Here, you’ll discover how Companio can help you launch your European business in Estonia. No hassle, no red tape, and no visit to Estonia required!
You can actually start the process of registering your company in Estonia before applying for e-Residency. The first thing you’ll need to do is go to the sign-up page. It’s super simple to register your company – you’ll be able to do it in less than five minutes!
Table of Contents
- Step 1: Select Your Company Name
- Step 2: Include the Relevant Company Data
- Step 3: Identifying Members
- Step 4: Overview & Payment
- Step 5: Verify your e-Resident ID
- Step 6: Verify Your E-Mail
- Step 7: Sign the Registry
- Step 8: Relax While We Work
- Step 9: Complete Your Setup
- Start Building Your Business
Step 1: Select Your Company Name
The first step is ensuring that the name of your future company isn’t already registered. Choose something that’s unique and distinctive. Also be sure that no European or Estonian trademark exists with a similar name (unless you receive explicit, notarized consent from the owner).
If there’s a similar trademark name or a matching company name, you’ll be asked to provide another name. If there’s no similar trademark – but similar company names exist which can present some problems in the registry – you’ll receive a warning. Otherwise, you’ll be able to continue to the next step.
If you see a message saying “We were unable to contact the e-Business register to check if this name is available. You can continue, but it may be necessary to modify the name later”, that means we could not query the registry to check if your chosen name already exists. The registry is going through some changes and we need to adapt our API. If that’s the case, don’t worry, continue the process, and optionally indicate three alternative names in the description of the company’s activity. We will contact you later if your name of choice isn’t available so you can select a different one.
Step 2: Include the Relevant Company Data
Here, you should specify the activity of your company and its means of communication (e.g. email, phone number). You’ll also need to select the field of activity that best describes the activity of the company, providing as many details as possible.
Step 3: Identifying Members
Next, you’ll be asked to add the relevant information about the shareholders and board members. For each person you add, decide if they’re going to be a shareholder, member of the board, or both. You can also specify that this person will be the representative of the company (for accountancy and business-related subjects).
If the members of the company have their e-resident ID cards already, that’s good news: They’ll be able to sign the company registration right away. If not, don’t worry: You’ll need to add their birthdate to ensure that the signatures are issued to the right person.
The assistant won´t let you continue until the information of these members is correct. There are several things that will be checked:
At Least One Shareholder
First, there needs to be at least one shareholder listed. Shareholders are the owners of the company. If none of the members you have entered is a shareholder, you should add at least one.
At Least One Board Member
Second, there needs to be at least one board member. Board members are the ones who make the decisions in the company. If none of the members you have entered is a board member (or director), you should add at least one.
Sum of the Shares of All Shareholders
The sum of the shares of all the company shareholders must be equal to the total share capital of the company. For example, let’s imagine your company has declared a share capital (in the previous step) of 2000€ and you’ve entered three members that are shareholders:
- John Smith: with 500€ in share capital
- Anna Svanovich, with 1000€ in share capital
- Eleanor Stanson, with 500€ in share capital.
If your numbers don’t line up, you may need to delete a member and add it again. For example, maybe you forgot to specify that a board member or perhaps the number of shares is incorrect.
Once the member information looks correct – and all the share capital has been correctly distributed – the assistant will let you continue to the payment section.
Step 4: Overview & Payment
Before payment, you’ll be taken to a screen to verify that all the information is correct. Double-check everything, because the price of the company registration will be different under certain circumstances (e.g. multiple members).
If you need to change anything, click on any of the previous steps. If everything looks fine, proceed to payment by clicking “Next.”
Step 5: Verify your e-Resident ID
When all the members have their e-Residency cards, they’ll be able to digitally sign the company registration and services contract. This step is vital to guarantee the consent of all the members (and that they have their e-Residency IDs).
The onboarding assistant contains information regarding who has signed and who hasn’t. Every member (including you) will receive a separate email with a link to sign. If any of them has not received an email, you will be able to send them the link again by clicking on the button “Send signature link” next to their names.
What If Some Members Still Aren’t e-Residents?
You’ll need to wait until they receive their e-Residency cards before continuing. Don’t worry: You can continue the process at any point after they’ve received it. Just save the signature email for later or send them the signature link again later.
By refreshing this page, you will be able to track the signature process and check the signatures that have been already added.
The Easiest Way to Become an Estonian e-Resident
You can go directly to the official e-Residency application website and register as an e-Resident in just a few clicks. You’ll need to fill in some information about yourself (e.g. citizenship, date of birth, personal data) and upload some pictures of your ID, passport as well as a clear facial photo.
