Easily start and run a paperless EU company 100% online

Since 2014, more than 90,000 entrepreneurs, freelancers, digital nomads, and startup founders have become e-residents of Estonia in order to start and run a company fully online.

  • Get your secure, government-issued digital ID card.
  • Skip the bureaucracy and start your company online by yourself
  • Access low-cost business administration services.

5000+ e-residents from Germany & why you should apply too

You can pick up your digital ID card at your closest Estonian embassy (Berlin, Vienna, or another convenient location)

  • Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency, a government-issued digital identity and status that provides access to Estonia’s transparent and digital business environment. 
  • E-Residency allows digital entrepreneurs a chance to manage their business from anywhere, entirely online. 
  • E-Residency offers a good way to explore Estonia’s advanced e-government services through digital authentication and signatures.

Easily start and run your company fully online

  • Register a company in Estonia online with your digital ID card. No need to visit a notary or physically sign any documents. 
  • Sign contracts and manage all aspects of your company securely online from Berlin, Bielefeld, or Bali. 
  • Low administrative costs, including 10X less share capital requirements than a German GmbH, and no obligation to join a chamber of commerce.

What about taxes?

  • If you manage your company completely from Germany, you will most likely pay some or all of your corporate taxes in Germany. 
  • If you spend most of the year in different countries, or most of your business is done outside of Germany, you could be eligible to pay your corporate taxes in Estonia. 
  • If you are eligible to pay your corporate taxes in Estonia, you can benefit from Estonia’s simple, pro-growth taxation policy that includes a flto 20% tax on dividends and 0% when you reinvest profit into your company. 
  • Still not sure? Read more in our Tax FAQs at the bottom of the page. 

Guide to Estonian e-Residency for e-residents in Germany

  • 4 reasons to become an e-resident
  • How to apply for e-Residency
  • Digital security and advanced digital services of Estonia
  • How your business can benefit from e-Residency
Access the full guide here
Startup Estonia

Scale and grow your start-up in Estonia, and e-Residency allows you to do it remotely

  • Give your company the best chance of success.
  • Build your startup with the support of technology-focused training incubators and wider ecosystem. 
  • Elevate from startup to scaleup via accelerator programmes led by experienced founders and business mentors.
  • Get funding for your business idea from approachable seed investors, VCs and crowdfunders.

 

Lean about Estonian start-up scene

Get access to Estonia's top-ranked business environment and digital government ecosystem

#1

Start-up friendliness

(Index Venture)

#1

Entrepreneurial activity

(World Economic Forum)

#1

Digital health index

(Bertelmanns Foundation)

#1

Tax competitiveness

(International Tax Competitiveness Index 2021)

How does Estonia compare internationally?

Index
International Tax Competitiveness Index 2021 (International Tax Foundation)
Corruption Perception Index 2020 (Transparency International)
Rule of Law Index 2021 (World Justice Project)
Germany
16
9
5
Estonia
1
17
11
France
35
23
23
UK
22
11
16
USA
21
25
27
Countries measured
37
179
139

Meet the e-residents

“Anyone who has founded a company in Germany will appreciate the advantages of Estonia streamlined government platforms and fully digitalized procedures. This saves entrepreneurs like me a lot of money and time.”

“Anyone who has founded a company in Germany will appreciate the advantages of Estonia streamlined government platforms and fully digitalized procedures. This saves entrepreneurs like me a lot of money and time.”

Tim Schnöckelborg
Founder of e-Commerce Guru OÜ, German entrepreneur living in Tallinn

“So now it’s half a year of almost a daily smile when it comes to book-keeping, tax payment or any other smooth and no-hassle-transaction through my e-Residency card or my smart-ID.”

“So now it’s half a year of almost a daily smile when it comes to book-keeping, tax payment or any other smooth and no-hassle-transaction through my e-Residency card or my smart-ID.”

Christoph Huebner
Founder of Schwarzstorch OÜ (personal holding company), Madeira, digital nomad

„Whilst building my HR platform with clients and teams distributed around the world, I was looking for a stable and reputable EU jurisdiction for international payment processing. With location independent and low-bureaucratic business structures Estonia offered everything I needed and more to set up and maintain the operational side of my business.”

„Whilst building my HR platform with clients and teams distributed around the world, I was looking for a stable and reputable EU jurisdiction for international payment processing. With location independent and low-bureaucratic business structures Estonia offered everything I needed and more to set up and maintain the operational side of my business.”

Viviana Schaller
Founder of Skillsquare, Munich-born, digital nomad

“As an American in Switzerland with a business partner in South Korea, I needed a special solution for my company. With its 100% online and simple management, very affordable business services, and a worldwide perspective, e-Residency gives me a complete and clear solution for my needs.”

“As an American in Switzerland with a business partner in South Korea, I needed a special solution for my company. With its 100% online and simple management, very affordable business services, and a worldwide perspective, e-Residency gives me a complete and clear solution for my needs.”

Luke Seelenbinder
Co-founder of Funktional OÜ (IT services), St. Gallen, Switzerland

“The application process went smoothly and quickly. I experienced no complications and received the email confirming that my kit was ready to be picked up at the Embassy in less than the standard quoted time.”

“The application process went smoothly and quickly. I experienced no complications and received the email confirming that my kit was ready to be picked up at the Embassy in less than the standard quoted time.”

