Can you open a business account in Estonia as a non-resident?

7 months ago   •   9 min read

By Ekin Selçuk

The Estonian government has been making a number of efforts to attract foreign investment to the country, including the enactment of business-friendly laws and a competitive business environment. Also, Estonia offers an e-residency program – which provides online residency for foreign entrepreneurs who want to live and work in Estonia without having to leave their home country – making it an ideal destination for any size and kind of business.

Estonia's e-residency program offers non-EU citizens access to the EU market, including the ability to open an EU-based business account, as well as a chance to establish a trusted EU business presence without physically relocating.

If you are also considering opening a company in Estonia, the first thing to do is to find a financial service provider or a bank that is willing to work with non-residents. Once you have identified a bank that will work with non-residents in your country of residence (or if you are not yet resident in any country), you can begin the process of opening a business account in Estonia.

In order to open a business account in Estonia, you need to follow certain procedures laid out by banks and financial service providers to get started.

What is the benefit of having a business bank account in Estonia?

Estonia is renowned for its e-Residency program, which allows entrepreneurs and digital nomads to set up and run their businesses entirely online. With the convenience of remote company formation, comes the need for a reliable banking system. Estonia's business-friendly policies make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs looking to set up their businesses and open a bank account. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of having a business bank account in Estonia.

Access to Digital Banking

Estonian banks offer state-of-the-art digital banking services that allow businesses to manage their finances remotely. This is particularly useful for non-resident business owners who cannot visit the bank in person. Digital banking services in Estonia are accessible from anywhere in the world, allowing businesses to make transactions, view account balances, and manage their finances easily.

Low Banking Fees

One of the most significant advantages of opening a business bank account in Estonia is the low banking fees. Compared to other European countries, banking fees in Estonia are relatively low. This is particularly beneficial for start-ups and small businesses with limited resources.

International Transfers

Estonian banks allow businesses to make international transfers at competitive rates. With Estonia being a member of the European Union, businesses in Estonia can make euro-denominated transfers within the EU as if they were domestic transfers, which is often cheaper and faster than international transfers.

Easy Company Incorporation

Estonia's e-Residency program has simplified the process of company incorporation for foreign entrepreneurs. Once the company is incorporated, opening a business bank account in Estonia is a straightforward process. The entire process can be completed remotely, making it an easy and hassle-free experience for entrepreneurs.

Access to the Estonian Market

Opening a business bank account in Estonia provides businesses with access to the Estonian market. Estonia is a member of the European Union, providing businesses with access to the EU's single market, which has a population of over 450 million people. This creates opportunities for businesses to expand their customer base and grow their business.

Opening a business bank account in Estonia offers several benefits for entrepreneurs, including access to digital banking, low banking fees, international transfers, easy company incorporation, and access to the Estonian market. With Estonia's e-Residency program, setting up a business and opening a bank account in Estonia has never been easier. Entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of these benefits should consider opening a business bank account in Estonia.

Documents required to open a business account in Estonia

There are a few documents that you will need to bring in order to open a business account:

  • A passport or residency card
  • proof of ID
  • Your company's registration document (if applicable) -Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum of Association and Articles
  • A business plan outlining your business' goals and objectives
  • Directors’ and shareholders’ registration details
  • Tax ID or business permit (if applicable)
  • A bank statement
  • Copies of your company's documents (if applicable)
  • The bank's application form
  • The business account opening fee (if applicable)

Where can you open an Estonian business bank account for your business?

There are a number of banks that will work with non-residents in Estonia, but some of the largest business account banks in Estonia are LHV Bank, Swedbank and SEB Bank. It’s also worth considering the financial service providers like wamo, Wise, N26 etc., that offer business account services to foreign companies in Estonia, they tend to be more flexible and faster on all counts.

It is important to note that not all Estonian banks offer business banking services to non-residents; it is best to contact your chosen account provider and ask if they can assist you in opening a business bank account in Estonia. Along with opening a business account in Estonia, it is also necessary to set up a company. You can do this by contacting your chosen bank or financial service provider and asking if they offer e-residency services or Company Registration services.

Is opening a bank account in Estonia online without a physical presence a good idea?

Yes, it’s a great idea to open a bank account or business account in Estonia remotely! Nowadays, it is one of the most preferred business growth methods to open a bank account in Estonia online without a physical presence. This means that you don't have to travel to Estonia to open a bank account for your company. It will be enough to only provide the necessary documentation and information required by the bank.

This includes your business registration certificate, identification documents, proof of address, and other relevant financial information. The bank may also require additional documents depending on your country of origin and the nature of your business. Once you have provided all the necessary information, the bank will review your application and if approved, will send you the details of your new account via email or mail.

