The electronic money license in Estonia constitutes a foundational component within the regulatory system governing banking services across the European Economic Area. This document, issued by authorized supervisory bodies of the country, empowers organizations to engage in the creation and circulation of virtual currency, encompassing a wide range of banking transactions, from non-cash settlements to oversight of digital accounts.

The special attention to Estonian jurisdiction in the context of EMI licensing is driven by the country's progressive approach to regulating the digital economy and its favorable business climate. Estonia, one of the first to adopt e-residency and establish a convenient digital infrastructure for businesses, provides unique opportunities for companies seeking to integrate into the European financial services market.

The mechanism for obtaining an Estonian electronic money license is characterized by transparency and effectiveness, ensuring precise adherence to international norms regarding anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing. Such a regulatory environment not only promotes consumer rights protection but also enhances trust in accredited bodies, which is crucial for the stability and advancement of digital financial solutions.

Within the realm of global monetary innovations, Estonia has solidified itself as a state fostering optimal conditions for the growth and expansion of innovative fintech initiatives. The authorization for electronic money institutions in Estonia stands as a pivotal asset for enterprises aspiring to leverage the opportunities of the pan-European market, while operating within a jurisdiction supportive of innovative technologies and business initiatives.

Concept and main characteristics of the EMI license

EMI licenses confer upon enterprises the lawful prerogative to engage in electronic means-related business pursuits.

This is like a specialized "passport" for firms to enable them to create, store, and manage electronic money, such as funds on e-wallets or prepaid cards. An entity with such a permit can also perform various payment operations, such as transferring funds or settling clients' bills. To obtain this license, a company should comply with strict rules and protocols, ensuring its activities are reliable and secure.

Key features of an EMI license



Issuance of electronic money

Allows you to create and control digital financial resources, encompassing electronic wallets and prepaid cards.

Providing payment solutions

Includes organizing the movement of funds, financial transactions, as well as providing services for paying bills and carrying out financial transactions.

Regulatory Compliance

Mandatory compliance with AML/KYC standards.

Support for technological innovation

Promotes the integration of the latest technologies in the field of monetary services and payment systems.

Transparency and legal responsibility

Requires institutions to maintain high standards of reporting and auditing.

These factors imbue EMI permits with significance as a tool for banking institutions aimed at advancing within the context of the digital economy and offering cutting-edge monetary services on a global scale.

This table clearly demonstrates that EMI and traditional banks serve distinct purposes in the financial segment, each with its unique characteristics and offerings for clients.


Digital money management companies

Traditional Banks

Basic services

Management of electronic funds and servicing of payment transactions.

A diverse selection of financial offers, including loan financing and deposit investments.


Regulatory measures applicable to electronic financial transactions.

Strict banking supervision and regulation.

Capital and reserves

Lower capitalization standards compared to banks.

High standard of capitalization and financial reserves.

Deposits and loans

They generally do not accept deposits or provide loans.

Accept deposits and provide loans.

Technological innovation

Often focus on digital and innovative financial solutions.

May be less flexible in innovation.


Mainly digital platforms, high availability of online services.

Physical branches plus digital channels.

Client base

Digitally oriented users and businesses.

Wide and diverse customer base.

EMI in the Estonian regulatory field

The license for activities with digital currency within the legal framework of Estonia is governed by a set of legislative and regulatory documents ensuring an organized and transparent approach in the functioning of Electronic Money Institutions. This procedure falls under the scope of global norms and is oriented towards maintaining economic stability, safeguarding user interests, and preventing economic abuses.

Main legislative acts and regulations for approval of EMI status according to Estonian standards:

  • A key document outlining Estonia's legal framework for EMI is the Law on Payment Institutions and EMI. It outlines capitalization standards, risk management procedures, approval requirements, and AML countermeasures.
  • The responsibility for keeping an eye on and supervising the operations of Electronic Money Institutions is handled by the Financial Supervision Authority of Estonia. To make sure that the conditions outlined under the Estonian EMI license are met, this organization develops regulations and carries out regular inspections.
  • Regulations from the European Union. Because Estonia is a part of the European Union, European financial services legislation directly affects the EMI regulatory system. This includes regulations like the Payment Services Regulation (PSD2), which are designed to improve transaction security and fortify the protection of user rights.

This framework of legal and regulatory stipulations nurtures a steady and lucid atmosphere for the functioning of EMI in Estonia, stimulating the progression of cutting-edge technologies in the financial realm, all the while protecting the rights and concerns of consumers and the robustness of the economic structure.