Using Your USB Reader
When you click on the signature link you receive in your email, you’ll see a screen with two buttons: One to see the contract that you are signing, and another to add your signature.
Review the contract to check that everything is correct, then prepare your ID card to sign.
Connect the USB reader to your computer and insert the e-Residency card. Wait until the light of the reader turns on.
Make sure you’ve installed the necessary drivers, plugins, and software to allow the browser to read the card. Ensure that the card has been inserted correctly and the reader is reading it (we recommend opening the DigiDoc software). If the card is detected, your name will appear in the application and you should be good to go.
Click on “Add my signature”. Wait a few seconds. The system will ask you to choose the certificate and then will ask for your PIN2. Type it and click Enter.
If you are successful, you’ll see a message indicating that the signature has been added. All the members must follow this procedure. The representative can check the progress of this process on the onboarding screen.
Step 6: Verify Your E-Mail
Once the last member has signed the contract, all of the signatures should be verified and you will proceed with the application to register your company in the e-Business registry. To do that, the information about the company and all its members must be added.
You will receive an email from the registry to the corporate email address specified in Step 2. This email (from e-Äriregistri Teavitus) will contain a link to verify the corporate account of your company. If you have not received the email within 48 hours, inform a Companio representative that all members of your company have signed and you are waiting for the email to confirm your corporate email account.
Once you’ve received that email and followed the confirmation link, click on “Done” (or send us a message so we can proceed to the next stage).
Step 7: Sign the Registry
All company members need to sign the company registration application in the Registry.
Why are you signing twice? The first signature (in Step 5) was for Companio for the contract of services. We needed those signatures to verify your identities and determine that each member is an e-resident. Now, you need to sign to affirm your intention of registering the company.
Follow the instructions on the screen. First, log into the e-Business registry and add your signature using your PIN2. Verify that the members appear with the right roles and share distribution – and that the information of the company is correct. Even machines make mistakes sometimes!
All members need to add their signatures. Once done, please click on “Done” (or send us a message so we can proceed to the next stage).
Step 8: Relax While We Work
Companio will complete the application in the registry and pay the state and notary fees for you. This step usually takes 24 hours. The registry will affirm the company within a few hours of receiving these payments and after verifying that the information is correct.
In the meantime, we will need a copy of all company members’ passports. This is because we take anti-money laundering protocol seriously. As you wait for your company to be registered, it’s the perfect time to send us these copies.
Step 9: Complete Your Setup
Once the company is registered, you will receive a document with the entry in the registry of your company. That document contains the registration code of your company (i.e. the number that univocally identifies it).
This registration code – alongside the name and address of your company – should be included on every invoice issued to customers.
Now what? It is time to complete the setup of the company.
There are three final steps to complete your setup:
Opening Your Bank Account
The process of opening a bank account for your company may take several days, depending on the bank, and you may be asked for different documents. If you have doubts during the process, let us know: We’re happy to help.
Granting Us Power of Attorney for Accountancy
Next, it’s important that you grant us a power of attorney to do the bookkeeping and accountancy for your company, and also to submit the VAT application. This can be done completely online – without the presence of a notary – and you can revoke it at any time.
Deciding If You Want a VAT Number
If you want us to request a VAT number for your company, let us know, we’ll prepare that request and register your company in the European VIES archive. To complete this step, we’ll need your company to already have a valid bank account (we need to add your company’s IBAN number to the request). We will also require certain information to provide authorities, such as who your customers are and what your estimated revenue is.
Do I Need to Register as a VAT Operator to Invoice Customers?
Not at all. Your company in Estonia can invoice (and be invoiced by) any other company or individual in the world. You’ll just need to provide your company’s name, registration code, and physical address.
In fact, you’re only required to register as a VAT operator if one of the following conditions apply:
- Your company offers services such as development, design, consulting, marketing, etc., to European customers and your revenue is more than 40,000€ per year.
- You offer digital services or products (e.g. software, digital content) to European B2C customers from the first sale.
- You offer digital services or products (e.g. software, digital content) to European B2B clients from the first sale and your revenue is higher than 40,000€ per year.
All things considered, a VAT number is always a good idea if you plan on selling or offering products to European customers.
Start Building Your Business
Once you have your e-Residency card (a process that takes 3-6 weeks), your company can be ready in a matter of 5-10 days. That includes your bank account and VAT number!
After that, it’s time to focus on your business. Companio is the most affordable way to take care of your accountancy, bookkeeping, and taxes (including payrolls and VAT returns) so you can focus on what matters most: growing your business.