Estonia

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DOING BUSINESS

 


Local business incentives - Legal forms of companies - Registration and licensing procedures - Legal framework - Foreign exchange control - Regulations concerning equity investment - FDI inflows - Expertise of the political risk

Local business incentives

Estonia appears to be one of the most liberal countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Since the independence in 1991, the country has built up a stable economy based on a series of privatisations, stable currency, setting up and foreign investments incentives. Estonia signed agreements with the European Union countries and other European countries. The Estonian Investment Agency (EIA) is a governmental organisation which assists and encourages investments promotion in Estonia. To get further information on aids granted, the EIA should be contacted.

 

Legal forms of companies

Form Number of partners/shareholders Minimum and/or maximum capital Liability Registration fee Release of financial documents
Individual Private Entrepreneur is a sole proprietorship. 1 person. No minimum capital. Liability is unlimited. EKK 500. No
Osaühing is a Private Limited Company. Minimum 2 partners. Minimum EEK 40,000. Partners' liability is limited to amount contributed. Maximum EKK 20,000 No
Aktsiaselts is a Public Limited Company. No minimum. Minimum EEK 40,000. Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed. Maximum EKK 40,000 Yes
Taïsühing is a general partnership. Minimum 2 partners. No minimum capital. The General Partner is personally liable with no limitation for debts and obligations of the company. 0.2% of the registered capital with EKK 3,000 minimum fees. No
Usaldusühing is a limited partnership. Minimum 2 partners. No minimum capital. Liability is unlimited for at least one partner. 0.2% of the registered capital with EKK 3,000 minimum fees. No

Registration and licensing procedures
All documents must be drawn up in Estonian. When a translation is required, legalisation from the Estonian Embassy is required.
Status have to be delivered, within six months after signature by the founders, with the Trade Register where the company is going to be located. Two to three weeks are necessary to carry out all the constitution's formalities.

Foreign exchange control
As for currency exchange regulations, free conversion of currencies is carried out as well as the right to transfer profits and capital with no limitation or period of time.

Regulations concerning equity investment
A majority holding interest in the capital of a local company is legal in Estonia. However, it is possible to get information directly from the Estonian Agency of Investment which is the unique body with the aim of informing foreign investors.  


Foreign Direct Investment inflows in Estonia

FDI inflows 2003 2004 2005 World rank (*)
2005
FDI inflows (USD million) 919 1049 2853 4/141
Source : UNCTAD - World Investment Report
Note : (*) World Rank = UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index. It is a measure of the extend to which a host country receives inward FDI relative to its economic size. It is calculated as a ratio of the country's share in global FDI inflows to its share in global GDP.

 

Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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