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Can I Launch a Company That Acts as a Financial Institution in Estonia?

Yes, but your business may need a license to operate. In the context of financial activities, there are two main scenarios:

Scenario 1

Your company is going to offer one or more of the following services to third parties:

Foreign currency exchange (or forex).
Investment advice to clients.
Performing borrowing or lending operations.
Performing Leasing transactions.
Money broking or acting as a broker.
Offering monetary guarantees or commitments.
Performing transactions or acts related to the issue and sale of securities.
Offering services of safekeeping and administration of securities.
Acting as a savings and loan association.

If your company is in any of these cases, you need a financial license.

This scenario assumes that the activity of the business is being performed by itself, not employing external brokers, and offered to third parties. If your company is performing any of these activities internally through an external broker (for example, investing in the stock market), but not offering services to third parties, you are in scenario 2.

Scenario 2

In this scenario, your company is not offering any of the services mentioned before to third parties and it’s using an intermediary, broker, or agency with the proper license. In that situation, you don’t need the license.

Here, the key question is if your company is offering these services to other parties. If you are offering foreign exchange services to your customers, even if you use a broker, or you are offering financial advice, you should get a license in order to avoid problems with the financial authorities.

What license do I need and how much does it cost?

Licenses for financial activities may be expensive and require a complex application process. If you need help, you should ask a local tax advisor.

Updated on: 06/02/2024

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