1. FAQ
  2. Banking

Banking

Opening your account

Which banks do you work with?Last updated: March 28, 2018

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.

See also:

What are the differences between the banking options that LeapIN supports?Last updated: March 28, 2018

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:

tw-flag-transparent.pngTransferWise Borderless
Account typeElectronic Money account (i)Business current accountBusiness bank account
Guarantees on depositsNot 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
Estonian state-backed guarantee of €100 000 on all deposits
Supported currenciesMulticurrency account
Over 40 different currencies supported

Send money to 50+ countries

Local account details provided for 
GBP/EUR/USD/AUD
EUR
Holvi only accepts payments in euros from SEPA countries

Standard IBAN & SWIFT/BIC
Multicurrency account
15 different currencies supported (excl. USD)
Standard IBAN & SWIFT/BIC
International bank transfers via SWIFTYesNoYes
Availability for LeapIN customersE-residents globallyE-residents globallyE-residents globally
Customers currently not supportedCountries 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 onboardingYesYesNo. Visit to Estonia required for a F2F bank meeting
LeapIN supported on-boarding & KYCNo
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 LeapINManually supported via export & import of statementsManually supported via export & import of statementsSeamless API integration - automatic sync of transactions and account balance
Mobile appYes
Mobile app for transferring money
Yes
Mobile app for uploading receipts and invoices
Yes
Fully functional mobile banking application
Monthly feeFREE
No monthly fees, no setup cost
Starting from €9 per month
e-Residency account tailored to e-Residents
FREE
No monthly fees, no setup cost
Bank cardsNot available yet for business customersFREE
Holvi Business Mastercard
Foreign currency exchange fee 2%
2 EUR/mo
LHV Business debit card Mastercard
Online purchases supported
SEPA bank transfer feesA fixed charge50 transfers for FREE (per month, in & out) 
After this €0,25 per transfer
FREE
Top up of the accountFREE via bank transfer Charges when adding by cardFREE via bank transfer 2.5% per payment when using instant top upFREE via bank transfer
Withdraw to bankA fixed charge50 transfers included monthly
After this €0,25 per transfer
Not applicable
Account limits for transactionsLimits to USD transactions applyNIAAdjustable, depending on your agreement terms
Support for payment gatewaysNIA (To be tested...)Yes
Using Holvi with external service providers
Yes
PayPal, Braintree, EveryPay etc
Other benefits & featuresTW 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 Australia and the Eurozone:
GBP - Acc. No & Sort Code
EUR - Standard IBAN & SWIFT/BIC
USD - ABA & Acc. No
AUD - Acc. No & BSB code
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
SourceTW BorderlessHolviLHV Bank

What are the bank and transaction fees?Last updated: March 28, 2018

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

  • Gateway 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?Last updated: March 28, 2018

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?Last updated: March 29, 2018

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.

How can I make international transfers?Last updated: March 28, 2018

Your first thought is probably to make an international transfer with your bank, and this is an option. The alternative is TransferWise, who also have a direct integration with LHV.

To make TransferWise transfers through LHV, you need an active TransferWise profile in addition to your LHV bank account. TransferWise payments through LHV are currently only supported for transfers to GBP, USD, SEK, INR or AUD.

To receive, or send money in USD, you can use a TransferWise borderless account. Having a borderless account enables you to have your own US dollar account and routing number, where your clients can transfer money. You can keep the money in your TransferWise borderless account, or convert your dollars to euros within your account and transfer them to your business bank account.

If you're sending money with TransferWise, you're making a local transfer from your account to their account and then they handle the conversion. You don't need to mention that your transfer is international to your bank, otherwise they might convert the money, charge you for the pleasure, and cause problems for your TransferWise transfer.

For example, if you wish to transfer money from euros to US dollars, you’ll send euros to TransferWise from your euro bank account, and then TransferWise make the conversion into US dollars. They then pay out the dollars locally in the US, with no fee for your recipient.

Which currencies are supported by LeapIN partner banks?Last updated: March 28, 2018

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?Last updated: March 29, 2018

Yes, having multiple business bank accounts is possible within LeapIN. You can potentially open multiple business bank accounts in Estonia (for example in LHV and/or TransferWise), and LeapIN can then help you manage those accounts in your dashboard, in some cases automatically documenting your latest transactions, and linking them with your invoices/expenses.

See more:

Do LeapIN services work with a foreign business bank account?Last updated: March 29, 2018

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

Do I need a personal bank account?Last updated: March 29, 2018

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?Last updated: March 29, 2018

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 payment service provider (PSP) account?Last updated: March 29, 2018

It doesn’t currently make sense to make share capital payments to your company’s foreign business bank or PSP (e.g. TransferWise, Holvi etc) account because Estonian authorities, in most cases, only accept an Estonian business bank account as the destination for these. Share capital proof documents provided by Holvi have only been accepted occasionally by Estonian authorities. Unfortunately there's no definitive reason behind why they've accepted or rejected certain Holvi documents, as this is entirely at their discretion. Sadly, LeapIN can't directly influence this decision either.

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.

So, you can transfer a loan amount and start using it for your business activities. Once the laws regarding foreign bank accounts and 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?Last updated: March 29, 2018

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.

LHV

How do I set up a business bank account with LHV?Last updated: March 28, 2018

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.

See also:

Why should I open a bank account in LHV?Last updated: April 13, 2018

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 support@leapin.eu, as for tax purposes we always need to be aware of your business transactions.

How long does LHV's pre-approval take?Last updated: April 13, 2018

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?Last updated: April 13, 2018

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?Last updated: March 29, 2018

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?Last updated: April 11, 2018

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.

Other

Why do I need a business bank account for my company?Last updated: March 28, 2018

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?Last updated: March 29, 2018

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?Last updated: April 26, 2018

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?Last updated: May 22, 2018

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 a MacOS much less stressful, as there are often compatibility issues when using an Estonian ID-card with a Mac.

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:

is a free personal identification tool that every smartphone or tablet owner can use: it's an easy, convenient and secure

  • 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.

This site uses cookies to help deliver services. By using this site, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our Privacy Policy.

Got it