What is it?
In December 2014, Estonia launched a new e-residency program for businesses to incorporate with their country. No, it won’t help you land citizenship in the country, avoid paying taxes, or gaining residency with the country. It’s just an electronic form of identification that will become widely recognized in 2018 in all EU countries. It’s great if you want to manage your bank remotely and have a multi-currency bank account. Here’s a few reason to bank in Estonia per Thomas Running’s article:
- You live there or spend a significant amount of time there
- You have friends, family, or customers there
- You want a Euro-account or a multi-currency account (which many Estonian banks offer)
- You want to diversify your assets as part of an internationalization strategy
- You want access to modern banking that you can manage from anywhere
- You want to place (some of) your assets in a country where the government isn’t consistently running huge budget deficits
- You want to do your banking in English, Estonian or Russian
- You want to incorporate a business in Estonia
- You have an e-residency card and want to use it for something
In a nutshell, it’s a great option if you want a quick and easy way to incorporate in the EU and want to administer your business completely online. You use to have to go to Estonia and show up in person but now it’s easier than ever to establish yourself over the internet. The process takes about a month and you never have to set foot in the country. The card will be delivered to your Estonian embassy for pickup.
How Do I Get It?
You use to have to go to Estonia and show up in person but now it’s easier than ever to establish yourself over the internet. The process takes about a month and you never have to set foot in the country. The card will be delivered to your Estonian embassy for pickup. The only set back is that you have to show up to the bank to open your bank account and a little bit longer if you’re trying to get a debit card. After that, all your new changes can be done online with perhaps the exception of opening a business account.
Three big banks allow you to sign up with the e-residency program: SEB (Sweden), Swedbank (Sweden), LHV (Estonia). It seems that LHV is probably the easiest one to get into because the other two require significant reasons to get in. You can find those reasons in Thomas Running’s article.
Do I Need It?
Personally, I don’t feel like I’m in a place that would need this right now. I can probably use a sole proprietorship until I have a formal company which I can then establish in Estonia. I could probably establish myself in one of the seven income tax-free states like Florida or Texas. I guess I just don’t see the benefits of this digital power yet as I am still residing in the states at the time of this writing.
I’ll still have to consult Greenback Expat Tax Services to find out more about my situation. I am still a newbie of course with this whole location-independent business thing. LeapIn seems to be the online solution to getting this whole e-residency thing set up so I’ll leave their name here for my personal reference.
I’ll make appendments as I find out more.
Some cool things I’ve seen:
I was inspired recently when I was designing my business website and used a Steve Job quote about passion. Here are some other awesome ones I found!
I haven’t even gotten a chance to look through all of the tools but some of them are awesome! Like their “tools to finding new tools” or “stock images”