Here is my review about E-residency and estonia company formation. i am from France, I have created a company through the Estonian E-residency, then i flew to Estonia and it was a disaster.
I have waited 1 month to get the E-residency card, this also was a problem and my relatives didn't understand why i should wait so long for incorporating a company and there were right. I thought i could be independent and do everything online. After i finally picked up the e-residency card at the embassy, the card was locked during the 6 first hours after i collected it and i could not create my company right away (sign the petition of incorporation). It had to be unlocked by the Estonian Police first.
It wasn't without struggle because the card could not be read numerous times, the google chrome extension for the E-residency card didn't work and prevented all browsers to get access to the card. Consequently, numerous times i have been unable to login to their service.
I transferred 190 euros for government fees, and the 2500 euros for the share capital to Krediidi pank as explained on the website at the end of incorporation process.
Then, i have written 2 times to the Krediidi pank email address on their website but noone answered me to this day. There were always no information on the site and that's also why i started to be suspicious.
Then, i flew to Tallinn and i have tried to open a bank account at krediidi pank & it didn't work. Let me just stop here. I thought the E-residency card possessed all the information about myself required by a bank to open a bank account. However, at the Estonian banks, it is not integrated at all. I have never seen them using my e-residency card and read it with their computer. They started from scratch without using the E-residency card at all taking information from myself or from my passport. In other words, the E-residency card was useless. I always had to show my passport to krediidi pank & swedbank representatives. Consequently e-residency card is not an identity card. Plus, they had difficulties to understand my passport (which is translated in English). There were not sure about the information to take about me. In other words, their process is not made for foreigners to open a bank account because they look for everything that an Estonian citizen has (national security number from Estonia).
It looked so amateurish to me. I didn't find that serious because in all other countries like Spain or Usa, the process and the information asked are pretty clear (EIN code + passport for USA, NIE code + passport in Spain) for everyone (residents and non residents. Nationals or foreigners).
Krediidi pank gave me no receipt for the 2500 euros that i have transferred to them. I had to fill up 4 pages of PAPER form (perhaps more) at their branch! it was a soviet form. For instance, they asked me 3 times my name and address... At some point, i stopped because the form asked me a fiscal number. But i didn't have one yet because i just moved to France, and i explain to the bank representative, i will pay tax next year. I do think she didn't understand what i was saying. On the form, it was written: "explain why you don't have a fiscal number". So this scenario was known. At this point the bank representative from krediidi pank took away the form from me, refusing me to fill out the form until the end. My bank opening process was on hold. As you guess, The Krediidi pank representative didn't understand english well enough & didn't carefully read the form. There are lots of jurisdictions in this world and so i thought it was too much for me.
Furthermore, the bank representative had a very bad attitude towards me. She didn't try to help at all. They were just interested in me filling the form. She didn't take into account that i flew 3000 km to open a bank account.
This also shows that the E-residency card does not help & guarantee to successfully open a bank account in Estonia.
Then, i have tried to open a bank account at the so called very good swedbank, hoping i could transfer the money to swedbank bank account. But no, the swedbank representative told me to go to Krediidi pank and open a bank account and transfer it to Swedbank. And by the way, the swedbank representative had the same issue with the fiscal number/national number which implied that 1/ the process is unclear 2/ they aren't used to open bank accounts for Foreign people.
For sure, no information about requested information could be found on their Swedbank or Krediidi pank website. I thought it was ok because i thought all the information i provided when i applied for the E-residency card was enough & that everything was integrated but no, it is not. Also, i discovered in the form that it was exactly like opening a bank account anywhere else. banks want a business description and a URL for the website. In other words, it is not tailored at all for the start-up owner who wants to try several different services online before picking one.
Conclusion: I terminated the company, paid 240 euros a liquidator to get back the 2500 euros of share capital. I will have to wait 6-8 months to get my money back as mentioned by my attorney and the Estonian government.
You may ask yourself, how was it possible that i flew to Tallinn without checking. In fact, the Swedbank, SEB bank and Krediidi pank websites gave the impression that everything was integrated with the E-residency card, meaning that they took information from the E-residency card and that no other information was required.
I have read that Estonia forecast to allow people to open a bank account online. I doubt they will do it soon because as i said before the 2 bank representatives i have seen had to fill out form and started from zero as the information from my E-residency card could not be read. Plus, the form fields were for Estonian people (like address as there were no fields for city) not for international customers.
I would like also to pinpoint that while people speak english in Estonia, they make you believe they understand english but they don't. Numerous times, i understood they didn't understand what i said and didn't ask me to repeat. Language barrier was a tremendous problem.
Personal opinion about Estonia E-residency company incorporation:
The Estonian company incorporation has been marketed as the fastest way to create a company. However, you have to wait 1 month to get your card and then it is useless if the company has no bank account. If we consider the whole process including waiting for the E-residency card during 1 month, flying to Estonia, opening a bank account. It is slower than incorporating a company and opening a bank account somewhere else.