03 Nov 2020
British entrepreneurs are flocking to become “e-residents” of Estonia to take advantage of company formation rules and avoid the economic fallout from leaving the European Union.
The scheme, which was set up in 2014, allows non-Estonians access to services such as company formation, banking and taxation. Since then, 3,372 British citizens have become e-residents of Estonia, more than a third of them in the past 18 months.
The programme does not grant individuals citizenship but enables them to remotely set up a company in Estonia without it physically being based there. It allows them to retain regulatory alignment and access to the EU single market. Applicants must pay a €100 fee and 20 per cent corporation tax on any businesses registered in the country.
There are almost 70,000 Estonian e-residents from around the world, who are given a digital identity card that enables them to access services and sign and authenticate documents. The Times columnist Edward Lucas was the first person to become an e-resident.
Estonian officials estimate that businesses using the programme have generated a total of £1.5 billion sales since its inception.
By Tom Ball, The Times, 2 November 2020
Read more at The Times
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