An increasing number of Britons are applying for the Estonian e-residency, which enables them to conduct business within the European Union while living in the UK – even after Britain leaves the European Union.
Estonia is the first country to offer e-residency – a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in running their business online.
It was discussed in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum as an option for British entrepreneurs to mitigate some of the challenges of the UK leaving the European Union.
The latest statistics reveal that almost 1,000 Britons have now applied and applications from the UK are continuing to arrive twice as frequently as before the referendum, following an initial surge from three to 51 applications per week. More than half of all applications from the UK – 534 to be exact – have arrived since the vote, while 231 arrived in the same period beforehand, according to the team running the Estonian e-residency programme.
Range of business interests
British e-residents are currently using the programme for a range of business interests from developing video games and blockchain applications to providing consulting services to clients across Europe and the world.
E-residency gives access to Estonia’s advanced digital infrastructure and public e-services so that the approved e-residents can establish and manage an EU company and enjoy the same rights in business as Estonians.
However, e-residency does not provide citizenship, physical residency or tax residency so most Brits signing up plan to continue living and paying taxes in the UK.
Cover image courtesy of Thomas K. Running.