It takes about 18 minutes to set up a new company in Estonia. You’ll need a bank account for your new company. Without a bank account, your company is quite useless. Almost the entire banking capital of Estonia is controlled by foreign financial groups, mostly from Sweden (two largest banks), but also from Dennmark, Norway and local companies and individuals. Currently, there are only three banks that are open to e-residents. Two of the them are Swedish – SEB and Swedbank. The third bank is LHV. It is a small Estonian bank.
All banks in Estonia offer a full range of services. All the banking services are available online and on site. Thanks to the successful development of electronic transactions systems, 95% of Estonians use banks online services. As an e-resident, it’s possible to use the same services as Estonians. There is no differentiation between local and foreign business people and entities.
The main reason why Estonia is a popular business location is the easy infrastructure. Everything, starting from setting up a company up to everyday banking and tax paying, is really convenient for users. Until now, the only reason company owners have to visit Estonia is when opening a bank account. Banks request identification on site. This is about to change. New amendment will pass into law in 2017 that makes it possible to open a bank account via video call. Though there are some security measurements to consider. If you open a personal bank account via video call you can’t withdraw no more than 10 000 € and from a company bank account and no more than 25 000€ per month. For bigger withdrawals it’s necessary to identify yourself in local bank office.
Estonia is not a Seychelles-like tax heaven but if you care about easy day-to-day management in English, business friendly environment and re-investing your money, then Estonia is the place to be.
Estonian bank’s significant advantages to others are great service, easy to use, mobile friendly online systems and fully translated websites in Russian. If you operate in many countries, you should consider establishing your finances in Estonia because in Estonia no corporate tax is paid on retained or reinvested profits. This way it’s really easy to finance your foreign businesses from Estonia and accumulate dividends. Even if you pay out dividends, corporate income tax is payed by company and it’s lower than in many other European countries.