Requirements for EMI licensees in Estonia

The parameters for qualifying for EMI licenses in Estonia are explicitly outlined and must be rigorously followed by firms aiming for such authorization. These parameters foster transparency, economic stability, and trustworthiness in the operations of EMI within Estonia's jurisdiction. Presented below is an exhaustive enumeration and elucidation of the primary parameters.

Capital provision

Licensees for electronic money operations in Estonia must maintain the required level of initial statutory capital. Estonia has set a minimum capital threshold for EMI at €350,000. This fund serves as a guarantee of economic stability and the organization's ability to cope with potential economic fluctuations.

Leadership and management staff

A stringent prerequisite for Estonian payment institution licensees is demonstrably experienced and qualified leadership. Executives and key personnel must possess an unblemished business reputation, germane experience, and the requisite competencies to helm such an organization.

Strategic plan and risk management system

To secure an EMI license in Estonia, a corporation must furnish a detailed business plan outlining strategies, goals, descriptions of intended operations, an examination of the competitive landscape, and projections of financial metrics.

Additionally, the organization must create and deliver a risk mitigation framework, demonstrating the methods by which it will recognize, evaluate, and manage potential hazards inherent in its activities.

AML/KYC principles

Companies holding a payment license in Estonia should implement effective mechanisms to prevent the legalization of illicit proceeds and the financing of terrorist activities, including customer identification methods, transaction monitoring, and internal audit mechanisms.

Operational methods and internal regulations

Clear operational procedures and internal policies must be created and upheld to cover all facets of business operations, including managing client data, carrying out operations, safeguarding information, and guaranteeing its confidentiality.

Information technology infrastructure

To handle electronic payments and save data, EMI in Estonia must have a reliable and secure information technology infrastructure. This includes safeguards against cyberattacks, suitable information systems, and technologies that guarantee continuous functioning.

Periodic reporting and compliance

Companies must provide regular reports on their activities, including financial statements, after being granted permission to handle electronic money transactions in Estonia. Organizations have to show that they consistently follow the requirements of the regulations.

Operating transparency

Recipients of permissions must ensure transparency in their operations, including the public disclosure of information regarding their activities, tariffs, and service terms.These criteria ensure that EMI operating in Estonia maintains a high level of professionalism, reliability, and security, which is a key factor in safeguarding the interests of clients and maintaining trust in the country's economic system.

Benefits of accreditation for electronic money institutions in Estonia

The right to conduct EMI activities in Estonia provides numerous economic and strategic privileges, rendering this region appealing to economic entities ambitious in pioneering innovative and technological solutions in the field of electronic currency.

  • Accessibility of the pan-European market. A license for electronic money in Estonia provides access to the European Union market, enabling companies to offer their services in all member states without the need for additional local permissions.
  • Attractive tax conditions and tax system. Estonia is distinguished by its tax policy attractive to taxpayers, featuring the lowest corporate tax rates in the EU, rendering it desirable for entrepreneurs.
  • Supportive environment for start-ups and innovation initiatives. In this country, an investment-attractive environment has been established for innovative companies, including government subsidies, assistance programs, and advanced innovation parks
  • Efficient and clear banking services. Estonia possesses an advanced and effective banking infrastructure, fostering the comfort and security of economic transactions.
  • Modern digital infrastructure. Estonia is considered one of the most digitally advanced states in the world with an advanced electronic governmental infrastructure, which facilitates conducting business and interacting with governmental bodies.
  • Image of an innovative region. Estonia's policy, geared towards supporting innovation and technological advancement, fosters the cultivation of a favorable image for organizations operating within its borders.
  • Access to professional specialists. The presence of highly educated professionals in the IT and fintech sectors in Estonia ensures access to valuable human capital resources.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changes in the regulatory sphere. Estonia is renowned for its flexibility and prompt responsiveness to changes in the international regulatory landscape of financial services, ensuring the relevance and adaptation of companies to contemporary standards.
  • Global business orientation. The economic condition and business climate in Estonia are intensely oriented towards the international market, offering favorable conditions for the growth and scaling of organizations licensed for payment system operations in Estonia on a global scale.

The EMI license in Estonia offers companies a unique blend of economic advantages and strategic privileges, rendering this region one of the most attractive for economic innovations and digital business in Europe.

Procedure for confirming EMI qualifications in the Estonian financial sector

Table showing the stages and process of obtaining an EMI license in Estonia




  1. Preliminary preparation

Conformity assessment

Analysis of EMI license requirements and assessment of the company’s readiness to fulfill them.

