The Estonian e-residence program provides virtual resident status to foreigners by using the infrastructure of the local e-state. With the e-residence program, anyone can get access to Estonia state services and the state infrastructure as a service. The e-state delivers an unprecedented level of transparency, accountability and accessibility within the government. In the end, the efficient and effective infrastructure of the e-state provides for a prosperous and simple environment for business and entrepreneurship. Since the year 2014, non-residents can apply for a digital identity under the e-residence program. This digital identity does not relate to personal residency and has no rights to legally stay in Estonia. However, the digital identity offers people residing outside Estonia the opportunity to run a location-independent business, establish a company online, digitally sign documents, conduct e-banking and submit tax reports all with the same level of simplicity that local Estonian residents enjoy daily.
After the online application to participate in the e-residence program is made, a verification check is done by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board. When there are no serious objections e-residence status can be granted. The applicant must come to Estonia or visit an Estonian embassy to verify the identity and file its digital signature. A digital ID card, which is valid for five years, holds a chip protected by RSA 2048-bit encryption. The chip contains all information to verify the holders identity and enables access to e-state services.
The most effective use of the e-residence program is to run an efficient location-independent business. Efficiency is warranted by the innovative online infrastructure of the e-state. Company formation is fast when the application and registration under the e-residence program is concluded. The due diligence procedures as executed by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board can take up to three months, though. Therefore, businesses who depend on company formation to commence trading, might try finding complimentary alternatives or consider a group structure. Legal Floris LLC and Equation CS are ready, willing and able to discuss the needs of international businesses.