Register Your Company In Estonia And Obtain An EMI License Today

by Starting a Business Published on: 22 February 2024 Last Updated on: 23 February 2024

Register Your Company In Estonia And Obtain An EMI License Today

When it comes to starting a business, Estonia has become one of the most attractive destinations in Europe. Its digital infrastructure, low taxes, and flexible business environment have made it a hotspot for entrepreneurs and startups.

Register company in Estonia is a straightforward process, with a fully online system that allows you to establish a business in just a few clicks. The e-Residency program, introduced by the Estonian government, has made it even easier for foreign entrepreneurs to set up and run a company in Estonia from anywhere in the world.

Once you have registered your company, you can take advantage of the numerous benefits that come with it. Estonia’s e-residency program allows you to access a wide range of digital services, including opening a bank account, signing documents, and even obtaining an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license.    

An EMI license allows your company to provide payment services, issue electronic money, and conduct other financial activities. It is a valuable asset for fintech startups and businesses looking to operate in the digital payment sector.

With its transparent and business-friendly regulatory environment, Estonia has positioned itself as a leading hub for fintech innovation. The EMI license, combined with the country’s advanced digital infrastructure, makes it an ideal location to launch and grow your fintech business.

Key Steps To Register A Company In Estonia

Step 1: Choose A Business Name

Start by selecting a unique and brandable name for your company. Make sure the name complies with the Estonian naming rules and is available for registration.

Decide on the legal form of your company, such as a private limited company (OÜ) or a public limited company (AS), based on your business needs and goals.

Step 3: Prepare Incorporation Documents

Gather the required documents for company registration, including the articles of association, identification documents of the shareholders and board members, and proof of payment of share capital.

Step 4: e-Residency Application (If Applicable)

If you are a non-resident, you may need to apply for an e-residency card to digitally sign documents and manage your company online.

Step 5: Company Registration Application

Submit the completed application form, along with the required documents, to the Estonian Business Register or through a trusted service provider.

Step 6: Pay The State Fee

Pay the state fee for company registration. The fee amount depends on the type of company and is quite visible in the registration portal.

Step 7: Register For Taxes

After registering the company, one must have to register for relevant taxes, such as VAT and corporate income tax. It has to be with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.

Step 8: Obtain An EMI License (If Required)

If you plan to provide financial services, such as electronic money issuance or payment processing, consider applying for an EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license from the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority.

Step 9: Open A Bank Account

Choose a suitable Estonian bank and open a business bank account to manage your company’s finances.

Step 10: Start Operating Your Estonian Company

After completing all the necessary steps, you can start operating your Estonian company and enjoy the benefits of doing business in Estonia.

Choose Your Business Structure

When registering a company in Estonia, it is important to choose the right business structure. The business structure you choose will have implications for your liability, taxes, and administrative requirements. Here are some common business structures to consider:

  • Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest form of business structure, where the owner is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business. As a sole proprietor, you will be responsible for reporting your business income on your tax return.
  • Partnership: In a partnership, two or more individuals share the ownership and management of the business. Each partner is personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners, providing limited liability protection for its owners. This means that the owner’s assets are generally safe from business debts.
  • Public Limited Company (PLC): A PLC is a business enterprise with publicly traded shares on the stock exchange. It has more stringent legal and reporting requirements compared to other business structures.

Each business structure has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to carefully consider your goals and needs before making a decision. Consulting with a legal or tax advisor can help you choose the best structure for your business.

Decide On Your Company Name

Choosing a name for your company is an important step in the registration process. It is important to choose a name that is unique, easy to remember, and aligns with your business goals and values.

Here are some tips to help you decide on the perfect company name:

  • Brainstorm: Take some time to brainstorm different ideas for your company name. Consider the industry you are in, your target audience and the image you want to portray.
  • Research: Once you have a list of potential names, it is important to research if there are any existing companies with the same or similar names. This will help you avoid confusion and potential legal issues in the future.
  • Check availability: Before finalizing your company name, check if the domain name and social media handles associated with your chosen name are available. This will help you establish a strong online presence for your business.
  • Trademark search: Consider conducting a trademark search to ensure that your name is not there in another company’s trademark list. This will help protect your brand and avoid any potential legal disputes.
  • Consult with professionals: If you are having trouble coming up with a name or need assistance with the registration process, consider consulting with professionals, for example, lawyers or branding experts. They can provide valuable advice and guidance.

Remember, your company name is an important part of your brand identity. Take your time, do your research, and choose a name that reflects the essence of your business.

Prepare The Required Documents

Registering a company in Estonia and obtaining an EMI license requires the submission of specific documents. It is essential to gather and prepare all the necessary paperwork in advance to avoid any delays in the process.

1. Identification documents:

Prepare copies of the identification documents, such as passports or national ID cards, for each director and shareholder of the company. Make sure that the copies are clear and legible.

2. Proof of address:

Provide proof of address for each director and shareholder. This can be in the form of utility bills, bank statements, or similar documents. The proof of address should be recent, typically within the last three months.

