Estonia – Self-employed worker

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as a self-employed person in Estonia? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

No information available at the moment.

Where and how to apply 

You can apply for a residence permit at the Estonian embassy or consulate in your country of origin or residence. You may apply for a residence permit directly at the Police and Border Guard services in Estonia in case you have a legal ground for staying in Estonia (e.g. visa).

If you are holding a company or holding shares in a company, the company or self-employed person must be entered into the commercial register of Estonia i.e. the Estonian Commercial Register.

Documents required

The following conditions have to be met:

  • the sole proprietor is entered into the commercial register of Estonia;
  • You have to have sufficient monetary resources for engaging in enterprise in Estonia;
  • You must have invested in Estonia a capital sum of € 16,000 under your control where you are self-employed. The requirements for capital do not apply in case of a start-up companies.
  • You must show that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself.
  • You must show the necessary qualifications and skills and must provide a business plan.
  • You must also prove health insurance, housing and registration requirements.


Grounds for refusal include non-compliance with the necessary conditions or if you, the business plan, the business partners or the financial sourcing, are unreliable.

Further requirements

You must register your place of residence in the Population Register within a month of your arrival.

You are required to inform the Police and Border Guard Board of any changes in the facts on the basis of which the residence permit was issued, of difficulties in the performance of the assumed duties or of the impossibility to perform the assumed duties.

Duration of validity of permits

Permits for enterprise are granted for a maximum of five years.


Appeals can be brought to administrative courts or a challenge may be filed against decisions to refuse a permit within ten days from the date of notification of the decision. A decision on the challenge may be contested in an administrative court within the same term.

Further information

More on residence permits for enterprise

Long-term residence 

After five years of continuous residence on the basis of a temporary residence permit, you may apply for a long-term residence permit at the Police and Border Guard Board.

You must submit your application no later than two months before expiry of your valid temporary residence permit and fulfil the following conditions:

  • You have registered your residence in the Population Register of Estonia;
  • You have a valid temporary residence permit;
  • You have a permanent legal income for subsistence;
  • You have a health insurance;
  • You comply with integration requirements i.e. pass a test of the Estonian language at least at the level of B1 if you are 15-65 years old and you do not have restricted active legal capacity.
  • There is an absence of grounds for refusal

More on long-term residence permits

Change of activities

You can change activities.

Change of status

You can change status and apply for a new temporary residence permit (also for grounds other than employment) at the Police and Border Guard Board

No information available at the moment.