Business licences and activity notices
Before you begin: Read our comprehensive blog post on what financial services licences are required for your business in Estonia
You need to apply for an activity licence if you wish to operate in the following fields of activity:
|Licencing by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
||Licencing by Finantsinspektsioon
- Operating as a financial institution (except areas of activities related to the responsibilities of the Financial Supervision Authority)
- Operating as a trust and company service provider
- Providing pawnbroker services
- Providing virtual currency services (virtual currency exchange, virtual currency wallet, virtual currency transfer, or the organization of a public or directed offer or sale or the provision of related financial service on behalf of an issuer related to the issuance of virtual currency)
- Purchase or wholesale of precious metals, articles of precious metals or precious stones
- Operating as a bank
- Operating as an insurance company
- Providing insurance intermediary services
- Operating as an investment firm
- Providing fund manager services
- Operating with investment and pension funds
- Operating as a payment institution
- Operating as an e-money institution
- Operating as a Creditor and/or a creditor intermediary
- Operating in the securities market
The activity of financial service providers is regulated by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act (MLTFPA).
Amendments to the MLTFPA were adopted by the Estonian parliament on the 15th of March 2022. The main purpose of the amendments is to strengthen the position of the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in its authorisation and supervision procedures for digital-asset related businesses, and make the industry more transparent and secure.
The main amendments are:
- A broader and more specific definition of virtual asset services;
- Mandatory requirement to perform an audit as well as an internal auditor;
- Stricter requirements for the place of business, board members and the contact person;
- A virtual asset service provider is not allowed to withdraw from economic activities on a temporary basis;
- The minimum share capital is at least 100,000€ or 250,000€, depending on the service, which must be paid in by way of monetary contribution (non-monetary contributions and contributions in virtual currencies are not allowed) prior to submitting the application for the acquisition of the licence;
- The FIU may refuse to license a business if certain regulatory, internal or technological requirements are not met.
The amendments and new requirements entered into force on the 15th of March 2022 for new business applying for licence, however, businesses with excising licences have until the 15th of June 2022 to meet the new regulatory requirements.