Get an EMI license in Estonia - YB Case 2024

Get an EMI license in Estonia

Get an EMI license in Estonia

Stages of obtaining an EMI license

Company registration in Estonia

Registration Requirements

Embarking on the journey to obtain an Electronic Money Institution license in Estonia commences with the pivotal step of registering the company within the nation. Despite Estonia's reputation for providing a business-friendly environment, enterprises aiming to secure both registration and an EMI license must adeptly navigate through specific prerequisites delineated by the regulatory landscape. This not only involves the establishment of a legal entity but also demands a nuanced adherence to intricacies and criteria tailor-made for EMI licensure. This underscores the necessity for a meticulous approach, highlighting the importance of paying scrupulous attention to detail throughout the registration process. Within the advantageous expanse of Estonia's business terrain, a profound comprehension of the distinctive requirements inherent in the pursuit of EMI licensure is paramount for success in this jurisdiction.

  • Legal address: The company must have a legal address in Estonia. This address will be indicated in official documents and registration certificates.
  • Resident representative: Successful registration of the company in Estonia requires the presence of a resident representative. A resident representative is a natural person residing in Estonia who will represent the company's interests before authorities and banks.

Registering a company in Estonia, taking into account the specified requirements, constitutes the first stage towards obtaining an EMI license and provides the foundation for further operations and interaction with regulators.

Registration Options

When registering a company in Estonia with the aim of obtaining an EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license, entrepreneurs are provided with two main options: a personal visit and remote registration.


Personal visit

Remote registration


More control over the process

Quick interaction with banks and authorities

Convenience and time saving

Opportunity to save on travel

Limitations and Difficulties

Requires physical presence

Travel and accommodation costs

Limited personal interaction

Possible language and cultural barriers


Suitable for those who wish to be more involved in the registration process

Useful for making contacts and connections

Convenient for those who prefer to minimize costs and simplify the process

Suitable for those who have a proxy or agent in Estonia

How to choose

The decision depends on the individual preferences and resources of the entrepreneur

Evaluate your capabilities and convenience of the remote option, as well as the presence of a trusted person in Estonia

The decision between opting for a personal visit or remote registration hinges upon individual preferences, available resources, and the overarching business strategy one adopts. Each of these alternatives comes with its distinct set of advantages and limitations, underscoring the need for a thorough evaluation of specific needs and capabilities prior to arriving at a decision.

Delving into a more nuanced exploration of these options, a personal visit may offer the advantage of establishing a physical presence and fostering direct interactions with local stakeholders. It can facilitate a firsthand understanding of the business environment and regulatory nuances. However, this approach may also pose logistical challenges and incur additional costs.

On the other hand, remote registration provides the convenience of initiating the process from a distance, potentially saving time and expenses associated with travel. This method, while efficient, may have limitations in terms of establishing immediate local connections and comprehending the intricacies of the regulatory landscape without a physical presence.

In light of these considerations, a comprehensive assessment of one's priorities, financial capabilities, and long-term business objectives becomes imperative. Striking a balance between the advantages and limitations of each approach ensures a well-informed decision aligned with the specific requirements and aspirations of the business endeavor at hand.


The acquisition of a license necessitates a minimum authorized deposit of 350,000 euros, establishing a financial threshold critical for enterprises venturing into electronic money institution activities within the country. The stipulation mandates that the authorized capital must be fully constituted at the time of submitting the license application, underscoring the gravity of the company's commitment and its proficiency in ensuring financial stability and dependability in its operations.

It's noteworthy that the formation of authorized capital cannot rely on assets; therefore, companies must guarantee the availability of the stipulated amount in liquid funds. This stringent requirement serves as a validation of the company's financial readiness and its capacity to adeptly manage substantial financial resources—particularly vital in the realm of electronic money activities. This emphasis on financial preparedness not only signifies a commitment to regulatory compliance but also underscores the company's capability to navigate the intricacies of electronic money operations with prudence and reliability.

Requirements for confirming the origin of funds when applying for an EMI license in Estonia

  • Complete transparency regarding funding sources is obligatory, necessitating the company to furnish extensive details about the origins of the funds utilized for constituting the authorized capital. This involves a thorough exposition of the fund sources, encompassing elucidation on previous owners, methodologies employed for acquisition, and the provision of comprehensive documentation substantiating the legality and legitimacy of these financial transactions. In adhering to these rigorous disclosure requirements, the company not only demonstrates a commitment to financial integrity but also actively engages in fostering a comprehensive understanding of the financial underpinnings supporting its authorized capital.

These requirements are part of an extensive verification process designed to ensure the company's compliance with strict standards of financial reliability and transparency. They also serve to prevent the misuse of the financial system for illegal activities and enhance trust in Estonia's financial sector. By paying particular attention to these requirements, the company demonstrates its commitment to high standards of financial ethics and responsibility.

Preparation and provision of documents for obtaining an EMI license



EMI license request

An application sent to the supervisory authority to obtain permission to operate with electronic money.

Constituent acts

Notarized copies of key documents underlying the company's legal structure, including the articles of association and articles of association.

Certificate of authorized capital

Official certificate of the authorized capital of the enterprise

Operational strategy

Description of planned operations and services, especially in the field of electronic money processing.

Operational development plan

Extensive business plan for the next three years, compliant with PIEIA standards and including financial forecasts.

Client asset protection scheme

Developing a strategy for the protection and safety of client assets, in accordance with PIEIA directives.

Regulations and procedures

A company's set of internal rules and procedures, including accounting standards that comply with PIEIA.

Control management

Description of methods and procedures used to control activities, including measures against money laundering and the financing of criminal organizations.

