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Temporary residence permit based on business in Estonia

We have talked about how easy it is to open and run a business in Estonia but we also need to explain the requirements and the link between opening a company and possibly applying for a residence permit. There are 3 possibilities and each one of them had their restrictions as well as opportunities.

1. As a major investor

Temporary residence permit granted to a major investor is a residence permit for conducting business, the purpose of which is to encourage investments in such business activities in Estonia, which are in public interest and shall significantly contribute to the development of the Estonian economy. Major investor is an alien who has made a direct investment of at least 1,000,000 euros in a company entered into the commercial register of Estonia that invests mostly into the Estonian economy, or an investment in an investment fund, according to the investment policy of which the instruments of the fund are invested mainly in the companies entered into the commercial register of Estonia. This basis for residency does not fall under the immigration quota but still, just investing 1,000,000 (one million) euros is not enough and the actual business plan needs to be thought through.

2. Start-up companies

Start-up company is a company starting its activities aiming at developing and launching a business model that is with such a great global growth potential, innovative and reproducible that it shall make a substantial contribution to Estonia’s business environment. The start-up must be evaluated by the expert committee, unless a specification applies. More information about the process can be found here:

Process wise, it is certainly the easiest passage to a residence permit, all you need is a great idea. And it does not go under the immigration quota, also, the employment in start-up company does not fall under the quota when applying for a residence permit.

3. The general scheme

You can apply for a residence permit under general conditions if you have a holding in a company or you operate as a sole proprietor and you have invested in business activity in Estonia at least 65,000 euros of capital (in the case of a self-employed person, 16,000 euros). The investment can be in share capital or as a loan but there is no exhaustive list.

This option does fall under the immigration quota and there is also a requirement of a business plan that has to be quite detailed (can be in English).


As we have written before, you can start a company with e-residency and online or you can visit a notary as well send a power of attorney to someone. Getting a business residence permit in Estonia can take time and careful planning. We have experience in this and are able to find a solution to every situation.

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