Banks are run by private sector and thus bank accounts are not automatically included with the e-Residency programme or with a business established by e-Residents. The reason a business bank account is not automatically included within the e-Residency package is because the decision to extend or deny banking services to anyone, whether e-resident or not, is made at the sole discretion of the banks themselves.
The government-backed digital identity provided by e-Residency makes it easier than ever to manage secure e-banking services, which can be integrated with other e-commerce solutions such as PayPal later one.
It is a key priority of the programme to ensure e-residents can access all the financial tools they need to successfully run a location-independent business.
For your business you currently have 3 options to choose from: apply for an Estonian bank account, apply for a Fintech company business account or apply for a foreign bank account for your Estonian OÜ. The decision should be based on the actual needs of your business. If any guidance is needed, then business service providers will be able to advise e-residents of the right banking services to meet the needs of their company. List of the business service providers is available on our site https://e-resident.gov.ee/run-a-company/
The two most popular banks for e-residents in Estonia are LHV and Swedbank.
LHV is an Estonian banking and financial services company headquartered in Tallinn, while Swedbank is a Nordic-Baltic banking group based in Stockholm, Sweden with a significant presence in Estonia.
E-residents can easily and securely manage their accounts with either bank by logging in with their e-Residency digi-ID from anywhere in the world. The interfaces are easy to navigate, all communication is in English (and various other languages) and their accounts integrate with other international payment providers and e-commerce solutions that they need to run their business.
In order to apply for a bank account with either of them, a personal visit to their office in Estonia is required. We recommend consulting a business service provider prior to scheduling your trip to Estonia to ensure you have all necessary documentation with you for the visit. List of the business service providers is available on our site https://e-resident.gov.ee/run-a-company/
E-Residency programme has partnered with the Finnish fintech company Holvi.
Holvi is the first digital banking service built for micro-entrepreneurs, freelancers and the self -employed. Holvi combines everything a modern entrepreneur needs in one simple to use service; from digital business account and Holvi Business Mastercard to paperless bookkeeping and from invoicing and expense management to collecting payments through Holvi’s online store.
Holvi accounts can be opened fully digital, you don’t need to travel to Estonia in order to access business banking anymore. Each Holvi account comes with an individual IBAN number which you can connect to payment service provides like PayPal.
To apply for the Holvi account for e-Residents, you will need to have already obtained the e-Residency digi-ID and registered your company in Estonia.
Does Holvi support USD or other currencies besides EUR?
Holvi currently supports EUR only but have other currencies in the pipeline. No definite rollout schedule yet. Their core platform has been multi-currency ready from the get go.
Are there limitations in which countries you can apply for e-Residency and Holvi account and where do you pay taxes?
Holvi is accepting e-Residents from across the world with a few exceptions. Unfortunately American citizens (FATCA reliable) can’t use their service. They also limit access for FATF high risk countries: http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/high-riskandnon-cooperativejurisdictions/
Is the Holvi bank account also available for individuals who obtain the e-residency card, or only for business entities?
Holvi only does business banking which means you need to have a registered company in Estonia. Setting up an Oü (limited company) in Estonia is easy and not very costly. You can set up the company directly as an e-resident, or via e.g. Profia, an Estonian company Holvi works with.
How can I set up my business in Estonia and how much does it cost?
You can set up your business in Estonia for example through Holvis partner Profia. Setting up your company has a one time fee of 660 eur+190 eur and once you have one, you can apply for the business account at Holvi, which will cost 35 eur per month for e-Residents. You can see more info here: https://about.holvi.com/e-residents/
Does Holvi allow businesses that are working with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum?
Unfortunately Holvi does not support money service businesses for regulatory reasons, and cryptocurrencies are included in these.
Can I plug in Holvi to other payment processing solutions like WooCommerce for example?
Holvi actually comes with a merchant account built-in. With a Holvi account you can sell online and receive payments from your customers with all the major card schemes (Mastercard, Visa, Diners, Discover) and instant online bank payments in Germany, Austria and Finland (Sofort, Giropay and EPS). We also provide an integrated e-commerce platform for online sales. All of this is bundled directly in your Holvi account.
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