Running a business without a bank account

Running a business without a corporate bank account in Georgia (the country).

Modification date: 2022-06-08 / View count: 978

It is not an empty phrase to say there is a discrepancy between political will and financial policy in Georgia. Indeed, almost everyone can register a company in Georgia, even remotely, but not every registered company can have a bank account in Georgia.

Since September 2019 it is hard for a foreigner, owner of Georgian company, to open a corporate bank account. Before this date it was quite easy, even remotely, to get a bank account for your company.

The National Bank of Georgia has limited the opening of bank account to the only companies trading on the Georgian market, they said. That's can make sense when your want to develop you local market, but in this case why letting people continue to register companies that will not work with the local market. Foreigners are not really interested in the Georgian market, they are attract by the fiscal policy with a low tax system. That is a fact.

Many businesses owned by foreigners that were opened before September 2019 have been requested to justify payment in that they received, then after sending invoices and contracts have been notified that it does not fit the internal policy of the bank and that payment-in will be return to sender. The company has to find another bank for its transaction.

For many foreigners this can be a headache and make them decide to move their business to another country.

Even if it is not pleasant there is nothing to get into a panic. Been entrepreneur we tried to find a way to bypass this obstacle.

There is nothing in the Georgian law that force a company to have a bank account, there is nothing in the Georgian law that forbide to have a bank account oversea.

The legal obligation of a business owner is to make monthly declaration and to pay taxes.

With wise or Paypal, or a combinaison of both as we recommend, will allow you to receive money from abroad or even from Georgia (the country), with wise, and to pay partner arounf the world, you can even pay your georgian employee in Laris on their bank account in Georgia. The only thing you cannot do is to pay taxes as the National Bank of Georgia is not on the IBAN network. So in order to stay safe and the legality, we insist to keep your business safe and legal, you will have to pay by yourseld in the name of your company is you are a resident in Georgia or the find an attorney (or any other person you can trust) that will pay in the name of you compny the due taxes.

We tested this solution with both PayPal and Wise, and it works.

Using PayPal.

Process to register at PayPal as a legal entity is quite simple. PayPal asks for few document to open you professional account. Once it is done you can get payment from anywhere on the earth and be paid invoice to another business having a PayPal account. To pay yourself you will need to link your account to a Visa card or a Mastercard. Be aware that bank can refuse to link your card to a PayPal account, in this case take another card in another bank. Once the link between your PayPal account is done you can transfer money to your card. Depending on the issuer or the card it can take up to five days to have the money available on your card. Usually it takes one day to get money on the card. Don't forget to declare the payment as a salary and pay related taxes. PayPal is not cheap, so prepare transactions you have to do, group them as much as possible in order to save on fees.

Using Wise

Process to register at Wise as legal entity is a little bit more complex that with PayPal. Wise will ask to upload your company registration document and a copy of your ID/Passport. Don't use scan but photo that you need to do with a good device, indeed to quality of the photo is important. Once the registration is done you will be able to open accounts in all currencies you need. You can also have an account in Lari. Wise is cheaper than PayPal, but it is not quicker. Sometimes while transferring money via Swift it takes more time than bank does. From Wise, you will be able to pay salaries and invoice in Georgia. For tax, you will have to pay in name of your company if you are a resident or use the service of a third entity.

Using both is a good combination, not any business has PayPal, but with PayPal you can issue invoices and send request for payment. It works we tested it. Then your customer can pay with PayPal but also with his bank card. Wise offer quick access to payment-in for USD and GBP, for each account you have a routing number or a sort-code.

Article written by : Pierre Tsaguria
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