Estonian Business Register Implements Free Access to Data
As of 1 October 2022, the Estonian e-Business Register has made its data available to the public free of charge. Previously, fees were required to access data that extended beyond the company registry card.
This included information on company shareholders, articles of association, beneficial owners, and annual reports. With fees ranging from 1 to 2 euros per item, obtaining a comprehensive overview of any Estonian company could have incurred significant costs.
Additionally, a new feature now allows users to download bulk data files and perform free automated queries through the XML API. For more details, visit the Estonian Business Register Open Data page. This development presents opportunities for businesses to establish automated client management processes when working with Estonian companies.
Expanding Services of the Estonian Business Register The initiative to provide free access to registry data is just the beginning of a broader plan. Rivo Reitmann, the director of the Center for Registers and Information Systems, explained that the current services of the e-Business Register are available without charge, but the next phase involves assessing the needs of entrepreneurs to incorporate additional services and enhance the convenience of accessing information within the e-Business Register.
Exception for Non-Profit Organizations It should be noted that documents in the public files of Estonian non-profit organizations may still be subject to a fee. These documents may contain special types of personal information that are subject to restrictions on reuse. For example, a list of members who voted in a general assembly of an NGO may fall under this category.
Protecting Personal Data in the Estonian Business Register To safeguard personal information, it is advised not to publish personal email addresses or phone numbers in the Business Register. Previously, the Estonian Business Register sold company data to credit scoring sites, which profited from selling such information. With the new policy, these sites no longer need to pay for data on all Estonia-registered companies.