On June 29th 2023, I registered my company as a sole beneficiary owner in Estonia. Like I said in the title, I really love the whole experience when I register a company in Estonia! It is finished in less than 3 hours, complete with opening a bank account in LHV, and the whole process is finished after lunch. 😂 I was so amazed!
Started with e-Residency
Back in 2017, I registered myself as an Estonian e-resident, not long after my husband, Asep Bagja, enrolled in the program. But unfortunately, I never registered a company in my own name through the program. Why? Because my husband already register a company there, and we were building the business together, that’s why.
Let’s pause a bit.
Have you ever heard or known about the e-Residency of Estonia? If you haven’t, then in short, e-Residency is NOT a program where you can register as a resident of Estonia. It only allows you to easily create a business from anywhere in the world without having to move to Estonia.
It’s really a very innovative program, that allows you to have business based in a European country. Basically, Estonia is known for their digital advancement where you can enjoy a lot of services ultimately only with one card: eID. Wanna know more about e-Residency? Visit their website and read more about how you can become an e-resident. They can help you to connect with other e-residents worldwide, and expose you to various service providers that can help your business through their marketplace.
Fast forward to 2021.
We moved to Estonia in October 2021, and I wrote about it too. But in my first year here, I felt that I need to slow down a little bit and adapt myself to Estonian culture. Perhaps learn a bit about how they do business too. After some months, I’ve thought long and hard about getting a job in some tech startups, too. I felt the urge to gain experience before confidently doing my own business.
I even admit myself to Töötukassa (Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund) before getting a job. The program that I admitted there is really really helpful. Super helpful, in fact! While in the program, my counsellor encouraged me to choose whether to look for a job or create a business. It’s just the same, basically. I will write a post about it later.
There are some business ideas that crossed my mind a lot of times. Some of them basically just living in my head rent-free, but I just think about it, not doing anything. Basically, overthinking to the point that I got fed up with it.
And in November 2022, when I just really got stuck with my life and the ideas that I kept, I tried to pet sit for a while. I used PetBacker to get jobs for hosting pets at my house. Financially, it is not enough to cover even the basic needs of a single person. But it’s a fun and fulfilling job. And I kind of fell in love with it. It gives me a sense of purpose and fulfilment in my life nowadays.
So, after doing some pet-sitting gigs, I decided to formalise my business, and register my own company! 🥰
Registering Company as a Resident of Estonia
The path that I took is different from the path my husband took to register his first and second companies. He registered through the e-residency program. And since I’ve already become a REAL resident of Estonia, it is actually EASIER for me to register my company without the help of a service provider to (basically) let me borrow an address. And also, I can open a business bank account where I don’t have to pay extra Euros per month because I already LIVING HERE! 😆
Yes, if you’re living outside of Estonia and want to open a business here, you need to use a service provider to basically help you register your business. And to have a conventional bank account by yourself, well, you need to come to Estonia to do that. But you can use a Wise or Revolut account, not a big deal.
To register my business, I don’t need to prepare anything other than my eID to sign important documents. And in this case, I didn’t even take my ID card out of the wallet, because I just need my smartphone and Smart-ID app. It’s really really super simple. You can read the full steps and know-how on business registration applications here.
But if you need more information on what to prepare before registering your business, here are some things I suggest:
- The name of your company. After input your chosen name, the system will give you some appropriate name formats that you have to choose.
- The address of your company. You can use your home/apartment address if you don’t have a specific office or business space.
- Primary e-mail address as a form of communication. You can use your personal email address, as long as it is active.
- Your business activity. You only can choose one business activity as your planned principal activity, but after the establishment, information on activities can be submitted annually to the register with the annual report.
- Your capital for the business. The minimum is only 0.01€. The system provides a simpler way to deposit your capital to Rahandusministeerium (Ministry of Finance). You can apply for a return of capital deposit later when your application is completed, no need to worry. If you don’t have an Estonian bank account, you can choose the manual method.
- The state fee for founding a private limited company electronically is just 265 €.
You don’t have to get out of your house, or even meet other people to register your business. It can be done in a very short time.
In my case, it was done in 2 hours and 40 minutes! 🚀 Super duper fast, no?
And with that, my first sole-ownership company has born, and I named it Lillika OÜ. 💕
Opening a Bank Account as a Business
After receiving an email that my application had been approved, I immediately opened a bank account for my business. I chose LHV, since I’m already their customer, and their service is just the best in my opinion.
The process is also fast and doesn’t even require me to come to the bank. I just visit their website, click Open An Account, choose account type “Business” and log in with my Smart-ID. Basically, I just fill out the form in less than 10 minutes, sign it, and my business account is connected to my personal code. You can even open an account through their mobile app.
There are a few things other than money to open a business account in LHV that you need to know.
- Name of your company. Of course.
- Registry code of your company.
- Code of principal business. This is the EMTAK code when you choose your planned principal activity when applying for business. You can always double-check on your e-Business Register dashboard.
- Description of your principal business. They need it to asses the source and flow of your money, basically. 😈
- Financial information. It is super simple, you only need to choose from the range of options they provided. Again, to check your cash flow and profiling. 😈
- Main business contractors. Basically, this is where you have to give a bit of explanation on who you serve as a business.
Another six important points, eh? 😂
When I open this business bank account, I found something unique. What was it?
So, it was about the card delivery method that I must choose. I originally want to pick up the card at the bank’s office, because why not? It is summer, and it’s always nice to have a reason to go out in super nice weather. But if I chose that, I must pay 10€, while ordering the card to be delivered to my address is FREE! 🤣
So I guess the reason behind it is the way Estonians perceived TIME >>> MONEY. Estonians are very time punctual, and they want to work efficiently. Meeting people (even though it is customers) to just do small talk while giving the card is time-consuming. Yeah, maybe it is just for 5 minutes or less. But if in a year they have to see a thousand customers, how much time will be wasted? They will never be able to regain those lost time, while lost money, you can always gain them back, somehow.
It is for me one of the things among many that I admire about Estonians.
After registering my first business, I treat my husband to a really delicious ramen that we love: Kanuti Ramen Bar. Cheers to a better future for our businesses! 🥂
I hope my experience in register a company in Estonia as a resident can help you. If you have more questions, just leave them in the comment section below.
Kivi kotti! 🍓