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Why do I need a business bank account for my company?Last updated: May 23, 2017

You need a business bank account (IBAN) to conduct your daily business - collect customer payments, monetize balances from payment services providers (e.g. Paypal), make business related purchases, pay salary or dividends. A business bank account is required to meet regulatory requirements, e.g. prove payment of share capital.

Can I set up a business bank account remotely?Last updated: September 29, 2017

Currently, you have 2 options to open a business bank account with LeapIN:

  1. Open a standard business bank account (requires traveling to Estonia)

    For a standard business bank account with a bank card, we recommend opening an LHV bank account via LeapIN. For now, our banking partner LHV requires a physical face-to-face meeting with a bank representative. With LHV, remote onboarding of business bank accounts will presumably be available for first customers in Q1 2018. To soften the existing pain, LeapIN will get you pre-accepted for the business bank account before traveling and we will assist you with relevant banking procedures both before and during your trip to Tallinn, Estonia.

  2. Open a payment services provider's account online

    For a payment service provider's account (IBAN) which enables receiving and sending money, we recommend using Transferwise Borderless or Holvi. You can open these accounts remotely. LeapIN supports you doing business with both Transferwise borderless and Holvi and if your business requirements grow, you can migrate to a standard business bank account at LHV (or use two business bank accounts with LeapIN in parallel). Read more about differences between these banking options from our blog or FAQ post here.

    Please note - in order to receive a bank card (excl Holvi) or pay dividends you still need to open a business bank account with an Estonian bank. We expect the issue of paying dividends to be solved by the end of 2017.

Which banks do you work with?Last updated: June 05, 2017

Your LeapIN account will work best with an LHV business bank account. Thanks to our close cooperation, we have set up real-time bank transactions data exchange mechanism and the status and numbers of your business are always up-to-date with LeapIN.

LeapIN also works with a Transferwise Borderless electronic money account and Holvi business current account. For more, please see our FAQ posts:

How do I set up a business bank account with LHV?Last updated: September 29, 2017

Currently, in order to get a standard business bank account for the first time, our banking partner LHV requires a physical face-to-face meeting with a bank representative, largely due to security concerns such as anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism. LHV is implementing the necessary solutions and is planning a public launch in Q1 2018. As it is not under LeapIN control, we cannot fully guarantee that the public launch will happen at the time promised.

To soften the existing pain in opening the LHV business bank account, LeapIN will assist you with relevant banking procedures both before and during your trip to Tallinn, Estonia. While LeapIN cannot guarantee the success of getting a bank account for your business (sole decision by the bank applied for), we can get you pre-acceptance for a bank account.

How do I set up a Transfewise Borderless electronic money account?Last updated: November 17, 2017

In May 2017, Transferwise launched its multicurrency electronic money account, which you can apply for and open remotely (online). With TransferWise Borderless, you will be able to get:

  • European IBAN
  • British account number and sort code
  • Australian account number and BSB code
  • American account number and routing number

To execute accounting and compliance, LeapIN needs to receive your TransferWise statements manually (at least once a month). Since Transferwise has no API for service providers yet, LeapIN can read TransferWise statements via exported CSV file (vs a real-time data exchange between LeapIN and LHV bank account). However, in the future, TransferWise will have an API which eliminates the hassle of you sending us monthly CSV reports from TransferWise.

Does LeapIN support a Holvi business current account?Last updated: June 14, 2017

Yes, LeapIN does support a Holvi business bank account for conducting business.

Holvi has launched a business current account (IBAN) for e-Residents and enables a remote business bank account opening. E-Residents can use their e-Residency card to log in & manage banking operations in Holvi.

Please note that:

  • Holvi business current account can be used for SEPA transfers within Europe, thus it is suitable for LeapIN customers doing business in Europe and in euros.
  • To execute accounting and compliance, LeapIN needs to get an access to your bank statements. Since Holvi has no API nor XML output, LeapIN can read bank statements from Holvi manually only (vs. a real-time data exchange between LeapIN and an LHV business bank account).
  • According to the price list, Holvi charges 35 EUR/mo for an e-Residents' business current account and related services.
  • Using Holvi business current account requires you to take care of the accounting and compliance in Estonia or find a suitable service provider (like LeapIN) to do that for you.

