The Ultimate Guide to Estonian E-residency, Banking, and Taxes

(Thomas K. Running) #1

The internet seems to have been buzzing a lot about Estonia in the last few years, and a lot of it is due to the innovative new e-residency program that was launched in a limited form in December 2014, and has been rolling out additions and improvements ever since.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Philip Broughton-Mills) #2

You do state it at the bottom, but I think it bears highlighting that from January 2019 (3 weeks from now) you don’t need an Estonian bank account, and it’s perhaps worth considering the possibility that one reason that this rule was changed was because foreign customers were underwhelmed by the services offered by Estonian banks, but here’s the official explanation:

I’m an e-resident, and while the application process and embassy visit were smooth, their national websites and the (Windows) card software are badly designed and full of bugs.

(Thomas K. Running) #3

Honestly, I think LHV is one of the best banks I’ve ever had to deal with. I’ve also had good experiences with SEB. However, it is true that many e-residents have struggled with being approved for local Estonian bank accounts so it’s definitely a welcome change.

Unfortunately, the major Estonian banks have started to charge higher fees for non-residents this year, sot that’s another good reason to do your banking abroad.

Regarding the websites, it seems at least some of them have been improving lately. I also think the software has improved since DigiDoc4 launched. I haven’t noticed any bugs on Mac other than occasionally having to restart for it to recognize my card in a browser.

But that has also been less of an issue since Smart-ID launched (which I should probably also mention in the article). Basically, it will enable you to do most of the things you would normally need your ID card for through a secure app on your phone.