Live video sessions, advanced facial recognition, and online identity document verification technologies allow you to open a payment account in almost any payment institution in most European jurisdictions. This has dramatically increased the accessibility of online payment services. But can you start a European company remotely?
The advantages of having a European company are obvious: unrestricted access to a market of 740 million people with the highest GDP per capita in the world for an economy of this size, well-developed business infrastructure, and a stable political and legal environment, among others.
Establishing a company in Europe is quite different from buying an “off-the-shelf” legal entity in some off-shore location with a nominal director and an undisclosed shareholder. European laws on incorporation and anti-money-laundering require full disclosure of the director, shareholders, and ultimate beneficiaries (“UBOs”). Furthermore, banks and other financial institutions are quite cautious and conservative when it comes to opening payment accounts for companies with non-European Economic Area UBOs.
Lithuania, an EU-member state since 2004, has recently adopted legislation that allows Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) to hold the starting capital of newly formed companies prior to their registration by the state Company Registry. In combination with remote client identity verification (onboarding), this allows EMIs to both identify the shareholder(s) and director of the company and provide a payment account for the business after it has been registered. All that’s needed is an incorporation advisor who can represent shareholder(s) at the notary and the Company Registry, as physical presence is still required. But such an advisor can be authorized to act on behalf of the shareholder by power of attorney, issued in the country of the shareholder’s residence and sent to Lithuania by one of many courier services.
In practice, the formation of a Lithuania-based limited liability company can be completed within 5 business days with a minimum starting capital of 2500 euros.
Paylar, being an agile and innovative EMI, can support you in setting up and running your EU-based business quickly and efficiently.
Feel free to contact us for more information about getting started.