Estonia is favorable to innovations in finance, was the first to start issuing permits, then introduced favorable conditions for crypto business: 0% tax on retained earnings of the company, bitcoin payments are not subject to VAT (European Court of Justice decision of 2015), ICO-projects do not pay taxes. In the jurisdiction, in the last 5 years, more than 2000 crypto licenses have already been issued. Estonia has also signed about 60 double-taxation agreements.

The Financial Inspection Unit (Rahapesu Andmebüroo – RAB. Financial Intelligence Unit, FIU), under the authority of the Ministry of Finance, monitors and regulates financial activities based on legal provisions, including the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing of March 15, 2022. FIU decides on the issuance of a single cryptocurrency license (Virtual Currency Service Provider License).

The peculiarities of this license among others in the EU is that one license covers several types of activities: exchanges and e-wallets, payments. It is also easier to obtain than in Malta, Switzerland, or Gibraltar.

Advantages of obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Estonia

Opening and running a business in the EU.
When opening a company in Estonia, there is no need for passportization in other EU countries. Company registration takes about a week. Crypto exchange license Estonia costs are also one of the most loyal in the EU, provided that one license is issued for several types of activities. The license obtained in Estonia works in other EU countries. Opens up a market with more than 500 million users.

Well-regulated jurisdiction.
There are clear rules and regulations for obtaining a license, businesses operate in a safe environment, and customer confidence is increased. Estonia ranked 18th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.

One license for different types of activities.
From 2020, the jurisdiction will issue one license for all services related to virtual currencies. No annual renewal fee.This type of authorization makes it possible to officially provide services:

  • Virtual asset wallets and storage services
  • .Generation and storage of encrypted keys for clients’ e-wallets

  • Exchange of virtual currencies
  • .Cryptocurrency exchange license in Estonia makes it possible to exchange crypto-assets for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies and vice versa

  • Cryptocurrency transfers and payments
  • .Transfer of funds at the client’s order to the specified details

  • ICO (initial coin offering)
  • .Offer and sale of virtual assets on behalf of the issuer

High-tech environment.
Estonia has a well-developed IT sector, online voting, online payment for public services, registration, and business management is possible remotely thanks to e-Residency. The highest number of startups per person in the world is registered here.

Proven track record.
Estonia has strict requirements to fulfill AML/KYC procedures, companies are thoroughly checked for compliance with all business norms, which increases the credibility of the business and its operations.

Request more info about the Crypto License in Estonia

Requirements for obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Estonia

In Estonia, the Financial Inspection Unit (FIU) makes sure that companies that plan to operate in the cryptosphere fulfill all requirements. The FIU reviews the documents for obtaining an Estonian crypto license within 60 working days, and if the FIU has questions about the completeness of the submitted data, the deadline can be extended for another 60 days.

To obtain a crypto license in Estonia, you need to fulfill the following conditions:

Register a company.
The business must be registered in the Estonian e-registry.

Realize all requirements regarding the main persons of the company.
All board members, shareholders, and founders must provide certificates of absence of criminal records, not to be associated with offenses related to money laundering. They must also provide identification data and place of residence, and copies of passports must be notarized. At least one of the board members must be a resident of Estonia. In addition, board members must have higher education and at least 2 years of experience.

Have sufficient financial capital.
The company needs to prove its financial ability to run the business and cover all the risks of the business. To be able to exchange cryptocurrencies, the applicant has to contribute the authorized capital of at least EUR 100 thousand; to provide payment services from electronic wallets, the authorized capital is EUR 250 thousand.

Have an office.
The company must have a physical office in the jurisdiction. The company needs to provide a phone number and email address.

Implement AML and KYC procedures.
A compliance officer should be appointed. Present developed AML rules, according to the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act, International Sanctions Act, Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament.

Develop a business plan and have a website.
The company should provide a 2-year description of its activities and create a corporate website.

Plan the audit of the annual accounts.
When applying, provide details of the auditor who will conduct the audit and provide information to the FIU.

Provide data retention.
Business records are retained for 5 years after the company is closed. During the life of the business, the service provider must provide documents and data upon request of FIU or law enforcement agencies.

Open a bank account.
Have a corporate bank account in any EU or Estonian country.

Pay the fee for obtaining a license.
Before applying, pay the fee – EUR 10 000.

Procedure for obtaining a cryptocurrency license registration in Estonia

The procedure of obtaining a license in Estonia takes place in several stages:

  • Stage 1

Registering a company in Estonia

  • The registration process can take place either online using e-Residency or offline.
  • The license is available only for legal entities.
  • The mandatory Estonian crypto license requirements are the procedures developed by AML/KYC in Estonian and English languages.

The registration procedure takes about 5 working days if it is done through a notary.

