E-Residency in Estonia: conditions, rules and advantages

Estonia is the first state in the world to introduce such a thing as e-residency. E-residency is the electronic identification system in the Estonian digital environment. Electronic identification occurs by providing the e-resident card.

The Basement

The legislation on identity cards, according to which foreign citizens received the right to electronic identification, entered into force on December 1, 2014. Up to this point, electronic identification was available only to Estonian citizens as a supplement to an ID card and for foreigners residing in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit. The validity of e-residency is five years, after which it requires reissue.

How it may be useful?

The e-resident card provides the right to access Estonian electronic government services. Most of the administrative capacity in Estonia is electronic and does not require personal visits to the authorities. With e-residency, you get access to independent business management, including reporting, employee management, obtaining permits and etc.

To use the possibilities of e-residency, it does not matter the country of residence and the location of the owner of this identifier. The e-resident card simplifies the procedure for registering a company and further managing its activities. The smart card serves as a key for your digital signature, which saves a significant amount of time for signing and sending documents when making registration actions or making changes to the company structure.

The possibilities of digital signatures are not limited solely to the scope of the registering authority, the digital signature allows you to enter into contracts online, to make transactions. In addition, the smart card allows you to use the encryption of emails in any correspondence, without using additional resources.

Who needs it?

Receiving E-residency is relevant to all entrepreneurs interested in Estonia, whatever goals they pursue, opening a company in Estonia together with specialists from Law and Trust. An entrepreneur receiving e-residency can be both a founder of a startup and a holding company planning to enter the EU market, an IT company with a team around the world and a free traveller who does not like being tied to a specific country.

Residency status:

  • E-residency is the universal key to the electronic service space in Estonia, in addition to public services, you get access to commercial enterprises that have joined this system, banking services.
  • The e-resident is still a foreign citizen in relation to the state of Estonia.
  • E-residency is not equal to Estonian citizenship and does not grant any rights of a resident of Estonia.

Does e-residency affect on tax residency?

A tax resident of Estonia may be an Estonian citizen who resides in this country for at least 183 days a year. If these conditions are not complied with, an individual, even if he has e-residency, cannot be a tax resident of Estonia.

In addition, when determining the country of tax residency, it is also necessary to take into account the legislation of other countries of residence of an individual, the country of his citizenship and the presence or absence of bilateral agreements determining the procedure for determining the country of tax residency.

For more information on determining the country of tax residence and the level of the tax burden, please contact our specialists.


  • Connection with Estonia or motivation in using e-residency;
  • No criminal record;
  • A positive characteristic from the state bodies of Estonia and the country of residence.

The procedure for obtaining:

The decision to issue e-residency is taken by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board. After sending the application and the required package of documents, the Police Department conducts a thorough identity check to identify offences both in their own country and in the country from which the application was received. Such control over the identity of the e-resident is taken throughout the validity period of the identifier.

In addition, one of the key factors in deciding whether to assign e-resident status is the existence of ties with Estonia: already established or planned. In the absence of proper motivation, the decision is negative.

In case of refusal, the Police Department does not make a reasoned decision and does not report on the reasons for refusal. However, the refusal does not deprive the applicant of the right to resubmit the application.

For consideration of the application will be required to provide biometric data of the applicant. To remove biometric data you will be asked to proceed to the nearest Estonian office.


The term for making a decision on issuing e-residency takes about 30 calendar days.

Required documents:

1.Copy of foreign passport;

2. Photo of the established sample;

3. Biometric data;

4. Motivation letter.

Our services:

1. Preparation of a full package of documents for obtaining e-residency;

2. Filing and application for e-residency;

3. Accompanying the transfer of biometric data if necessary;

4. Interaction with Estonian state bodies in the matter of obtaining e-residency;

5. Providing the e-resident smart card after a positive decision to issue a license.


Our services include the payment of all government payments related to obtaining the status of e-resident, as well as support in the preparation of documents. Depending on the set of services you choose, the cost of receiving an e-resident card will be from 300 EUR.

Opening a bank account:

The status of e-resident greatly simplifies interaction with banks and allows you to perform all operations and transactions online. However, the status of e-resident does not allow opening accounts in Estonia on a par with Estonian citizens. Each bank in Estonia sets its own rules and procedures for opening an account, provides for risks and issues a decision on opening an account individually.

At the moment, Estonian banks have a negative position on opening accounts to foreign persons, even those who have a company in Estonia.

Law and Trust International is ready to offer you solutions for registering a company in Estonia and opening a banking account in Estonia.