Estonia lures Indian startups with e-residency

Aims to enrol over 200 startups during 2018

GN Bureau | March 9, 2018


#Estonia   #e-residency   #Startup   #Startup India  

Estonian entrepreneurship and IT minister Urve Palo appealed Indian startups to set business in her country taking help of e-residency programme that allows anyone having a passport to run a company in the EU member country from any part of the world.

Started in 2014, e-residency is a trans-national, government issued digital identity issued by the Estonian government that provides full access to Estonian e-services and business tools to entrepreneurs.

Using e-residency, an entrepreneur can establish a company in a day, digitally sign and transmit documents and declare Estonian taxes online, Palo said. All of this can be done on a cost efficient and hassle-free way, without the need to hire a local director, said Varun Sharma, head of partnerships, e-residency.   

Sharma, however, clarified that e-residency is not a citizenship or a travel document. Although it provides the facility to apply online for a digital business banking account, the banks may still require the applicants to be physical present once while opening a bank account.  

“Firms set up through e-residency are ‘trusted location independent EU companies’, which allows them to be run remotely from anywhere on Earth with low cost and minimal hassles. They have access to an advanced and secured digital infrastructure. Indian entrepreneurs now can run their micro businesses not only in India but also grow them with access to entire EU market,” e-residency team said in a statement.  

As of now Estonia has issued 30,000 e-residency cards to people across 154 countries. This includes 1200 Indians. Minister of electronic and IT Ravi Shankar is one of e-residency card holders. He was conferred e-residency on his official visit to Estonia in September 2016.

Setting up a company in Estonia provides access to the whole of EU market — taking benefit of the EU single market’s harmonised rules.   

An applicant has to pay a processing fee of 100 euros while applying for e-residency. After online submission of application, the Estonian authorities do the background check of the applicant which takes about six weeks. It is done through taking help of the Indian law enforcement agencies, using centralised database of residents.

Estonia aims to reach out to the booming Indian start up community and intends to enrol over 200 start ups during 2018. 

Palo is heading a business delegation of eighth Estonian companies— offering smart city solutions. IN her meeting with Prasad, Palo discussed cooperation in the field of cyber security and e-governance.      
 

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