What are the differences between banking options that LeapIN supports?Last updated: August 01, 2017

LeapIN account works best with an LHV business bank account. We offer support with the LHV “know your customer” process — from pre-filled application forms, pre-acceptance for a bank account before traveling to uploading documentation about your personal data. Furthermore, LHV and LeapIN use a seamless API integration — an automatic synchronization of transactions and account balance to manage your account once it is opened.

However, we also support Transferwise Borderless electronic money account and Holvi business current account. For more details and differences between banking options supported, please see the table below.


Transferwise Borderless

Holvi business account

LHV  business bank account


Account type

Electronic Money account (i)

Business current account

Business bank account

Guarantees on deposits

Not applicable
Deposits are not covered by FSCS, any guarantee fund or compensation scheme

Not applicable
Deposits are not covered by any guarantee fund or compensation scheme

100 000 EUR
Estonian state-backed guarantee of 100 000 EUR on all deposits

Supported currencies

Multicurrency account
15 different currencies supported
Send money to 50+ countries

Local account details provided for 
GBP / EUR / USD

EUR
Holvi only accepts payments in EUR currency from SEPA countries


Standard IBAN & SWIFT/BIC

Multicurrency account
15 different currencies supported (excl. USD)


Standard IBAN & SWIFT/BIC

International bank transfers via SWIFT

Yes

No

Yes

Availability for LeapIN customers

e-Residents globally

e-Residents globally

e-Residents globally

Customers currently not supported

Countries listed on TW website

US residents from the states not listed on TW website

FATF high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions

US residents and/or under the US FATCA report requirement.

FATF high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions

FATF high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions

Remote online onboarding

Yes

Yes

Visit to Estonia for a F2F bank meeting is required

LeapIN supported on-boarding & KYC

No
A separate KYC process designed by Transferwise, no integration with LeapIN 

No
A separate KYC process designed by Holvi, no integration with LeapIN 

Yes
Integrated KYC process -  pre-filled application forms, digital signing & pre-acceptance for a bank account before traveling 

Integration with LeapIN

Manually supported via export & import of statements

Manually supported via export & import of statements

Seamless API integration - automatic sync of transactions and account balance

Mobile app

Yes
Mobile app for transferring money

Yes
Mobile app for uploading receipts and invoices

Yes
Fully functional mobile banking application

Monthly fee

FREE
No monthly fees, no setup cost

35 EUR/mo
e-Residency account tailored to e-Residents

FREE
No monthly fees, no setup cost

Bank cards

Not available yet
(roll out announced in late 2017)

FREE
Holvi Business Mastercard
Foreign currency exchange fee 2%

2 EUR/mo
LHV Business debit card Mastercard
Online purchases supported

SEPA bank transfer fees

A fixed charge

50 transfers for FREE (per month, in & out) 
After this € 0.50 per transfer

FREE

Top up of the account

FREE via bank transfer

Charges when adding by card

FREE via bank transfer

2.5% per payment when using instant top up

FREE via bank transfer

Withdraw to bank

A fixed charge

50 transfers included monthly
After this € 0,50 per transfer

Not applicable

Account limits for transactions

Limits to USD transactions apply

NIA

Adjustable, depending on your agreement terms

Support for payment gateways

NIA

(To be tested...)

Yes
Using Holvi with external service providers

Yes
PayPal, Braintree, EveryPay etc

Other benefits & features

TW has gained access to the UK Faster Payments Service (FPS)

Switch between currencies & make payments at the best possible rate.

No setup or monthly charges

Instant local bank details in the UK, US and Eurozone:US and Eurozone:
 

GBP - Acc. No and Sort Code
EUR - Standard IBAN & SWIFT/BIC
USD - ABA and Acc. No

Holvi card is seamlessly connected to your Holvi mobile app

Built-in online store app

Holvi solution includes some basic bookkeeping features like
- automatically recorded invoices
- reports like general ledger and accounting journal
- creating & sending sales invoices

Please note that Holvi bookkeeping features are not sufficient for accounting and compliance of your Estonian company

International payments also available with currency exchange through TransferWise

Close integration with EveryPay payment gateway

Secure online banking

Fixed-term and demand deposits

Free of charge SEPA payments, deposits and reasonable withdrawals

Source

TW Borderless

Holvi

LHV Bank

Can I use multiple business bank accounts with LeapIN?Last updated: May 24, 2017

LeapIN works best with a bank account in LHV. Due to our close co-operation, your LHV business banking transactions are always up-to-date in LeapIN self-service.

