What is LeapIN?

LeapIN is an online solution that brings together all the services needed to set up and run your business. We focus on simplifying the company registration process, choosing a suitable business type, getting a bank account, running your everyday transactions and filing tax reports.

The promise of “easy and hassle-free” company setup and administration relies on Estonian e-Residency concept and government backed infrastructure.

Our online self-service portal uses secure authentication methods and provides seamless integration with accounting and banking services.

What services does LeapIN provide?

LeapIN delivers the promise of easy and hassle-free company setup and administration. In order to meet the needs of both starting and existing businesses, LeapIN offers respectively:

  • legal business address in Estonia (as a stand-alone service to meet the minimum requirement for company registration)
  • all-in-one support solution (combines all the critical elements to setup and run a company with ease)

See Pricing for more details about LeapIN services.

As a rule, while we are happy to handle the annoying support functions of your business, we expect you to take care of your core business yourself i.e. finding customers and suppliers for you, and delivering services on behalf of you are beyond LeapIN's reach. Nevertheless, we are your big fans and salute your business success accordingly.

Yes, LeapIN can provide you the legal business address required when registering a company in Estonia. Please see Pricing for more details.

Are there limits to mail digitization and processing service?

There are no limits as such. We expect "normal use" which means we will forward you mails from authorities and/or confirmation letters sent by your business partners etc. If we recognize any abnormal usage of the service (bulk mail reception etc.) then we shall negotiate on the terms. Otherwise – there will be no extra charges from LeapIN.

How do I access the postal mail sent to my business address?

All mail sent to your legal business address will be digitized and forwarded to your e-mail. Digitized documents will also be available in the LeapIN online self-service.

Can I do accounting and taxes on my own?

Yes, you can do accounting and tax reporting for your business in Estonia without any external help. It requires updated knowledge of relevant local and EU rules and regulations, depending on the nature and size of your business. In reality you are also likely to experience fragmented procedures and expectations of Estonian language (or Google Translate) skills in communication with multiple local authorities.

The local legal and business environment is in constant development and while it matures, LeapIN removes and eliminates your pain-points related to company setup and administration, and gladly takes care of all the support functions for the ones who prefer to focus 99% on their core business.

To sum, we believe it is a matter of preferences regarding which business-related functions to master yourself vs outsource to an external expert. To make an informed decision here, please check Pricing about how LeapIN could cooperate with you.

Can I switch to another service provider?

We hope our customers use LeapIN services only because they value them, not because they are obliged to.

Thus, from our side we make sure there won't be a vendor lock and assist customers who would like to leave LeapIN. For instance, it is relatively easy to replace the virtual office for your business entity. It is somewhat more complex to switch over to a new accounting service provider, but once there is a motivated need, we will help you to make it happen by providing all the past data and documents in a format which can be imported to a new system.

Currently we don't have it as a standard functionality yet, which means it might take some time, but we will keep our promise here.


What is e-Residency?

In December 2014 Estonia became the first country in the world to offer e-Residency to any foreigner interested in using the country's advanced digital public services e.g. to do business from anywhere. This status of digital citizenship would allow, say, an Indian entrepreneur to establish an Estonian company that he runs from Singapore to serve clients based in Germany. He'd also be able to use his electronic signature to sign contracts with customers throughout the EU. All done online, remotely, hassle-free.

Estonian e-Residents receive a government-issued smart ID-card which provides digital identification and authentication to secure services, digital signing of documents, digital verification of document authenticity and document encryption.

Yet, e-Residency does not grant citizenship, tax residency, residence or right of entry to Estonia or to the European Union. The e-Resident smart ID-card is not a physical identification or a travel document, and does not display a photo.

Read more about e-Residency here.

Do I need e-Residency to use LeapIN services?

Yes, you do.

How do I apply for the e-Residency?

You will need to become an e-Resident of Estonia to use LeapIN online services. Please continue to the Estonian e-Residency site and apply for e-Residency.

Costs and fees

What does it cost to setup and run a company in Estonia?

If you are in the beginning of the entire process, you should take into account the following cost items:

One-time costs:

  • State fee for e-Residency: 100 € (+ credit card processing fee)
  • State fee for company registration in Estonia: 190 €
  • Travel costs associated with picking up your e-Resident ID-card at the location you select and conducting required banking procedures in Estonia

Recurring costs:

  • LeapIN service fee – depends on the price plan selected (see Pricing). For instance, the annual cost of all-in-one LeapIN service for a professional services provider is currently 79 € x 12 = 948 € (+ VAT if applicable).
  • Bank fees – depend on the bank you select and get accepted by. For instance, LHV bank charges no fixed fee for a bank account. They also offer Euro payments free of charge, while other non-EU international payments cost from 5 € per transaction. See their complete price list here.

