents targeted by 2025
*As of March 20th, 2017
Creating location independent international business is cited as the main motivation by e-residents for applying for e-Residency
E-commerce business is a core activity of nearly 100% of the created companies
Exporting to the EU market
Arvind left his 30 year career in the steel industry to start his own business. This was made possible by the e-Residency program.
Today Arvind runs a company from near Mumbai that creates software models to improve manufacturing quality and efficiency for companies in the EU.
Accessing to cross-border capital
Deepak has been interested in science for long time which led him to come up with new Li-Fi Technology. The company needed investment for research and Deepak was offered seed fund from BuildIt in Estonia (and later from AirBus in Berlin). This is how Deepak became e-resident. Today the company operates in Delhi, Berlin and in Estonia.
Programme in a nutshell
Year of creation
Type of business
Access to EU financial servicesAccess to the EU business legal frameworkCapacity buildingDigital authentication and digital signature to facilitate e-commerceLocation-independent businesses
The Republic of Estonia
Number of activities carried out