Estonia has transformed itself into one of Europe’s business success stories of the last decade, mainly thanks to the sophisticated e-solutions available. Whether they are business-to-business or government-to-business, these solutions rely on infrastructure such as the X-Road and eID to create the kind of fast interaction and access needed to make commerce work.
It is a simple fact – where business is easy, business will grow. Services in the private, sector such as internet banking and digital signatures have cut costs and speeded up trade like never before. Likewise the public sector solutions used in Estonia like electronic tax filing, e-business registry and the availability of public records online have pared bureaucratic waste down to a bare minimum.
The country’s open and clear working environment, a big attraction for investors, is given a boost by one-of-a-kind commercial and land registries, which leave no doubts as to affiliations and ownership. In addition, the country’s cutting-edge, e-oriented government makes an unprecedented amount of legal and tax information available on the web.
Digital Society and Infrastructure
The e-Estonia digital society is made possible largely due to its infrastructure. Instead of developing a single, all-encompassing central system, Estonia created an open, decentralized system that links together various services and databases. The flexibility provided by this open set-up has allowed new components of the digital society to be developed and added through the years. It’s that power to expand that has allowed Estonia to grow into one of Europe’s success stories of the last decade.
Components for Digital Society:
e-Estonia’s digital society components are the building-blocks that power Estonia's integrated e-services. The modular nature of e-Estonia's flexible component systems means it's easy to add e-services in the future, allowing government systems to grow.
- DigiDoc – is a system that is widely used in Estonia for storing, sharing and digitally signing documents.
- Digital Signature – enables secure, legally-binding, electronic document signing.
- e-Business Register – enables entrepreneurs to register their new business online in minutes.
- e-Cabinet – a powerful tool used by the Estonian government to streamline its decision-making process.
- e-Law – allows public access to every piece of draft law that has been submitted since February 2003.
- e-Tax – has drastically reduced the time spent by individuals and entrepreneurs on filing taxes.
- Electronic ID Card – acts as definitive proof of ID in secure electronic environments.
- Mobile-ID – allows a client to use a mobile phone as a form of secure electronic ID.
- Mobile Payment – enables payment for goods and services using mobile phones.
- m-Parking – allows drivers to pay for city parking using a mobile phone.
- Electronic Land Register – a one-of-a-kind information system for storing real estate and land data.
- State e-Services Portal – a one-stop-shop for the hundreds of e-services offered by government institutions.
- e-Residency – Estonian e-Residency is a digital identity that allows everyone in the world to do business online with ease.
What is e-Residency?
“e-Residency offers to every world citizen a government-issued digital identity and the opportunity to run a trusted company online, unleashing the world’s entrepreneurial potential.“
The Republic of Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency — a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a location-independent business online. e-Residency additionally enables secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust online.
Nearly 33 500 e-Residency cards have been issued to individuals in 154 different countries. Over 5000 companies have been established by e-Residents.
- Digitally sign documents and contracts
- Verify the authenticity of signed documents
- Encrypt and transmit documents securely
- Establish an Estonian company online within a day. At the moment a physical address in Estonia is required, which may be obtained using an external service provider.
- Administer the company from anywhere in the world.
- Conduct all the banking online, e.g. make electronic bank transfers.
- Access online payment service providers
- Declare Estonian taxes online. e-Residency does not automatically establish tax residency. To learn about taxation and to avoid double taxation please consult a tax professional.
All of these (and more) efficient and easy-to-use services have been available to Estonians for over a decade. By offering e-Residents the same services, Estonia is proudly pioneering the idea of a country without borders.
e-Residents receive a smart ID card which provides:
- digital identification and authentication to secure services
- digital signing of documents
- digital verification of document authenticity
- document encryption
Digital signatures and authentication are legally equivalent to handwritten signatures and face-to-face identification in Estonia and between partners upon agreement anywhere around the world. Recent changes in the EU law mean that within the next few years Estonian e-residents will be able to easily identify themselves, access online services, and conduct business across Europe. The e-Resident ID card and services are built on state-of-the-art technological solutions, including 2048-bit public key encryption. The smart ID card contains a microchip with two security certificates: one for authentication, called PIN1, and another for digital signing, called PIN2. PIN1 is a minimum 4-digit number for authorization, PIN2 is a minimum 5-digit number for digital signature.
e-Residency does not confer citizenship, tax residency, residence or right of entry to Estonia or to the European Union. The e-Resident smart ID card is not a physical identification or a travel document, and does not display a photo.
Read more about e-Residency here.
We encourage you to apply for e-Residency!
Apply to e-residency