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How to open a bank account remotely in Georgia: Full Guide 2024


open a bank account remotely in Georgia

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Introduction


Georgia, a rising star in the world of business, is turning heads with its foreigner-friendly banking policies and overall welcoming business environment. This includes favorable regulations, a skilled workforce, and a strategic location. Unlike many countries, Georgia actively welcomes entrepreneurs and investors from around the globe to open bank accounts.


Georgia's banking system is gaining a reputation for its world-class security, operational reliability and fast transactions. But that's just the start. Georgia has an attractive tax system that could save your business a ton of money compared to the EU and the US. This means you can keep more of your profits and grow your business faster. For example in the EU where corporate tax rates can top 30%, in Georgia, you can cut that at least 15%.


In this guide from Gegidze, we will provide you with all the essential information that covers all the steps necessary to open a remote bank account in Georgia. 



Eligibility for opening a Georgian bank account


In Georgia, banking services are accessible to both national and international clients. Certain countries under international sanctions, such as Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, and others, are automatically excluded from opening bank accounts. While individuals from Russia and Belarus may occasionally face denial, it is not common. Applicants from most other countries are usually successful in opening an account, provided they submit all required documentation properly.


Holding a residence permit in Georgia significantly enhances the process of opening a bank account and bolsters the applicant's standing with the bank. Should an initial application be rejected, it's advisable not to lose hope. By approaching various banks and their branches, there's a good chance of finding one that will agree to open an account.



Types of bank accounts available in Georgia


Types of bank accounts available in Georgia


  • Current Account: With its help, you can make transfers around the world without restrictions, exchange currency, and pay bills. You can make transactions and deposit funds in three currencies: GEL, USD, and EUR. Entrepreneurs and legal entities open a current account in the Bank of Georgia to conduct business.

  • Deposit account: Savings, the owner of such an account receives profit as a percentage of the amount on the balance sheet. You can withdraw the received funds every month or at the end of the contract, depending on the conditions of a particular bank.

  • Card Account: It is a familiar plastic card that non-residents need for comfortable payments and purchases.



Georgian bank account opening requirements


Opening a bank account in Georgia as a non-resident is straightforward. You have two main options:


  1. In-Person: Visit a Georgian bank branch with your passport and any additional documentation they may require.  The process typically takes about 30 minutes.

  2. Via Representative: If you cannot travel to Georgia, you can appoint a proxy using a notarized Power of Attorney and a notarized copy of your passport. Your representative can then open the account on your behalf.


Important Note:  Residing in Georgia for 183 days grants you tax residency status. This can increase your chances of approval when applying for a bank account.


Required documents for personal account


  • Passport

  • Georgian phone number

  • Completed the bank KYC (Know Your Customer) form

  • Proof of Income


For US/UK citizens: Additional forms (such as W8/W9) may be required for tax compliance purposes.


Required documents for a business account


  • Signed note and ID copies for shareholders with 25%+ ownership.

  • A Georgian phone number for the company is needed.

  • Official incorporation documents.

  • Completed the bank KYC (Know Your Customer) form.



Guide to Open a Bank Account in Georgia Remotely


Step-by-Step Guide to Open a Bank Account in Georgia Remotely


Finding a proxy in Georgia


To establish a bank account in Georgia without your physical presence, delegating a representative through a legally notarized power of attorney (POA) is the sole method. This POA grants your representative the authority to act on your behalf in banking matters. Essential steps and considerations include:


  • Delegate a Representative: Choose someone you trust to act as your proxy in Georgia.

  • Notarization and Apostille: The POA must be officially notarized. In certain instances, it may also need to be apostilled to ensure its legality across international borders. Remember, Georgian banks do not accept digital versions of the POA; it must be sent in physical form.

  • Comprehensive Rights: Draft the POA carefully to encompass all necessary banking & payroll transactions. A narrowly defined POA might limit your representative's actions, such as accessing the account post-creation, necessitating another round of documentation.

  • Validity Period: Choose an appropriate duration for the POA's validity. It shouldn't be too lengthy, to avoid giving extended control over your finances, nor too short, which might complicate the account opening process.


Notarization, apostille, and document preparation


You've drafted your Power of Attorney (POA) for your Georgian bank account – now it's time to make it official. Here's what you need to consider:


  • Notarization: A notary public must verify your identity and witness your signature on the POA. You can usually find notaries at banks, law offices, or some libraries.

  • Apostille: If your country is part of the Hague Apostille Convention, you might need this additional certification for international validity. Check with your notary or local government office to be sure.

  • Simplifying the Process: Navigating these legal requirements can be complex, especially when dealing with another country's system. That's where Gegidze comes in! Our team understands these processes and can streamline the notarization and (if needed) apostille steps for you.


Document translation and KYC procedures


Opening a bank account in Georgia as a non-resident involves a few steps you might not encounter at home.  Here's a breakdown of what  to expect:


  • Translation & Notarization: Any documents not in Georgian must be officially translated and notarized by a Georgian notary.  Plan for this to take a day or two.

