From collecting payments from customers, paying suppliers and employee salaries to making business-related purchases, opening a dedicated business bank account is crucial to the day-to-day operational success of any business. With the digital disruption of the banking sector bringing a rapid rise to new and innovative payment institutions, including digital banks and fintechs based in the EU and in the EEA (European Economic Area), there are now many more business bank account options available to e-Residents.
Despite emerging smart technologies changing the way we bank, traditional banks with their long and highly regulated history continue to be strong players within the financial market, with services continually evolving and adapting to digital consumer demands, combined with the long-held traditional personal interaction valued by their customers.
Banking is never straightforward and deciding on whether to open a traditional Estonian bank account depends on a number of factors. In our latest blog, we explore the considerations you should take when deciding if it’s right for you.
Reasons why opening a traditional bank account can be useful:
You get an Estonian IBAN to match your Estonian company – As part of many different traditional banking services available to you, you will receive an IBAN account number which is an International Bank Account Number. This enables you to make transactions easily between you and your clients, wherever they are located. This is especially valuable to e-Residents operating in e-Commerce or selling digital services or products via Amazon, Google or Apple. So if you deal with overseas clients, this kind of bank account can be very useful.
Did you know, what also some of the Fintech companies offer glocal IBAN´s? One of them is Currenxie. It is worth to check them out.
You are able to apply for a credit or business loan and earn interest – Traditional banks are able to provide businesses with credit and business loans, so if that is something you need, then opening an account like this might be useful. Your bank may also enable you to earn interest on any money that your company makes.
These are both significant reasons why having a traditional bank account can be useful to your business. There is more good news as well because banks offer Straightforward onboarding and online management with e-Resident card.
To open a traditional bank account and as part of Estonian banking sector’s KYC (know your customer) procedure, you are required to attend the bank in-person and meet with a representative as part of a pre-booked appointment. This is to authenticate your identity as a business owner and present the required documents to meet the regulatory requirements. Once approved, the onboarding process is straightforward and with your e-Resident digital ID card, you will have access to a variety of online services and manage online bank transactions.
Documents needed to open a business bank account with a local bank in Estonia:
- Documents to demonstrate your connection to Estonia; residence permit, employment contract, the registered address of the company in Estonia, staff in and from Estonia.
- Documents about your business, your business partners, supplier contracts and business plan.
- ID document from your home country or country of residence alongside a CV.
- Your e-Residency ID card.
- Document to prove the existence of funds that are to be invested in your business if it is necessary for it to have some capital.
Before we delve deeper into different banks most commonly used in Estonia, you may actually discover a traditional business bank account is not the right option for your business. Let’s take a look at the reasons why that might be:
Your business does not operate in Estonia – A traditional business bank account in Estonia, your business must demonstrate strong links to the country. This means a business which has at least 50% of shareholders, suppliers, customers, staff or assets based in Estonia. If this does not apply to your business, then this kind of bank account isn’t available to you.
You are a non-resident of Estonia (this includes e-Residents!) – Estonian banks are less likely to approve business bank accounts for non-residents of Estonia, and this includes e-Residents as they are viewed as a higher risk. This especially applies to your business if it operates only in your home country or outside of the EU, if your business is involved in manufacturing or wholesaling or if your business does not have an online presence or clear business goals.
You wish to open a bank account remotely – As part of a stringent due diligence process, opening a business bank account with a traditional bank in Estonia remotely is not possible. The bank will require you book at least one appointment and to travel to Estonia to attend the bank branch in-person and verify your identity as a business owner. If this is not possible and instead you wish to open a business bank account remotely then you should consider a fintech solution in the EU/EEA as an alternative business banking option. The e-Residency Marketplace lists many fintechs which support e-Residents including Wise, Wamo, Payhawk, Intergiro, Paysera and many more! Check them out here.
Which banks are best for business banking?
We’ve curated a list of the best banks in Estonia that provide business accounts for companies and are commonly used by e-Residents:
Key services: Debit/credit/prepaid card, IBAN, BIC/Swift, Payment gateway, online banking with a mobile app, overdraft facility, micro loan, investment loan, working capital loan, leasing, salary payment, Apple and Google Pay, international payments, SEPA payments and share capital contribution payments.
Benefits: Open to serving single shareholder companies with easily traceable income, particularly those working with a reputable service provider. Competitive interest rates for deposits and European payments are free of charge.
Monthly fee: 20 € (debit card included in monthly fee)
Key services: Debit card, IBAN, BIC/Swift, online banking with a mobile app, overdraft facility, investment loan, working capital loan, leasing, collecting payments with e-invoice, international payments, SEPA payments, accepts payments via Banklink and share capital contribution payments.
Benefits: Accepts payments via Banklink, European payments are free of charge and you get a personal company account manager.
From 200 €
Monthly fee: From 20 €
Key services: Debit card and current accounts without a monthly fee and option to join Baltic Gateway operator channel, e-invoice portal and e-commerce payment solutions.
Benefits: Open an account via video meeting, 3 years of free daily banking services for new business customers, e-Commerce payment solution without a contract fee and European payments are free of charge.
500€ for e-Resident who is from the EEA (European Economic Area)
750€ for e-Resident who is outside of EEA.
Monthly fee for a business account:
20€ for e-Resident who is from the EEA
60€ for e-Resident who is outside of EEA.
Key services: Online internet bank, e-Commerce solutions, Intra-bank payments in euros, currency exchange, e-invoices, import of payments, mobile contactless payments for Android, Google Pay and Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay, business loans, leasing, overdraft facilities and deposit investments.
Benefits: Debit card with no monthly fees for a year and European payments are free of charge for a year.
300 € for e-Resident who is from the EEA (except Cypros, Luxembourg, Malta, Liechtenstein)
500 € for e-Resident who is outside of EEA.
Monthly fee for a business account:
50€ or e-Resident who is outside of EEA.
Key services: Loans, leasing, e-Commerce solutions, online internet banking and mobile app, VISA debit and credit cards and deposits,
Benefits: Lower interest rate for loans, starting from €10,000.
100€ for non-Residents
Monthly fee for a business account: From 6 €
Navigating the Estonian banking system can be complex, and so we hope the information we have provided has been helpful. We have also written an overview of the fintech solutions for e-Residents worth checking out here.
For more in-depth information and for help in understanding what kind of bank account and which bank is best for your business get in touch with Silva Hunt.