The e-Residency program allows entrepreneurs to run a company online using a government-issued virtual identity

Estonia might be opening its digital doors to international businesses very soon. The country is currently piloting an ‘e-Residency‘ program that allows entrepreneurs to run a company online using a government-issued virtual identity; in the hopes of taking advantage of a global economy to attract new investments and make the country a hub for innovation and international commerce.

Estonia is the first country to run anything like this.

The approved applicants are given a smart ID card that allows them to do a number of online transactions usually reserved for Estonian residents, or that require local representatives.

“E-residents” can establish and administer an Estonian company online, participate in online banking, have access to international payment service providers like Paypal, Braintree, etc, digitally sign documents within the company as well as with external partners, and declare Estonian taxes online.

Having a state-issued digital identity is not new for Estonians. According to the government website, residents have been using them for over a decade. “Our country is nicknamed e-Estonia, as we have become one of world’s most advanced digital societies. By providing e-Residency and opening up our services globally, Estonia is now moving toward the idea of a country without borders,” it reads.

With almost 18,000 e-residents already participating in the pilot so far, top applicant countries are Finland, Russia, and the United States.

The country plans to keep on expanding their digital identity services, such as establishing an Estonian bank account without an in-person meeting, but through an online platform.

E-Residency could be a total game changer for international investors and business owners around the world. Making foreign business easier and opening the gates of digital commerce between countries would signify a boost in the direction the world is already heading.

e-Residency


LEAD PHOTO: euranet_plus | CC | No changes made

Estonia might be opening its digital doors to international businesses very soon. The country is currently piloting an ‘e-Residency‘ program that allows entrepreneurs to run a company online using a government-issued virtual identity; in the hopes of taking advantage of a global economy to attract new investments and make the country a hub for innovation and international commerce.

Estonia is the first country to run anything like this.

The approved applicants are given a smart ID card that allows them to do a number of online transactions usually reserved for Estonian residents, or that require local representatives.