According to our experience, no additional fixed costs can be anticipated. Naturally, based on your business needs, you can also pay a salary to yourself, buy business-related external services (e.g. hosting, online marketing, legal advice), cover your business trips etc.

The fees mentioned above are subject to change in future.

What does it cost to close my company?

The reasons to close a business down occur in reality indeed. As long as your company does not have any outstanding debts to external parties, the costs associated with terminating your company are insignificant in Estonia. But you should be prepared for a long period (can be more than 6 months) i.e. you have to wait (do nothing) until the official process is finished.

Do I have to apply for social security and pay monthly taxes?


Company setup

Can I start any kind of business with LeapIN?

Currently we welcome individuals (one-man shows) who plan to operate as:

  • Professional service providers and freelancers (e.g. software developers, IT experts, business consultants, marketing gurus, designers, architects, translators etc);
  • Mobile app and game developers;
  • Packaged software and SaaS providers.

We constantly expand the range of business activities supported, so let us know which business you are in and we'll see whether we can assist you as well.

However, LeapIN does NOT support business activities which require a license in Estonia such as financial services, energetics, sale of alcohol, gambling etc. For the complete list, please check here.

What form of entity is an OÜ (private limited company)?

In Estonia there are two options for a limited liability company – AS (aktsiaselts, can be treated as a public limited company) or OÜ (in Estonian „osaühing" or private limited company). For a small company it is recommended to use OÜ for simplicity. Currently there is no special format for single owner company. There are plans to introduce such format (called SUP) in the EU incl Estonia, but it will not happen within the next 1-2 years.

FIE is a sole proprietorship (full individual responsibility) which we do not recommend nor support.

Do I need to travel to setup a company?

No, you do NOT need to travel to Estonia to setup a company. You can complete the entire process online by using your digital ID (e-residency) and some assistance by LeapIN.

But you DO need to travel to Estonia to setup a bank account for your company. The legal requirement is about to be abolished during 2016.

It seems rather common among our customers to setup a company immediately, and plan a trip to Estonia for the bank procedures only in some weeks'/months' time, when a suitable time slot appears in the personal calendar. To make sure your trip really makes sense, LeapIN can organize a preliminary decision by the bank already in advance, thanks to our close cooperation.

Can I add business partners in the future?

Currently we provide support only for a single shareholder (individual person only) but the type of company that LeapIN provides will allow you to add additional shareholders in the future. LeapIn will introduce an offer targeted to multiple owners (as individual persons) at a later date, depending on the actual need.

Note for the future, in order to run an EE company from the distance, all the shareholders and board members need to have Estonian e-Residency (digital ID-card). Only then you can sign all the required documents and approve transactions digitally, without a need to visit Estonia.

How does it work if my company has a co-owner?

LeapIN currently prefers companies with 1 individual shareholder only. However, in some cases we make an exception and support multiple individual shareholders as well (please ask us for a custom offer). As a prerequisite, if you want your partner to be a shareholder in the company, he/she needs to have Estonian e-Residency (digital ID card) as well.

The local address is required by Estonian regulations, but you also need it for operating within the international business community. E.g. in order for Google to accept you for a merchant account, they require an existing legal business address and they also send you a postcard to this address to confirm that you really are using and have access to this business address (more details). The same applies to payment processors like Paypal, Braintree or Stripe (hopefully available in Estonia soon). LeapIN would provide you support for that.

Do I need to have a local director?

No, there is no requirement to have a local European director for a company you register in Estonia. You can be both the single owner and the single member of the management board of the legal entity, having full control of the company.

No other people have to be involved. That's the beauty of the Estonian system, in contrast to many other countries.

When do I need local representation?

If you are the single owner and board member of your company registered in Estonia, and if you do NOT reside within European Economic Area (European Union + EFTA members Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, you are required to appoint a local contact (service provider or private person) to receive procedural documents in Estonia. The contact acts as a messenger whom Estonian authorities can approach to deliver official documents/messages to you, sharing no legal power nor responsibility for the actions of your company.

LeapIN provides such service as a natural part of our price plans (no additional cost). See Pricing for more details.

What does it cost to setup a company?

Currently there is a state fee of 190 € for registering a company in Estonia, paid in advance. If you complete the registration process through LeapIN, no additional fees apply. In addition, getting a bank account for your company in Estonia is also free of charge (e.g. by LHV bank).

The fees mentioned above are subject to change in future.

What is the required share capital?

In case a private limited company is registered in Estonia, you need to pay 2 500 € as company share capital (payment can be postponed). Do not confuse the required share capital you contribute with state fees – your company still owns the share capital and you are free to use the sum in your business operations, once paid in.