Drawing up a business plan

Development of a detailed business plan, including strategy, description of services, financial forecasts and market analysis.

Risk management and internal policies

Development of risk management systems and internal policies, including AML and KYC.

Preparation of documentation

Collection and preparation of necessary documentation for submission.

  1. Submitting an application

Formation of an application

Registration and preparation of an application for an EMI license.

Submission of application and documents

Submission of application and supporting documentation to the Financial Regulatory Authority.

  1. Assessment of the application

Initial review

Primary examination of submitted paperwork by the regulatory body.

Request more information

The regulator may request additional information or clarification.

Assessment and verification

Detailed review of the business plan, financial indicators and internal procedures.

Decision to issue a license

Making a decision to issue a license based on an analysis of the submitted data.

This table encompasses the pivotal steps and actions requisite for the successful acquisition of an EMI license in Estonia, spanning from initial preparation to ongoing compliance post-permit issuance.

Taxation of EMI companies in Estonia

Regulation of entities engaging in transactions involving digital currency in Estonia entails various particulars and directives that necessitate consideration during business operations within this jurisdiction. Estonia's taxation strategy distinguishes itself through its inventive approach and focus on facilitating commerce, offering distinct conditions for business owners.

Key elements of EMI tax regulation in Estonia:

Corporate income tax

Estonia applies a distinctive income taxation system, whereby tax is levied not on incomes earned within the financial period, but on incomes allocated as dividends.

The corporate tax rate is 20% of allocated profits. This implies that income tax is not levied until dividends are distributed.


The standard VAT rate in Estonia stands at 20%. Nonetheless, certain financial services, including EMI services, may qualify for VAT exemption.The tax rules in Estonia grant substantial benefits for firms that hold an electronic money institution license. These privileges stem from the unique income tax structure, allowing for effective tax minimization.

However, navigating these tax laws requires a thorough grasp of their complexity and precise accounting of all financial transactions to ensure adherence to legislation and reduce the risk of legal conflicts.

Cost and time frame for obtaining a permit for EMI in Estonia

The processing of an EMI permit in Estonia entails specific financial expenditures and temporal constraints. Calculating and duly considering these factors is imperative for the efficient and successful acquisition of authorization.

Payment for application analysis

The Estonian Financial Supervision Authority establishes the cost for evaluating an application for acquiring a permit to engage in EMI activities in Estonia. The amount of this fee is approximately 3,300 EUR.

Investments in authorized capital

The minimum amount of authorized capital for EMI in Estonia is 350,000 EUR.

Costs for developing and maintaining an internal management system

The creation of risk management systems, AML/KYC policies, and technical infrastructure also entails financial investments. These costs vary depending on the scale and complexity of the EMI's operations in Estonia.

There are also certain time restrictions for obtaining permission to work with electronic means of payment in Estonia:

Preparation and collection of the necessary papers can take from 1 to 3 months, taking into account the readiness and capabilities of the organization.

After the submission of an application, the regulating body typically analyzes it within a period of 3 months. However, this interval may extend if additional information or clarifications are required.

If inquiries emerge during the examination of the application or further elucidation is required, this might extend the overall processing duration.The entire process of acquiring an EMI license in Estonia may take four to six months, or possibly longer, according to the requirements that have been given.

It is crucial to remember that the process's length may be greatly impacted by the caliber of planning and the accuracy of the data supplied.

The role of legal experts from TK Deal in the licensing process

Securing an EMI license in Estonia entails an intricate and diverse process, demanding a deep understanding of both financial and legal realms. Within this framework, the involvement of legal and economic specialists becomes indispensable.

Role of legal experts:

  • Legal experts focusing on economic regulation and legislation have profound expertise regarding the prerequisites for acquiring an EMI permit in Estonia. They aid in deciphering intricate statutory clauses and guarantee adherence to all legal stipulations throughout the licensing procedure.
  • Legal experts provide assistance in developing all necessary documentation, including strategic plans, risk management measures, AML and KYC procedures. They also conduct verification for completeness and correctness of the provided information.
  • Attorneys can serve as mediators connecting the company with regulatory entities, fostering constructive conversations and hastening the evaluation of applications.

TK Deal offers professional solutions that expedite the acquisition of an EMI license in Estonia. Leveraging their comprehensive consulting expertise and in-depth understanding of Estonian financial regulations, TK Deal guarantees proficient assistance throughout the entire process – from the initial preparation of documentation to the triumphant culmination of the licensing procedure.