What is Estonian e-Residency and Who Might Benefit From It?

Sept 2, 2021 · 5 min read

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For the past years, Estonian e-Residency has become a widely-known program with dozens of thousands of members. This great initiative lets people worldwide incorporate a company in the EU without leaving a country. E-Residency also gives you an opportunity to manage a bunch of government e-services at your fingertips. Today, we would like to determine what exactly the e-Residency is, who might benefit from the e-Residency.

E-Residency: Basics

Estonian e-Residency is a government-issued digital id that enables you to run your company remotely using all Estonian e-governance services and avoiding a lot of bureaucratic issues. E-Residency was launched in 2014 and became a highly successful government program. Up to that moment, over 83.000 people from 140+ countries became e-Residents.

The main disadvantage is that e-Residency can't be used for traveling to Estonia. It also doesn't give you any benefits while obtaining a visa. E-Residency is just a Digital ID that lets you run your own online business. Note that you can apply for e-Residency online but to collect an e-Residency kit, you'll have to visit the closest pick-up location personally.

E-Residency: Key Takeaways

E-Residency is a special type of digital ID that lets you log into government websites, verify your identity, and digitally sign documents
The main purpose is to let you incorporate an EU-based online company remotely
With e-Residency on hand, you'll be able to incorporate a company with Enty in a day (explore the process in this article)
Apart from the incorporation, e-Residency will ease up the process of obtaining VAT, OSS, EORI, filling accounting reports, and other processes
It gives you no right to travel to Estonia or any other country and gives no benefits in getting a visa or permanent residency
E-Residency is issued in a form of a plastic card that can be installed on your devices via a special card reader to verify your actions on government websites
You can apply for e-Residency online here, but to receive your e-Residency kit, you'll have to visit a special pickup point personally (find the list of pickup locations here)
It might take you up to 2 months to obtain the card

Helpful Articles About e-Residency and Company Incorporation in Estonia with Enty

Types of People Who Might Benefit From Estonian e-Residency

Type #1: Bob — a Digital Nomad

Bob is an advanced digital nomad who has no permanent domicile, so he is constantly relocating back and forth throughout Asia. He likes technologies and everything digital, respects modern approaches and remote access. That's why Estonia is a great place for him to operate in.

All he needs for running a business via e-Residency is a strong connection to Wi-Fi and a laptop — and his European company is smoothly managed from anywhere. Bob can easily sign docs, declare taxes and use fintech banking solutions literally lying on a warm beach near an ocean. Thanks to e-Residency!

The only thing that he must keep in mind is that an e-Residency card must be picked up personally in one of the designated pick-up locations. For a person that travels a lot, picking up a card shouldn't be a problem.

Type #2: Nancy — a Tech Geek

Nancy, as well as Bob, is fond of modern technologies, she travels all over the globe and wants to have her own online business. But furthermore, she is eager to be a pioneer in using each ground-breaking solution and keep an eye on trends. E-Residency is a great example of this first-of-its-kind program that Nancy likes so much.

In one of our recent articles, we talked about the future prospects of e-Residency. There we've marked that the initiative is going to spread worldwide and sooner or later many developing countries will admit e-Residency and adopt its main features. So, it's the last chance for Nancy to use this ambitious solution in the very nick of time before it gains its honored worldwide spread.

Type #3: Elon — a Startuper

Elon aims to grow his own unicorn and conquer a global market. To make this happen, he needs ready-for-success ground: a transparent startup ecosystem, friendly investment opportunities, and a flexible tax system. Estonia can easily provide him with all of the above.

The most precious resource for a startup is time. So, an e-Residency card allows Elon to save a lot of time, giving access to the country's ton of streamlined e-governance services. Elon can digitally sign papers or pay taxes online. Of course, a company such as Elon's will need a true automatization at the core and not only an e-Residency card. That's where Enty comes into play by allowing a company to easily manage all back-office processes under a single subscription. This includes basic needs of a company like a virtual office (contact address and legal person), accounting reports, and far more complex tasks like invoicing automatization, a wide range of corporate secretarial services that will be launched in the near future.

Who Won't Be Able to Benefit From e-Residency?

Even though e-Residency has almost no limitations, there are people who are unlikely to benefit from this program. But who exactly?

Lithuanian and Latvian residents won't need e-Residency. If you already obtain a Latvian or Lithuanian Digital ID, there will be no need for e-Residency. As those digital IDs are accepted by almost all e-services in Estonia. Recently, we've published an article with an overview of all Baltics Digital IDs, check the info about them here.

Incorporation of an Estonian company on the behalf of the foreign entity can't be done with e-Residency (but a company will benefit from e-Residency later). If you are looking to incorporate a company by a non-Estonian legal entity, e-Residency won't be much help at this stage. In this case, a company must be registered strictly through a notary. Nevertheless, future company maintenance will be easier if a director will get an e-Residency card.

Those who aim to get a residency permit or Estonian citizenship.
As mentioned above, e-Residency gives you no right to travel to Estonia and doesn't simplify the process of any visa or citizenship obtaining.

Those who cannot visit a pickup location or don't have enough time to obtain a card. To become an e-Resident, you're obliged to visit one of the pickup locations to verify your identity and receive a card. So, decide how you're going to receive your e-Residency kit in advance. If you cannot physically attend a pickup point anyhow, you won't be able to get your e-Residency.

Notice that the whole process usually takes up to 2 months, so there are cases when it's better for you to open a company through a notary which will take about 1 month. The exact duration will vary highly from country to country, so contact us to get precise information on your case.

How Enty Can Assist You

Actually, it was all about one main idea: the e-Residency program suits entrepreneurs with different needs thanks to its flexibility and a huge amount of various features. Using e-Residency, digital nomads, solopreneurs, startupers, and many other types of entrepreneurs can improve business processes. Just try to imagine that 83.000+ people have already joined the Estonian e-Residency program, with more joining each day.

But keep in mind that e-Residency is not a magic wand — and again it won't give you a right to travel to Estonia or get citizenship. E-Residency helps you to file reports, digitally sign documents, simplify inter-European sales but won't solve all of your issues with accounting or legal problems.

But Enty is here to help you! We can incorporate a company with or without e-Residency and take care of company maintenance. Our Control Panel lets you manage a bunch of business processes as a whole — all under a single subscription and from one profile. At the same time, our team will help you even at the most pressing times and will guide you through the whole process. Just visit our website to explore our solution.
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