Digital Nation: e-Residency for the New Entrepreneur

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The world of the digital entrepreneur is only bound by the four walls of the Internet.

With business being conducted around the globe and potential customers coming from any country, entrepreneurs and those working in the online economy could use streamlined systems and borderless flexibility to be able to participate and grow in this environment.

Such was the conversation being had at Running Remote in Bali this past June; a conference centered around the remote work revolution and those who are leading the charge.


indrek pallo e-residency

Indrek Pallo, Chief Representative at EAS Singapore gave a headline talk on the background and benefits of e-Residency and its relation to the remote working experience.

The country of Estonia may not be well-known to most in the world, but exports like Skype and Transferwise, plus its distinction as one of the top startup hubs in the world make it well-known to those working in the entrepreneurship world as well as the tech sector.

And now, with e-Residency, Estonia is becoming more well known to those in the remote work world as well.


Estonia’s e-Residency program was created to cater to those who wished to take advantage of this Baltic country’s innovative digital infrastructure; allowing its citizens to perform vital civic and financial functions online in a safe and easy system, Estonia then decided to open up this system to those from around the world who would benefit from these tools and some other tools you can find on hackernoon.

estonia e-residency

Enter e-Residency: a system developed by the government of Estonia allowing people from all around the world the opportunity to create and run a business internationally, with services like business creation, document signing, banking, and tax filing all done in an online environment from anywhere in the world.

Values central to the e-Residency program include:

  • Inclusivity of the program (anyone around the world may become an “e-resident”)
  • Legitimacy (powered by approval from the government of Estonia)
  • Transparency (vital company information for companies created using the e-Residency program is publicly available online)
  • Empowerment (allowing anyone from around the globe the opportunity to participate in entrepreneurship).

And if e-Residency would be judged in entrepreneurial standards, it would have quite the successful track record: in the three years since its founding, e-Residency has seen over 41,000 applicants and over 5,000 companies being created and run by e-residents.


Those who may benefit from e-Residency may include those who freelance for a living and may come from an emerging or politically difficult market; creating a company that “resides” in EU brings with it trust and safety.

freelancer e-resident


Also, digital nomads would benefit from becoming an e-resident; lessening the burdens and hassles of operating internationally while negating the need to return to their businesses’ home country for document signing and tax needs.

What benefits will you have if you receive digital residency in Estonia?

  1. No need to extra travel to manage a company
  2. Non bureaucratic
  3. Reasonable cost for eastablishing a company
  4. Modern online banking. Investment opportunities

digital nomad e-resident


Finally, those who operate businesses outside of the EU could utilize the e-Residency program to gain the status and trust that comes with being a company that resides within an EU member country; making payments and taxes easier.

businessperson e-resident


Pallo continued his talk by making the case that e-Residency empowers remote teams of all kinds; lessening paperwork, streamlining systems and allowing entrepreneurs and remote teams the opportunity to focus on their work, rather than the bureaucracy behind it.

Applying for an e-Residency in Estonia is also a streamlined process; gathering documents needed for verification, paying a 100 EUR fee, and having background checks done by Estonian Police and Border Guard officials.


When approved, the new e-resident can then pick up their ID card and information at an Estonian embassy or at a designated pick-up location approved by the Estonian government.

These new e-residents are then able to participate in the global marketplace with the foundation and backing of the Estonian e-Residency program.

The future of the world may be remote, and countries like Estonia are finding themselves at the forefront of this new world with programs like e-Residency.

Watch Indrek’s talk here: Session Recordings – Running Remote 2018.

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4 Responses

  1. *Books next flight to Estonia*

    WOW! We’re a 100% cloud-based copywriting and social media agency, founded in Australia. The Australian Government, business regulations and taxation structure here have ZERO concept of the online business and remote work model. And most of the businesses here still insist on the traditional bricks and mortar, cubicle structure. Often, we are the first remote-working businesses our clients have ever come across, and it can cause some headaches when they don’t understand the concept. So a lot of my work now also involves coaching businesses on effective remote work structures, how to work well with remote-work suppliers, and also how to adopt the remote work model for the own operations. Unfortunately, we are still turned down for some work pitches, purely because of our online structure. This is because many managers and CEO’s want the ‘control’ of looking over staff shoulders, or calling them into their office every 10 minutes, or sitting around a table for meetings when emails would do. What we love so much about this way of working, is its efficiency! As a newspaper journalist and later working in government communications, I was left drained and uninspired by the corporate setting, and being chained to a desk, or stuck in meetings all day. Now, in any given day I can work on different projects with dozens of clients, from countries all over the world. And I can do it from a cafe, a beach, or in my PJ’s laying in bed if I really want. This way of working is economical, environmentally sustainable, more efficient for all parties, and allows business owners to break through the earnings ceiling, while keeping their own operational costs low. I honestly don’t know why more businesses haven’t realised this yet! If our Government could follow in Estonia’s lead, I believe more businesses would jump on board. Thanks for your work Running Remote. We’d be super keen to come on board as a speaker and help spread the remote work message. Let us know if you have any openings.

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