You might have heard other entrepreneurs or freelancers talk about it, or might have seen news on the topic. While it has always sounded interesting, it was only a few months ago that I personally started to really look into it, after we hosted the e-Residency representatives for an info-session at Livit Hub Bali.
While most other countries are struggling to wrap their minds around the future of work, and concepts such as location independence, digital entrepreneurship, digital nomadism, Estonia is one step ahead—it’s the first country to offer an e-Residency option.
The program’s website is well done and highly informative, so I’ll only briefly describe here what the whole concept is about, as well as its most important benefits.
e-Residency is a digital identity and status issued by the government of Estonia. Digital entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers, digital nomads from anywhere in the world are all welcome to apply.
But why would you need one?
The e-Residency program is unique because it promises to allow you to:
- start a company 100% online from anywhere in the world
- travel and operate your business remotely
- move abroad without the need to re-establish your company
- register an EU-based company entirely online
- accept online payments through providers like PayPal, Revolut, etc
- own your company without the need to appoint a local director (which is the case with many other easy-to-navigate setups, e.g. registering a company in Singapore)
- sign, authenticate, encrypt and send documents digitally
- declare business taxes online
- take advantage of a motivating taxation system (e.g. 0% taxes on undistributed profits/ dividends)
- access the EU single market and cross-border capital
- network with existing e-Residents from a variety of countries (I believe around 165 at the moment)
The Estonian e-Residency, however, doesn’t mean you’ll be moving there (it’s, in fact, the opposite – running a company from anywhere in the world!) and it is not a travel document (it cannot be used to cross borders).
At this point, knowing about all the above and chatting with a few other entrepreneurs at the meet-up who have gone through the process, I was quite convinced. Running a business in Indonesia, which is extremely heavy on paperwork and legal requirements (especially for foreigners), further fueled my curiosity.
The first step to run a location-independent company via the e-Residency programme is to become an e-resident yourself.
So I set out to become one. I’ll walk those interested through the process in the next blog post on this topic.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the e-Residency program and will not be rewarded in any way if one of our blog readers becomes an e-Resident. What I am is a huge fan of location independence and progressive governments, tired of bureaucracy and definitely curious to see what the future of business looks like. 🙂