Having multiple business bank accounts is possible within LeapIN. Thus, if you already have multiple bank accounts opened in Estonia (for example in LHV and/or Swedbank and/or Transferwise), then LeapIN can manage those business bank accounts in LeapIN self-service and automatically document your latest transactions and link them with your invoice/expenses.

Which currencies does LeapIN support?Last updated: May 24, 2017

LeapIN does support multiple currencies and you can operate with and hold several currencies in your bank account. Our primary banking partner LHV accepts the currency in which the money transfer arrives, i.e. multi-currency bank account, e.g. EUR, GBP, CHF etc.). If you are conducting business in USD also, we recommend using Transferwise Borderless business bank account.

Do I need a personal bank account?Last updated: February 02, 2017

No, it is not required to have a personal bank account with LeapIN or its partner banks. You can make the share capital payment from and pay dividends to your personal bank account in another bank/country.

If you wish you can apply for a personal bank account. In some cases, your personal bank account will be activated later to make sure that your business in Estonia is operating as promised by you. Activating your bank account is doable remotely once you have the initial F2F visit physically or remotely done. 

In the case of applying for and using a personal bank account, the relevant requirements, terms and conditions and price list are likely to be different. Especially for residents from outside of the European Union.

What about investing the company's funds?Last updated: February 01, 2017

Investing company funds is allowed, but it cannot be the main business activity of the company.

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.

Can I start a company without a business bank account?Last updated: April 21, 2017

Yes, it's acceptable to operate the company this way in the beginning for a maximum of 3 months.

If your business is registered with LeapIN, it is acceptable to pay to suppliers from your personal bank account or credit card meanwhile, as long as the costs are business related and the suppliers have issued invoices on the name of your company. You need to collect the purchase invoices and submit as company expenses. When you have the business bank account fully functional and sufficient cash available, you reimburse the costs from the business account back to your personal one, no tax added. You cannot, however, withdraw cash.

NB! Please note that you cannot issue proper sales invoices without a business bank account and if you need to register a payment processor/merchant account (e.g. Paypal, Braintree or similar) to monetize your planned services, then a valid business bank account is also required.

Thus, operating without a business bank account is a short-term solution during the starting phase only.

Do I need to have a physical bank card for my business bank account?Last updated: May 08, 2017

No, you do not have to have the physical bank card. But you would benefit from it by using it to pay for your business expenses. Please keep in mind, that LeapIN does not allow cash transactions.

Do LeapIN services work with a foreign business bank account?Last updated: June 05, 2017

No, LeapIN only accepts business bank accounts of our banking partners.

Can I open a business bank account in LeapIN partner bank branch outside Estonia?Last updated: February 02, 2017

No, it is not possible to open a business bank account in LeapIN partner bank branch outside Estonia.

What do I need for the face-to-face meeting at the bank?Last updated: May 23, 2017

If you open a business bank account with our partner bank LHV, you will need a valid passport and e-Residency ID card for the bank meeting in Estonia to open a bank account.

Can I receive income in cash?Last updated: July 20, 2017

LeapIN does not support cash transactions. The reason here is to keep transparency and visibility, which is one concern for us. Also, electronic transactions are easier to manage from an accounting perspective, for you and also for us.

Can I pay share capital into a foreign business bank account or payment services provider's account?Last updated: August 02, 2017

At the moment, it does not make sense to make a share capital payment to your company’s foreign business bank or payment services provider (e.g. Transferwise, Holvi etc) account, because Estonian authorities accept only an Estonian business bank accounts as the destination for share capital payments. In theory it is possible, but it has not yet been implemented in practice.

We expect such limitation to be removed within this year - the authorities are already working on it. But meanwhile you can still transfer sufficient funds to your company’s account and treat them as a loan from a shareholder to your company. It is a legal practice and such loans can be at 0% interest and without a certain due date.

Thus, you can transfer a loan amount currently and start using it for your business activities, and once the laws about foreign bank accounts and the share capital have changed, you can return the loan back to your personal account and make a proper share capital payment.

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