To soften the barrier, there is a possibility to postpone the actual payment of share capital i.e. you as the founder can pay for the shares either at the time of establishment or also later, up to 1 year. LeapIN customers tend to prefer the latter option. But please keep in mind that until you have not paid for the shares in full, you are liable towards the company for the obligations of the company and you cannot pay any dividends.

How can I pay the share capital into the company?

You can pay the share capital from a personal bank account (in your home country) or as a cash deposit.

In what language is the articles of association written?

A template for the articles of association is provided by Estonian Business Registry in English and Estonian.

In the event of a funding round, would you be able to help with the paperwork?

LeapIN would help you find a trusted legal partner from Estonia. It's not part of our product yet.


Do I need to travel to setup a bank account?

Yes, you do. Currently, in order to get a bank account for the first time, the banks in Estonia require a physical face-to-face meeting with a bank representative, largely due to security concerns such as anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism.

The legal framework to abolish this requirement has been passed by the Parliament in June 2016 and now LeapIN and it's partner bank are preparing for the necessary solutions to be rolled out in Q1 2017.

To soften the existing pain, LeapIN will assist you with all the relevant procedures both before and during your trip to Tallinn, Estonia. For instance, while LeapIN cannot guarantee the success of getting a bank account for your business in Estonia (sole decision by the bank applied for), we can get you acceptance by the bank in advance, thanks to our close cooperation.

Can I start without a bank account and wait for the new law? Meanwhile paying with a personal creditcard.

Yes, it's acceptable to operate the company this way in the beginning. However, if you need to register a merchant account (e.g. Braintree) to monetize your planned services, then a valid bank account is usually needed as well. So, it can be a short-term solution during the starting phase only.

Will opening a bank account remotely be possible for customers worldwide?

LeapIN and partners are developing the technical capability to take advantage of the legal opportunity and start onboarding customers online in reality. We expect the first customers to benefit from this option by the end of this year. For remote bank account opening we will be able to accept customers from the following 43 countries:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South-Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.

As a requirement, you also need to have a personal bank account in one of those countries. Estonian e-Residents from other countries still need to travel to Estonia to be able to open a bank account with LeapIN partner banks.

Do LeapIN services work with a foreign bank account?

Currently LeapIN services work best with only an Estonian bank account.

Is an Estonian bank account required or can I use a bank in my home country?

It's not required legally to have a bank account in Estonia, but it's inevitable for practical purposes. Your request to open a bank account in your home country on the name of a company registered in Estonia (without prior track record) is unlikely to be accepted. And even more, it is unlikely that such bank would issue an official confirmation about share capital payment (once paid in) in Estonian, as required by Estonian Business Register. Thus, to simplify the matters, an Estonian bank account would be the best option.

What are the fees related to opening and using a bank account?

The bank fees in Estonia vary depending on the bank you select and get accepted by to host your business account and conduct financial transactions. For instance, LHV bank offers the following terms currently:

  • Opening a multicurrency bank account: free of charge,
  • European payments (payments in euros within SEPA area): free of charge,
  • Bank card (debit-credit): issuing free of charge.

Please find a more detailed price list for LHV bank services here.

To clarify, at the moment the price list for banking services does not depend on which LeapIN price plan you go for.

What are the fees for using the bank card outside Estonia?

The bank fees in Estonia vary depending on the bank you choose to host your business account and conduct financial transactions. For instance, LHV bank offers the following terms currently for their business debit card (supports contactless payments):

  • issuing: free of charge,
  • monthly fee: 2 €,
  • cash withdrawal from an ATM within the EU: 1 € + 0.3% of the amount that exceeds 10 000 € per month,
  • cash withdrawal from an ATM outside the EU: 2 € + 2.5% of the amount.

Please find a more detailed price list for LHV bank services here.

To clarify, at the moment the price list for banking services does not depend on which LeapIN price plan you go for.

Is there a monthly fee or a minimum balance for the bank account?

The bank fees in Estonia vary depending on the bank you choose to host your business account and conduct financial transactions. For you company bank account, for instance, LHV bank charges no monthly fee nor requires minimum balance.

Please find a more detailed price list for LHV bank services here.

Which banks do you work with?

We cooperate with all the major retail banks in Estonia. Our preferred partner is LHV.

Can I hold different currencies on my bank account?

Yes, you can hold several currencies in your bank account. The bank accepts the currency in which the wire transfer arrives (i.e. multicurrency bank account, e.g. EUR; USD, CHF, GBP etc.).

How can I get a personal bank account?

Together with applying for a company bank account, you can also apply for a personal one. However, in case of a personal bank account the relevant requirements, terms and conditions and price list are likely to be different.

