Economic units

Business statistics are produced on the basis of the data of economically active entities. However, not all economic units in legal registers are actively operating.

The statistical subject matter domain of economic units involves:

  • identifying economically active entities;
  • specifying statistical units for producing official statistics;
  • classifying economic entities on the basis of international standards.

In order to produce business statistics, Statistics Estonia keeps a business register for statistical purposes. Its data are obtained from the commercial register, non-profit associations and foundations register, register of taxable persons, and state register of state and local government institutions. In addition to legal registers, other data sources are used, such as the data of the Tax and Customs Board as well as statistical and financial reports.

All registered units are entered into the statistical register for business purposes. At the end of each year, the units active during the year are selected, including those that were active for only a part of the year.

This information is used, for example, for statistics on enterprise groups and business demography, but also for research and analyses on the economy.

The data of economic units belonging to multinational enterprise groups are used to update the EuroGroups Register (EGR).

Statistics Estonia publishes the data of economically active units by:

  • economic activity;
  • legal form;
  • type of owner;
  • size group;
  • region.
Economically active enterprises 153,883
2023
Economically active non-profit associations 44,269
2023
Economically active foundations 701
2023
Government institutions 197
2023
Local government institutions 1,757
2023
All-resident enterprise groups 4,920
2022
Domestically controlled multinational enterprise groups 952
2022
Foreign controlled enterprise groups 2,318
2022
Economic units by legal form | 2023
Enterprises by number of employees and economic activity | 2023
Economically active enterprises and non-profit institutions by legal form, years | 2019 – 2023
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total 176,754 181,930 190,604 194,557 200,807
Sole proprietor 21,965 20,890 19,682 18,874 18,847
General partnership 94 164 105 96 114
Limited partnership 514 1,440 696 468 514
Private limited company 108,376 112,727 122,516 126,616 131,875
Public limited company 2,315 2,240 2,199 2,141 2,054
Commercial association 286 280 280 262 253
Societas Europaea 7 8 8 7 9
Branch of foreign company 227 231 231 220 217
Non-profit association 40,044 41,141 42,122 43,149 44,269
Foundation 686 682 701 701 701
Government institution 187 190 189 195 197
Local government institution 2,053 1,937 1,875 1,828 1,757

Economically active enterprises by type of owner | 2016 – 2023
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Owners total 120,450 127,622 131,650 133,784 137,980 145,717 148,684 153,883
State 70 61 61 66 60 65 64 62
Local government 197 191 200 177 149 145 150 150
Estonian person in private law 111,823 117,190 119,475 120,827 125,278 130,529 132,592 136,737
Foreign person in private law 8,360 10,180 11,914 12,714 12,493 14,978 15,878 16,934

Economically active enterprises by number of employees | 2016 – 2023
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total 120,450 127,622 131,650 133,784 137,980 145,717 148,684 153,883
250 and more 196 194 186 184 172 177 193 186
50-249 1,184 1,150 1,172 1,159 1,156 1,122 1,136 1,160
10-49 6,293 6,391 6,548 6,779 6,509 6,284 6,572 6,593
Less than 10 112,777 119,887 123,744 125,662 130,143 138,134 140,783 145,944

Blog

One in five e-residents register a business in Estonia

Since 2014, 73,400 foreign citizens have become e-residents of Estonia. 20% of these e-residents have participated in founding a business and over 14,200 businesses have been registered in Estonia with their participation. We looked into where e-residents come from and what are the activities of their Estonian enterprises.
Read more 3. November 2020