How Estonian e-Residency can help digital nomads everywhere
If you’re an active member of any digital nomad community online, you’ve probably heard someone mentioning Estonian e-Residency by now. This concept usually comes up when someone is looking for information on the best solution for incorporating a company as a digital nomad. In order to get a clear picture of the topic, let’s start with by introducing the small country with a big digital heart – Estonia.
Estonia is a small Nordic country by the Baltic sea, located south from its big brother – Finland. With the population of mere 1.3 million and the area, a bit bigger than Denmark- Estonia has been able to secure its position as the world’s most digitally advanced country. The explanation is simple – since 1991, after regaining the independence from the Soviet Union, the poor country had to find a low-cost solution for providing public services for its citizens. This pursuit led to a number of e-services provided by the government – online voting during elections, filing taxes online, starting and administering a company online and a legally binding digital signature, to name a few.
Like many of the western countries, Estonia’s population is slowly decreasing, which in turn inhibits the growth of Estonia’s economy. So how do you increase the number of taxpayers that could fuel the economic growth? Increasing the birth rate is hard and slow. This is the reason Estonia created the concept of e-Residency which gives people all around the world access to the online government services previously only available for the Estonian residents.
First of all, there’s a lot of confusion on what the e-Residency really is. Let’s get started by explaining what the e-Residency is not:
- It’s not a citizenship or actual residency. Becoming an Estonian e-Resident does not interfere with your citizenship nor does it give you the right to stay in Estonia or the European Union. It’s not a second passport.
- It’s not a way to avoid paying tax. Running a business in Estonia is very transparent. And your personal taxes should be paid in your country of residence.
- It’s not a travel document. Period.
So what can I do with it?
As an e-Resident, you’ll be able to:
- Establish and run a company online
- Conduct banking online (e.g. make electronic bank transfers)
- Have access to international payment providers
- Digitally sign documents (e.g. annual reports, contracts) within the company as well as with external partners
- Verify the authenticity of signed documents
- Encrypt and transmit documents securely
- Declare taxes online
As an e-Resident, you’ll receive smart ID card that allows you to securely access all the aforementioned services from anywhere in the world. All you need is a computer and internet.
How can Digital Nomads benefit from an Estonian e-Residency?
Digital Nomad lifestyle is all about freedom to choose your lifestyle and location. The internet has provided a way for us to provide our services online and become location independent. Starting a company as a digital nomad is quite a challenge – out of all the jurisdictions in the world, how do you choose the one that fits with the digital nomad lifestyle. You need a company that supports your lifestyle – one that is not fixed to any location and fully manageable online.Starting and running your company with the help of e-Residency is the closest you can get to a fully location independent company.
Starting and running your company with the help of e-Residency is the closest you can get to a fully location independent company. The main benefits include full remote access from anywhere in the world, simple taxes, low bureaucracy, low maintenance cost and international banking. It’s possible to everything on your own from incorporation to opening up a bank account but there are a number of service providers that can help you establish and later on run a company as an e-Resident. So next time you consider starting a company as a digital nomad, make sure to consider Estonia as a harbor for your digital nomad business.
You can find more information on how to apply for Estonian e-Residency here.
This post was sponsored by LeapIN – the smart new way to start and run your location independent business.