yossarian6 - Fotolia
An e-residency scheme to help entrepreneurs to set up European Union (EU) businesses in Estonia has had more applications than there have been births in the country so far this year.
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Counting up to November, there have been 10,269 births in Estonia compared with 11,096 e-Residency applications. Since the programme began in 2015, it has had more than 27,000 applications.
The The e-Residency government programme aims to attract entrepreneurs from other countries to register EU businesses in the Baltic state by providing non-Estonian citizens with easy access to online government services.
Estonia’s e-Residents own more than 4,000 enterprises, with the most common being in business and management consultancy, computer programming, tech consultancy and business support services.
Kaspar Korjus, programme lead Estonia e-Residency, said: “E-residency offers the freedom for every world citizen to easily start and run a global EU company from anywhere in the world.”
“By launching e-Residency, the Estonian government aimed to make Estonia bigger – to grow our digital economy and market with new customers, to spark innovation and attract new investments. We’re delighted with e-Residency’s progress to date, but are even more excited to see how the project will grow in the future.”
Citizens of around 150 countries have applied to the programme, with UK citizens the fifth most prevalent.
To date, 41% of applicants want to start a location-independent international business, 27% are looking to bring business to Estonia, 13% said they were advocates of the initiative and 8% applied to benefit from the programme’s secure authentication technology.
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“Estonia is the first country creating a borderless digital society for global citizens by offering e-Residency. Anyone, regardless of nationality or location, can apply for the transnational, government-issued digital identity and benefit from a platform built on inclusion, legitimacy and transparency,” said Korjus.
E-residents can start a company within a day and run the company remotely. They can apply for a business banking account and credit card, conduct e-banking, use international payment service providers, declare taxes, and sign documents digitally.
The programme does not provide citizenship, tax residency, physical residency or the right to travel to Estonia or the European Union. ... ... ... ...