There are almost 30 thousand Estonian e-residents. People wishing to establish location-independent enterprises, digital nomads, and British people jumping from Brexit are among them. Others are coming from Finland to take advantage of the lower taxes, entrepreneurs fleeing the kleptocracies in Ukraine and Russia and trying to enter the EU-market. There are also many Americans, and people from Turkey, who are estranged by the dictator and corruption, everyone who would like to enjoy the digital Estonian environment with relatively simple administration. This is a brilliant idea and even if only a few dozen of the 4000 (!) newly established companies will become a major player, they can still contribute greatly to the Estonian economy. This innovation, if it really prospers, will force competition on the laid-back, bureaucratic states: either they adapt or become cheaper and more straightforward, otherwise their tax base decreases. It would not hurt them. (305 Hungarians have taken this opportunity)
The story of the Turkish lady is particularly striking. PayPal is banned from Turkey, so she moved the headquarters of her tourism company to e-Estonia, and expanded the scope of the business across Europe…:
„Arzu is a professional tour guide from Istanbul who first founded her company as Walks in Istanbul. By 2015, she had built up a successful business after selling more than 600 walking tours, providing work for 12 local tour guides and earning a huge number of positive reviews online.
Then disaster struck. Political problems within the region led to a sharp decline in tourism as governments issued travel warnings for people stay away. Then PayPal stopped operating in Turkey so even those who did want to travel were unable to pay for her services. Fortunately, Arzu discovered e-Residency and then established Walks in Europe as an EU company so that she could access international payment providers, but also expand her business across the continent.”
Original date of Hungarian publication: December 03, 2017