Estonia has been gaining popularity as a startup hub over the past few years. With a population of just 1.3 million, it might seem like an unlikely place for entrepreneurs to start a business. However, Estonia has a thriving tech scene and a supportive business environment that make it an attractive location for startups.
In this blog post, we'll explore the steps you need to take to start a business in Estonia, as well as some of the benefits of doing so.
There are a number of reasons why Estonia has become a popular destination for startups. Here are just a few:
Digital infrastructure: Estonia is known for its advanced digital infrastructure, with services like e-residency, digital signatures, and online tax filing making it easy for businesses to operate remotely.
Business-friendly environment: Estonia has been ranked as one of the easiest places in the world to do business, with a simple tax system and a low bureaucratic burden.
Access to talent: Estonia is home to a number of world-class universities, and has a highly educated workforce. The country also offers a number of startup incubators and accelerators, providing entrepreneurs with access to mentorship and resources.
EU membership: Estonia is a member of the European Union, providing businesses with access to the EU market and its 500 million consumers.
Steps to Starting a Business in Estonia
Here's a step-by-step guide to starting a business in Estonia:
Choose a Business Idea
The first step to starting any business is to come up with an idea. This could be something you're passionate about, or a gap in the market that you've identified. Whatever your idea, make sure it's something that you're excited to work on, and that there's a market for it.
Register as an E-Resident
To start a business in Estonia, you'll need to become an e-resident. E-residency is a digital ID card that allows you to sign documents and access government services online. You can apply for e-residency online, and the process usually takes around four weeks.
Choose a Business Structure
There are a number of different business structures you can choose from in Estonia, including sole proprietorship, partnership, and private limited company (OÜ). Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to do your research and choose the one that's right for you.
Register Your Business
Once you've chosen a business structure, you'll need to register your business with the Estonian Business Register. This can be done online, and the process usually takes around five working days.
Open a Bank Account
To operate your business, you'll need to open a bank account in Estonia. This can be done remotely, and there are a number of online banking options available.
Apply for Necessary Licenses and Permits
Depending on your business, you may need to apply for licenses or permits to operate legally in Estonia. Make sure you do your research and apply for any necessary licenses or permits before starting your business.
Start Doing Business
Once you've completed all of the above steps, you're ready to start doing business in Estonia! Remember to keep track of your finances, pay your taxes on time, and stay up-to-date with any changes to Estonian business laws and regulations.
Starting a business in Estonia can be a great option for entrepreneurs looking for a supportive business environment, access to talent, and a gateway to the European Union market. With a simple registration process, digital infrastructure, and a range of business structures to choose from, Estonia is a great place to start a business.