Opening your account
Which banks do you work with?
Your LeapIN account will work best with an LHV business bank account. Thanks to our close cooperation, we can offer real-time bank transaction data so 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.
What are the differences between the banking options that LeapIN supports?
Your LeapIN account works best with an LHV business bank account. We offer support with the LHV “Know your customer” process — including pre-filled application forms, pre-acceptance for a bank account before travelling, and uploading documentation about your personal data. Furthermore, LHV and LeapIN use a seamless API integration — automatically syncing your transactions and account balance to manage your account once it's opened.
We can also support the TransferWise borderless electronic money account and Holvi business current account. For more details and differences between the banking options supported, please see the table below:
|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
Deposits are not covered by any guarantee fund or compensation scheme
Estonian state-backed guarantee of €100 000 on all deposits
|Supported currencies||Multicurrency account|
Over 40 different currencies supported
Send money to 50+ countries
Local account details provided for
Holvi only accepts payments in euros from SEPA countries
Standard IBAN & SWIFT/BIC
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||No. Visit to Estonia required for a F2F bank meeting|
|LeapIN supported on-boarding & KYC||No|
A separate KYC process designed by TransferWise, no integration with LeapIN
A separate KYC process designed by Holvi, no integration with LeapIN
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 for transferring money
Mobile app for uploading receipts and invoices
Fully functional mobile banking application
No monthly fees, no setup cost
|Starting from €9 per month|
e-Residency account tailored to e-Residents
No monthly fees, no setup cost
|Bank cards||Not available yet for business customers||FREE|
Holvi Business Mastercard
Foreign currency exchange fee 2%
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 €0,25 per transfer
|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 €0,25 per transfer
|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
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: 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|
What are the bank and transaction fees?
If you use bank accounts, payment gateways etc. to make or receive payments, the following fees may occur:
Bank/merchant account setup fees
Bank/merchant account maintenance fees
Service fees per transaction charged by banks or gateways involved
Currency exchange fees
You can also check the full LHV price list, TransferWise borderless pricing, or Holvi pricing, for more information.
These fees are all considered business expenses, as long as the relevant transactions were related to your business activities.
Can I set up a business bank account remotely?
Currently, you have 2 options to open a business bank account with LeapIN:
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, LHV require a physical face-to-face meeting with a bank representative. To make the process a little smoother, LeapIN will help you get
pre-acceptance for your business bank account before traveling, and we’ll assist you with relevant banking procedures both before and during your trip to Tallinn, Estonia.
Open an account online with a payment services provider (PSP) e.g. TransferWise, or Holvi
For a PSP 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).
You can read more about the differences between these banking options on our blog or FAQ article.
Please note - in order to receive a bank card (excluding 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 in early 2018.
Using your account
Can I receive income in cash?
No, LeapIN does not support cash transactions.
The reason here is to keep transparency and visibility. Also, electronic transactions are easier to manage from an accounting perspective, for you and for us.
Which currencies does LeapIN support?
LeapIN supports multiple currencies and you can hold and operate with several currencies in your bank account.
Our primary banking partner LHV will accept transfers in whichever currency the money arrives in, whether it’s EUR, GBP, CHF etc. If you’re conducting, or planning to conduct, business in USD we’d recommend using a TransferWise borderless account.
Which currencies are supported by LeapIN partner banks?
If you bank with LHV, then you can send and receive the following currencies to and from your bank account:
AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, JPY, NOK, PLN, RUB, SEK.
Please note that it's not possible to receive USD to your LHV bank account.
LHV won't automatically convert the funds you receive into euros. If you wish to convert them, you'll need to create a currency exchange order in your online bank to convert between currencies.
With TransferWise borderless you can hold money in over 40 currencies within your borderless account.
And Holvi currently only supports euros.
Can I use multiple business bank accounts with LeapIN?
LeapIN works best with a bank account in LHV. Due to our close cooperation, your LHV business banking transactions are always up-to-date in LeapIN self-service.
Having multiple business bank accounts is possible within LeapIN. If you already have multiple business bank accounts opened in Estonia (for example in LHV and/or TransferWise), then LeapIN can manage those accounts in LeapIN self-service and automatically document your latest transactions, linking them with your invoices/expenses.
Do LeapIN services work with a foreign business bank account?
No, LeapIN only accepts business bank accounts with our banking partners.
Do I need a personal bank account?
No, you're not required to have a personal bank account with any of our 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 Estonia. In some cases, your personal bank account will be activated after some time, to make sure that your business in Estonia is operating as promised by you. You can activate a personal account with LHV remotely once you've had the initial face-to-face in Estonia.
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.
Do I need to have a physical bank card for my business bank account?
No, you don’t need to have a physical bank card. But they are useful to pay for your business expenses. Please keep in mind, that LeapIN does not allow cash transactions.
Can I pay share capital into a foreign business bank account or PSP (payment service provider) account?
At the moment, it doesn’t make sense to make a share capital payment to your company’s foreign business bank or PSP (e.g. TransferWise, Holvi etc) account, because Estonian authorities only accept an Estonian business bank account as the destination for share capital payments. It is theoretically possible, but it hasn’t yet been implemented.
We do expect this limitation to be removed within this year - the authorities are already working on it. Meanwhile, you can still transfer sufficient funds to your company’s account and treat them as a loan from a shareholder to your company. This is a legal practice and loans of this nature can be taken at 0% interest and without a fixed due date.
