When we think about our residency in a country, it tends to be in terms of physical presence. What if there was a country that threw that whole concept out the window? Estonia E-residency offers startups, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and believers in a world without borders the opportunity to become a virtual resident of Estonia.
There is a myriad of benefits that e-residency offers ranging from top of the line cybersecurity for your banking to legally binding digital signatures. E-residency makes starting and operating an online company easy and efficient. It allows e-residents access to a vast array of cutting edge digital banking, fair and straightforward taxes, and paperless, remote business operations. Not to mention e-residency gets individuals and companies a foot in the door to the EU single market.
What does e-residency not provide? You do not receive actual residency in Estonia, or permission to enter or stay in the country. E-residency does not exempt you from paying taxes in your actual country of residence. Your home country will still be where your are liable for taxation. Access to any of the benefits of citizenship in Estonia such as healthcare or education are not a part of the e-residency program.
The initial appeal in 2014 was for individuals with a desire to become a part of the digital revolution. As the program has developed over the past 6 years, e-residency evolved into a fantastic option for small business owners, startup ventures, and companies. Providing seamless and secure remote access to banking, taxes, and the EU single market. These features make e-residency a perfect option for entrepreneurs, remote workers, and freelancers and digital nomads. E-residency is not for you if you are looking to avoid taxes, want to immigrate, or are looking for an EU passport. So, if you are still intrigued and reading, let’s move on to the benefits of becoming an e-resident in Estonia!
What is e-residency?
The whole concept of a digital or virtual presence has advanced alongside our technology. We have become an online world community. Estonia e-Residency is just an extension of this concept. It is an invitation into the digital business community of Estonia and the EU. The concept aims to look beyond country borders and build a global digital network able to build and lead businesses virtually anywhere.
E-Estonia is the best and most reliable source for the ins and outs of applying for and receiving your very own e-Residency ID card. The process is straightforward:
- Apply online.
- Make your payment.
- Wait a few weeks for approval and to pass a background check.
- Head to the nearest Estonian embassy or consulate and pick up your e-Residency kit.
The Estonia e-Residency kit includes your personal digital ID card and card reader. This digital ID is where the magic happens. It provides you with a government-issued identity, secure access to e-services, and digital signing and authentication of documents. The digital ID card is outfitted with a state-of-the-art microchip with two security certificates. These come in the form of PIN1 for authentication and PIN2 for digital signing.
Now you can begin using your Digital ID, just download the ID software and insert the included card reader into your computer’s USB port. Digital commerce here we go!
So, what do I get with e-residency?
The benefits of joining Estonia as an e-resident revolve around digital banking and running a remote company.
- Simple registration of your company online.
- Run a business entirely online.
- Access to the ever-growing digital nation and its global business network.
- Have access to the secure, transparent, and advanced digital banking systems of Estonia.
- Secure digital signatures that are legally binding using the e-residency card.
- The peace of mind that your transactions and documents are protected by cutting-edge cybersecurity.
- Access to operating your business in the EU single market and the use of the Euro.
- Quick and easy online taxes.
Ok, what’s not included?
E-residency is not for everyone. Unless you are looking to e-bank or operate a digital business in Estonia, this program is not for you. There are a lot of things that do not come as a part of e-residency. So, what’s not included?
- Actual residency in Estonia.
- The right to enter or stay in Estonia.
- Citizenship including access to programs and protections of the Estonian government such as healthcare or education.
- The ability to avoid paying taxes in your actual country of residence.
State of affairs for Estonia e-residency in 2020
Some rather staggering and fun results can be seen from Estonia’s government startup program. In just over 5 years, the e-residency program has shown significant success, even amidst the economic downturn and challenging times in 2020. According to Adam Rang who helped develop Estonia’s e-Residency program, “Estonian companies run by e-residents have just surpassed €1 billion in revenues. That means Estonia’s e-resident community has a larger GDP as it were, than 14 actual countries”.
Apparently, these sorts of statistics have not been overly publicized until now. There are other interesting facts, as well. E-Residents founded one in six of the new companies in Estonia this past year. The current e-Resident population of Estonia is over 68,000 people, who have started almost 13,000 new companies in Estonia! The combined revenue of these new companies last year alone was €532 million. Not too shabby a performance. All signs point to a flourishing and robust program in Estonia that is likely to continue drawing in applicants.
E-Estonia, a new virtual government
Through revolution and reinvention, Estonia strives to redefine what it means to be a governed state focussed on security, ease and transparency. Since Estonia established a national identity and methodology, the country latched onto the idea of taking Estonia’s governmental services online and never looked back.
Through a phenomenally easy to use and navigate E-Estonia, the Estonian government offer a look into what just might be the future of world governments. Estonia is the place to be whether you are looking to immigrate to Estonia, become an e-Resident or take advantage of the new Digital Nomad Visa.