The Republic of Estonia is the first and yet the only country to offer e-residency. e-Residency of Estonia allows non-Estonians access Estonian services such as company formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation. e-Residency additionally enables secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust online. e-Resident will get a smart card which can be used to sign documents and as an identification card. Today Estonia has more than 14 000 e-residents from 136 different countries.
Estonians have been using smart cards since 2002. There are some peculiarities between Estonians and e-residents smart cards. Estonians have their photo on a smart card, so they can use it as identification card when traveling in EU, similar to passport. e-residents don’t have their photo on the card, they still will be able to easily identify themselves and access online services across Europe, having to consider it is not a travel document. Estonians can also vote in elections online and fill their income tax return within 5 minutes, buy a car and use a smart card as a loyalty card in shops and restaurants. e-residency doesn’t give a citizenship or the right to enter or reside in Estonia. As an e-resident you can use smart card for buying prescription medicine and vote remotely in shareholder meetings if you are a shareholder of companies in the Tallinn Stock exchange.
Shortly, e-Residents can:
– digitally sign documents and contracts. Digital signatures and authentification are legally equivalent to handwritten signatures and face-to-face identification in Estonia and between partners around the world.
– verify the authenticity of signed documents
– encrypt and trasmit documents securely
– establish an Estonian company online – Big Six will help you to get physical address in Estonia, that is required to establish a company
– administer the company from anywhere in the world. Or you can let Big Six do it for you.
– conduct e-banking and remote money transfers
– access online payment service providers
– declare Estonian taxes online
– fulfillment of medical prescriptions
And there are more yet to come…