Comparing Top e-Residency Countries for Digital Nomads and Entrepreneurs in 2024

Looking to use e-residency as a tool for navigating the world of digital business?

Comparing Top e-Residency Countries for Digital Nomads and Entrepreneurs in 2024

This article presents an overview of the top countries offering e-residency, highlighting key considerations for your online enterprise.

Let’s compare Estonia and Portugal’s offerings in terms of digital services.

Exploring the Concept of e-Residency

In 2014, the concept of e-residency was first introduced by its founders as a way for individuals outside of Estonia to have a digital identity and status. Over time, this idea has evolved, and Estonia became the pioneering country to implement it. Through e-residency, they offer government-sanctioned digital identities that allow online entrepreneurs to establish and run European companies remotely.

Digital Identity and Access

At the heart of e-residency programs lies the provision of a digital ID. This verified identity recognized internationally through a travel document, grants e-residents access to various services such as:

  • Electronic signature for efficient business operations
  • Establishment and management of businesses online
  • Utilization of digital infrastructure
  • Use of diverse e-services

Global Opportunities and Business Growth

The availability of e-residency programs has played a significant role in the growth and formation of businesses. One example is Estonia’s e-Residency program, which was introduced in 2014 and has resulted in more than 23,200 new Estonian companies being established. This initiative has also contributed greatly to the development and success of unicorns within Estonia’s business environment.

See the benefits e residency countries offer:

  • The opportunity to register an EU-based company that increases its attractiveness to European partners, clients, and investors.
  • Eligibility for European grants.
  • Easing entry into new international markets beyond borders for expanding customer reach.

Top e-residency Programs in 2024

As we enter 2024, more and more countries are embracing the concept of e-residency by introducing their own unique programs. Estonia, known as a pioneer in this field, continues to lead with its advanced digital infrastructure, favorable tax system, and connection to the European Union market. Meanwhile, Portugal is also making progress with its newly established e-Residency program, which grants non-residents access to public services and a digital identity for establishing a business.

Besides Estonia and Portugal’s e-residency initiatives, there have been other notable programs emerging globally that cater specifically to digital nomads and entrepreneurs.

Estonia's Pioneering e-Residency Program

E residency Estonia program, which was introduced in 2014, has experienced significant growth and recently reached a major milestone of over 100,000 members in its global community. This government initiative provides entrepreneurs around the world with a digital identity that allows them remote access to Estonia’s online services and creates exceptional business opportunities.

  1. To become an e-resident of Estonia.
  2. Complete an application form on the internet.
  3. Wait for approval and delivery of your card.
  4. Receive your card.
  5. Activate it.

The straightforward process, along with the extensive benefits available, make Estonia’s e-Residency program highly desirable among digital nomads and entrepreneurs seeking new ventures abroad. With this government-issued digital identity comes unique advantages that cater specifically to individuals looking to establish or expand their businesses internationally without having physical residency within Estonian borders.

Portugal's Emerging e-Residency Program

The e-Residency program of Portugal is gaining recognition for its support to international business owners by providing opportunities for them to establish and run global-focused enterprises. This initiative offers attractive incentives such as a special tax scheme for non-residents, a simplified application process, and the option to set up companies without maintaining physical residency in the country.

One distinctive aspect of e residency Portugal program is its access to various online public services offered by Portuguese authorities. These include obtaining a taxpayer number (NIF), registering as self-employed, and establishing businesses. The streamlined application procedure allows applicants from anywhere in the world to easily fulfill their request for e-residency remotely.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an e-Residency Program

Careful consideration of various elements is essential in selecting an e-residency program. The accessibility and application process, the business climate and taxation policies of the country, as well as the digital infrastructure and services provided by a particular program, all play vital roles. These factors not only affect convenience but also significantly impact profitability and success.

There are notable differences among e-Residency programs regarding offerings and requirements. For example, Lithuania’s residency program has a faster application procedure compared to Estonia’s. It may offer fewer comprehensive features. In contrast, countries like Portugal or Spain provide unique tax benefits for residents, such as exemption from wealth or inheritance taxes, preferential treatment for foreign pensions, and even options for self-employed individuals to pay flat tax rates. This highlights how crucial thorough evaluation is when deciding on an ideal e-residence option.

Ease of Application and Accessibility

The primary factors that digital nomads and entrepreneurs take into account when considering e-Residency programs are the ease of application and accessibility. A simplified and efficient application process, like the one offered by Estonia’s e-Residency program, can greatly facilitate the establishment of a digital identity. It is crucial to evaluate the range of services provided by these programs in terms of their accessibility. From online registration for an EU business to comprehensive company management.

Business Environment and Taxation

The e-residency country’s taxation policies and business climate hold significant importance. Nations like Estonia present an ideal digital environment for freelance workers and those with a nomadic lifestyle, providing the convenience of online banking services. They boast relatively low taxes and registration fees compared to other countries, making it a highly desirable destination for potential e-residents.

Digital Infrastructure and Services

The e-Residency program offered by Estonia has a robust digital infrastructure and services that greatly simplify business operations. One of its main features is the provision of a digital identity, which grants access to advanced technological resources in Estonia’s bustling business environment. With streamlined online processes available through this residency program, physical paperwork becomes less necessary and more convenient for entrepreneurs.


To summarize, e-Residency initiatives are a groundbreaking advancement in the digital age that allows entrepreneurs and remote workers to conduct their businesses on an international scale. Estonia has been at the forefront of this movement, but other countries have also adopted similar programs with distinctive advantages and requirements.

As we look ahead, there will likely be significant changes in the world of e-residency as more nations join in and new technologies become integrated. These developments not only offer great potential for business growth and success, but also represent a global shift towards embracing digital identities and digitizing business processes.