Starting a Cryptocurrency Company in Estonia and obtaining the necessary licenses

General information

Estonia is an excellent country to start a cryptocurrency company in for a few reasons:

Which types of Cryptocurrency Company can You have?

Type 1 – Exchanging a virtual currency against a FIAT currency

Your Company can provide services such as exchanging crpyto to crypto, fiat to crypto or crypto to fiat.

Type 2 – Cryptocurrency wallet

Your company can provide a virtual currency (cryptocurrency) wallet (hot and/or cold). This means offering custodial services of credentials necessary for people to access their currencies.

For either of these types of Company You need an operating license from the FIU (Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit). Your Company can only offer one of these services or also both types of services but that means that You also need both licenses. Unfortunately, there is not a joint license for both of these services and You will need to apply for them seperately and You will be issued two different licenses.

A Cryptocurrency Company in Estonia is defined as a financial institution, but with no special reporting requirements to Estonian tax authorities. Accounting and reporting is the same as for a regular Estonian Company. Please bear in mind that the FIU can always make inquiries about Your Company’s activities. You can find some of their advisory guidelines on their website here.

What do You need to do?

How can You apply for licenses?

The licenses need to be applied via an Estonian Company or via a registered branch office of a foreign Company in Estonia.

We will be more than happy to assist You through the whole process of starting a Cryptocurrency Company and applying for the necessary licenses from abovementioned authorities.

Who can start an Estonian Crpytocurrency Company?

The company can be run by anyone, regardless of location and citizenship. Usually it is recommended that the Company’s shares are held directly. With an indirect ownership, where the Company is owned by another foreign Company, You are usually required to present criminal records and passport copies of all the persons related to that Company aswell, which can be an extra burden to avoid.

Necessary documents to present

  1. Past criminal record (certificate of the register of convictions) of all related persons (board members, shareholders, UBOs)
  2. Passport copies of all the same related persons

These documents need to be:

  1. Less than 3 months old
  2. In English or Russian language
  3. Certified by a notary
  4. Depending on the country, documents might also need to be with apostille.

You might also have to present Your description of planned activities and rules of procedure for Anti Money Laundring (AML) purposes. Sometimes the officials also ask for CVs of related persons.

How long will it take?

Creating a Cryptocurrency Company from scratch

If You wish to found a completely new Company, the time it takes mostly depends on how fast we can get the necessary documentations in line. Company creation itself usually takes 1-3 days. If You want to buy the Company via a visit to Estonia, it is easy and usually takes up to 1 week. If You would prefer to buy the Company remotely, some additional costs will occur and the timeframe depends on how fast we can get the necessary Power of Attorneys from You.

Applying for licenses

We can apply for a license to a Company regardless if You already have an Estonian Company or we have made it ourselves.

If we have all the necessary documents and required information from You, we can start the application process for licenses. FIU, the authority who grants the licenses, promises to process the application within 30 working days. During the process FIU might ask for additional information and details. In case everything is correct and the information is sufficient, there is no reason to believe the application would be denied.

In our experience, we can get the above mentioned licenses to Your company in approximately 2-3 weeks.

See our application form to open a new Company