In this article, we explain what’s the e-Residency program of Estonia, and why it may be the perfect solution for your business if you are a freelance, small business owner or entrepreneur.
So what’s the e-Residency Program of Estonia?
The e-Residency program is a revolutionary initiative launched by the government of Estonia. After its independence from the former Soviet Union, Estonia has taken decisive steps to build its digital nation. This ambitious project has been so innovative, and its results so impressive, that Estonia is considered the most advanced digital society of our time.
The last step in this process, the e-Residency program, allows anyone to become a digital resident of the baltic country, obtaining an ID card with a certificate. This digital identity allows you to access the Estonian administration and identifies you as a member of the digital nation. So why is that interesting?
Although that card does not grant you any physical residence or citizenship rights, it allows you to do a lot of different things, from signing documents to founding a company in Estonia without ever visiting the country. It is a gateway to the Estonian digital administration.
Wait, wait, can I open a company in Estonia through an online process?
Yes. One of the most alluring possibilities of the e-Residency program is starting a business in Estonia online, in a matter of hours, sitting comfortably on your couch. Besides, using your ID-card, you can manage the company remotely, sign documents, pay your taxes, and much more.
I know, I thought the same thing: it sounds too good to be true.
But it is. Not only that, but your company will be a European company, with its VAT number. You’ll also be able to do banking completely online too. So all you need to run your business is your laptop.
Imagine the possibilities for location independent freelancers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. The e-Residency program gives you the freedom to become a nomad and travel wherever you want, managing your business remotely. Think about the possibilities for startups willing to go global, with members distributed around the world.
Even if you do not plan to leave your country, the e-Residency allows you to have a European company, with a very innovative and competitive tax system, and hassle-free.
Reasons to start a business in Estonia
These are some of the reasons to start a borderless business in Estonia. Probably most of them can be summarized with one word: freedom.
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork
If you have or have had a company before, or even if you are a freelancer, you know that it’s all about red tape and bureaucracy. For starters, the process of founding a company requires you to visit multiple offices: the notary, the tax office, the business register… it’s not a simple process.
The activity codes for your company is the perfect example. When you are about to register your company, you need to have a look at a list of codes and choose a code that best describes the activity of your company. If you are a web developer, designer or online marketing expert, good luck trying to find that on the list.
Besides, why do you need to specify your activity? What if you want to build software, design mobile app mockups and also do Facebook campaigns for your customers? Are you limited to just one activity? This is something inherited from the past.
Once you have the company registered, more paperwork. Most probably you’ll need to hire an accountant and, even then, spend a good amount of time filling spreadsheets with your invoices and bank movements.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: Estonia and the e-Residency
The e-Residency program makes it easy for you to have a business. You can register your company online, and operate it remotely, from anywhere in the world. You can pay your taxes from your phone and grant your accountant a power of attorney to do your bookkeeping in minutes from a website, without the need for a notary.
Compare that situation with visits to all tax offices, notaries, the registry, etcetera. The only time you’ll need to visit Estonia is if you want to open a bank account with a traditional bank, and that’s not even necessary thanks to fintech solutions like Transferwise.
But the best part is that the tax system is fair, transparent, and even makes sense. Any freelancer or entrepreneur can easily understand it by spending an hour reading about main concepts and how taxes work.
In this article, we explained what the e-Residency program is, and why it can be a solution for your business if you are a freelancer, small business owner or entrepreneur. If you want to know more, in this article we describe how to apply for the e-Residency program, the first step to register your online company.