Estonia’s economy has boomed in recent years as it has pursued a liberal business agenda in preparation for EU membership, which was finally achieved in 2004. Foreign investment has flooded into this small Baltic state enabling it to create a relatively relaxed environment for the international business community.
However, Estonia is still developing and investors considering establishing a company in the country should tread carefully. It is particularly important here to seek professional advice on all legal, financial and tax matters.
If you’re considering how to set up a company in Estonia then please contact us for expert advice and information.
A summary of Estonian Corporate Taxes is available here.
What are the most common types of company in Estonia
Company formation Estonia offers two main forms of business entity:
– Public Limited Company – Aktsiaselts (AS)
– Private Limited Company – Osaühing (OÜ)
How much share capital is required to establish a Public Limited Company (AS)?
The minimum share capital for an AS is EEK 400,000 (€25,500).
What other requirements are there for an AS?
– Audited accounts
– A local serviced office is advisable
How much share capital is required to establish a Private Limited Company (OÜ)?
The minimum share capital for an OÜ is EEK 40,000 (€2,550), however starting from February 1, 2023 shareholders, must estimate the amount of share capital that is required to establish and operate a given limited liability company, therefore effectively reducing the requirement to EUR 1.
Are there any other requirements for an OÜ?
– An audit is required if share capital exceeds EEK 400,000 (€25,500)
– A local serviced office is advisable
What other types of company are available in Estonia?
– General Partnership (TU) – no minimum capital requirement or financial reporting requirements, all partners separately liable
– Limited Partnership (UU) – similar to TU but makes distinction between general and limited partners
– Sole Trader (FIE) – no capital requirements or financial reporting obligations
How easy is it to recruit staff in Estonia?
The recruitment industry in Estonia has been slow to develop and many Estonian companies remain content to rely on the official state employment agency to find staff. However, a number of private-sector employment agencies have emerged and Estonian job-seekers are avid readers of local press advertisements.
Estonia has a well-educated and skilled labour force and wage costs are very low by EU standards
Please contact us to discuss your recruitment requirements
What is the regulatory environment like in Estonia?
For foreign investors seeking to open a business in Estonia, the regulatory environment offers one of the most liberal foreign trade regimes in the world, with virtually no tariff or non-tariff barriers. This approach has also been carried through into the wider regulatory arena:
– The local currency, the Estonian Kroon (EEK), is pegged to the euro and is fully convertible on current account and capital account transactions.
– Capital and earnings can be freely repatriated.
– Estonia has no exchange controls or restrictions on foreign investment.
– The amount of foreign capital that can be invested in an Estonian business enterprise is unlimited.
– Companies can be in full foreign ownership.
However, tax regulations must be strictly adhered to and there are severe penalties for infringement. It is therefore essential to engage an English-speaking accountant for tax planning purposes if you are seriously considering Estonian company formation.
Are there financial incentives available in Estonia?
There are no start-up incentives in the formal sense of the word, but other advantages associated with Estonia, such as liberal business regulations and low labour costs, compensate for this.
How easy is it to close an Estonian company?
Please contact us in order to discuss closing your company in Estonia.
What about banking facilities in Estonia?
The local banking infrastructure is well developed, if a little slower than elsewhere in the EU.
For assistance with opening a bank account in Estonia, please contact us.