How to Start an Import-Export Business in Estonia in 2024-25

In this article, we have discuss about how to start an import-export business in Estonia in 2024-25. Read the complete article to know more about benefits, requirements, process and more.


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    import-export business in estonia

    Estonia, known for its business-friendly environment and advanced digital infrastructure, offers a prime location for starting an import-export business. This article provides a clear and concise guide on how to establish your import-export business in Estonia, covering requirements, benefits, processes, and necessary licenses.

    Benefits of Starting an Import-Export Business in Estonia

    1. Strategic Location: Estonia’s geographical position provides easy access to European, Scandinavian, and Russian markets.
    2. Digital Ecosystem: Estonia is renowned for its e-governance, allowing business operations to be conducted online efficiently.
    3. Favorable Business Environment: With low bureaucracy, competitive tax rates, and support for startups, Estonia is an ideal place for business.
    4. Membership in the EU: As an EU member, Estonia offers the advantage of free movement of goods within the European Union.

    Requirements to Set up an Import-Export Business in Estonia

    1. Business Plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your import-export strategy, target markets, and financial projections.
    2. Market Research: Conduct thorough research on market demand, competition, and potential trading partners.
    3. Capital: Ensure you have sufficient capital to cover initial costs such as registration, licensing, and operational expenses.

    Process to Start an Import-Export Business in Estonia

    1. Register Your Business

    • E-Residency: Apply for Estonia’s e-Residency, allowing you to manage your business remotely.
    • Business Name: Choose a unique business name and check its availability on the Estonian Commercial Register.
    • Company Registration: Register your company online through the e-Business Register. The process includes submitting necessary documents and paying a registration fee.

    2. Set Up a Business Bank Account

    Open a business bank account in Estonia to facilitate international transactions and manage finances efficiently.

    3. Obtain Necessary Licenses

    Identify and obtain the required licenses specific to your business activities:

    • General Trading License: Required for import-export businesses.
    • Special Licenses: Depending on the nature of goods, you may need special licenses (e.g., for alcohol, tobacco, or pharmaceuticals).

    4. VAT Registration

    If your annual turnover exceeds €40,000, you must register for VAT with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.

    5. Comply with Customs Regulations

    Understand and comply with Estonian and EU customs regulations:

    • EORI Number: Obtain an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number for customs procedures.
    • Customs Declarations: Submit import and export declarations electronically through the Estonian Tax and Customs Board’s portal.

    Additional Steps

    • Logistics and Warehousing: Arrange for logistics, warehousing, and distribution channels.
    • Marketing: Develop a marketing strategy to promote your products in target markets.
    • Network: Build relationships with suppliers, customers, and trade partners.


    Starting an import-export business in Estonia is a streamlined process thanks to the country’s digital infrastructure and supportive business environment. By following the outlined steps and ensuring compliance with legal requirements, you can establish a successful import-export venture in Estonia. Leveraging the benefits of Estonia’s strategic location and EU membership can further enhance your business prospects.

    If you want to start your import-export business in Estonia, contact OnDemand International for more information.