As of early 2018, all companies that don’t have a Republic of Estonia resident on their board of directors must appoint a contact person from the country. The local person they appoint will be responsible for all official notices and documents addressed to the company.
The main reason for the need for a contact person was to fully legalize and legitimize the case when a business established and registered in the country is entirely governed from abroad, and all the legal entity governing bodies are located in another country. To discover more, read on.
What is a contact person?
In Estonia, a contact person is responsible for receiving procedural and other legal documents from the administrative authorities and sending them to the intended destinations.
The primary function of a contact person is as an intermediary, targeting to provide a nonstop communication channel between the business’s management and the government. After receiving official statements and procedural documents, the associated procedural documentation is believed to have been correctly delivered to the company’s board.
In simple terms, they are simply a company’s representatives and the registration card of the business contains their details. The representative role is completely passive since they’re only authorized to receive official documents addressed to the company. It doesn’t have any rights to make decisions or take lawfully significant actions on the company’s behalf.
After an appointment, the contact details of the contact person become part of the company’s official contact details, and the contact person’s address becomes the foreign company’s official address.
Why do I need a contact person?
To operate a business in Estonia, you must have a contact person. Its availability is a requirement at the notary stage and when registering any company or business in the Commercial Register of Estonia.
If the authority realizes that the company failed to hire someone for this position, the Estonian Commercial Register has the power to create a term for the business or company for the deficiency’s elimination.
If the company fails to meet this requirement, the Estonian Commercial Register is lawfully allowed to trigger proceedings for the legal entity’s compulsory liquidation or simply fine the company.
Who can be a contact person?
According to Estonian law, not everyone is eligible to become a contact person of a foreign company. The reason for establishing strict requirements is to make sure that the appointed person is trustworthy in the public and legislators’ eyes.
As a result, providers of company and trust services, sworn auditors, lawyers, and notaries qualify for this. The only things that can represent a contact person are law and notary offices, certified audit officers, or companies licensed to offer these services.
How to appoint a contact person
A notarized agreement or a digital signature is required when it comes to its appointment. A notarized agreement involves both parties making sure that the information they provide is legitimate and authentic. Before the notarized agreement, the foreign company looking to operate in Estonia must follow the right procedure to find and hire someone for this position.
The Estonian law provides a clear procedure that foreign companies need to follow, including who qualifies. A company can also look for professional help if it’s finding it challenging to hire a contact person in Estonia.
Responsibilities of a contact person
The contact person has a few but very crucial responsibilities. The person is responsible for receiving and sending any letters or procedural documents of intent addressed to the company.
While the country boasts itself to be digital, some lawful documents are still being delivered physically. It must not be a stakeholder, employee, or board member. And the company doesn’t need to allow it to make decisions or take actions on its behalf.
How to change a contact person
After the agreement, the Board of Directors must receive a corresponding statement to get authority from the contact person, which undertakes that a new one will be nominated and registered.
The management board makes sure that the information provided in the Estonian Commercial Register is up-to-date and correct. If a company hasn’t entered a fresh representative in the register, the authority has the right to fine the company.
The Estonian Commercial Registrar sets an appointment deadline for the contact person, which needs to be a minimum of one month and a maximum of three months. If this time passes without a company registering a new one, the Estonian Commercial Registrar will have no choice but to dissolve the company or eliminate its branch from the register.
Workhy provides contact person services in Estonia
If you want to establish a company in Estonia and you’re not able to appoint a contact person, there is no need to worry since Workhy is ready to help you. Workhy provides company formation services for entrepreneurs globally, allowing them to set up their businesses online in Estonia without traveling to the country. Additional services include legal address, VAT, EORI and IOSS applications, bookkeeping, and opening an online bank account. So, contact Workhy today to start your online business smoothly in Estonia.