ESTONIAN STARTUP VISA
The Estonian Startup Visa program, which was first brought into force in Canada in the middle of the year 2017, launched in 2017, in Estonia as well. Estonia, which has recently launched an e-Residency Program and has carried the international programs to a digital dimension with the government support, continues to expand such startup incentives with the Startup Visa. Estonian Startup Visa Program basically provides an opportunity for non-EU citizens to have an entrepreneurship and residence permit in Estonia. One of the most interesting features of the program is that the entrepreneurs get the opportunity to settle and develop their jobs in Estonia with this residence permit after they have established their Startups.
Visa applications for the Startup Program can also be made online. So, you don’t have to come to Estonia for any bureaucratic process until you start your Startup Company. First, you need to indicate a specific financial resource for your Startup Company during the Visa process. According to Estonian law, this resource amount must be at least €130 per month. For example, for a 3-month short-term visa application, you should be able to prove that you have at least totally €390 in your bank account. Then you need to prepare a comprehensive business plan explaining which area your company will work on and which business route it will follow. Since Estonia Startup Committee evaluates your business plan based on criteria such as sustainability and up-and-coming for the approval of Startups. That’s why it is important that your business idea should be diversified expandable globally. For instance, the idea of a mobile application addressing a very limited supplier scale would not be approved by the committee probably because it was less likely to be developed. After completing your business plan by checking up such criteria, you are ready to submit your online application. You can get support from the Social Enterprises team in the pre-application and the company setup process. You can contact us via our mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out in 10 business days that your application has resulted in positive or negative. As soon as you receive a positive result, the only thing that you need to do is dealing with the paperworks at the embassy. At this point, you have two options for a Startup Visa: 3-months short term or 12-month long term visa. Of course, if you are already a registered company in Estonia, you will only need to obtain a 5-year residence permit. After getting your visa, obtaining your residence permit is the only thing left. It should also be noted that the residence permit is important for monitoring the development of the established business and making plans according to it.
Once you receive your startup visa, you can now apply for a residence permit. A temporary residence permit for up to 5 years is included in the Startup Program. Thanks to the temporary residence permit, your spouse/husband and underage children are allowed to live with you in Estonia. Besides, this residence permit gives you the right to work while you are still in Estonia if your company face a failure. At this point, you have the opportunity to continue to develop yourself in other Startup companies in Estonia, the largest entrepreneurship center in Europe.
Finally, you will need to obtain a 12-month short-term employment visa for employees of your company that can be extended up to 18 months. At this point, you will be expected to submit a contract of employment stating that the salary that you give your team members is not below the minimum salary determined by Estonian law and does not exceed the maximum working hours. Apart from this, employees can obtain a residence permit which can be extended from 5 years to 10 years together with their spouses/husbands and underage children.
It is very advantageous to invest in Estonia to start your startup company in many ways. Estonia is not only open to the technological developments and entrepreneurship such as the countries Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and the Baltic countries, but also eliminates long and inefficient process by moving the bureaucratic process to the digital platform with e-Residency and such programs as a member of European Union which is supporting entrepreneurship. The general corporate tax rate is %20 in Estonia. Moreover, if you can’t do business any earn money, it is usually not paid. e-Residency, which has been brought into force in 20014, is one of the government incentives provided to entrepreneurs. One of the biggest advantages of this program to the entrepreneurs is the bureaucratic easiness of the great challenges of starting a business in another country. This digital identity allows business owners to electronically sign all the contract and paperwork and send them to the relevant institution or organization. Another great advantage is that it allows entrepreneurs to do business within the borders of the European Union. Therefore, you can form a company structure that is subject to EU laws and standards and your goods you produce, and the services can have the opportunity to access to this wide market.