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Business registers in Member States - Estonia

The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.
Please note that the following languages: Estonian have already been translated.

This page provides you with an overview of the Estonian commercial register and the register of non-profit associations and foundations.


What information can be found in the Estonian commercial register and the register of non-profit associations and foundations?

The commercial register and the register of non-profit associations and foundations are maintained by the registration department of Tartu County Court. The registers are maintained at the courts to ensure the independent status and legal expertise of the registrar. They have strong legal force and their aim is to ensure legal certainty. An entry in the commercial register is held as correct with regard to a third party, unless the third party knew or should have known that the entry was not correct. An entry is deemed not to apply with regard to transactions which are concluded within fifteen days after the entry is made if a third party proves that the third party was not aware nor should have been aware of the content of the entry. Thus a third party may, in good faith, trust in the veracity of the entries in the register, for instance presuming, upon entering into a contract, that the person entered in the register as a member of the management board possesses signatory authority for the company in question.

Some legal circumstances are only valid if they are entered in the register: for instance, the signatory authority of a member of a management board may be circumscribed in the articles of association or the contract entered into with the member of the management board, but only the limitations entered in the register apply to third parties.

Certain important circumstances take effect from the moment the register entry is made: for instance, the increasing of a company's share capital takes effect from the moment the increase is entered in the commercial register, and not from the time the decision to increase the share capital is taken or from the time the contributions are made. The same applies to the establishment of a legal entity, the amendment of its articles of association or to its merger, division and transformation.

The registers are maintained electronically.

The registration department of Tartu County Court maintains the commercial register of self-employed persons, companies (public limited companies, private limited companies, general partnerships, limited partnerships, commercial associations, European Companies (Societas Europaea), European Cooperative Societies (Societas Cooperativa Europaea) and European groupings of territorial cooperation) and branches of foreign companies located in Estonia.

The register of non-profit associations and foundations holds information on the non-profit associations and foundations (non-profit associations are also deemed to include apartment associations, building associations and other not-for-profit associations, as well as political parties, trade unions, churches, congregations, associations of congregations, and monasteries) located in Estonia.

The following are opened in the commercial register or the register of non-profit associations and foundations for each self-employed person, legal entity and branch of a foreign company:

  • a registry card;
  • a business file (in the commercial register) or a public file (in the case of non-profit associations and foundations);
  • a registry file.

The business and public files contain documents that a legal entity, a self-employed person or the branch of a foreign company has submitted to the registrar in accordance with law, for instance the articles of incorporation or association and other documents entered in the public record. Court judgments, appeals against rulings, correspondence and other documents that are not kept in the business or public files are kept in the registry file.

The following information is entered on the registry card of a legal entity, a self-employed person or a branch of a foreign company:

  • the business name or name and the registry code;
  • the residence or registered office and the address of the undertaking or company;
  • details concerning the self-employed person, and details concerning the suspension of the person’s operations and the seasonal or temporary nature of the operations;
  • details concerning the persons with powers of representation (board members, general partners, limited partners or third parties with powers of representation, liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy), as well as agreements concerning powers of representation and the authority granted when representing the legal entity;
  • details concerning the procurator;
  • the legal form of the undertaking or the type of company;
  • the date on which the articles of association were approved;
  • the monetary value of the company’s share capital;
  • a notation concerning the foundation of the private limited company without contributions being made;
  • a notation indicating that the shares have been recorded in the Estonian central register of securities;
  • the beginning and end of the financial year;
  • the information on bankruptcy required by law;
  • a notation concerning the merger, division and transformation of the company and concerning its dissolution and de-registration;
  • reference to entries made by the registrar as provided by law and without the undertaking making a request;
  • information on the depositary for documents from a liquidated company;
  • the objectives of the foundation;
  • other information provided by law.

Register matters are reviewed as non-contentious civil cases using written proceedings. Entries are made in the registers on the basis of an application for entry or a court decision or on other bases laid down by law. Applications for entry must either bear a digital signature or be in the form of a notarial document.

Entries in the commercial register and the register of non-profit associations and foundations are public. Everyone has the right to examine registry card data and the documents in business or public files and to obtain copies of them. Registry files may be examined by competent government bodies, courts during proceedings and other persons or entities with a legitimate interest.

The central database of the commercial register and the register of non-profit associations and foundations is maintained by the Centre of Registers and Information Systems. The Centre also offers the following services:

The e-Business Register

The e-Business Register is a service based on the database of the registration department of Tartu County Court that displays real-time data concerning all legal entities, self-employed persons and branches of foreign companies registered in Estonia. The e-Business Register makes it possible to:

  • examine registry card data, general data and data on tax arrears free of charge;
  • search by name, registry code, registered office, field of activities, etc..
  • view, for a fee, annual reports, articles of association and other electronic documents, personal information and commercial pledge data, etc., contained in the business or public files.
  • monitor in real time procedural information concerning companies and changes to their entries;
  • check free of charge any trade bans imposed on Estonian persons or entities;
  • view free of charge the list of members of political parties.
  • view the links between various companies and persons.

Further information about the e-Business Register is available on the Link opens in new windowwebsite of the Centre of Registers and Information Systems.

