Personal ID (Kennitala)

Personal ID (Kennitala)

Anyone starting a business in Iceland must have a personal ID number (kennitala) which is a ten-digit number. The ID number serves as a gateway to Icelandic society and is used for tax, insurance, car registrations, bank transfers etc. It is also possible to run an individual company using your personal kennitala under certain low income expectation circumstances. When registering any other business structure, a new company kennitala will be created.

A foreigner from a country outside of the EEA / EFTA who plans to stay in Iceland for more than three months, must have a valid residence permit.

Citizens from the EEA / EFTA states do not need a special residence permit to stay in Iceland, but must make an application to Registers Iceland if they are planning on staying for longer than 3 months. Note that you will have to go to Registers Iceland or the nearest police office and present a passport and other mandatory documents before the application can be processed. If you are planning to work in Iceland for less than 3 months you can fill out an application for a temporary kennitala. 

Electronic Certificate (Auðkenni)

It is worth mentioning here that an electronic certificate (auðkenni) is a requirement for many basic day to day living circumstances in Iceland. This is a security measure that uses your kennitala, mobile phone and bank account to create an electronic proof of ID. As well as making digital payments or using government services online, you will require an electronic certificate when registering your business activities with the Director of Internal Revenue. When you make any transaction requiring an electronic certificate, you will receive a message on your mobile phone prompting you to enter a pin number to complete the transaction. Providing you have a kennitala and mobile phone, the electronic certificate system will be set up in branch when opening up your bank account.