Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) met representatives of startups at Stenbock House in Tallinn and asked them not to move their businesses out of Estonia, news portal Geenius reported on Wednesday.
Monday's meeting was prompted because startups and investors want to change the law so that they do not need to physically go to a notary to approve or loosen the transfer of shares in private limited companies, Geenius wrote.
Representatives for the startups present at the meeting, such as Bolt and Jobbatical, said if the current situation continues then startups could move out of the country.
Sten Tamkivi, president of the Estonian Startup Managers' Club, who attended the meeting, said: "The startup companies believe that the solution proposed by the Ministry of Justice and elaborated by their experts, whereby the board of directors could be considered a shareholder list with the consent of all shareholders, is a normal practice in Finland, Latvia, England and many other countries."
He said the prime minister will bring the bill before the government in the next few weeks.
Startups say that current legislation under the Commercial Code, private limited company-related regulations of which are to be amended with the bill, puts them in a difficult position and increases bureaucracy compared to neighboring countries. Many investors do not have the time to fly to Estonia to see a notary.
Postimees reported that Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas said that because of these regulations, several large transactions had taken place in neighboring countries instead of Estonia, such as in Latvia and Finland, creating an obstacle for startups and meaning that money bypasses the country. "With the changes, we will increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of the Estonian private limited company as a form of enterprise in the European Union," she said.
The request for the bill was put forward from the startup community to solve a problem, which they say, means millions of euros of investments are not coming to or leaving Estonia.
Editor: Helen Wright