  • Stage 2

Open a bank account

  • A cryptocurrency company needs to open an IBAN account.
  • It is allowed to open a corporate account in other EU countries.
  • Today there are about 16 banks and their branches in Estonia.
  • Stage 3

Have a legal address

  • The corporation provides a postal and e-mail address
  • It is necessary to confirm the existence of a physical office with all communications and furniture.
  • It is not necessary to have real estate in possession, renting is allowed.
  • Stage 4

Gather data on persons associated with the company

  • For company founders and managers, in addition to identification documents, a certificate of criminal record is also submitted. Also professional biographies and diplomas.
  • Board members must have 2 years of work experience in the relevant field.
  • One of the board members (directors) must be an Estonian resident.
  • Stage 5

Confirming the source of money

  • Collect documents confirming the official origin of funds: for crypto exchanges, virtual wallets, ICO – EUR 100 thousand; if the company will provide payment services – EUR 250 thousand.
  • It is necessary to obtain a written confirmation of the deposit of funds from a bank or payment system.
  • Stage 6

Submit your application

  • Send the application to FIU.
  • Stage 7

Pay the fee

  • The cost of the state fee has increased and is – EUR 10,000.
  • The whole process can take about 120 days.

Establishing a cryptocurrency company in Estonia

Forming a company in Estonia consists of a few simple steps:

  • Stage 1

Filling out the application form in the Estonian electronic registry

  • The company can be registered either in person or remotely based on a power of attorney
  • Online registration through e-Residency, the portal of the Electronic Commercial Register (takes 20 minutes).
  • Offline registration through a notary (takes up to 3 days), registering a JSC or Commercial Partnership.
  • Stage 2

Approve the company name

It is necessary to verify the company name using the Electronic Commercial Register portal,
Pay the registration fee (€200 for the normal procedure, €265 for the accelerated procedure).

  • Stage 3

Prepare documents for company registration

  • Memorandum of Association, Memorandum of Association (depends on the type of company)
  • Data of directors and founders (passports), their e-mail, phone numbers, and residential addresses.
  • Deposit the authorized capital to a bank account (the amount depends on the type of cryptocurrency company’s activity)
  • Stage 4

Registration with the Tax Office

  • Stage 5

Prepare documents for applying for a crypto license

  • The application for a crypto license is sent by one of the board members
  • The application package includes passports of all key managers, founders/shareholders, and certificates confirming that they have not been convicted; for the main employees of the company, a description of their employment history and copies of their diplomas; proof of a local office, a 2-year business plan and a financial forecast; the described AML procedures.
  • To pay the license fees – EUR 10 000.

The license is perpetual.

  • Stage 6

Open a bank account

  • To conduct crypto-activities it is necessary to have an IBAN account.
  • It is possible to open it either in a bank or a European payment system.

Opening a bank account for a cryptocurrency company will take about 4 weeks.

Crypto license consultant in Estonia


Eugen Fomin

Regulation of Cryptocurrencies in Estonia

The main controller of the Estonian financial sector is the Financial Inspection Unit (Rahapesu Andmebüroo – RAB. Financial Intelligence Unit, FIU), its activities are subordinate to the Ministry of Finance. This regulator monitors the compliance of businesses with all norms of such legislation as:

Regulatory features that apply to cryptocurrencies include:

  • Pay for the authorized capital of the company only in money (not less than EUR 100 thousand -or EUR 250 thousand depending on the services provided).
  • Carry out verification, and identification of natural persons/clients, according to the Law on Identity Cards 
  • Amount of own funds, calculated on a scale depending on the services offered
  • Audit of cryptocurrency companies is mandatory

With the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act on March 15, 2022, and amendments on April 1, 2022, and rule changes from FIU, new changes have been introduced for crypto licenses:

  • Previously, two types of licenses were issued, now everything is combined into one license
  • FIU has increased the application processing time from 30 days to 60 days with the possibility of extending it for another 60 days
  •  Application fee from EUR 3,300 to EUR 10,000
  •  A Bank account can be opened at a bank or PSP.
  • The amount of share capital has changed from EUR 12000 to EUR 100000 (EUR 250000) depending on services
  • The Regulator has more powers to refuse to issue a license or revoke it (especially if there is a suspicion of money laundering operations).
  • Cryptocurrency companies must be active in Estonia for at least 6 months.

Taxation in Estonia

It is mandatory for a company in Estonia to pay the following taxes:

  • 25% in case of dividend withdrawal
  • 33% social tax
  • 20% income tax
  • 20% VAT

Also established:

  • 0% on retained earnings
  • 0% on capital gains
  • 0% on inheritance
  • ICO projects are not taxable
  • Bitcoin currency transactions are not subject to taxation
  • Payment and currency exchange services are exempt from turnover tax, according to the Turnover Tax Act.

FAQ about Estonian cryptocurrency license

What is an Estonian cryptocurrency license?

Permission from the Regulator for a cryptocurrency company to provide a range of services: cryptocurrency exchange, payments, and e-wallet services.

Who is entitled to apply for the Estonian Crypto License?

One of the company’s board members should apply for the license together with the company’s application package.

What types of cryptocurrency transactions are covered by the license in Estonia?

In Estonia, one license is issued for several cryptocurrency-related activities: exchanges, payments, crypto wallets, and ICO projects.

How long does the application process usually take?

FIU can mull over issuing a license within 60 business days, but in some cases, this period can be extended for another 60 days.

Can non-residents apply for an Estonian crypto license?

Yes, non-residents of Estonia can own a crypto business as long as they comply with the regulations.

How much does it cost to get an Estonian cryptocurrency license?

The license application fee is EUR 10,000 and is paid to the Estonian Ministry of Finance.

Are there any restrictions on the types of cryptocurrencies allowed for licensing in Estonia?

There are no bans on any types of cryptocurrencies in Estonia, the main requirement is to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

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