PH firms can expand in EU via Estonia’s e-Residency program: exec

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The Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia can expand their footprint in the European Union market by incorporating in Estonia through the e-Residency program.

e-Residency managing director Lauri Haav

“e-Residency recognize a lot of entrepreneurial mindset in Southeast Asia. There are many potential investors based in the region who can use e-Residency to expand or do business in the EU – by incorporating in Estonia, one can get access to the EU single market, or can easily co-manage an EU-based business across borders with partners from around the world,” e-Residency managing director Lauri Haav told Newsbytes.PH in an email interview.

Being one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world, Haav said Estonia has developed an excellent reputation and track record as a digital society. One of Estonia’s achievements is making 99% of its government services online and the establishment of a safe, convenient, and flexible digital ecosystem.

Haav said e-Residency is one of Estonia’s highlights in its digital infrastructure, which is the first and so far unique in the whole world. Launched in 2014, e-Residency provides digital identities along with access to Estonia’s digital services to citizens of other countries who do not have residency in Estonia.

“We truly believe that Estonia’s success as an ICT powerhouse contributes to the appeal of e-Residency in ASEAN as well. The e-Residency program allows companies to establish and manage a location-independent company in Estonia entirely online and without bureaucracy,” he said.

Haav stressed e-Residency works particularly well for entrepreneurs by  offering location-independent digital services like freelancers, consultants, digital nomads, and entrepreneurs, but it works equally well for e-commerce businesses.

“We see that e-Residency can empower a lot of people in ASEAN region. The digital world provides new opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs around the world and ASEAN region in particular,” he said.

Moreover, Haav said e-Residency  can also help a broad range of entrepreneurs, start-up founders, and freelance professionals who want to launch and run their business globally. He added e-Residency provides the tools and the legal framework they need to manage their company online with minimum bureaucracy and paperwork.

 With the support of many service providers listed in e-Residency virtual marketplace that provide banking and accounting services, virtual office services, legal consultancy and so on, Haav said e-Residency also offers the possibility of easing administrative burdens and achieving greater ease of doing business on an international scale.

Moreover, Estonia has a tax-friendly environment that suits companies of all sizes. According to the Tax Competitiveness Index published in 2020, Estonia has the best tax code in the OECD for the seventh year in a row.

In support of that, filing taxes online will be made possible under the One Stop Shop (OSS) scheme as of July 1, 2021, which means exporting goods to the EU market will be made even easier for local small to medium businesses to be registered in Estonia.

“By becoming part of the vibrant startup scene in Estonia and even more broadly, the EU, newcomers in the Southeast Asian region can have better opportunities to scale their business and attract investors internationally. Also, to mitigate some of the risks for people getting started with their company, there are no corporate taxes on reinvested profits, allowing them to invest back in the business while it’s still growing,” he said.

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