There are no particular restrictions for foreigners acquiring fixed assets in Estonia and the legal processes are fairly simple.
If planning to rent, below are the indicative ranges for rents (excluding VAT and operating expenses) in the major towns of Estonia for class A and B1 office premises, medium-sized retail units in major shopping centres, and new and renovated warehouses (EUR/sqm per month).
A class office 12.5-16.2 EUR/sqm
B1 class office 8.5-13.5 EUR/sqm
Medium-sized retail in major shopping centres 23-48 EUR/sqm
New and renovated warehouses 4.1-5.2 EUR/sqm
A class office 12.5-13 EUR/sqm
B1 class office 10 EUR/sqm
Medium-sized retail in major shopping centres 10-25 EUR/sqm
New and renovated warehouses 4-4.5 EUR/sqm
A class office 11-11.5 EUR/sqm
B1 class office 6.5-7 EUR/sqm
Medium-sized retail in major shopping centres 8-22 EUR/sqm
New and renovated warehouses 3.5-4.5 EUR/sqm
B1 class office 5.5-6 EUR/sqm
Medium-sized retail in major shopping centres 8-18 EUR/sqm
New and renovated warehouses 3.5-4.5 EUR/sqm
Estonia is the knowledge economy leader among the EBRD regions, doing particularly well in the digital infrastructure subindex, earning scores higher than the OECD comparator countries’ mean score.
Named ‘the most advanced digital society in the world’ by Wired, ingenious Estonians are pathfinders, who have built an efficient, secure and transparent ecosystem that saves time and money.
Estonia aims to be one step ahead with innovation and boasts a full digital ecosystem, world class cyber-security, and first 5G test networks available.
Building e-Estonia as one of the most advanced e-societies in the world has involved continuous experimentation and learning from our mistakes. Estonia sees the natural next step in the evolution of the e-state as moving basic services into a fully digital mode. This means that things can be done for citizens automatically and in that sense invisibly.
The Estonian power system consists of oil shale fired power plants in North East Estonia, combined heat and power plant near Tallinn, wind parks, and hydro plants. The Estonian power grid is connected to Russian and Latvian ones, as well as to the Nordic grid (via two maritime cables). The price of electricity comprises of four components: electricity, network service, renewable energy support, and excise duty. The price of electricity on the open market can be followed through Nord Pool Spot.
Water supply and waste water services are provided by local water companies. For example, in Tallinn the cost of one cubic meter of water for industrial use is about 2.3 € (excluding VAT).
Gas is imported from Russia and an underground gas storage in Latvia. Industrial gas is distributed to customers through pipelines, distribution stations, and gas pressure reduction stations. The price of gas consists of gas, network service, and excise duty. The price of industrial gas is subject to negotiations on the basis of annual total consumption.
Estonia has a highly developed telecommunications and IT infrastructure. A fibre optic backbone network has been built throughout the country. Two competing 10 Gbps optical networks are being built by competing service providers, being among the first such networks in Europe. The providers hope to be able to provide internet speeds of 10 Gbps to at least 40 per cent of the households in Estonia within the next few years. At the same time, Estonia is covered by digital networks providing wireless internet. Internet service providers offer wireless connections of up to 400 Mbps with 4G connections covering almost the entire country.
Estonia’s main international airport is located in Tallinn, the nearest European capital to Asia. There is another international airport in Tartu. Regional airports are located in Kuressaare, Kärdla and Pärnu.
The country has a well-developed port infrastructure. The ports are ice-free and easily navigable all year round. Railway connections allow cargo delivery from seven ports. In addition there are free trade zones located at three of the major ports.
The rail infrastructure is going to develop rapidly in the following years. Estonia’s current rail gauge is compatible with the railway networks in Eastern Europe and Russia. In the following years, an additional rail connection will link Estonia with Central and Western Europe. The project, called Rail Baltic, is one of the biggest investments in the years to come in improving the travel opportunities of Estonian people as well as developing business and trade, tourism and the exchange of goods. The railway route will ensure speeds of up to 240 km/h and will provide the opportunity to travel comfortably and quickly to Latvia and Lithuania, Central Europe and further.
Estonia has a good quality road network. There are 10 border inspection posts on the border with Russia. Electronic pre-arrival customs processing is used, making border crossing faster and smoother.
There is a number of industrial parks with pre-developed infrastructure that welcome manufacturing and logistics companies. The parks have a lot to offer to a wide range of different businesses and developers.
These are some of the largest industrial parks in Estonia:
There are three free trade zones in different parts of Estonia that are logistically in great locations near highways, railways and ports.
The free trade zones are established by the Estonian government, and monitored by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. All free zones in Estonia are open to foreign direct investments.
Goods in the free trade zone are considered as being outside the customs territory. Goods brought to the free zone for later re-export are not subject to VAT, excise nor customs duties. Also the Estonian speciality – no tax on reinvested profits – preserves in free trade zones.
What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?
The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.