E-Residency and Transferwise Borderless — fast as lightning set up for freelancers and entrepreneurs everywhere.

In my last post I talked about why I decided to join Estonia’s e-Residency program and although I was an e-Resident for a while now, in fact I hadn’t actually started my company.

Why you ask?

Because the banks were a real issue.

Turns out they were still trialling remote verification and although Swedbank was already trialling with a small set of people, LHV would only be ready for it in Q3.

Remote verification means you could do a video interview online with the bank to confirm your identity (although the ID card is supposed to do that…) and sign documents (which the ID card does as well…).

Furthermore, I’ve read reviews of the process that didn’t quite tie up with the image that they were portraying. Although the government was all on board with making things happen, banks were dragging their feet and it seemed no amount of pressure would make them move faster than glacial speed.

So I joined the e-Resident group on Facebook and patiently waited for updates on when the situation would change.

Waited and waited and waited until….

The news of Transferwise Borderless broke!

One hour after that news broke I was on the line with LeapIn setting up my company.

I had already started a new project in Europe and was facing a tight deadline to be paid. Basically I had 2 weeks to complete a job and get paid but my client would rather pay into a Euro account. Fair enough, it’s also in line with my future goals so sure you can pay into a Euro account.

Ladies and gents, that’s 14 days to complete the job and get paid.

And how many days did it take me to get an Estonian company and a Transferwise Borderless account?

7 days.

And 2 of those days weren’t business days.

I was blown away by the speed and efficiency.

What a time to be alive in.

I had been conversing with LeapIn from the very day that I got my e-Residency but because of the banking issue I hadn’t started my company and therefore not contracted their services. But did that matter to them when I kept asking questions? Nope, because they’re a top notch company. Guys, this is how you do customer service.

So when it was time to set up my company it was a no brainer to get it done with LeapIn. And get it done I did.

The onboarding process was the smoothest I’ve ever been through with a company. I applied for an account (they have to assess whether your business is one that they support) and their dashboard was easy to comprehend and follow.

Here’s the timeline of how it went

23 May — signed up for an account and submitted an application.

Eligibility test

24 May — application reviewed and ready to go. When the application passed review, LeapIn sent me a tonne of information on my choices and what’s going to happen next.

The next step involved paying for the company registration (190 Euros) and online registration (25 Euros) plus the first month service fee (49 Euros + VAT).

I paid, received the invoice and everything was submitted on my behalf.

This was in the afternoon at 3pm.

25 May — bright and early at 9am my company had been registered!

LeapIn had kept me updated every step of the way, providing me with steps to complete next.

25 May — I applied for Transferwise Borderless with my new company details and uploaded documents to verify my identity.

At this stage they let you know that there’s a backlog of maybe 5 business days due to the huge demand. 5 days wasn’t ideal but still manageable with my timeline but after about 2 days I was pleasantly surprised to receive further emails from Transferwise.

27 May — Transferwise notified me that they had confirmed my identity. Now they needed to confirm my address.

I uploaded the required documents and got back to work.

29 May — Transferwise notified me that my address is confirmed and now in the process of verifying my business, needed additional information about the nature of the business.

I dutifully replied with services that I’ll offer and within 15 mins of sending off the additional information my account was confirmed, active and ready to be used!

Lifting off with Transferwise Borderless!

Getting paid with Transferwise

After setting up Borderless you have to ‘activate’ the currency account that you wish to hold your money in. So since I’m getting paid in Euros I activated the Euro account first. There’s the GBP and US account too.

You’re given a local bank account that anyone can deposit into aka my clients.

Then you can use Transferwise as it was intended — send money to wherever and in whatever currency.

My next biggest concern then was how to format my invoices!

Who would have thought that the business admin stuff would be the least of my worries.

One pet peeve/caveat

When you register your company, your email address gets entered into the public register as the contact details for your company. Quite literally the moment it went on, I already had my first unsolicited email from a service provider.

What’s next

I’ll still be going to Estonia to get my bank account but the pressure is off to have a bank account there.

Currently, you still require an Estonian bank account to pay out dividends but LeapIn has once again come to my rescue to say that this situation may be changing soon.

I can’t wait to visit Estonia in the summer to see this amazing little Baltic country that has made my life so much easier!