Starting a company in Estonia and running it

Company registration/formation (most commonly in the form of "osauhing") in Estonia is straightforward and with a digital ID can be done 100% online - a digital ID could be the e-resident card or a regular resident card. However, in practice there are a few important things you need to consider before creating a company and also things to think about to be able to run the company smoothly afterwards.

So besides the actual business idea, concentrate on the following:

1. How many people will be involved in the ownership/management of the company? If it is more than one, you need to think about the relationship between the parties and also consider an agreement between shareholders to outline at least the basic obligations, rules of exit etc.

2. Check if the business name you want is available.

3. Are there any special requirements in your business area? For example special capital requirements or an activity license. If so, make sure you know how to apply for it.

4. Do you have a physical address in Estonia? If not, you need to acquire a contact person and an address service. There are many service providers for that.

5. How are you going to go about banking? Getting a regular bank account without residence in Estonia can be tricky. Luckily there are many so-called fintech options like Transferwise, Paysera, Revolut etc that do the job. These accounts can even be used for sharecapital contribution. If you are a resident in Estonia then opening an account in banks like LHV or SEB should not be a problem either.

6. Bookkeeping? Although relatively simple to do it yourself when business is small, it is useful to buy accounting service at least in the beginning to familiarize yourself with the practical side as well as tax rules. The price for accounting services is relatively cheap. At the same time do not rush to sign up for any accounting service as it is really not compulsory if you are not paying salaries or VAT. Just keep a record of all your expenses and worry about the accounting when the time is right.

Company registration in Estonia is easy and running it is also rather straightforward. Even if you do not have a digital ID yet then opening a company at a notary is very simple.

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