Life in Estonia magazine

Success stories & News

[22.02.2016] State Shared Service Centre Supports Innovation in Governance

[19.02.2016] Estonia - the Smart Choice for Service Centres

[12.02.2016] New Estonian-located Development Teams for Foreign Enterprises

[25.09.2014] German Manufacturing and Service Industry in Estonia

[20.06.2014] Transferwise Planning to Double Estonian Workforce

[15.05.2014] Danpower expands its call center in Estonia

[09.10.2013] Kuehne and Nagel, Eesti Energia Triumph at Entrepreneurship Awards 

Sector overview

Estonia is an established location for Shared Services, providing a high quality workforce, competitive business environment and sustainable financial attractiveness.

Estonia’s journey began in the 1990’s as a Nearshoring location of choice for Nordic companies.

On joining the EU in 2004 and adopting the EURO in 2011 Estonia attracted further primary and secondary investments, diversifying the breadth of functions in the process.

Today there are over 75 captive and BPO Shared Service centres in Estonia. Sizes range from small Centres of Excellence to large multi-functional centres in excess of 6000 people. All functions are represented, with higher order tasks and regional or global responsibilities becoming the norm.

The Estonian Shared Services sector benefits from a high quality, global investor profile including the EU, NATO, Microsoft, Kuehne+Nagel, Swedbank, Arvato, TeliaSonera, Stora Enso, Fujitsu and Linde Group.

Estonia's advantages

Estonia possesses a number of advantages which make it an ideal location for Shared Services:

High Quality Human Capital

  • Estonian workers benefit from a strong education, especially in core subjects such as maths, languages and IT.
  • Additionally, as an established location with high quality investors, there is an existing pool of talent with relevant experience.
  • Benefit from service level quality, a process improvement mindset and new capabilities.

 Competitive Business Environment

  • Estonia consistently ranks as one of the most open and competitive economies in the world.
  • Modern business infrastructure is supported by a commitment to competitiveness, the rule of law and low corruption.
  • Benefit from a stable, efficient environment which is enabled for international business.

 Low Red Tape

  • Estonia’s economy is characterised by no unionisation and no government intervention.
  • Business formation and licensing are simple and there is no complex regulaton or accounting on an ongoing basis.
  • Benefit from operational flexibility in resourcing and the optimal use of management time.

Sustainable Financial Attractivess

  • Estonia offers lower labour and infrastructure costs than Northern and Western Europe.
  • Estonia’s financial attractiveness is supported by an investment grade credit rating, low Sovereign debt: GDP and balanced budgets.
  • Benefit from cost savings, cash flow efficiency and an attractive return on investment.

Estonia's USPs

Estonia possesses a number of unique factors which contribute to its attractiveness for Shared Services:

Advanced IT Platform

  • Estonia has ultra high e-commerce usage, with most business transactions and government returns conducted online.
  • From 2015 it will be possible to be an e-resident of Estonia, allowing foreigners to sign contracts and manage the affairs of their Estonian business remotely.
  • Benefit from lower operational risk, process efficiencies through automation and better decisions from timely access to data.

Nordic Business Culture

  • Estonia has long standing links with the Nordic region and modern day integrated economic, energy, financial and transport systems.
  • This creates a shared business culture characterised by transparency, efficiency and quality.
  • Benefit from strong corporate governance, high productivity and a process improvement mindset.

Language Mix & Proficiency

  • Estonia’s location gives it a unique mix of languages while strong education ensures these are spoken to a high level of proficiency.
  • English, Finnish and Russian are widely spoken, with German and Nordic languages also increasingly used.
  • Benefit from employees having good alignment to your business and adding value from day 1.

Simple Taxation System

  • Corporation and Capital Gains taxes are payable only on distribution and zero at all other times, encouraging re-investment.
  • The simple, flat rate structure and filing of returns online make the system easy to understand and engage with.
  • Benefit from a lower effective rate, easy compliance and controlling when your corporation tax is payable.

Focus on functions

There are over 40 Captive and BPO Shared Service centres in Estonia, with higher order tasks and regional or global responsibilities becoming the norm:

Customer Services

  • Largest function by number of centres and FTE’s.
  • Typical tasks include customer care, technical support, sales, loyalty programs and master data management.
  • Investors include TeliaSonera, Arvato, Danpower, Transcom, Hurtigruten, Runway, H1, Finnair and Blue Travel Services.

IT

  • Second largest function by number of centres and FTE’s.
  • Typical tasks include software development, technical support, network management and R&D.
  • Investors include the Microsoft, Kuehne+Nagel, Ericsson, Swedbank, Fujitsu and Bet Genius.

Finance

  • Third largest function but fast growing.
  • Typical tasks include accounts receivable (AR), accounts payable (AP), travel & expense, payment factory, accounting and treasury.
  • Investors include Finnair, Stora Enso, Fortum, Statoil, Fujitsu, Orkla and Linde Group.

Other

  • Estonia has a specialism in Shared Services for the public sector. Examples include the NATO cyber security centre of excellence, EU Agency for large scale IT systems and RTK, the state shared service centre.  
  • Estonia also has a growing number of HR and Logistics centres with regional responsibilities.

How we help

Download the pdf on the Investment aid to support service and R&D centers

Whether you are a new investor to Estonia or an existing centre looking to expand we can assist:

Research & Advisory
We provide information and advice to support your business case:
  • Country information
  • Location benchmarking
  • Sector best practise
  • Optimal sourcing solutions
  • Sector competitiveness
  • Networking
Deal Support & Aftercare
We make it easy for you to invest and grow in Estonia:
  • Arranging country & site visits
  • Assisting with permits
  • Assisting with local suppliers
  • Grant applications
  • Arranging sector events

About us

  • Our team has experience working in the Shared Services sector in Europe and Asia, including in all key functions.
  • Our skills and experience allow us to better understand your challenges and what solutions may be relevant.
  • By focusing on what is important we help you reach the desired result in the fastest, most efficient manner.

For more information please contact us:

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Area Manager
+372 6279 369

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