E-Residency Digital Summit Germany

A recap of e-Residency’s first virtual summit focused on German-speaking e-residents

Alex Wellman, Marketing Team Lead for e-Residency, and Kristel Kruustük, Founder and CTO of Testlio, speaking in a main room panel session

Last week e-Residency hosted its very first online summit focused on e-resident entrepreneurs in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

We were joined by trusted service providers from the e-Residency Marketplace, as well as Estonian Government partners including Invest in Estonia and Startup Estonia.

The Summit’s packed agenda included all the information necessary for starting and running an Estonian company using e-Residency, particularly focused on German-speaking markets.

About 1,300 participants watched panel sessions, took masterclasses in a variety of key topics, and had the opportunity to speak directly with service providers in Q&A-style ‘Meet the Experts’ presentations.

Despite the event focusing on German-speaking countries, we were pleased to see participants joining us from countries around the world. Leaving aside viewers from Estonia (7% of participants), the vast majority of participants were from Germany (52%) with Switzerland a distant second (4%), USA third (3%), and Austria and the UK fourth and fifth respectively (about 2% each).

The Summit aimed to answer the key questions on the most important topics for those thinking about becoming an e-resident and starting a company in Estonia:

  1. What sets Estonia’s business environment apart from others in Europe?
  2. How to easily and quickly establish a company in Estonia as an e-resident?
  3. What banking and payment service options are available for e-residents?
  4. What are the key things to know about accounting, taxation, and reporting in Estonia when operating a company as a non-resident?

Estonia’s business environment

Panel sessions in both German and English introduced the benefits of doing business in Estonia, including how easy it is to establish and manage a company here due to the advanced digital environment, entrepreneurial culture and spirit, vibrant startup ecosystem, and suitability for location-independent work & entrepreneurship.

Recordings of the main stage panel sessions are now available on our website.

Company establishment

Expert business consultants discussed the main issues to be aware of when establishing a company in Estonia as an e-resident, from choosing a unique name to registering your company in the Commercial Register.

Find recordings of all Masterclasses on our YouTube channel:

Banking & payments

A hot topic for e-residents and in business more generally is how your business can pay and get paid. E-resident company owners have a few options, but by far and away the easiest and quickest to setup without having to travel to Estonia is to use the business banking services of a fintech.

  • Payoneer and Transferwise provided tips in their Meet the Expert sessions on how their services could be used by your business in Estonia
  • Payoneer also gave a Masterclass on the topic of business banking and payment services

Search for banking and payment service providers on the new e-Residency Marketplace, which now allows you to filter and compare options! Read more in our blog post on the new features:

Tax, Accounting & Reporting

Running a business across borders requires some understanding of international taxation rules and procedures. Luckily, e-Residency has a growing list of tax consultants who are knowledgeable not only about Estonia’s tax system but those of other countries as well.

Moderator Thomas Schneider with panellists Andra Larin of Priolaunch, Damir Tomicic of Axinom and Jan Johannes of Cludlessone OÜ, in the main room panel session on taxation for cross-border businesses
  • Given the importance and popularity of this topic among our e-resident community, we dedicated an entire panel session to taxes in Estonia for German e-residents (in German with English subtitles)
  • Plus, Silva Hunt discussed Estonia’s deferred tax regime in a Masterclass and ‘Meet the Experts’ session, and Your Company in Estonia provided a Masterclass on accounting and VAT
  • There were also a number of Meet the Experts sessions dedicated to this topic, including one on accounting and tax and another on annual reporting, both by Crowe DNW

Existing e-residents from our 70,000-strong community also took part in the Summit to share their experiences about their journeys to becoming e-residents, starting Estonian companies, and running them online. Several e-residents such as Priya, Alagan, and Damir were guest panellists on the main stage, while others gave Masterclasses, or were on hand to answer direct questions in the ‘Meet the Experts’ presentations.

250 of the participants also joined the e-Residency team, service providers, and e-residents in a Slack workspace dedicated to the Summit. This proved a popular place for participants to ask questions about issues specific to their individual circumstances. It also proved to be a useful platform to network and meet potential business partners.

Moderator Florian Marcus with panellists Hendrik Lume
of Nortal, Riina Leminsky from Invest in Estonia, and Dr Priya E. Abraham, e-resident and founder of Cyberconnecting OÜ, in the main room panel session on doing business in the digital nation

The e-Residency Team has been gathering feedback about the event. We have been pleased to hear all of your positive feedback:

“I was so pleased to have the opportunity to attend the conference today! I learned so much and have taken note of the various providers who are relevant to my needs.”

Tina

“I wanted to thank you for the excellent work of the whole e-Residency team. Several people of my team, colleagues and friends were positively impressed. One of them told me literally: “This summit surprised me a lot, it is evident that they have a very professional team behind this program of Estonia.”

Ignacio, Your Company in Estonia

There is still time to respond to the survey so please send us your feedback!

Thank you to all who participated in and contributed to a rich and productive event. We will be holding other events soon so stay tuned for news about those!

In the meantime, recordings of Summit sessions are available at the following links:

  • Watch the recordings of the main stage panel sessions, for a wonderful overview of e-Residency for entrepreneurs
  • All of the Masterclasses are available on our YouTube channel:

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