Dr Priya E. Abraham
Digital Transformation Strategist, Cyber and Data Protection Expert, Founder of Cyberconnecting OÜ, Tallinn/Tel Aviv/Vienna

How to get started

Become an e-resident

Apply online, pay state fee, and choose a pickup location for your digital ID. State fee: €100-120. If you choose an office in Estonia as the pick-up location the fee is €100. If you choose a foreign representation of Estonia as the pick-up location you will have to pay €120 upon applying.

Choose service provider

Obtain an Estonian contact person and legal address from our Marketplace. Cost: €30-150 monthly average (some include bookkeeping and other features). According to Estonian law, if the management board of a company is located in a foreign state, the company must designate a contact person who acts as a messenger if local authorities have a need to contact your company and cannot reach you in person. The contact person does not need to be a shareholder, board member, or employee and you do not need to grant any rights to act on behalf of your company.

Register company in Estonia

Register company structure online at e-Business Registry. Pay state fee for company registration. Cost: €265. If you choose to distribute dividends, you will also pay to register your minimum share capital. For a private limited company, the minimum is €2,500 and you can defer payment. For larger entities, these rules vary. Note, minimum share capital is not a fee - it is your money that goes into your company to spend in support of your business activity. Learn more here.

Apply for business banking

Find a fintech partner in our service provider marketplace to cover your company banking needs.

Participate in our community

Be an active member of the e-Residency community and network globally to grow your business.

See how it works

FAQ

Can I benefit from Estonia’s corporate income tax system?

Everyone who is eligible is welcome to apply for e-Residency and benefit from safe digital identification, sign documents digitally, and start and run an Estonian company 100% online.

In Estonia, companies’ profits are only subject to taxation when they are distributed.

You might be able to benefit from Estonia’s corporate income tax system and fully online tax declarations depending on the nature of your business.

You mainly reside where?

Characteristics of your business

International clients
Online business
No permanent office

Clients in Germany
Physical products
Office in Germany

International clients
Online business
No permanent office

International clients
Online business
No permanent office

International clients
Online business
No permanent office

Clients in Germany
Physical products
Office in Germany

Can I pay my taxes in Estonia with e-Residency?

It depends on the nature of your business. Contact a service provider or tax consultant from our Marketplace about your specific case.

No. Your company would be subject to taxation in Germany

Yes. You could grow your wealth by paying 0% corporate income tax on any profits that are re-invested with Estonian e-Residency

It depends on the nature of your business. Contact a service provider or tax consultant from our Marketplace about your specific case. You may need to pay VAT in the country where the physical business activity takes place

It depends on the requirements of your country of residency. Contact a service provider or tax consultant from our Marketplace about your specific case.

No. Your company would be subject to taxation in Germany.

Who is eligible?

Estonia invites anyone in the world to apply for e-Residency, as long as:

  • You have a reasonable interest in using e-services in Estonia
  • You are not an Estonian citizen or a foreigner residing in Estonia on a residence permit or with the right of residence (you already have a government-issued digital ID)

E-Residency is particularly well-suited for many freelancers, consultants, digital nomads, solo entrepreneurs and other digital entrepreneurs interested in establishing a digital services company they can manage from anywhere.

What are the costs?

Digital ID card application fees

The state fee must be paid during the online application process and can be done by Visa or Mastercard.

The amount of state fee depends on the pickup location you will choose on the application.

 

Chosen pickup location

In Estonia (Service Point of the Police and Border Guard Board)

Estonian embassy

State fee

100 euros

State fee 120 euros (100 euros for the application and 20 euros for the courier are collected together when submitting the application)

The state fee to register your company online is €265.

In order to register a company in Estonia, you will need a legal business address and contact person. About 90% of e-residents use a service provider to provide this service and spend, on average, €25-200 per month (some include bookkeeping and accounting services). Service fees vary depending on the service package you require and which service provider you choose. You can compare in our Marketplace, but also check with the service providers directly.

Though it is not a fee, you should also understand the concept of share capital contribution.

What kind of companies do e-residents establish?

Most e-residents choose to establish a private limited company known as an OÜ. This is similar to a GmbH and UG in Germany. It’s also possible to register a non-profit (MTÜ) or a public company (AS) but these require some additional steps.

How do I access banking for my company in Estonia?

E-residents have three main options for business banking. Accounts from fintech providers like Transferwise, Payoneer, or Paysera can be set up entirely online. Accounts from the Estonian bank LHV require an online application and a trip to Estonia to complete the account opening process. The third option available is to work with another european bank that you already have a relationship with.

How can start-up companies benefit from e-Residency?

The e-Residency programme provides foreigners with digital access to Estonia’s advanced e-services. Start-up companies can benefit from Estonia’s e-notary services which enable shareholders to trade shares with each other online without a physical office to the notary, whereas all board meeting documents can be signed online. Start-up status can also be applied for companies run by e-Residents which enables to move founders and employees to Estonia from non-EU countries through Startup Visa. Estonia also has a lively and collaborative startup ecosystem with 7 unicorns having grown out of Estonia or been founded by Estonians. As of 2021, around 1/3 of Estonia’s startup companies had at least one e-resident founder.

Ready to get started?

Apply now