What is Estonian e-Residency and how to take advantage of it?

The Basics:

When you sign up for Estonian e-Residency, you receive a government-issued smart ID card that provides digital identification and authorisation. That way, you can digitally sign important documents, access secure services, and make secure transactions – even if you don’t live in Estonia.

For example, e-Residency would allow an Indian entrepreneur to establish an Estonian company that he runs from Singapore to serve clients based in Germany. He’d also be able to use his digital signature to sign contracts with customers throughout the European Union. All of it would be done online, remotely, and completely hassle-free.

Estonia (Eesti) is a small country in Northern Europe that sits south of Finland, across the Baltic Sea from Sweden, just north of Latvia, and just west of Russia. It’s estimated that 1.3 million people call this country home, which makes it one of the least-populous member states of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, OECD, and the Schengen Area. The official language is Estonian, and the capital, which doubles as the country’s largest city, is Tallinn.

More importantly, though, Estonia is the world leader in digital governance and a founding member of Digital 5 (D5), a global network of leading digital governments. In fact, in December 2014, Estonia became the first country in the world to introduce the concept of e-Residency.