Xolo vs Comistar – The Comparison
Once you become an e-resident and start looking into service providers who can help you, it can get overwhelming pretty quickly.
By now, there are quite a few different providers. Some service providers are focused on concrete geographical markets, and some are focused on concrete industries.
And then, we have providers who do not have a concrete focus at all. Their main tactic is to lure people in with an attractive entry price and provide a “generic” service.
In this article, we’re going to compare Xolo and Comistar. Why Xolo and us? For one, it’s Comistar’s blog, so it makes little sense to leave us out of the comparison. Xolo, formerly named LeapIn, is the leader of the market.
Here are two external articles about Xolo Vs Comistar.
Background of Xolo
Xolo was founded in 2015, and the business was built on the e-Residency program. Xolo was a breath of fresh air, and the way they presented their service made all the difference. On the big picture, they did what every other consulting company had been doing for years – helping with company registration and accounting.
But Xolo was not a consulting company like all other companies providing similar services. Xolo was a tech company providing a tech platform to manage your e-Residency business. And the way they framed their services enabled them to raise money from investors.
This money was used to hire more developers, improve the platform, and invest heavily in marketing. In total, Xolo has raised +9 million euros.
The early focus on e-residents focus on technology, and the story that differentiated Xolo from everybody else has made Xolo the market leader.
Background of Comistar Estonia
Comistar Estonia was founded in 2012 and started its operations in 2013.
In the first 4 years, the focus of Comistar Estonia was on Scandinavian entrepreneurs and advising on tax structures. Comistar Estonia was the traditional consulting company, which market Xolo disrupted (though companies never targeted the same types of clients).
Only at the end of 2017, did we at Comistar start to look into e-Residency, as the program was getting more and more traction. Comistar became a partner of the e-Residency service providers marketplace in early 2018.
With the rise of the crypto industry, Comistar made e-residents operating in the crypto space one of its core focus points and tailored its services for e-residents. With extensive experience in taxation matters and working with bigger companies, Comistar started to onboard e-residents with different and often more complex needs.
Clients of Xolo & Comistar
To make its software work, Xolo set very clear boundaries for the type of clients they will onboard. Because the accounting & possible reporting needs of clients can differ a lot, it’s difficult to provide a fixed pricing plan for all e-residents. Xolo (and Comistar as well) is a hybrid of software and manual service. On the back-end, accounting is still done by the accountants, though the bulk of the work is automated.
But automation needs boundaries to the input that’s coming into the system. Thus, Xolo needs to be able to estimate the amount of work one client generates, so the pricing would cover the cost of the manual work required.
And it’s not only automation of accounting, but it’s also to reduce the AML risks and be able to find banking partnerships that can have a clear expectation of the type of clients Xolo is bringing in.
As a result, Xolo was focused on one-man companies or the so-called solopreneurs. And these one-man companies must operate in the digital world by selling digital services and products.
Comistar Estonia as Xolo alternative
Comistar Estonia has been attracting very different types of clients to Xolo. For years, we prided ourselves on the level of expertise we can bring to the table, instead of automation or fancy software.
But as the world changes, we have adjusted our views on the market. We are now heavily focused on providing a software–powered experience to the clients. This focus has resulted in multiple standalone apps for niche markets, as well as the birth of our own software which we call “Zero To Scale”.
Zero To Scale is for your company management software to manage your Estonian business with features and usability. But we haven’t forgotten our strengths, and we don’t provide generic plans to the clients. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to the types of clients we are generally on-board. For each client, the custom subscription plan is created and agreed on.
Still, Comistar serves many one-man companies as well, together with multiple shareholder companies, licensed activities, physical products, and so forth.
To conclude, Xolo is operating as a startup with a single focus on growth and scale, using the investor’s money. Comistar, on the other hand, operates as a business and tries to tailor its services according to the individual need of each client, with a focus on sustainability.
Pricing Xolo vs Comistar
For new e-residents, pricing is obviously one of the major factors. It’s also something that’s a bit difficult to compare if companies are providing services for different types of clients and needs.
Xolo charges 492€ (incl VAT) for onboarding to Xolo Leap, which is a subscription service for e-Residency companies. This amount includes the state fee paid to the Estonian government.
The monthly subscription starts at 89€, and the two other tiers are 129€ and 199€. All plans include tax filing and reporting, while the 129€ and 199€ plans come with a personal account as well.
Xolo also has a service subscription for freelancers called Xolo Go. In this case, you won’t own your company, and you won’t have any startup costs. Instead of a monthly subscription, you’ll be charged 5% on each sale. This can be a good way to start your freelancing career.
Comistar has different tiers to pricing as well. The simplest plan (S Plan) starts at 45€/month, but this plan is meant for companies that have minimal reporting or monthly accounting support. For example, small investment funds or companies with 1-6 invoices per month.
The first “active company” plan starts at 89€/month and includes everything you need, including monthly accounting, VAT and EORI registrations, legal document templates, as well as consulting. The actual subscription price is determined during the consultation session, where Comistar experts learn about your business and needs.
The onboarding with Comistar is similar to what it is with Xolo, and you need to pay a 470€ (incl) one-time fee (including the state fee of 265€).
The most expensive plan with Comistar starts at 159€/month.
The most expensive plan with Comistar starts at 159€/month.
To conclude, then both service providers are in a similar bracket when it comes to pricing, and your choice should really depend more on your concrete needs than on pricing.
Which One is For You: Xolo or Comistar?
Honestly, we think very highly of Xolo and what they’ve done in the space. They’ve built a great product, spend a lot on advertising the e-Residency concept, and provided a good service.
Hence, there are two occasions when we recommend checking Xolo out before anything else on the market: a) if you are a freelancer and don’t really need a company; and b) if you plan to open a one-man company and sell only digital services/products, without nuanced tax or accounting needs.
If you have more than one shareholder, you plan to invest in real estate or cryptocurrencies (even if as a side activity), require more complex tax advice or any activity licenses, or sell physical products, then check out Comistar’s Zero To Scale subscription.
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