Online business in Estonia: how to open a bank account?
E-residency in Estonia is a very popular program among businessmen who operate online. Earlier we discussed the benefits of Estonian E-residency. Below is our analysis on how easy it is possible to open a bank account in Estonia and why you may need. Companies incorporated under Estonia E-residency program allow them to solve certain difficulties. For instance, you can easily access online markets and stores with your Estonian company (Amazon, Ebay, Apple store, etc). The low costs on taxes and management enable you to minimize business expenses while you invest in your company development. It is beneficial to diversify your markets and have income in various currencies, being different to your location.
For this reason, most businessmen seek for a corporate bank account that would comply with following requirements:
- Low transactional fees;
- Multicurrency accounts;
- Checkout buttons for websites;
- Online invoicing solutions;
- Fast payments;
- Integration with e-commerce;
- Access to global markets.
When we assist our clients with opening a bank account, we pay attention to these particular demands.
Our clients that incorporate companies under Estonian e-residency program ask different questions. Below we would like to discuss the most frequent ones.
Is it possible to open a bank account in Estonia for my local company under e-Residency program?
The current situation with banks in Estonia is that it takes significant time to open a bank account for companies in Estonia if shareholders are not Estonian residents. The virtual citizenship does not solve this problem, because it does not allow to physically reside in Estonia or in the EU.
Unless you have Estonian shareholders in your company, you need to be prepared to apply significant efforts to open a local bank account. However, we have successful (though rare) stories with Swedbank in Estonia that opened a bank account for Estonian company with e-resident shareholders.
To avoid difficulties with Estonian banks, most companies with e-Residents open bank accounts in other jurisdictions, such as Cyprus, Lithuania. Don’t forget that it is not compulsory to open a bank account in Estonia for your company.
However, there can be reasons why you still want to open a bank account in Estonia:
- You have partners or agents in Estonia;
- You have employees and rent an office in Estonia;
- You make other payments locally;
- You receive payments from local sources.
In this case you can open a bank account in Estonia and you can easily demonstrate that you have business interests locally.
An Estonian bank says that I need to demonstrate connections with Estonia to open a bank account. What should I do if I operate online?
If you have an online business and you have worldwide operations, then to prove you have business interests in Estonia you can show that your company has local business partners and contractors, or your company employs local employees.
To demonstrate connections with Estonia, you can show contracts and bills with local companies.
If you have just incorporated a company in Estonia, then you need to prove an intent to operate in Estonia. For example, you can show your business and marketing plan with Estonia as a target market. Another option is to show your website if you offer products and services in the country. It is important that you have something to demonstrate, as words only will not help you.
Do I need to visit Estonia to open a bank account?
Most Estonian banks require you to visit a bank for an account opening. After all your documents are verified and approved, this visit is compulsory in most cases. However, there are a few banks such as Swedbank and LVH that may allow you to open a bank account remotely.
Can I use PayPal or another payment merchant for my Estonian company?
PayPal is a global company offering online payment solutions for individuals and companies. It is possible to open a business account for your Estonian company. To open a business account in PayPal with Estonia E-Residency, it is required to provide corporate documents. All procedure are conducted online.
The same applies to other payment merchant services. There are many online payment solutions that offer payment options at a highly competitive level for online businesses.
Our company provides services on company formation in Estonia and other countries. Additionally, we assist our clients with management issues, including opening bank accounts in Estonia and other countries, online accounting, tax and legal consulting.