Estonian e-Residency is a government issued digital identity that allows its holder to open a business in Estonia - even if they do not live there.
So if you are a UK citizen, living in Thailand and want to start an EU based company, you can. The process is all done online and hassle free, without the need to visit Estonia.
You will first need to become an e-resident by submitting your application, paying the state fee (which starts at €100), and passing background checks by the Estonian government. Then, you just need to pick up your digital identity kit from the Estonian Embassy or other pick-up point you nominated in your application form. This process normally takes 1-2 months.
Once you’re an e-resident, you can create an Estonian company through a quick online process, from anywhere in the world.
It is important to note that e-Residency does not give you citizenship rights, or the right to reside or work in Estonia or the EU.
You can learn more about Estonian e-residency and how to apply on their website.
Once you have your company set up in Estonia, you will want to find a partner to fulfil your business banking needs. You will have a few options:
One option is to open an account with a traditional brick and mortar bank.
You can choose an Estonian bank, which will require at least one trip to Estonia. There are business service providers that can help with this process, so make sure to speak with one before booking a trip to Estonia, as they can ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
If you are a resident of an EU/EAA country, you might be able to open an account with a bank in your own country for your Estonian company.
Fintechs like TranferWise will be able to offer an easy way to open an account online, without the need to physically visit a bank branch.
You can open a TransferWise account from wherever you are in the world. With it, you will be able to get a multi-currency account with local bank details, including an European IBAN, which will allow you to receive payments from all over the world.
Once you have your multi-currency account, you can get a TransferWise Debit Mastercard®, which can be used to spend money in any currency, anywhere in the world, without hidden fees.
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