Xolo eliminates the wasted time, frustration and expense of starting a company, and makes invoicing your clients—and getting paid—much easier. With a free business bank account, clever expense management and in-house accounting, Xolo simplifies your business infrastructure so you can focus on growing your business instead of dealing with accounting, tax and administrative work.
What Problem Does Xolo Solve?
If you’re a freelancer, solopreneur or digital nomad, there’s a good chance you fall into at least one of the following two categories:
- You’re operating as a sole proprietor and don’t have a registered business.
- Your business and personal finances are largely mixed together, with your business income and personal expenses both moving in and out of one (or several) of the same bank accounts.
If you fall into category #1, you’re missing out on valuable tax breaks you could receive by applying your business expenses against your business income.
If you fall into category #2, doing your taxes at the end of the year is always a big mess, and maybe even a bit of a guessing game.
And if you fall into both categories—as I did—then you’re both making your own life difficult and leaving a lot of money on the table.
Xolo is here to solve these problems.
Xolo is a quick, easy way to invoice clients in the EU and beyond. With more than 50,000 customers globally, Xolo is open to entrepreneurs of most nationalities and has handled more than €700 million in invoices.
Xolo offers two core products: Xolo Leap and Xolo Go. In this review, I’m going to explain the benefits of both products, who they’re best for, and offer my personal experience as a user of Xolo Go.
Let’s get started.
Xolo Leap is Xolo’s first product, dating back to 2015. Launched in response to Estonia’s then-new e-Residency program, Xolo Leap makes the admin behind running a company easy. It comes at a predictable monthly fee (great for businesses with regular cash flows) and is a great option both for business owners providing professional services (like consulting and marketing) and digital services (like apps and e-books).
Benefits Of Xolo Leap
I believe there are three main benefits of using Xolo Leap:
- EU Company: Xolo Leap provides you with an Estonian Limited Company (OÜ), which is owned and operated by you.
- Disbursements: Choose between salary and dividend disbursements (or both) to suit your personal and business tax goals.
- Accountant: For me, the biggest benefit of Xolo Leap is having an accountant to take care of all of my accounting and taxes for me. Your Xolo accountant will ensure everything is reported on time, and they’ll write your annual report for you so you just need to sign it. Xolo’s mobile app also allows you to upload business expenses on the go, making your year-end accounting even smoother.
Xolo Leap: Pricing
Xolo Leap costs €79/month, though there are some additional setup costs to be aware of. All of them, including the Estonian e-Residency and the in-person bank appointment, are necessary fees that must be paid and cannot be avoided:
- Estonian e-Residency State Fee: €120
- Company registration: €190
- Estonian Business Registry registration: €30
- TransferWise bank account: €0
The fee I want to draw your attention to here is the Estonian e-Residency. Becoming an Estonian e-Resident is a necessary step in opening an account with Xolo Leap, and it’s your ticket to opening an Estonian company fully remotely. Applying for your e-Residency is easy, and you’ll receive your approval notice after about 10 business days.
As of right now there are 39 locations where you can pick-up your Estonian e-Residency card, which are well-distributed around the world (click on the dropdown for Pick-up Location here to see the current list of pick-up locations). If you choose to receive your e-Residency card from within Estonia, you’ll only need to pay a state fee of €100, not €120.
With all of these fees accounted for, it means that Xolo Leap will cost you about €1,290 for the first year, and €950 for each subsequent year.
Xolo also offers two additional plans:
- Xolo Leap Pro (€119/month): Includes everything you get with Xolo Leap, plus integrations with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe so you can accept payments in even more ways.
- Xolo Growth (€199/month): Includes everything you get with Xolo Leap Pro, plus a dedicated accountant to help you manage your finances. Your accountant will provide telephone customer support, quarterly financial reports (in English), and support for tangible assets and employees.
Xolo Go allows solopreneurs to start a business without going through the tedious, costly process of registering a company. It gives you all of the benefits of a company—including the ability to apply business expenses against your income, lowering your tax burden—with none of the hassle and expense of opening a company on your own.
My Experience With Xolo Go
I wanted to try out Xolo Go to see exactly how the process works, so I created an account and sent my first invoice. I have to say, I was impressed by how easy Xolo made the process of sending invoices and receiving payment.
In less than 15 minutes, I had opened my account, verified my identity, and sent off my first invoice. Xolo breaks the process down into six steps, but in my opinion there are really just four steps involved in getting set up. Here’s a quick look at each of them:
Step 1: Personal Profile
Quickly fill in your personal information, including your citizenship, tax residency, the domain you provide professional services in, and the specific area within that domain that you work in.
For example, if you select Writing & Translation as your domain, you’ll be given options like Academic Writing & Research, Legal Writing, Editing & Proofreading, etc. If you select Business Consulting as your domain, you’ll be given options like Human Resources, Management Consulting, Project Management, etc.
Keep in mind that Xolo Go is built for professional services, not physical goods businesses, which is why you won’t find those options here.
Step 2: Banking Details
If you have an EU bank account, you’ll just need to enter your name, IBAN and BIC/SWIFT code here.
If you don’t have an EU bank account, Xolo makes it very easy to get one: just click on the TransferWise or Revolut buttons and you’ll have an account set up in no time. Currently, Xolo only supports payouts in Euros using the SEPA transfer method, so you will need an EU bank account to accept payments.