  • The KYC Conversation:  Banks everywhere use "Know Your Customer" procedures.  In Georgia, this means explaining your source of income, how you accumulated your wealth, and roughly how much money you'll be depositing and withdrawing.  Don't worry, they typically don't ask for proof of these figures.

  • The Georgian Advantage:  Unlike many countries, most Georgian banks don't require you to prove your address.  That simplifies the process!

  • Getting the Green Light:  Banks assess factors like your country of origin when determining approval.  If you're from a non-sanctioned country,  your chances of opening an account are high.


Submitting your application


Once your paperwork is prepared (translated, notarized Power of Attorney and passport copy), it's time to submit your application to the Georgian bank.  While most banks have a standard list, be aware that some might request additional items.


Typical Required Documents:


  • Power of Attorney (notarized, translated into Georgian)

  • Passport Copy (notarized, translated into Georgian)

  • Completed KYC Questionnaire (provided by the bank)

  • Possible Additional Requests:


Income Verification


It could be an employment contract, lease agreement, etc. to show legitimate income sources:


  • Proof of Assets: Documents demonstrating ownership of property or other valuables.

  • Bank Statements: Some banks want to see your recent financial activity.

  • Address Details: Requirements vary – could be a lease, utility bills, hotel stay confirmation, or even just your address in your home country.

  • US Citizens: Be prepared to provide IRS documentation related to foreign accounts.

  • Beyond the Paperwork.


Most Georgian banks provide a debit card and online banking access when you open an account.  The review process usually takes about one business day.  If everything is in order, your representative will get the green light with your new account details.  In the unlikely event of a rejection, the bank will provide a reason.


Receiving your account details


After the initial paperwork, there's a follow-up visit where your proxy gets everything finalized:

  1. They'll receive the account contract, your account details, and instructions for setting up online banking. Don't forget – ask about changing the language for SMS notifications if needed!

  2. Banks typically assign you a contact person. This is your go-to for questions and managing your account going forward.



Best banks in Georgia for foreigners


Bank of Georgia


The Bank of Georgia stands as the foremost and historical financial institution within Georgia, encompassing a widespread network of branches and ATM facilities both within the country and internationally. It plays a pivotal role in the Georgian banking sector, overseeing and regulating the operations of other banks in Georgia. The bank offers a comprehensive suite of services including round-the-clock account management, digital banking platforms, and a variety of loan products for individual and corporate clients.


Clients from any nation can establish a current account with the Bank of Georgia, available in four different currencies, and engage in currency exchange activities with up to thirty-five different currencies.


  • Simple Setup: Whether you visit a branch in person or explore potential remote options, opening an account is designed to be hassle-free.

  • Global Currency Options: Conduct business around the world with support for up to 35 currencies and competitive exchange rates.

  • Business Friendly: If you're an entrepreneur, their business loans meet European standards.

  • The Option for Exclusive Service: With Solo Banking, eligible clients unlock a world of premium perks, including dedicated support, travel benefits, and enhanced interest rates.


SOLO


To qualify, you'll need to either maintain substantial deposits (around 25,000 GEL) or have significant monthly transactions (3,000 GEL+).

In return, you'll enjoy:


  • The Right Cards: Choose from specially priced American Express Gold Elite, Visa Platinum, and even American Express Platinum – each loaded with perks like generous withdrawal limits and rewards programs.

  • Banking at Your Fingertips: All the essentials like online banking, SMS alerts, and automatic payments are included for free.

  • The VIP Service: Dedicated SOLO service areas and lounges offer privacy and convenience.

  • Travel in Style: Discounted Priority Pass puts airport VIP lounges at your disposal.

  • Protection & Growth: Get access to special insurance packages (even potential coverage for your spouse with SOLO FAMILY) and earn competitive interest on your balances.


TBC Bank


TBC Bank is a major force in the Georgian financial market, known for its strong performance and international presence on the London Stock Exchange. TBC demonstrates excellent financial health through its key performance indicators.


  • Convenience: TBC prioritizes accessibility with numerous branches and ATMs throughout Georgia. Whether you prefer in-person or remote options (where available), they aim to streamline the process.

  • Customer Service: From their basic subscription tiers to the premium Concept level, TBC emphasizes responsive customer support. This includes 24/7 assistance for Concept clients.

  • Competitive Fees: TBC keeps an eye on staying competitive, especially with features like low or zero commission on ATMs (select banks) and no merchant fees for business accounts.


TBC Concept


Launched in 2020, TBC Concept is designed for discerning clients who demand more from their banking experience.  Excitingly, this premium tier extends its benefits to both residents and non-residents of Georgia.  This means you don't need permanent residency to enjoy exclusive cards like Visa Platinum or Mastercard World Elite, get personalized financial advice, and access luxurious TBC Concept lounges.


TBC Concept goes beyond the basics. Think earning interest on your balance, cashback rewards at co-working spaces and select stores, and even complimentary travel insurance. They curate special offers and discounts to add a touch of luxury to your everyday life.  Plus, with free external transfers, bill payments, and readily accessible financial statements, managing your money becomes a breeze.


  • Cash Access: Generous withdrawal limits and zero commission at select banks.

