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Launch your business and apply for a residence permit in Estonia

To be totally honest, the first part is easy but the second - a residence permit - not so much. Yet, applying for it based on employment in your own business could be an option to explore. Let us visit both steps once more briefly.

Holders of an Estonian ID card or e-Residency card (and ID card holders of a number of EU member states) can establish a Private Limited Company fully online. Others can visit a notary or use a power of attorney given to an agent to do it for them in Estonia. You will need to have an answer for the following questions:

  • What will be the company’s business name? You could consult the e-Business Register to see if the name you have chosen is available.

  • What will your initial area of activity be? Please search system for EMTAK fields of activities.

  • Who are the shareholders?

  • How large are the partner’s share capital contributions? Total share capital must be at least 2500 EUR for a Private Limited Company. It is possible to start the company without paying in the share capital

  • What will be the legal address of the company? Your company needs to have an Estonian address. We do provide the contact person and address service for a competitive price.

  • How will the management of the private limited company take place?

In addition, you will have to pay 190 EUR for the state registration fee (145 euros if done at the notary). This can later be recognized as a business expense as the costs of establishing the Private Limited Company. When it comes to the share capital, in Estonia a Private Limited Company can be established without contributing the share capital! The share capital in this case will be formed by the liabilities of the founders in the amount of the sum the founders promised to provide as share capital contribution. You can register a private limited company electronically at the Company Registration Portal of the e-Business Register. You will only need the technical equipment for electronic registration (ID-card and ID-card reader).

When it comes to applying for a temporary residence permit based on employment, you could do it by being employed by your own company. There are 2 options - as a regular employee carrying out specific duties (i.e sales manager for Asia region) or as a management board member for your company. For the first option, the Unemployment Fund of Estonia needs to give their approval. For the second, your company needs to be at least 5 months old and has to be proven to have real business. Also, in both cases you need to meet the salary obligation meaning you need to pay the average salary of Estonia which at the moment of writing this article is 1445 euros gross. AND both options go under the immigration quota (except the IT-sector) so the application window can be rather narrow.. This is applicable to non-EU citizens of course.

In conclusion, the process of tying the business to residency is a process of many steps and sometimes needs planning of up to a year ahead. Should you wish to explore any of the options further, we are here to help and happy to say that we have helped many people on this journey already.

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