What about investing the company's funds?

Advice regarding investment opportunities is beyond LeapIN competence. But there are other professional service providers you can turn to. For instance, LHV bank is also known for its investing capabilities. You can read more about it here.

Handling revenues

When do I need a VAT no?

If your customers require a VAT number on your sales invoice, then you should apply for it. From the compliance point of view you need a VAT number if your revenues exceed 16K EUR per year. LeapIN will handle applying for VAT and regular reporting in Estonia.

How can I get a VAT number?

First of all, there has to be a justified reason for the VAT-payer status. The VAT number registration process can be initiated after you have registered a company successfully. You need to be transparent about your intended business activities. It helps if you already have business activities running in your Estonian company (prove that you are not trying to misuse the system). It can take up to 5 business days to process your VAT application.

Which online card processing options do you support?

At the moment we support Paypal, Braintree, Adyen and Skrill in our SaaS plan. They all work well with an Estonian company and bank account. There are more providers, but we have not concluded further research to recommend other options, yet.

Can I transfer funds from my payment services provider (e.g. Paypal, Braintree etc.) account?

Yes, you can transfer funds from you payment processor account to you company bank account in our partner bank (e.g. LHV).

Does 'Accounting, taxes and compliance handled by LeapIN' includes VAT MOSS?

Yes, it does (as part of SaaS price plan).

Can I use AppleStore or Google to sell my app?

Yes, you can. Please find more details here.

Receiving funds

How can I receive funds from my company?

If you (as an individual) are a tax resident outside Estonia and you own and run a company which is a tax resident in Estonia, there are 3 options how you can receive funds from your company:

  • Receive dividends
  • Receive management board member salary
  • Receive employee salary

According to the existing law in Estonia, there is no obligation to pay any management board member salary, employee salary nor take dividends. Thus, it is up to you how you combine them, taking into account your actual contribution to the business activities:

  • keep all the money in the company and reinvest to boost your business or
  • receive only dividends or
  • receive dividends + board member salary or
  • receive dividends + board member salary + employee salary

When can I pay dividends?

In order to pay dividends, the annual accounts with the necessary annex need to be reported by LeapIN and approved by the owner of the company. In addition, the business is expected to have positive gains from the past to enable dividend payments i.e. dividends may be paid to the shareholders from net profit or from retained profit from previous years from which losses from previous years have been deducted, on the basis of the approved annual report.

As the standard financial year via LeapIN starts on 01.01 and the financial year is 12 months long (2015 and 2016 will be consolidated if you start earlier), you can pay dividends in the beginning of 2017 at the earliest.

What is the tax rate on dividends?

Estonian company income tax policies are quite unique. Company income tax (CIT) is charged on distributed profits (dividends) only and not on the company's income.

Distributed profits are generally subject to a flat 20% CIT at 20/80 of the net amount of profit distribution. For example, a company that has profits of 100 € (EUR) available for distribution can distribute dividends of 80 €, on which it must pay CIT of 20 €.

Who pays the taxes on dividends?

The tax subject—the person to be taxed for dividends—is the company and not the person (owner of the company) receiving the dividend. As a shareholder of the Estonian company, you don't have to pay additional personal income taxes in Estonia. However, if you are not a tax resident of Estonia, additional personal income taxes might apply in your current location of tax residency, depending on the local rules. Please check them.

When does the company pay taxes on dividends?

The income tax obligation arises at the time of paying out the dividends to the shareholder(s).

What sum can I receive as board member salary?

Regarding management board member salary, there is no required minimum or maximum amount.

When can I pay board member salary?

The salary can be paid any time (e.g. regularly per month or once-off peformance bonuses).

When can I pay employee salary?

The salary can be paid any time, but typically done once per month.

What is the tax rate on salary?

If you perform all the work outside Estonia (and thus, are treated as a non-resident in Estonia), no personal income tax nor social tax are paid in Estonia. In that case you are responsible for paying taxes in the country where you are a tax resident as an individual.

In case of interest, you need to be able to prove to Estonian authorities that the real work was performed outside of Estonia. However, your tax arrangements abroad are not their concern here.

Who pays the taxes on salary?

The personal income and social taxes are paid by the company.

What about the company's tax-residency and double taxation?

We currently assume that your Estonian company will be an Estonian tax-resident and LeapIN provides you the necessary tax compliance and reporting in Estonia.

If during the lifetime of the company, it turns out that your company will be a tax-resident in your home country, then the tax reporting and compliance in your home country will be your responsibility. Unfortunately at this time, LeapIN is not be able to support you with tax compliance and reporting in your home country. You need to consult a tax consultant in your country for that.

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