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flag Estonia Estonia: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labor | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Sole proprietorship
Number of partners: 1 person.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is unlimited.
Private Limited Company
Number of partners: No minimum: one or more shareholders.
Capital (max/min): Minimum EUR 2,500.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Public Limited Company
Number of partners: No minimum : one or more shareholders.
Capital (max/min): Minimum EUR 25,000.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
General partnership.
Number of partners: Minimum 2 with no limitation on the number of partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: The partners are solitarily liable for the obligations of the partnership with all of their assets. Limited liability for limited partner.
Limited partnership
Number of partners: Minimum 2 with no limitation on the number of partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Limited Liability.
The Competent Organization
Registration should take place at the Commercial Register.
 
Setting Up a Company Estonia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Procedures (number) 5.0 6.0
Time (days) 7.0 14.0

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Estonia.
Trade Register

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The Active Population in Figures

20122013
Labor force 675,900692,900

Source: CIA - The world factbook

 
200920102011
Total activity rate -61.20%61.90%
Men activity rate 69.00%67.70%68.20%
Women activity rate 54.80%56.50%56.70%

Source: UN - United Nations

 

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
Legal duration is 40 hours a week.
Retirement Age
63 for men

60 for women

Working Contracts
There are fixed-term contracts, (their maximum duration is five years) and contracts with unspecified terms. A minimal part of the working populations has no written contract; conditions are agreed orally. These contracts cannot be extended over two weeks.
Labor Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
EUR 278 per month (source: ILO, 2011).
Average Wage
The average monthly salary in 2013 was EUR 900.
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: The rate is 33% (20% for social security and 13% for health insurance).
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: Two contributions are deducted by the employer on the worker's gross wages:
- A contribution of 2% which is paid to a pension fund;
- A contribution of 0.6% which helps to finance unemployment insurance.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
There are 2 major trade unions in Estonia:

 

 

 

- EAKL - Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions

- TALO - Estonian Employees' Unions' Confederation.

It should be noted that trade unions were reorganized following the independence of the country in the 90's. The trade unions gave up their role of acting as an "executing organ" and supporter of the Soviet Union system to gain freedom in acting in the state system and economy. The principles of social partnership were therefore established quite recently. A Trade Unions Act was drawn up and guarantees the right for employees to join a trade union.

 

Unions
Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions
Estonian Employees' Unions' Confederation
Unionization Rate
Only 14% of Estonian employees are member of a Trade Union.
Labor Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Social Affairs

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Learn more about Operating a Business in Estonia on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: January 2015