Thus, you can transfer a loan amount and start using it for your business activities. 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.
What about investing the company's funds?
Investing company funds is allowed, but it cannot be the main business activity of the company.
We can’t offer advice regarding investment opportunities. But there are other professional service providers you can turn to.
For instance, LHV is also known for its investing capabilities. You can read more about it on their website.
How do I set up a business bank account with LHV?
In order to get a standard business bank account with LHV, they require a physical face-to-face meeting with a bank representative, largely due to security concerns such as anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism.
To make your life easier when you’re opening your LHV account, LeapIN will assist you with relevant banking procedures both before and during your trip to Tallinn, Estonia. While we can’t guarantee the success of getting a bank account for your business (this is the sole decision of LHV), we can get you pre-acceptance for a bank account.
Why should I open a bank account in LHV?
We recommend LHV for our clients mainly because we have a seamless integration with them, meaning we’re able to receive your transaction data automatically without any additional input from your side. With other banks, receiving your transaction data is more complicated and often involves direct communication and manual input from your side.
Another bank account (besides LHV) is required if you need to conduct US dollar payments, and PayPal doesn’t fit your needs. As LHV doesn’t currently support payments in dollars, you may wish to open a second account with another bank or payment service provider supporting them.
Please keep in mind that opening a bank account in Estonia with other banks is extremely complicated and they rarely accept e-residents as their clients. We're also unable to help you with opening a bank account in other Estonian banks.
If you decide to open another business bank account, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org, as for tax purposes we always need to be aware of your business transactions.
How long does LHV's pre-approval take?
In most cases, receiving pre-approval from LHV takes 10-14 days. They'll notify you via email once they've made their decision. You can then book your flight to Tallinn to verify yourself in the bank's office.
How long will it take before I can start using my LHV account after applying?
Receiving pre-approval from LHV usually takes 10-14 days. Once the bank has made a positive decision (they'll notify you by email), you can book a trip to Tallinn to verify yourself in the bank's office.
The meeting with LHV usually takes about 30 minutes or less, and you'll be able to use your bank account shortly after this.
Once you've received the pre-approval from the bank, you can order the bank card to either receive it during the meeting, or have it sent to the LeapIN office and we'll then forward it to you.
What do I need for the face-to-face meeting at the bank?
If you open a business bank account with our partner bank LHV, you’ll need a valid passport and e-Residency ID card for the bank meeting in Estonia to open your bank account.
Does LHV support USD transactions?
Since Q3 2016, LHV clients cannot make direct bank transfers in USD from LHV. The alternative is using TransferWise payment in LHV - however, you should make sure your customers are willing to accept this workaround.
It is alright to send invoices in USD and GBP, but unfortunately LHV does not accept direct USD payments, either in or out. Similarly, there is no possibility to keep USD in your LHV account.
If your customer tries to pay in USD, this will be blocked and will not reach your account. Payments by your customers still have to be executed in EUR or GBP even if you issue invoices in USD.
Why do I need a business bank account for my company?
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, and pay salaries or dividends. A business bank account is also required to meet regulatory requirements, e.g. prove payment of share capital.
Can I start a company without a business bank account?
Yes, your company can operate without a business bank account for a maximum of 3 months.
If your business is registered with LeapIN, it’s acceptable to pay suppliers from your personal bank account or credit card in the meantime, as long as the costs are business related and the suppliers have issued invoices to your company. You need to collect the purchase invoices and submit these as company expenses. When you have the business bank account fully functional and sufficient cash available, you can reimburse the costs from the business account back to your personal one, with no additional tax. You cannot, however, withdraw cash.
You also cannot issue proper sales invoices without a business bank account, and if you need to register a payment processor/merchant account (e.g. Paypal, Paddle or similar) to monetize your planned services, then a valid business bank account is also required.
Operating without a business bank account is a short-term solution during the starting phase only.
Can I have N26 as a my business' bank account?
No, unfortunately you can't.
N26 accounts are designed specifically for self-employed and freelance users - not for companies or other legal entities. Even though you may consider yourself a freelancer, you have an Estonian company (legal entity), and therefore you wouldn't fit with their offered solution.
With an N26 account, you'd have to manage both your business and your personal expenses under your name. This isn't acceptable for the Estonian Tax authorities and LeapIN, as personal funds should always be kept separate from business funds.
What is Smart-ID?
Smart-ID is a free personal identification tool that every smartphone or tablet owner can use: it's an easy, convenient and secure way to access your e-services.
This is why we've integrated Smart-ID as a login option, as an alternative to email or your e-resident ID-card.
It makes the life of our customers using MacOS much less stressful as the customer experience using an Estonian ID-card with a Mac is rather poor. Smart-ID allows you to get rid of all the connectivity issues and restarts when authenticating yourself and signing documents digitally.
What can it be used for?
Smart-ID is a suitable tool for personal identification in online services. It is more secure and convenient than email authentication and more user-friendly than ID-card authentication. You can use it to:
Sign in to LeapIN
Log in to Estonian internet banks, check your balance and making international or domestic payments
Digital signatures created using Smart-ID are valid, but not suitable for situations where the electronic signature is required to have the same legal standing as a handwritten signature. Because of this, LeapIN still requires you to use your e-resident ID-card in following cases:
During our onboarding process
Signing your company registration application
Setting up Estonian public authority e-services
Signing your company's annual report (once a year)
However, once our onboarding and setup process is complete, running your business on an everyday basis can be easily managed using Smart-ID.