Company Registration Portal

The Company Registration Portal is an environment that enables persons and entities to submit documents to the registration department of the county court themselves. Applications to register a new company, amend its registry data, liquidate it and delete it from the register can be submitted through the portal. Annual reports can also be drawn up and submitted through the portal. Estonian, Finnish, Portuguese and Belgian citizens can log in to the portal using their ID cards for authentication. Estonian and Lithuanian citizens can log in using the Mobile-ID service. It is also possible to log in to the portal through the internet bank links on the homepage. The Company Registration Portal is located on the Link opens in new windowwebsite of the Centre of Registers and Information Systems.

European Business Register (EBR)

The European Business Register (EBR) is a web-based search system providing official information on European companies. Searches can be made on the Link opens in new windowwebsite.

  • Information is available from the commercial registers of a total of Link opens in new window24 countries.
  • Searches may be made concerning companies and persons.
  • The Link opens in new windowlist of available information varies from country to country.
  • Registry data have a different legal effect in different countries.
  • The search function can be used by both private individuals and companies.
  • A fee is charged for the service.

Is access to the Estonian commercial register free of charge?

Registry data can be accessed Link opens in new windowat the registration department, Link opens in new windowonline and at Link opens in new windownotaries' offices. Access to the data held in the commercial register and the register of non-profit associations and foundations and to file documents is free of charge at the registration department.

No fee is charged online for searches concerning legal entities, self-employed persons and branches of foreign companies, for information about court proceedings or for access to registry card data. However, a fee is charged for all other searches, including historical registry card data and access to annual reports, articles of association and other documents. Where a fee is charged for information, payment is made immediately by internet bank transfer. Subscribers with the right to use the extended search parameters pay on the basis of monthly invoices. The rates charged for using the computer data in the commercial register are laid down in a Link opens in new windowRegulation of the Minister for Justice.

A fee is charged for consulting registry data and file documents at a notary’s office. The fees are set out in the Link opens in new windowNotaries’ Fees Act.

How to search the Estonian commercial register

Searches can be made in the commercial register and the register of non-profit associations and foundations using the e-Business Register on the Link opens in new windowwebsite of the Centre of Registers and Information Systems.

To which extent can the documents in the register be relied upon?

This page explains how the use of the data and documents contained in the commercial register is regulated in Estonia.

The registration department of Tartu County Court maintains the commercial register. Self-employed persons, branches of foreign companies, and companies (public limited companies, private limited companies, general partnerships, limited partnerships, commercial associations, European Companies (Societas Europaea), European Cooperative Societies (Societas Cooperativa Europaea) and European groupings of territorial cooperation) are entered in the commercial register. This electronic register has strong legal force, and its aim is to ensure legal certainty. The commercial register is maintained in Estonian.

An entry in the Commercial Register is held as correct with regard to a third party, unless the third party knew or should have known that the entry was not correct. An entry is deemed not to apply with regard to transactions which are concluded within fifteen days after the entry is made if a third party proves that the third party was not aware nor should have been aware of the content of the entry. Thus a third party may, in good faith, trust in the veracity of the entries in the register, for instance presuming, upon entering into a contract, that the person entered in the register as a member of the management board possesses signatory authority for the company in question.

Some legal circumstances are only valid if they are entered in the register: for instance, the signatory authority of a member of a management board may be circumscribed in the articles of association or the contract entered into with the member of the management board, but only the limitations entered in the register apply to third parties.

Certain important circumstances take effect from the moment the register entry is made: for instance, the increasing of a company's share capital takes effect from the moment the increase is entered in the commercial register, and not from the time the decision to increase the share capital is taken or from the time the contributions are made. The same applies to the establishment of a legal entity, the amendment of its articles of association or to its merger, division and transformation.

The following are opened in the commercial register for each self-employed person, legal entity and branch of a foreign company:

  • a registry card;
  • a business file;
  • a registry file.

The business file contains documents that a company, self-employed person or the branch of a foreign company has submitted to the registrar in accordance with the law, for instance the articles of incorporation or association and other documents submitted to the public record. Court judgments, appeals against rulings, correspondence and other documents that are not kept in the business file are kept in the registry file.

Documents in a foreign language shall be submitted to the registrar together with a translation into Estonian certified by a sworn translator or a notary or a translation into Estonian where a notary has certified the authenticity of the translator's signature. An undertaking may not rely on a translation which differs from the original document. A third party may rely on the translation of a document submitted to the registrar unless the undertaking proves that the third party was aware of the inaccuracy of the translation.

Entries in the commercial register are public. Everyone has the right to examine the information contained in the card indexes and the documents in business files and to obtain copies of them. Registry files may be examined by competent government bodies, courts during proceedings and other persons or entities with a legitimate interest.

Documents in the file may be viewed and copies thereof may be requested through the registration department, the e-Business Register or a notary.

History of the Estonian commercial register

The Estonian commercial register contains information dating back to 1 September 1995. All data are regularly updated.

Related links

Link opens in new windowEuropean Business Register

Link opens in new windowSearch the commercial register

Link opens in new windowCompany Registration Portal

Link opens in new windowThe e-Business Register

Link opens in new windowRegistration departments

Link opens in new windowNotaries


The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Last update: 14/05/2019