This move is seen to facilitate the making of investments in Estonian startups, Estonia’s National Broadcasting ERR announced.
Estonia is one of the most digitally-enabled nations in the world where 99 percent of public services are already available online, companies can be founded online, and now change of ownership of company shares can also be carried out through the internet.
This amendment concerns companies with a share capital of €10,000 and more, however, the share transactions of companies with a smaller share capital still need to be notarized. Also, the company should unanimously amend the paragraph of the articles of association so that notarization is no longer required.
Maarika Truu, Head of Startup Estonia, described the amendment to ERR as important and long-awaited, as it will significantly reduce bureaucracy in attracting foreign investments and have a positive and broad-based effect on the Estonian economy in general.
“The change is essential. Under the Commercial Code valid to date, all shareholders of the company and new investor or their representative had to meet at the office of a notary in Estonia at the same time. Existing legislation was almost 15 years old and clearly outdated,” Truu says.
“Bolt expanded to 3 African countries by hiring local people via Skype video calls without visiting the cities physically,” says Martin Villig, Co-Founder of Bolt, Estonia’s newest unicorn. “Why couldn’t other decision makers around the world take this as a great modern example and invest online in the country they trust and in the company they know well?” asks Villig.
“Investors whose business in Estonia we have been facilitating have repeatedly indicated that there is great interest in online investment procedures,” noted Raido Lember, Director of the Estonian Investment Agency at Enterprise Estonia. Now, after six months of hard work by the Estonian Government, Parliament, Startup Estonia and others, it is possible.
Estonia is an excellent place to invest in
World-class human capital, unique digital capabilities, a competitive business environment with advantageous tax system make Estonia a smart, agile location for businesses with global ambitions. There are more than 1,000 startups in Estonia ready to conquer the world following the four Estonian unicorns: Skype (read more), Bolt (read more), Playtech (read more) and TransferWise (read more).
Estonia’s business environment has a lot to offer companies, especially if you are active in or in need of IT R&D and if your functionalities require world-class IT competencies. 63% of the investments made through the Estonian Investment Agency in 2019 were made in the IT sector.
e-Residency for expansion to Europe
e-Residency program enables entrepreneurs all over the world to establish and manage an EU-based company entirely online without ever having to leave their home country. Already 63,000 people from 167 countries have joined Estonia’s digital nation as e-residents.
You are welcome to visit Estonia
Of course, if you wish to make sure that Estonia is the place to do business for you, site visits to the country are still welcome. Estonian Investment Agency (Invest Estonia) is here to help you. Just send us an e-Consulting request to get more detailed information from one of our advisors free of charge.