Process to open a business account as an E-resident

1. Verify your e-residency status

If you are already an e-resident, then the steps to opening a business bank account in Estonia are very similar to those of a regular resident. But if you are not yet an e-resident, you will first need to verify your e-residency status. Once you have verified your e-residency status, you can open a business bank account in Estonia like any other resident.

2. Choose an Estonian bank

There are a number of banks that offer internet banking services to e-residents in Estonia as discussed earlier. There might be times when you are not eligible to apply with a bank that you have selected, so it is important to check with your chosen account provider first. There are various alternatives to traditional banks like wamo that can serve as a holistic financial management platform for your business and help you run an international business without any financial hassle.

3. Obtain business banking documents

Generally, bank account applicants will need to provide documents such as certificate of incorporation, memorandum of association and articles of association, directors registration file and shareholder register. These must be originals or certified copies depending on the jurisdiction in which they are being submitted for processing.

4. Submit application forms and other required documentation

After collecting all the necessary documents from your company, you can submit them along with payment along with an application form to your bank or financial service provider.

5. Wait for account approval

Once your bank has received all of the required documentation, they will begin the account approval process. This could take up to several weeks, so be prepared to keep a close eye on your bank account status during this time frame. However, if you choose a financial service provider like wamo or Wise, they are much faster and can review and process your application in minutes.

Choosing the right bank

There are many banks in Estonia and it’s best to take a look at them each individually to see which one suits your business best. There is, however, a useful list of criteria that you should consider when choosing the right bank for your business.

  • Ease and simplicity of opening an account
  • Good customer service and banking services.
  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Easy to use online banking system

What documents are necessary to open a business account?

To open a business bank account, you will need to bring the following documents with you:

  • Your passport. This is the most important document and can be used as proof of your identity.
  • Business registration certificate

If your company is registered in Estonia, you will have been provided with a certificate when you registered. If it is not registered in Estonia, then you can obtain your registration certificate from your home country's registration authority or Chamber of Commerce (where applicable). The certificate must be issued no more than 3 months before opening an account and must include information about shareholders or owners and their representatives as well as financial data on income and expenses for the last two fiscal years (if available).

If your company was incorporated elsewhere but has been registered in Estonia for at least 1 year, then you can get a Certificate of Incorporation directly from the Register Office where you registered it without having to go through any other formality provided by local laws or customs regulations regarding incorporation procedures etc.,

However if you’re unable to get an incorporation certificate, there may be some additional paperwork to provide.

"Unlock business opportunities in Estonia as a non-resident. Learn how to open a business account hassle-free.

Opening a company – an important step for foreigners who want a business account

The main purpose of opening a company is to create a legal entity, which will act as a shield against any possible liabilities.

A company can be used to open bank accounts and transfer money abroad. It eliminates the risk of dealing directly with banks or other financial institutions and provides confidentiality for owners and employees, who are not required to disclose their identity in any way – this is also why foreign investors choose Estonia as their preferred location for setting up businesses.

Companies have their own tax number (Estonian Tax Code), which allows them to receive payments from customers or other companies through bank transfers without disclosing any personal information about themselves or those involved in making payments, thus protecting the owner's privacy.

Open your business account without paperwork with wamo

If you are someone who doesn't want to get into lengthy and time-consuming paperwork and standard bank processing timelines, then a wamo account might be a good fit for you. This account is designed to make it easy and stress-free for business owners to open business accounts in Estonia with no unnecessary paperwork needed. You can simply open a business account in minutes from your home country. wamo actively seeks to ease processes for business owners who have struggled in the past to open a business account with banks or any financial service provider.

wamo is a holistic financial management platform that can be used for

  • Maintaining sub-accounts
  • Making international transfers
  • Holding and moving multiple currencies
  • Tracking, invoicing and billing
  • Business virtual card processing

The process of opening a business bank account with wamo is fairly straightforward and it can be done in just a few minutes. All you need to do is download the wamo business app from Google Play or the App Store and zip through the streamlined waitlist application process that is faster, easier and cheaper than traditional banks' fees.

A Guide to Starting a Company in Estonia from Scratch
If you want to set up a new company in Estonia, check out the starting a company in Estonia guide on the wamo blog and open your business.
Top 5 digital banking options in Estonia
Do you need a bank account in Estonia? You can find detailed information about digital banking options and bank accounts in Estonia on the wamo blog.
Pros and Cons of E-residency in Estonia
For detailed information about e-residency in Estonia and to benefit from the advantages of opening a business with e-residency, check the wamo blog.


Keep reading