Virtual currency license in Estonia
Virtual currency is a value represented in digital form that can be digitized, stored, sold, and accepted as a means of payment by individuals or entities.
The worldwide economy has been taken over by cryptocurrency that is rapidly gaining more popularity. Despite the debates around the cryptocurrency market’s fragility, people still benefit from making investments in cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency surpasses traditional paying methods due to its multifaceted advantages — availability, reliability, and independence. In parallel with allowing enterprises to invest, cryptocurrency provides a modern way to earn money.
The Estonian cryptocurrency market attracts investors from across the world for several reasons. Being a matter of law, cryptocurrency business based in Estonia has certain advantages. These are:
· full legality of the work
· credibility and stability achieved by government regulation
· transparent tax policy
· market rich in enthusiasm
· all application forms available online
In addition, there is no corporate tax in Estonia. Instead, only distributed profits are usually subject to 20% corporate income tax of 20/80 of the net profit distribution. In other words, under the Estonian taxation scheme, a company benefits from the opportunity to reinvest its profits tax-free.
On November 27, 2017, based on Directive №2015/849 of the European Parliament and the Council, a new Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism entered into force in the Republic of Estonia, which allows companies to legally provide customers with services of exchange, transfer and storage of crypto and virtual currencies based on the following licenses:
1. License of the provider of services of exchange of virtual currency for fiat currency
2. License of the virtual currency wallet service provider
The first type of license allows you to exchange fiat currency for cryptocurrency and vice versa. The second license enables the provision of e-wallet services for virtual currency.
However, as of March 10, 2020, virtual currency service providers are considered “financial institutions” in Estonia. Thus, both licenses were merged into a single cryptocurrency license called the Virtual Currency Service Provider License. Crypto companies are required to comply with the same reporting rules and requirements as any other financial institution in Estonia.
A Board Member of the company can apply for a cryptocurrency license in Estonia. An application for a license can be submitted electronically with an e-Resident card when visiting a notary in Tallinn or by issuing a power of attorney to a representative of Company in Estonia OÜ so that we can apply for you.
The state fee for a single cryptocurrency license is 3,300 EUR. The fee must be paid to the Estonian Ministry of Finance (FIU). The Bureau of Data decides a license on Money Laundering (RAB) within 60 working days after the application is submitted. The ease of the process does not mean that the regulations are not taken seriously.
In connection with the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, some recent amendments have been made to establish stricter boundaries for companies applying for an Estonian crypto-license:
• The minimum share capital of a crypto-company is 12,000 EUR, and its full payment before applying for a crypto-license is mandatory. This amount can be further used to finance the commercial activities of the company.
• The state fee payable to the Estonian government is 3,300 EUR.
• A corporate IBAN account is required before applying. Estonian banks do not accept applications for opening a bank account from crypto-companies. However, companies have the right to open an account with the European Electronic Money Institution.
• The Management Board and the place of business must be located in Estonia.
• The company applying for the license must have a legal office in Estonia.
• The presence of an Estonian citizen Company Director is mandatory.
• After applying for a crypto-license, the KYC/AML officer will have to interview the RAB to confirm their skills and suitability for the position.
One of the biggest challenges for crypto enterprisers is opening a bank account. Opening an account with an Estonian bank is not possible because none of the Estonian banks works with high-risk businesses (Crypto, Gambling, Gaming, CBD, Adult etc.). Crypto businesses are under stringent supervision as quite often their owners tend to run fraud operations and break the law by, for example, sponsoring terrorism.
While traditional banking institutions are slow to adapt to the contemporary world realities caused by virtual currency, more and more cryptocurrency businesses continue to emerge and successfully develop. As every crypto company needs to possess a banking account in order to operate, serve customers and receive payments, getting a banking account is something to pay special attention to.
It is also essential to consider that opening and to maintain an account for a company that operates within a high-risk industry is more expensive and more complicated than other business areas. The most challenging part is collecting all the required documents and comply with all regulations.
What is also important is risk assessment, which helps avoid unexpected problems and comes first if we speak about crypto businesses that still face a higher risk level. Hence, it is worth considering consulting professionals who can provide you with risk assessment and a detailed market overview.\
Company in Estonia OÜ will find the most convenient and profitable solution for your crypto-company and save your time and money. We made a comparative analysis of many banks/payment service providers and found the best solutions for opening an account for companies working at high risk.
Company in Estonia OÜ specialists will be happy to assist in obtaining a cryptocurrency license. Based on customers’ needs from all over the world, Company in Estonia OÜ has developed an all-inclusive offer, “Company & Crypto-License in Estonia”, which includes the registration of an Estonian company plus all the necessary services for obtaining a crypto-license.
• Drafting the necessary documents.
• Drafting procedural and KYC rules of a company.
• Translation of documents into Estonian and support throughout the entire process of obtaining the license.