Considerations for the investor:
- Estonian law is harmonised with the EU legislation.
- Workforce is highly educated and motivated.
- A relatively good and rapidly-developing production infrastructure (ports, roads, telecommunications, warehouse facilities) supports the development of nation.
- Estonia has highly-developed electronic communications: good access to internet, digital signatures, ID cards, web-based projects.
- Estonia is the most transparent and the least corrupt country in the CEE region (Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2015, 23rd out of 168 countries).
- Estonia’s economic freedom is regarded as one of the highest in the World and the best in the CEE region (Economic Freedom World Ranking 2016, 9th out of 178 countries).
- Regulatory environment is conducive for starting and operating a company in Estonia (IMF Ease of Doing Business 2016, 12th out of 190 countries).
Estonia can offer a progressive business environment with an efficient and compatible infrastructure. Our e-services, mobile communications and internet applications are among the most progressive in the world. Estonians are adaptable towards new technologies, and use them willingly.
At the same time, our Nordic influence gives investors a transparent, clearly-defined, sincere and honest partner who is considerate, rational and not very talkative. The Estonian approach is functional and one that creates timeless value. Our natural resources are powerful and accessible.
As an added value, rootedness is like a guarantee that Estonians do not give up and would rather break their arm than a promise they have given. Perseverance and culture are a good basis for long-term plans in any area of business.
Estonia is the leading country in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of attracting foreign direct investments. Estonia is within a 3-hour flight from most major European, Scandinavian and Russian cities. Overall, the business climate in Estonia is characterised as free business and trade in alignment with EU practices. Many companies are subsidiaries of European, particularly Scandinavian firms. Estonia has some of the highest credit ratings in the region (Fitch IBCA, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s). Estonia is a member of the euro area from 2011, but the country’s cost level is still significantly lower than that of the neighbouring Scandinavian countries.
Throughout the period of regained independence, the economic and fiscal policy of the government has mostly been aimed at achieving long-term economic growth. The overall government attitude is very welcoming toward foreign capital, especially into sectors that are export-oriented, innovative and support regional development. 0% corporate income tax is imposed on all reinvested earnings in Estonia.
Estonia is one of the leading countries in the world in creating and implementing e-government solutions and cyber security. 99% of people use internet banking services and more than 95% complete their income tax return over the internet. Estonia hosts both the cyber security centre of NATO and the IT-agency of the European Union.
In the 2015 parliamentary elections 30.5% of all participants voted over the internet.
Since 2015 non-residents may apply for e-Residency which is a state-issued secure digital identity that
allows digital authentication and digital signing of documents. The purpose of e-residency is to make life easier by using secure e-services that have been accessible to Estonians for years already. By providing e-residency, Estonia is moving towards the idea of a country without borders.
Estonia is a member of the WTO from 1999 and the European Union and NATO from 2004. In 2010, Estonia became 34th member of the OECD, the organisation that includes most of the world’s wealthiest and most developed countries. Currently Estonia has 56 double taxation treaties in force.
Estonia has systematically reformed its legal system since the 1990s with the top policy priority being facilitating entrepreneurship. Legislators and governments have always displayed the clear will to make the business environment attractive in order to benefit from tax revenues and the jobs created by attracting foreign investors.
The Estonian legal environment favours entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset. Foreign investors have equal rights and obligations with local entrepreneurs. All foreign investors may establish a company and conduct business in Estonia in the same way as local investors; no restrictions apply.