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 148,684
2022
Economically active non-profit associations 43,149
2022
Economically active foundations 701
2022
Government institutions 195
2022
Local government institutions 1,828
2022
All-resident enterprise groups 4,789
2021
Domestically controlled multinational enterprise groups 880
2021
Foreign controlled enterprise groups 2,254
2021
Enterprises by number of employees and economic activity | 2022
Economic units by legal form | 2022
Economically active enterprises and non-profit institutions by legal form, years | 2018 – 2022
2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total 174,008 176,754 181,930 190,604 194,557
Sole proprietor 23,035 21,965 20,890 19,682 18,874
General partnership 105 94 164 105 96
Limited partnership 435 514 1,440 696 468
Private limited company 105,146 108,376 112,727 122,516 126,616
Public limited company 2,399 2,315 2,240 2,199 2,141
Commercial association 296 286 280 280 262
Societas Europaea 6 7 8 8 7
Branch of foreign company 228 227 231 231 220
Non-profit association 39,305 40,044 41,141 42,122 43,149
Foundation 676 686 682 701 701
Government institution 208 187 190 189 195
Local government institution 2,169 2,053 1,937 1,875 1,828

Economically active enterprises by type of owner | 2015 – 2022
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Owners total 117,398 120,450 127,622 131,650 133,784 137,980 145,717 148,684
State 74 70 61 61 66 60 65 64
Local government 207 197 191 200 177 149 145 150
Estonian person in private law 109,232 111,823 117,190 119,475 120,827 125,278 130,529 132,592
Foreign person in private law 7,885 8,360 10,180 11,914 12,714 12,493 14,978 15,878

Economically active enterprises by number of employees | 2015 – 2022
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total 117,398 120,450 127,622 131,650 133,784 137,980 145,717 148,684
250 and more 195 196 194 186 184 172 177 193
50-249 1,200 1,184 1,150 1,172 1,159 1,156 1,122 1,136
10-49 6,281 6,293 6,391 6,548 6,779 6,509 6,284 6,572
Less than 10 109,722 112,777 119,887 123,744 125,662 130,143 138,134 140,783

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