This blog post was written by Ilkana, a Law student at TalTech.
International students often have plenty of questions about their studies and adapting to the Estonian way of life. For instance, how to ace an exam? Or how to cope with tough Estonian winters? Among these varied queries, one that frequently emerges is “How can I start my own company in Estonia and if that is even possible”. This is something I was curious about too.
Hi! I am Ilkana, a law student from Azerbaijan and I am studying at TalTech.
A while back, me and my sister talked about starting our own company. So naturally, in my mind, I compared the process to my home country and thought “it’s not going to be a piece of cake”, especially since I'm not even from here.
But guess what? I found out some pretty cool things and I'm excited to share them with you. So, if you're a student dreaming of starting your own business in Estonia, this blog is for you.
Let's dive into this together and see how it's actually more doable than you might think!
Is it even possible to register your company in Estonia as a Student?
The first step for me was to search for information online. After doing some homework, it turned out that it really is a piece of cake. Since I have my residence permit and Estonian ID code, my student status does not impede the process of starting my own company. Of course, if you live abroad and do not have a residence permit, you can do it as well. For that, check out the e-residency.
After the initial research, I figured it might be best for me if I talk to someone in person. So, I contacted the team from Work in Estonia. I booked an appointment online and had a free consultation with the experts regarding creating a company. This consultation is not mandatory, but it is always good to have some more insights when you are in the process of creating a company.
If you are in the process and would like to book an appointment, visit International House of Estonia web. You will see several consultation options. Choose business consultation option and a time that works best for you.
Using the e-Business Register platform, residents of Estonia who own a valid residence permit can easily register a business. This electronic platform can be accessed using Smart ID, Residence Card, and Mobile ID, which makes it easier to login and look for options related to creating a company.
Several business entities are regulated by the electronic registration process, which includes providing necessary data, choosing a business name, creating an articles-of- association template, paying a state fee, and contributing to the share capital.
Electronic registration of limited partnerships, general partnerships, private limited companies, and nonprofit organizations becomes easier via the e-Business Register platform. However, it is not possible to electronically establish public limited companies or commercial associations.
How much will it cost?
The state fees associated with electronic registration change according to the business form selected. There is a 200 euro cost for establishing private limited companies, public limited companies, and commercial associations. There is a 20-euro fee for setting up sole proprietors, general partnerships, or limited partnerships. The state charge goes up to 265 euros if you select expedited electronic registration.
When choosing notary-assisted registration, you should take into account possible notary fees in addition to state fees. During my consultation at the International House, the advising person recommended 265 euros since it is an obvious option.
Companies with yearly sales of more than 40,000 euros must register for VAT with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. After reaching the turnover level, you have three business days to complete this. For major investments, businesses under this limit may voluntarily register to get VAT refunds.
Residents can easily handle staff registration and register as VAT payers through the Company Registration Portal, making it a simple process for students starting their businesses in Estonia. All parties must be able to digitally sign the necessary documents to get started quickly.
How long will it take?
The length of time it takes to register a business in Estonia can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of registration that is selected (electronic or notary-assisted) and the efficiency of document preparation. The Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, application, bank certificate regarding deposit of share capital, and certificate about payment of state fees are among the essential documents that founders usually need to prepare when establishing a company.
If all goes according to plan, electronic registration can be completed in a few hours. Despite the quick process, it is best to give it one business day in case there are any delays or extra steps. Nonetheless, it usually takes two or three days to register a company through a notary.
I have gathered all the essential information and am now working on some stuff before registering our start-up. I want to encourage you if you also want to start your company in Estonia. Do not be afraid of long, and tiring processes. Because in Estonia, it is not the case. Email anywhere if you have a question, you will get a response, and you can find all the information via platforms such as Work in Estonia, Invest in Estonia, etc.
I hope this blog will motivate you, and I wish you good luck for your ventures.
Find out which international degree programmes are available for you in Estonia.
Read more blog posts: