From June 15th, 2016 it is possible to open a corporate or personal bank account online in Estonia for Estonian e-residents. Estonian e-Residency is available to anyone in the world who is interested to set up an Estonian company.
This is a step further to make Estonia an even more viable country for entrepreneurs to start a company in – now you can establish a company and open a corporate and /or private bank account online without having to be present in Estonia.
The Estonian government has approved this legislation to keep up with the times, making opening a bank account simpler and faster while ensuring that the necessary level of security is maintained.
Why is this important?
With the announcement of e-residency also came the idea of a location independent company. This means that you can set up and manage a company in Estonia without having to be present for the paperwork and/or legal matters.
The first step was making the digital signature and authentication legally equal to handwritten signatures and face-to-face identification in Estonia and between partners upon agreement anywhere around the world.
The second step was creating the Estonian online business register, where you can register a company online as an Estonian resident or as an e-resident.
The last step necessary to create a functioning company was for it to have a bank account. This was delayed because of the strict anti-money laundering laws regarding the opening of a bank account, but a law has now been passed which allows the opening of a bank account online without having been previously identified at the bank.
What is e-Residency?
Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency — a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a location-independent business online. e-Residency additionally enables secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust online.
e-Residency offers to every world citizen a government-issued digital identity and the opportunity to run a trusted company online, unleashing the world’s entrepreneurial potential.
- Establish an Estonian company online. A physical address in Estonia is required to establish an Estonian company. Prospera provides Estonian registered office address facilities.
- For non-EU residents, a company has to appoint a local contactable representative person such as a local accounting firm to the registry. Prospera provides this service.
- Administer the company from anywhere in the world.
- Conduct e-banking and remote money transfers.
- Access online payment service providers
- Declare Estonian taxes online. e-Residency does not automatically establish tax residency. To learn about taxation and to avoid double taxation please consult one of our consultants.
- Digitally sign documents and contracts
- Verify the authenticity of signed documents
- Encrypt and transmit documents securely
All of these efficient and easy-to-use services have been available to Estonians for over a decade. By offering e-Residents the same services, Estonia is proudly pioneering the idea of a country without borders.
It is now easier than ever before to establish and manage a business in the European Union independent of your location in the world.
How can I open a bank account online?
The process will be conducted through a video call with the representative of a bank.
A copy of your passport or ID is also required to be sent to the bank beforehand.
This option will be available for all banks in Estonia, so you have the opportunity to choose which bank suits your needs the most.
The largest banks in Estonia include Swedbank, SEB bank and Nordea bank.
Are there any downsides of using this method?
For now, opening a bank account online enacts one restriction on the account: from a personal bank account no more than 10 000 € per month and from a company bank account no more than 25 000 € per month can be withdrawn before local identification has been conducted.
What are the local requirements?
The requirement of a local address for a business still remains and is a necessity to register a company in Estonia.
For non-EU citizens it is also necessary to appoint a local contactable representative for the company.
Local accounting is also vital for an active or dormant business. This is even more essential when the management is not locally based as extensive know-how is required for a company’s accounting so it would not run in to problems with the Estonian tax department.
All of these issues can be solved with the virtual office service or our remote accounting service.
Advantages of corporate tax system
Estonian corporate tax system is very competitive providing many advantages for international trading, holding and investment. It is unique as there is no corporate tax until profit distribution. Prospera provides expert advice on tax efficient corporate structuring utilizing the advantages of Estonian tax system.