Step 3: Verification
Just like the rest of the Xolo setup process, verifying my identity was easy. I was sent to a secure page on Xolo’s partner Veriff’s website, and I scanned the QR code with my phone to start the verification process.
On my phone, I was given the option of verifying my identity with an ID card, Passport, Resident permit, or Driver’s license. I chose the passport, took a photo of my passport’s photo page, and then took a selfie. Within a few seconds, my identity was verified.
Step 4: Accept Agreement
Here you’ll need to confirm that your clients are in the EU, EEA (European Economic Area), US or Canada, and that you are not dealing with physical goods, investments, cryptocurrencies, permanent offices, or vehicles. You’ll also need to accept a few standard agreements, as you would expect.
Invoicing With Xolo Go
Xolo has done a great job making the invoicing process extremely quick and easy: to create, review and send an invoice to my client only takes me 4 minutes per invoice. I also like that Xolo takes care of all the small stuff for me, things like:
- Clients are automatically saved so I can easily invoice them again in the future
- You can choose an interest rate on your invoices, so if your clients pay after the due date, they’ll automatically be charged interest
- Invoice numbers are auto-generated
- VAT (Value-Added Tax) is automatically calculated based on your client’s VAT number. If your client doesn’t provide a VAT number, 20% VAT will automatically be added to your invoice. The VAT amount will be automatically deducted from your account when the invoice is paid, and Xolo will take care of all VAT-related responsibilities.
Right now you can charge invoices in seven currencies: Euro (EUR), British pound (GBP), Croatian kuna (HRK), Hungarian forint (HUF), Romanian leu (RON), Czech koruna (CZK), and Canadian dollar (CAD). Notably missing is the US dollar, though Xolo tells me they’re adding USD support very soon.
The first time I sent an invoice, I received a message that it would be put through an anti-money laundering review, which I was told could take up to 24 hours.
I sent my invoice on a Saturday, so I thought it may take 24 hours or so to process, but it was actually approved and sent off to my client less than 5 minutes later.
When my client paid their invoice, I received an email letting me know that the funds had arrived. I logged in, clicked Withdraw, and the funds were sent to my bank account.
Xolo Go & Taxes
One of Xolo’s tax features I find useful is the ability to download a PDF summary of all your income received via Xolo Go, making it easy to present your income to your local tax authority at the end of the year.
As for reporting, Xolo does not declare or withdraw any personal taxes from your income. I also did not have to submit any sort of tax ID when signing up for Xolo, though I did provide the country where I am a tax resident.
I appreciate these tax decisions on Xolo’s part, because they give me the power to do my taxes holistically and make the right tax decisions on my own.
Xolo Go: Pricing
There are no setup or ongoing fees for Xolo Go: you can get started right away without worrying about having any business coming in.
The only fee you pay to use Xolo Go is a 5% fee on each invoice, which is applied when you make an outgoing payment or withdrawal from your Xolo account. This means your clients will never see (or be charged) any additional fees.
Payment providers generally charge at least 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, and many others charge more, so this is in line with the rest of the industry. The benefits you receive with Xolo Go—business expense management, a free business bank account, etc.—make it an excellent value.
Who Should Consider Xolo?
Xolo is designed for solopreneurs and freelancers providing professional services. It’s a quick, easy way to professionally invoice clients in the EU and beyond. Here’s a partial list of the sorts of individuals who could benefit from working with Xolo:
|Accountants||Graphic designers||Project managers|
|Audio producers||Industrial designers||Social media managers|
|Content writers||Influencers||Software developers|
|Copywriters||Interior designers||Tax specialists|
|Customer service reps||Journalists||Technical support reps|
|Data scientists||Legal writers||Translators|
|Digital marketers||Management consultants||Video editors|
|Editors/proofreaders||Personal assistants||Voice actors|
|Email marketers||Photographers||Web designers|
|Executive coaches||PR strategists||WordPress developers|
Xolo Leap users can provide digital services as well as professional services, making it a good choice for entrepreneurs and freelancers selling apps, e-books, online courses, stock photography/videography, software, audio and sound effects, documents, fonts, browser extensions, and more.
Who Should Not Consider Xolo?
There are two main types of people who should not consider Xolo: anyone selling physical goods (retailers, dropshippers, anyone running a Shopify store, etc.) and anyone whose clients are not based in the EU, EEA, US or Canada, since Xolo does not support physical products or invoices sent to clients outside of these areas.
If some of your clients are in these regions, or some of your business involves professional services (eg. you’re both a copywriter and you run an Amazon FBA operation), you can still use Xolo Go for the pieces of your business that meet Xolo’s requirements.
If you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, invoicing your clients through a business is the financially responsible move. Not only will those clients take you more seriously, but your take-home pay will increase since you can lower your tax obligation by deducting business expenses from your income.
This is why Xolo is such a good fit for so many solopreneurs, freelancers and digital nomads: it gives you all of the benefits of a business without the difficult, expensive setup process and ongoing fees. If you provide digital services or want a company that you wholly own, Xolo Leap is the right choice for you. If you’re just looking to invoice clients and deduct expenses to maximize your after-tax earnings, you should consider Xolo Go.
Whichever option you choose, it’s good to know that even people like us can conduct business the right way and be rewarded for it. I highly recommend getting started with Xolo before sending your next invoice.