Today, I will review Xolo (formerly called LeapIN) – the self-proclaimed “turn-key solution” for your e-Residency business in Estonia.
Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect:
- What services does LeapIN offer? Who are they for?
- Scope of accounting services; limitations & monthly costs
- My experience using LeapIN for ~ 1 Year
My goal is that by the end of this review, you’ll know exactly whether or not LeapIN is for you – or need an alternative service provider.
LeapIN’s core service is accounting & tax compliance. That’s what you’ll pay the monthly fee for.
Depending on what business you are in, you can automate almost all accounting & bookkeeping tasks.
LeapIN will take your invoices, receipts and process them automatically. In case anything is unclear, they’ll get in touch via email.
The reason why accounting can’t be fully automated is because for every business expense, an invoice needs to be submitted. You need to provide that invoice to LeapIN.
Any time you sell to a “new” customer, you need to upload a PDF containing the customer’s address to the LeapIN platform as well. This part can be skipped/automated for repeat customers.
LeapIN will also help you during the incorporation process and provide you with a local (Estonian) business address.
This means you can use LeapIN to set up your business or transfer an already existing company to LeapIN.
Keep in mind, there is an application process during which you need to state the details of your business model. Naturally, LeapIN doesn’t accept all business models.
In addition, you need to fulfill the following requirements:
- You need to have e-Residency.
- You need to agree to LeapINs Terms, Rules & Regulations.
- You can only run an Estonian business using LeapIN.
In my case, filling out the application form took less than 10 minutes – I received a positive reply a few days later.
Once I was approved, I was able to use the LeapIN platform to go through the incorporation process (selecting a company name) and pay the state fee for registering my business.
A day later, I received confirmation (PDF) that the business had been incorporated.
The same day, I set up my business PayPal account using that PDF (to verify that I own the company). PayPal also required a copy of my passport.
e-Residency Bank Account
If you wish, LeapIN will now assist you in opening a business bank account with LHV Pank. You’ll get yourself a card like this with your personal & company name on it …
LeapIN will take care of almost all of the paperwork and let you know if LHV has approved your application.
Once again, not all types of businesses are accepted but once you’re accepted by LeapIN, chances are LHV will also approve your account opening.
Opening your LHV bank account remotely wasn’t possible at the time, so I decided to arrange a face to face meeting for earliest possible date.
I flew to Tallinn to open the bank account & pick up my LHV debit card.
LeapIN Accounting & Tax Compliance
As I’ve mentioned above, while LeapIN will take care of almost all accounting & bookkeeping tasks, you still need to upload certain invoices & receipts.
LeapIN offers integrations for both PayPal & your LHV bank account, meaning you grant them view-only access and in return need to do less work (e.g. providing spreadsheets of account balances, etc.)
I’ve choose this option and recommend you do so too. View-only means just that – LeapIN isn’t able to issue payments or withdraw money …
Using LeapIN as your business service provider isn’t a one-way street. They’ll do your accounting, but you will also have to adhere to their rules.
There are quite a few rules – none of which were a deal-breaker for me:
No cash transactions – LeapIN doesn’t allow cash withdrawals. Cash isn’t traceable 🙁 If you MUST use cash, then you need to hire someone else for accounting.
Partner Banks Only – Opening a business bank account, LeapIN offers you a few options. You can’t just have any bank account with any bank. The choices are limited (LHV, Holvi)
Foreign Company Owner – The company for which LeapIN does accounting can’t be owned by a foreign corporation.
Keep business & personal funds separate at all times. This should be common sense anyway. You can’t use your business PayPal/bank account to cover personal expenses. Anything that you pay for needs to be approved and relate to your business.
Submit Invoices/Receipts on time. If you’re constantly missing deadlines, LeapIN will reconsider working with you.
LeapIN Monthly Pricing
LeapIN offers 3 different plans currently.
The starter plan is only available at the very beginning and can be used for up to 6 months or until you receive revenue.
Given it’s name, each plan is self-explanatory. For additional details, please refer to the image below.
- App Developer = Selling apps via Google Play or Apple App store.
- SaaS Provider = Software provider
- Professional = Everything else, e.g. Amazon, Freelancing, Digital Products …
LeapIN – My Experience (~1 Year)
So far, it’s been a very smooth ride.
The on-boarding process was quick and easy and at this point, I really only communicate with “my accountant” if questions arise that are out of the ordinary.
Other than that, I spend an estimated 10 minutes per month uploading invoices – the rest is fully automated.
Getting familiar with the LeapIN platform will take a few hours initially, but given that it’s fairly intuitive, you should find your way around quickly, too.
The average response time via email is less than 1 day.