  • Exclusive Perks: Enjoy discounts and special offers at upscale hotels and shops throughout Georgia.

  • Concierge Assistance: Streamline your life with help for bookings, deliveries, and other time-consuming tasks.

  • Tailored Packages: Choose between Digital (120 GEL annually, active account required) or Premium (240 GEL annually, with activity/deposit requirements) for features that fit your needs.

  • Meeting Space Access: Utilize TBC Concept's stylish Tbilisi location at a discounted rate.


Liberty Bank


Liberty Bank is a major player in the Georgian banking sector, holding the title of the country's largest bank. They cater to both individuals and businesses, boasting an extensive network of branches and ATMs for easy access nationwide.


Services for Non-Residents


Liberty Bank offers a variety of products specifically designed for non-resident customers, including:


  • Account EXTRA: A multi-currency account (GEL, USD, EUR, GBP) ideal for everyday banking, including debit cards and robust online banking options.

  • Competitive Exchange Rates: Liberty Bank often provides favorable exchange rates for its customers.

  • International Transfers: Simplified sending and receiving of international funds through various channels.

  • Deposit Options: Secure, high-yield savings and investment products to help customers grow their wealth.

  • Digital Card: A secure and convenient option for online shopping, providing enhanced security compared to traditional physical cards.



Other Reputable Options


  • Procredit Bank: A focus on supporting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with sustainable practices. Financing options include loans, credit lines, overdrafts, and eco-friendly investments.

  • BasisBank: Part of the Chinese Hualing Group. Resident foreigners often find account opening easy, while non-residents may have additional steps. A notable feature is the availability of UnionPay cards for those with connections to China.

  • VTB Bank Georgia: A subsidiary of the large Russian VTB Group, they emphasize personalized service.  Private and Premium packages might include dedicated bankers and insurance benefits.

  • Cartu Bank: Founded by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, this bank targets high-net-worth clients.   They offer premium Visa and Mastercard options (like World Elite and Infinite) with perks like concierge services and discounts.

  • Ziraat Bank Georgia:  Backed by a major Turkish bank with the Republic of Turkey as its owner.  Ideal for clients with Turkish ties due to easy transfers and accounts available in Lira, Lari, USD, and Euros.

  • Terabank: Influenced by its partial ownership by the UAE-based Dhabi Group. Primarily focuses on retail banking, offering various Visa and Mastercard options.



open a Georgian bank account remotely


How Gegidze services can help you open a Georgian bank account remotely


  • We'll take care of drafting your Power of Attorney for you.

  • We'll walk you through the notarization process and help you find the easiest method.

  • We'll ensure your documents arrive safely in Georgia.

  • Your account will typically be open within a few days! We'll get you all the necessary access details right away.

  • Enjoy personalized support from your dedicated relationship manager. 



Benefits of having a Georgian bank account


Benefits of having a Georgian bank account


  • Financial Stability: The Central Bank of Georgia maintains strict regulations, contributing to a healthy banking sector. Look for banks with strong capital adequacy ratios and tier 1 leverage ratios, which are key indicators of financial health.

  • Remote Opening Potential: Unlike many countries, Georgian banks often allow non-residents to open accounts remotely. A Power of Attorney (POA) is typically required, and sometimes even that might be waived.

  • Interest Rate Options: Explore deposit rates in the local currency (Georgian Lari) for potentially higher yields. USD and Euro rates will likely be lower. Keep in mind that deposit insurance in Georgia has limits.

  • Investment Access: A Georgian bank account can be a gateway to investment opportunities. Their local bond market offers potentially high returns (though risk should always be carefully assessed). Accounts can be used to trade on both local and international exchanges.



Lowest corporate tax in the world - country Georgia


Georgia's 15% flat corporate tax rate puts it among the most tax-advantageous countries for businesses. Compared to many European countries and the U.S., you could significantly optimize your tax burden. This means more profit to reinvest or distribute.


If you have an LLC or other company established within Georgia, CIT is primarily due when profits are distributed to shareholders. This means profits you choose to reinvest back into growing your Georgian business may remain untaxed.


Special Incentives to Consider:


  • Virtual Zones: Companies operating within designated areas may qualify for a 0% CIT rate.

  • Free Industrial Zones (FIZ): Businesses established within FIZs benefit from a 0% CIT rate along with other potential advantages.

  • International Company Status: Qualifying companies enjoy a reduced CIT rate of only 5% on distributed profits.



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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Do I need to visit Georgia in person to open an account?


It's not mandatory to visit Georgia to open a bank account. Georgian banks offer the flexibility of remote account opening through a power of attorney in some cases, streamlining the process for international clients.


What are the fees associated with opening a Georgian bank account?


The fees associated with opening a bank account in Georgia vary depending on the bank and the type of account. However, Georgia is known for its low banking fees compared to many Western countries, making it an attractive option for foreigners.


Can I open a multi-currency account in Georgia?


Yes, you can open a multi-currency account in Georgia, allowing you to hold and manage funds in several currencies. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who conduct international transactions or wish to take advantage of Georgia's favorable exchange rates.

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