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Working in Estonia

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Estonia knows how to appreciate talent, and will make it as easy as possible for you to find a job. The country’s horizontal work culture is attractive to many expats, as it provides opportunities to climb the corporate ladder faster than in other countries. Work teams are smaller and more compact giving young professionals opportunities to lead. Add that to the fact that everything is digitised, which makes everyday work (and life) processes significantly smoother, and you will understand why so many expats are quickly relocating to this Baltic country.

Finding a job

Estonia wants to make it so easy for you to relocate, that on its official website Work in Estonia hundreds of job postings are being featured every day. Sure, most of the job postings are tech-oriented (after all, there are more startups per person in Estonia than in Silicon Valley), but you can also find jobs in the service industry, finance, sales, marketing, etc..

 Good to know: If you are looking to join the ever-growing startup community, Garage 48 is a good place to start networking.

Estonia is doing way better than other countries when it comes to posting jobs publicly, with various organised job portals like Startup Jobs and CV Online featuring a big selection of new openings on a daily basis. There are also private recruiters that you could reach out to, and there are some job postings on the newspapers. But, of course, you should still be proactive in your job search and contact directly the companies you’re interested in.

Setting up a business

In a country that you can set up your business remotely, from anywhere in the world, with just a click, establishing an actual brick and mortar business can be only slightly more complicated. There are several types of business entities that you can choose from, but the most popular type among expats is a Private Limited Company (Osaühing, also known as OÜ). First you’ll need to enter your business in the Commercial Registry (find out the list of documents you will need in detail here), acquire the appropriate licenses through the Register of Economic Activities, and finally register the company as a taxpayer (and register any employees you may have) at the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.

 Important: If your company has shareholders, there’s a limited amount of 2,500 euros each shareholder must contribute to the joint capital.

Doing an internship

Internships in Estonia can be found via EU programmes like Erasmus , but also via universities. Both universities of Tallinn and Tartu usually post internship openings on their website and could probably get you started.

 Useful link

Internship offers

The labour market

Estonians work eight hours a day, five days per week, and they have 28 days off per year. The age for retirement is the same for men and women, at 63. They have maternity and parental leave paid by the state for a combined period that can reach up to 575 days. In 2016, the average monthly wage for full-time work was 1,119 euros, with the minimum wage being 470 euros. If you lose your job, you are entitled to unemployment benefits similar to the amount of salary you were making. If you don’t qualify for the full benefit, you can get an unemployment allowance of 150 euros monthly, for 270 days. The unemployment rate was 5.4 % in March 2017, and seems to be dropping constantly.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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