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Estonia becomes the first country to offer e-Residency

From 1 May 2015, anyone anywhere in the world can apply for e-Residency of Estonia.

The Republic of Estonia has become the first country in the world to offer e-Residency – a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a location-independent business on-line.

In announcing e-Residency, Estonia declared that is it “proudly pioneering the idea of a country without borders”.  “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”.

Estonia has long been a world leading in e-government services, and has offered online services to citizens for over a decade. e-Residency has been launched to foster growth of Estonia’s economy, spark innovation and attract investment.

e-Residency will enable Estonian companies to be established, registered, and administered entirely online; offering e-Residents location independent business, secure on-line banking and digital signing of documents.

In 2009, Estonia set the Guinness World Record for the fastest online company registration of 18 minutes and 3 seconds.

e-Residents will be able to:

  • Digitally sign documents and contracts
  • Verify the authenticity of signed documents
  • Encrypt and transmit documents securely
  • Establish an Estonian company online within a day
  • Administer an Estonian registered company anywhere in the world
  • Conduct e-banking and remote money transfers
  • Declare Estonian taxes online

e-Residency services have been built on state-of-the-art technology, and are secured by 2048-bit public key encryption. The e-Resident smart ID card containing a microchip with two security certificates: one for authentication and another for digital signing.

The e-Residency card is not a physical ID card, and is not a travel document. e-Residency will not entail citizenship, tax residency, residence or right of entry to Estonia or to the European Union.

Since its launch in December 2014, over 1600 applications have been received for e-Residency, with 18,000 potential e-Residents signing up to the newsletter.

Learn more about e-Residency

About Estonia’s Digital Strategy