3. Company details:

Prepare the necessary information about the company, including the proposed name of the company, its registered address, and the intended activities. This information will be required during the registration process.

4. Business plan:

Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your company’s objectives, strategies, and financial projections. This document will be important when applying for an EMI license, as it demonstrates that your company has a viable and sustainable business model.

5. Capital information:

Provide details about the company’s share capital, including the total amount, currency, and breakdown between shareholders. The share capital must meet the minimum requirements set by the Estonian authorities.

6. Due diligence documents:

Prepare due diligence documents, such as the source of funds and proof of beneficial ownership, to demonstrate the legitimacy of your company and comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

7. Letter of intent:

Write a letter of intent explaining why you are applying for an EMI license and the benefits it will bring to your company. This letter should convey your commitment to operating a compliant and transparent business.

By gathering and organizing these required documents, you can streamline the company registration and EMI license application process, ensuring a smoother and more efficient experience.

Open a Business Bank Account

Once you have registered your company in Estonia and obtained an EMI license, it is important to open a business bank account to manage your financial transactions.

Choosing the right bank is crucial, as different banks offer different services and fees. It is recommended to research and compare the options available to find the one that best fits your needs.

When opening a business bank account, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

Company Documents: 

You are required to provide your company’s registration documents, articles of association, and proof of address.

Identification Documents: 

You are required to provide identification documents for all authorized signatories and beneficial owners, such as passports or ID cards.

Proof of Business: 

You are required to provide proof of your business activities, such as invoices, contracts, or business plans.

EMI License:

You will need to provide your EMI license as proof of your regulatory compliance.

In addition to these documents, the bank may also require you to provide information about your business activities, projected turnover, and expected transactions.

During the account opening process, one is advised to inquire about the fees associated with the business bank account. Some common fees to consider include transaction fees, monthly maintenance fees, and fees for additional services like international transfers or merchant services.

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and chosen a bank, you can contact the bank to schedule an appointment to open your business bank account. During the appointment, be prepared to answer questions about your business and provide any additional information or documentation that may be required.

Opening a business bank account is an essential step in managing your company’s finances and complying with regulatory requirements. By carefully selecting a bank and providing all the necessary documents, you can ensure a smooth account opening process and start conducting your business transactions efficiently.

Submit Your Company Registration Application

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and information, it is time to submit your company registration application in Estonia. Follow the steps below to ensure a smooth and successful submission process:

Prepare the registration documents:

Make sure you have all the required documents ready, such as the application form, articles of association, and a notarized copy of the identity documents of all company shareholders and board members.

Create an account:

Visit the Estonian Business Register website and create an account. This will allow you to submit your application online and monitor its progress.

Fill in the application form:

Provide all the necessary details in the application form, such as the company name, address, and the names and contact details of the shareholders and board members.

Upload the required documents:

Attach the required documents to your application form. Ensure that all documents are in the correct format and meet the specified requirements.

Pay the registration fee:

Pay the registration fee online using a valid payment method. The fee amount will depend on the type and size of your company.


Once you have completed all the necessary steps and reviewed your application, submit it electronically. Make sure to retain a copy of the submitted application for your records.

After you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the Estonian Business Register. The processing time can vary, but typically it takes around 3-5 working days. During this time, the Business Register may request additional information or documents if necessary.

Once your application is processed and approved, you will receive a notification confirming the successful registration of your company in Estonia. You will also be provided with a registration number and other relevant information. Congratulations! You are now officially registered and ready to start your business venture in Estonia.

Note: It is recommended to consult with an individual who is a  professional in legal service or a business service provider to ensure that all the requirements and steps are followed accurately during the company registration process.

Obtain An EMI License

If you want to offer electronic money services, such as electronic transfers, payment processing, or issuing prepaid cards, you will need to obtain an EMI license in Estonia. An EMI license, or Electronic Money Institution license, is permission granted by the Financial Supervision Authority of Estonia to operate as an electronic money institution. It allows you to offer financial services to customers within Estonia and the European Union.

The Process: What Goes Into It?

The process of obtaining an EMI license in Estonia involves several steps. First, you will need to incorporate a company in Estonia. This involves registering your company with the Estonian Business Register and fulfilling all the necessary legal requirements. Once your company is registered, you can proceed with the application for an EMI license.

The application process requires you to provide detailed information about your company, its shareholders, directors, and beneficial owners. You will also need to submit a comprehensive business plan, financial projections, and evidence of sufficient capital to operate as an electronic money institution. The Financial Supervision Authority will evaluate your application and may request additional documentation or clarification.

Factors To Consider

It is important to note that the process of obtaining an EMI license can be complex and time-consuming. It is recommended to seek professional assistance from a specialized service provider or legal advisor who has experience in dealing with the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority. They can guide you through the application process, ensure all the necessary documents are prepared correctly, and increase your chances of obtaining the license.

Once you have been granted an EMI license, you will need to comply with the ongoing regulatory requirements and reporting obligations. This includes maintaining appropriate risk management systems, conducting regular audits, and submitting financial reports to the Financial Supervision Authority.

