Doing business in Estonia can roughly be put into 3 categories - some need a special license, some need a notification of economic activity and most do not require anything other than establishing a company. The most common form is a private limited company (in Estonian "osaühing") that works in most cases.
It is surprising to many that in Estonia you can for example act as a lawyer or a real-estate broker without any special license. Sure there are different ways to increase one's reliability but no governmental license is needed.
The different sectors and areas that need a license or a notification are quite nicely and clearly described in Estonia's official information website:
The activity licence should be obtained or the notice of economic activity should be submitted before commencing business activity in an area subject to special requirements.
Licenses are for example required in the very popular cryptocurrency area. The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Police issues the licenses for providing services of exchanging a virtual currency against a fiat currency and providing a virtual currency wallet service. At the same time, payment institution and e-money institution licenses are issued by the Financial Inspection and are subject to more stringent rules. The same body also issues a license for acting in the insurance sector, banking and other financial areas. The Tax and Customs Board is responsible for the gambling licenses.
Economic activity notification is for example required in the tourism sector with also additional security deposit requirements. The same goes for temporary labour agencies in the employment sector. Another sector which might be of interest to our clients is that there is also a notification obligation in cases of the sale of tobacco and alcohol.
Do not hesitate to ask us about any of the above or other business sectors in Estonia.