More than 10,000 businesses established by Estonian e-residents ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

E-resident's digital residency card.
E-resident's digital residency card. Source: ERR

The number of businesses established by Estonia's e-residents exceeded the 10,000 mark in November, up 58 percent on year.

The largest number of businesses was registered in IT and business consulting, and around half of the e-residents to create a company in Estonia are citizens of the EU, Enterprise Estonia said.

"A large share of businesses by e-residents focus on creating smart jobs and high added value," said e-Residency program director Ott Vatter. "E-residency provides a unique opportunity for global market players to manage their business regardless of location. This also makes starting a business in Estonia attractive for citizens of the EU, as in member states, options for doing business remotely are much more limited."

The range of areas in which Estonian businesses launched by e-residents operate is constantly expanding, according to Enterprise Estonia. Many e-residents operating in forestry and agriculture, health, trade or education are paying taxes in Estonia.

"This means that the e-Residency program is capable of satisfying the needs of entrepreneurs operating in different economic sectors," Vatter said.

The number of businesses established by e-residents has skyrocketed over the past two years, during which time over 7,000 businesses were established.

"Compared to last year, the number of active businesses created by e-residents are paying taxes in Estonia has grown 58 percent," Vatter said. "The money paid by them is used in education, culture and social work, and thereby directly benefits the people of Estonia."

Drawn up in cooperation with specialists in various fields late last year, the e-Residency strategy 2.0 set the objective to foster growth of value in businesses created by e-residents instead of simply increasing the number of e-residence, and the new strategy is already delivering results.

"Data by the Tax and Customs Board (MTA) shows that the average tax revenue from Estonian businesses created by e-residents has grown 30 percent on year," Vatter highlighted.

The program director noted that the e-Residency program, which will soon turn five, has earned significant international recognition and user confidence.

"We can see clearly today that e-residency applications are submitted with the clear objective of starting a business," he said. A number of e-residents who had registered their business several years ago but not yet launched business activities have also begun paying taxes in Estonia.

"A business idea may take years to mature," Vatter explained. "We'll be happy to see them materialize, and the people of Estonia will start benefiting from the tax revenue too."

Over 62,000 e-residents

The e-Residency program was launched at the end of 2014 with the goal of offering foreign nationals secure access to the e-services of the Estonian state.

Holders of the e-resident digital ID card can digitally sign documents and log onto portals and information systems which recognize the Estonian ID card. E-residency does not grant its holder citizenship, tax residency, a residence permit or a permit to enter Estonia or the EU.

Since the launch of the program, the number of e-residence has grown to surpass 62,000, and e-residents have established over 10,100 companies in Estonia that employ some 1,700 people in total. Direct income from the program is estimated to have reached €31 million during the almost five years that the program has been in effect.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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