TMBA 365: Estonian E-Residency: Is It For You?

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On today’s show, Dan and Ian are taking a look at one specific country – Estonia. It’s a nation that, until this point, our hosts had very little knowledge of.

Why is it of interest to entrepreneurs? Well, Estonia is a country that has started behaving like a startup.  It has even begun offering services specifically designed for location-independent business owners, particularly something called an “E-Residency”.

In this episode, you’ll hear from Estonian E-Resident Joel Runyon. Joel is the man behind the fitness and mindset blog, The Blog of Impossible Things. You’ll also hear from Estonia’s Chief Information Officer, Taavi Kotka. The two share their insights on how E-Residency could pave the path for the future of how nations, citizens and those seeking location independence interact.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • How much it costs to establish an E-Residency in Estonia (4:46)
  • What kind of results Estonia has seen from the E-Residency program. (14:24)
  • Why the Estonian government decided to establish this program. (16:15)
  • How the Estonian public feels about E-Residency. (21:10)
  • Taavi’s vision for the future of digital residency. (34:51)

Mentioned in the episode:

Joel Runyon's Estonian digital residency card.

Joel Runyon’s Estonian digital residency card.

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Dan & Ian

Published on 12.01.16
  • Gustav Kotkas

    Great content! For anyone interested in company formation with e-Residency – is the expert on this subject.

  • Joel Runyon

    Thanks for having me guys. Loved chatting about this. Happy to answer any other questions about my experience that could be helpful.

  • This is really intriguing. I was in Tallinn a few times this summer, and it’s a lovely place. This seems worth it for establishing a European business presence, but doesn’t really help location independent people that wanted to stay in Europe longer than three months, with a Schengen visa for Americans, as an example. Too bad. Even an extra month would be awesome. *WINK WINK* It’s a good excuse to visit Tallinn. Might do the geeky thing and apply to add to the alternate residences/passports, just in case.

  • Ryan Nagy

    I think we are talking about the evolution of identity here. “Imagine a world where people are loyal to cities and supply chains rather than nations and value credit cards and digital currency over citizenship.” Parag Khanna, Connectograpy (book).

    I have no real need to be an Estonian E-Resident….and yet it is now very high on my list of things to do.

    cheers! Ryan

  • :D agree!!! seems there’s more options emerging for that as well, I recently got residency in Spain and many are going to Hungary and Portugal.

  • thanks for coming on Joel!

  • yo cheers! :D

  • totally. Nations (as they are currently constituted) are relatively new entities and nothing about the way they operate needs to be set in stone.

  • Chris Mitchell

    Could you do a future episode about how you got Spanish residency and the Hungarian / Portugalian options? Hearing stories from people who have been through the process is invaluable. Thanks!

  • Evan Humes

    What a treat… yesterday listening to this at 8:00am, then today seeing an email just in time for the 2nd Annivesary live feed starting at 8:30am

    Looking forward to picking mine up at the NYC embassy before heading to Ho Chi Minh City. Anyone in HCMC looking for an apprentice let me know.

  • rockin!

  • cheers that’s a good idea, tossing it on the production list :) (no promises though!) :D

  • Steve Harton

    You mentioned that there was a thread in the DC about opening a bank account in Wyoming? Why would DCers want a Wyoming bank account?

    I am not in the DC, but I am an attorney living in Wyoming. So I am curious. Maybe I could help.

  • Joel Runyon

    No corporate tax. Easy LLC setup. Makes sense for a lot of DCers living abroad.

  • Steve Harton


  • Pjotr

    I applied for their eresidency earlier this year and was just Informed that i can pick up my paperwork in January 2017

    That’s over 3,5 months in waiting time!!! I was granted eresidency back in September already. They really need to get their shit together.

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