E-Residency Schemes in the Baltic States | LEADELL Newsletter #1 2021
Estonia was the first country to introduce and offer the e-residency scheme and it is open to individuals from all countries who work digitally, are location- independent, and want to start and run an EU company. Lithuania and Latvia, following the example set by Estonia, are also launching their own e-programs. Therefore, the year 2021 comes with some significant electronic opportunities for foreigners to receive unique electronic IDs through which they can access national electronic services as any other resident in Lithuania or Latvia. To give better insight into the upcoming (or already operating in Estonia) e-residency reforms, LEADELL law offices have prepared a comparative overview of the most important facets and changes.
Estonia was the first country to offer e-residency scheme which is open to individuals from all countries. Most e-residents are entrepreneurs who work digitally, are location-independent, and want to start and run an EU company. By now, Estonia has more than 63 000 e-residents from 174 countries, who have established over 16 000 companies – thus it is operating. The amount of the state fee depends on the pickup location applicant chooses in the application, but it is between EUR 100-120.
Lithuania was to launch the e-residency scheme in January 2021, but the launch was delayed since the State agencies of Lithuania had to update and adapt their system and platforms – thus the system is not operating. Once the e-residency scheme is launched it will allow foreigners to obtain the status of e-resident and they will be able to set up companies, open bank accounts, and declare taxes online, remotely. The public fee for issuing an electronic identification and electronic signature device in Lithuania amounts to EUR 90.
Latvia is preparing to launch the Register of Natural Person (hereafter – Register). The scheme is not ‘e-residency’ in the literal meaning of the term, nevertheless, its operating principles conform to those of e-residency. On 28 June 2021, the Register will begin to operate in Latvia and foreigners will be able to register, obtain his identification code and proceed to use national electronic services, such as electronic signature and e- address, as any resident.