Having an EMI license in Estonia can provide numerous benefits, including access to the European Union market, a favorable regulatory environment, and opportunities for business expansion. However, it is crucial to ensure compliance with all the legal and regulatory requirements to maintain the license and operate your electronic money institution successfully.

Benefits Of Registering Your Company In Estonia

Registering your company in Estonia has numerous benefits that can help your business thrive. Here are some of the key advantages:


Estonia offers e-residency to non-residents, allowing them to establish and manage their businesses online. This digital identity enables entrepreneurs to operate their companies easily from anywhere in the world.

Simple and Efficient Setup Process:

Setting up a company in Estonia is quick and straightforward. The government has implemented a streamlined process that minimizes bureaucracy and paperwork, making it easy to start your business.

Low Taxes:

Estonia has a favorable tax system that encourages entrepreneurial activity. The corporate income tax rate is a flat 20%, and there is no tax on retained or reinvested profits. This makes Estonia an attractive location for both startups and established businesses.

Access to the European Union Market:

By registering your company in Estonia, you gain access to the European Union market. This allows you to freely operate within the EU and take advantage of the benefits of the single market, such as the free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor.

Business-Friendly Environment:

Estonia is known for its business-friendly environment and supportive ecosystem. The country actively promotes entrepreneurship and innovation, providing resources and assistance to help companies grow and succeed.

Digital Infrastructure:

Estonia is renowned for its advanced digital infrastructure. The country offers secure and efficient e-services, such as e-banking, e-residency, and e-government, which simplify business operations and enhance efficiency.

Access to Skilled Workforce:

Estonia has a highly educated and tech-savvy workforce. The country is a hub for technology and innovation, attracting talent from all over the world. Registering your company in Estonia gives you access to this pool of skilled professionals.

Technologically Advanced Society:

Estonia is a leader in digital innovation and technology. By registering your company in Estonia, you become part of a tech-savvy society where digital solutions are an integral part of daily life.

These benefits make Estonia an excellent choice for entrepreneurs looking to establish and grow their businesses in Europe. Registering your company in Estonia can provide you with a solid foundation for success and open up new expansion opportunities.

E-Residency And Digital Business Environment

Estonia is known for its advanced digital infrastructure and innovative approach to business. One of the key aspects of this digital environment is the e-Residency program, which allows individuals from anywhere in the world to become virtual residents of Estonia.

With e-residency, individuals can establish and manage a business online, access e-services, and sign documents digitally. This program enables entrepreneurs to register their companies in Estonia, even if they do not have a physical presence in the country.

The e-residency program is particularly beneficial for those looking to obtain an EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license. An EMI license allows businesses to offer payment services, issue electronic money, and provide other financial services. Estonia has become a hub for fintech companies, and the e-Residency program makes it easier for entrepreneurs to access the digital banking and financial ecosystem.

In addition to the benefits of e-residency, Estonia’s digital business environment offers other advantages. The country has a straightforward and efficient company registration process, with minimal bureaucracy. Companies can be registered online, and the entire process can be completed remotely. This ease of doing business has attracted many startups and entrepreneurs to establish their companies in Estonia.

Furthermore, Estonia has developed a robust digital infrastructure that supports e-commerce, online banking, and secure digital communication. The country’s e-government services allow businesses to easily interact with government agencies, file taxes, and manage various legal and administrative tasks online.

In conclusion, Estonia’s e-residency program and digital business environment provide entrepreneurs with unique opportunities to establish and manage their companies in a cutting-edge digital ecosystem. With the benefits of e-residency and the country’s digital infrastructure, Estonia has become an attractive destination for individuals and businesses looking to operate in an innovative and efficient digital environment.

Favorable Taxation Policies

One of the key advantages of registering a company in Estonia is its favorable taxation policies. The country has a transparent and straightforward tax system that attracts many entrepreneurs and investors.

Estonia operates on a territorial taxation principle, which means that only income generated within the country is subject to taxation. This allows companies to conduct business internationally without the burden of excessive taxes.

Another significant advantage is Estonia’s low corporate income tax rate, which is currently somewhere around 20%. This rate is considerably lower than the average in other European countries, making Estonia an attractive destination for businesses looking to maximize their profits.

In addition to the low corporate income tax rate, Estonia also offers a tax exemption on distributed profits. This means that if a company reinvests its profits instead of distributing them as dividends, it can benefit from significant tax savings.

Estonia also has a variety of tax incentives and benefits for certain industries and types of businesses. For example, companies involved in research and development activities can qualify for tax credits and deductions. The country also provides favorable tax treatment for startups and small businesses, allowing them to grow and thrive.

Overall, Estonia’s favorable taxation policies make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to establish a presence in the European market. The transparent and low-tax environment provides ample opportunities for growth and success.

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With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer. Find her sharing profound thoughts and opinions on business and startups. She also loves talking about lifestyle, beauty and fashion.

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