Banking for e-Residents
Updated: May 10, 2021
Whether you’re a digital nomad, freelancer, or an e-resident of Estonia, running a business requires a bank account.
There are quite a few options, but much depends on your business. For most, especially when you are starting with the business, an account with Wise (previously known as TransferWise) and Paysera will do (there are many alternatives, but I will specify why these two fintech's are to be preferred later on). For others, opening an account in an Estonian bank is a must - for instance, app developers running an Estonian company are required (by Google) to have an Estonian bank account, as do businesses who work with PayPal, so before moving forward, I advise you to check out the options with Google and Paypal first.
Banks in Estonia
As an e-resident of Estonia, you’d expect to open a bank account for your Estonian company in Estonia as well. Perhaps in a similar, simple way, as the company registration took place?
This, however, is not the case. Even the e-residents and their companies can open accounts in several banks in Estonia, it requires a personal visit for identification purposes, which does not yet guarantee the bank account opening. That’s decided by a committee where many factors, such as the business, partners, and origin of the founders are assessed. Quite often the answer is „no“, so if possible, I would consider the alternatives first.
Besides a personal account, several fintech's offer corporate accounts. The best fit for an Estonian registered business would be Wise, which originates from Estonia, and Paysera, which is a Lithuanian fintech.
Both of them offer modern internet banking/app to control your money matters with modern features and many available currencies. What makes them suitable for an Estonian registered company is their ability to get information from the Estonian Companies Registry. This is important once you are about to make the share capital contribution, as it frees you from obtaining, in the worst case, paper documents, which you would need to present to any other fintech or bank which has no connection to Estonia. This makes the account opening as simple as was the company registration.
The topic has also been covered on the e-residency webpage - banking.