Company management

Information about key executives, including their educational and professional experience and evidence of qualifications.

Role and conditions of the Estonian Financial Inspectorate

Playing a pivotal role in the oversight and regulation of financial establishments in Estonia, the Financial Supervision Authority (FSA) stands as the principal regulatory body. This encompasses the meticulous monitoring and regulation of companies possessing an EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license. The primary mission of the FSA is to guarantee the stability of financial markets while simultaneously safeguarding the interests of consumers who engage with financial services. The multifaceted responsibilities of the FSA span the approval and regulation of EMI licenses, ensuring compliance with stringent Estonian legislation. By diligently fulfilling its mandate, the FSA contributes significantly to fostering a secure and reliable financial environment for both market participants and consumers alike.

  1. Licenses and regulates EMI companies: The FSA approves and regulates the issuance of EMI licenses, as well as monitors the activities of licensed EMI companies in strict compliance with Estonian legislation.
  2. Conducts monitoring and supervision: The FSA actively monitors the financial activities of EMI companies to ensure their compliance with established norms and rules. It may also conduct inspections and audits of EMI companies.
  3. Provides recommendations and consultations: The FSA advises EMI companies on compliance issues and provides recommendations to enhance their operations.

In summary, the Financial Supervision Authority plays a crucial role in overseeing EMI companies, ensuring their adherence to regulations, and contributing to the overall integrity and consumer protection within Estonia's financial sector.

The stipulations established encompass a commitment to upholding elevated benchmarks in the realms of security, transparency, and dependability within financial services. These multifaceted criteria involve:

  • Providing regular financial reports and activity reports.
  • Maintaining a sufficient level of capital in accordance with established norms.
  • Ensuring the security and protection of customer data.
  • Compliance with corporate governance conditions and transparency standards.

Cooperation with the FSA and compliance with its demands are crucial steps in getting an EMI license in Estonia. Meeting these standards helps ensure the integrity of financial services, protects consumers, and adds to the general stability and trustworthiness of the financial sector in Estonia.

Important aspects and pitfalls of the process

Getting an EMI license places significant emphasis on the qualifications and reputation of the company's leadership. This critical consideration holds substantial weight in the assessment procedure carried out by the Financial Supervision Authority(FSA) and profoundly impacts the overall success of getting the license.

  • Expertise: The competence of the company's personnel, especially its top-tier and executive levels, should span a broad range of financial services and electronic money. This involves possessing a thorough grasp of legal and regulatory requirements, financial operations, and the intricacies of risk management. It necessitates a holistic understanding of the multifaceted landscape encompassing legal compliance, regulatory adherence, financial transactions, and the nuanced aspects of risk mitigation and management. This comprehensive expertise is pivotal for navigating the complexities of the financial sector and ensuring a well-rounded proficiency in all facets of the company's operations.
  • Integrity: The reputation of management cast proves pivotal in the deliberation of issuing an EMI license. Entrepreneurs and executives are expected to maintain a commendable business reputation, devoid of significant legal or financial complications in their professional history.
  • Continuous Development: The engagement in the never-stopping learning together with maintenance of updated knowledge and skills within the realms of financial services and electronic money are a must for management personnel. This commitment is not only pivotal for aligning with FSA requirements but also for navigating the ever-evolving regulatory landscape.

The necessity for an exceptionally skilled leadership team emphasizes the seriousness and responsibility linked to obtaining an EMI license in Estonia. This underscores a strong dedication to maintaining high standards of excellence and accountability within the financial services sector, highlighting the commitment to ensuring the integrity and reliability of financial operations. It accentuates the profound commitment to excellence that is crucial in navigating the regulatory landscape and upholding the trust of stakeholders in the financial industry.

Technological and safety prerequisites for EMI operations

While functioning as an EMI, organizations are mandated to rigorously comply with the technological and safety prerequisites established by the supervisory institution.



Protecting Customer Data

Companies are required to ensure a high level of protection of clients' personal data. This includes data encryption and security measures against information leaks.

Client identification

To prevent fraud and money laundering, companies are required to strictly identify their customers in accordance with Estonian legislation.

Compliance with safety standards

EMIs are required to comply with security standards, including PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), for processing payments and bank card data.

Data backup and recovery

Companies must have data backup mechanisms and recovery procedures in place to ensure business continuity.

Monitoring and reporting of financial transactions

EMIs are required to monitor and report financial transactions to combat money laundering

IT audit and security checks

Regular IT audits and security checks are mandatory to ensure a company meets technology and security standards.

Exact adherence to tech and security protocols is crucial when securing and upholding an EMI license in Estonia. It is absolutely crucial for businesses to make obligatory investments in both technical infrastructure and operational processes, not only to guarantee the security of their customers but also to seamlessly adhere to the rigorous standards imposed by regulatory bodies. These indispensable financial commitments signify a dedicated effort towards sustaining strong security protocols and guaranteeing ongoing adherence to the evolving prerequisites set forth by regulatory bodies. Far beyond being a mere necessity, these strategic financial allocations represent a forward-thinking initiative aimed at strengthening the core framework of Electronic Money Institutions. This, in turn, ensures the establishment of a resilient and secure operational environment that benefits both the institution and its valued clientele. While the average timeline for the entire EMI licensing process in Estonia typically spans from 6 months to a year, it is advisable to strategically plan, factoring in potential delays.


Estonia offers significant opportunities for the development of Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) due to its advanced digital economy and favorable business climate. The country has demonstrated a commitment to innovation and government support, creating a conducive technological and business environment. However, companies looking to enter this sector need to consider both the opportunities and risks.

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