The Company Registration Portal can now be used to found companies by holders of Portuguese, Lithuanian and Belgian ID cards. Finland will soon join this list.
Minister of Justice Rein Lang says that this is probably the first time anywhere in the world that one country’s register has officially accepted the national ID cards of other countries and the digital signatures issued with them.
“What it means is that a business person from Belgium or Portugal can now establish a company in Estonia through the Company Registration Portal alone,” Lang explained. “As a member of an association he or she can submit an electronic annual report via the register and change the company’s registry data. The same opportunities will soon open up in Portugal to Estonian ID card holders, too.”
Ingmar Vali, head of the Court Registry Department at the Centre of Registers and Information Systems, adds that the project is not merely limited to the founding of companies.
“The solution could be expanded to other Estonian Internet portals so that they could also accept international digital signatures if needed,” he said. “Materials submitted to courts, for example, which need to be signed digitally before they can be sent. The state portal eesti.ee could start accepting international ID cards and digital signatures, too, and why not even Internet banks.”
Vali stressed the equality that the solution is designed to ensure: “If a foreigner comes to Estonia, he or she should be able to do the same things here with their ID cards that Estonians can. And if a business operator is a foreigner, he or she shouldn’t have to actually come to Estonia every time they have dealings with the state. They should be able to do these things via the portals.”
The Company Registration Portal recognises not only Belgian and Portuguese digital signatures, but also Lithuanian ones, where the technical solution used is a Mobile-ID SIM card.
AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus is also involved in the project. The Company Registration Portal is at https://ettevotjaportaal.rik.ee/.
Source: Ministry of Justice