Register as an E-Resident to Beat the Brexit Blues

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For those business owners who have a large customer base in EU countries or deal with suppliers based in the EU, Brexit was a shock to the system and has led to months of unease and uncertainty while we wait for the UK to negotiate the big exit from the European Union.

Up until the UK voted in favour of leaving the EU earlier this year, very few people knew that you can register as an e-resident in a variety of different EU countries. Now this knowledge has become more widespread, more and more business owners are registering as e-residents in EU countries, which will allow them to base their businesses and finances within the country of their choice.

And which country is the choice of many? Surprisingly, it’s the small Baltic state of Estonia that’s growing every day. In today’s post, we’re going to walk you through the registration process and explain why so many people (12,000 at the last count!) are choosing to digitally base their business in Estonia.

Why become an e-resident?

So why are so many people choosing to become digital residents? There are a few reasons, one of which is that digital entrepreneurs who hail from countries such as Ukraine may find their financial situation limited by their government.

The main reason now, however, is because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. In the two weeks after the vote, Estonia saw applications for digital residency from UK citizens boom by ten times the previous period.

Is your interest piqued? Next up, let’s look at how you can go about registering as a digital citizen in Estonia and how you can register a company there in a few easy steps.

How do you become an e-resident?

It’s a surprisingly simple process. All you need to do is fill in a short form, upload a scanned copy of your passport, provide a photo for ID purposes and confirm why you want to become an e-resident.

After completing the documents your application is reviewed by the Estonian police to check for financial discrepancies and any criminal history. Next you’ll be invited to visit your local Estonian embassy for a simple interview and to pick up your ID card. That’s it!

How do you register a company in Estonia?

Just like the digital residency application, registering a company in Estonia is also a simple process. You have two options here, to enlist the help of a service provider or do it yourself.

The official recommendation is to use a service provider as it makes things even easier, saves you time and frees you up to dedicate more time to your business. Kaspar Korjus, the Estonian e-Residency Programme Director, suggests using one of the following service providers: LeapIN or 1Office.

If you decide to go it alone and complete the registration yourself, you’ll need to visit the Company Registration Portal and follow the steps listed. You will need a physical address for the company (which can be obtained from a service provider like the two mentioned previously), an official business name and, if required, adequate share capital. For more information about registering your business without a service provider, Stanislav Yurin’s E-Resident Me blog is extremely helpful.

So there you have it, an introduction to e-residency and registering a digital business in Estonia. If you’re looking for peace of mind and a solid base during these uneasy times, digital residency is definitely something you should be considering. If you have any further questions about the process or have registered as an e-resident yourself, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.