As Brexit uncertainty continues, e-Residency, the Estonian government’s pioneering digital ID programme, and PwC Legal Estonia today issue a joint report which provides guidance to British entrepreneurs on how they can create and manage an EU company when the UK leaves the EU, whilst staying physically in the UK.
The report finds that, thanks to Estonian domestic rules, the Estonia-UK tax treaty and the fact that Estonia is a member state of the EU, businesses started in Estonia by e-residents, a process open to UK companies and entrepreneurs, can continue doing business undisrupted with their EU partners and customers.
E-Residency and PwC Legal Estonia offer advice to British entrepreneurs on how they can establish EU companies whilst maintaining a footprint in the UK, as well as how they can ensure their compliance to EU regulations like GDPR, to ensure customer confidence is not lost in their business post-Brexit.
British individuals can start a company in Estonia by becoming an e-resident and then creating a company that will still be under the EU regulatory umbrella, without needing to move their offices out of the UK.
Entrepreneurs can take action to implement this change, so that they can continue to give customers and partners the assurance that their shared data, assets and trading arrangements falls into the umbrella of EU regulations and law. Given that the vast majority of complaints under GDPR to date have come from the UK, EU regulations that protect consumers privacy and rights are clearly very important to UK citizens.
Vicky Brock is an e-resident from Northern England. Her company VistalWorks, which protects consumers from online crime, operates in the EU in parallel to her UK company. The EU company focuses on international business development and localises the tools for additional markets beyond the UK. “This wouldn’t have happened,” Vicky says, were it not for Brexit.
“I was feeling down because of Brexit when my husband found a news article about e-Residency and sent it over to me. I looked at the site and realised it’s aimed at people like me who have grown up feeling integrated with Europe and not seeing these borders. I can now maintain that, at least in a digital sense. I looked at everything I could find about e-Residency in great detail then validated it by looking at what people were saying across social media. I then went to the Estonian Embassy to collect my card and they said ‘thank you for choosing Estonia’. I felt very proud!”
Ott Vatter, the Managing Director of e-Residency, said: “Companies that remain within the EU ecosystem are at an inherent advantage to companies that crash out of them. Luckily, in Estonia we have pre-existing agreements with both the UK and the European Union that make us the perfect bridge for businesses in Britain to reconcile with their European counterparts.
“We want to help entrepreneurs and business owners expand their business across Europe by creating EU companies through e-Residency. This way they can also continue providing their customers and partners the assurance of being within EU regulations and directives that protect their rights and their data.”