Opening a Bank Account for Business and Private Purposes
Are you worried about obtaining a German bank account? Any IBAN number is sufficient for opening an account for a company or for running a business here in Germany! It is regardless where the bank is located! The only difference between a Belgium and a German bank would be that sending money from Belgium might need a day or two more to enter the target account.
Do you already have a bank relationship anywhere in Europe? When expecting difficulities or in urgent need, connect with that bank to open an account for your company or business. Inside Europe we have SEPA. The main difference will be that you must always provide the IBAN and BIC for an account outside of Germany and that transactions will take a bit longer than inside Germany.
Below is a brief description of the banks providing business accounts for clients based in Berlin. My description is to be understood as polite though straightforward. My intention is to provide you with a very first idea on what to expect from the bank you wish to chose.
Opening an account with a Sparkasse or Volksbank is a serious possibilty when you live in that bank's area and / or your business has strong local ties. Even when they starting to offer their services in English, they are still very much focused on local / regional and not so much international business.
Do not expect to get any credit line upfront without recent banking history and / or before having an account for several months reflecting that you really have turnover. Please discuss this in detail as well as your special wishes with your banker! This is outside of our influence.
HRC in the table below relates to citizens of so-called "high risk countries". To keep it short and sweet, it all relates to money laundry precautions banks have to observe. If you belong to one of those high risk countries and don't live in Germany, it will be problematic to open an account for your business. If you have a citizenship affiliated with high risk and live in Germany, then you are generally free to take any bank. To help you identify which bank will have an issue with you as a high risk citizen living abroad we use the following markers:
- "?" means that we have no concrete knowledge, go ahead, try and let us know of your success,
- "yes" means that the bank will have an issue with this and not open an account for you,
- "no" means that the bank takes no offense and will generally open an account for you.
N.B. Though you might get an account number quickly, using any corporate funds in the account is limited until the company is entered into the Commercial Registry!
CAVEAT for online identification:
- Have your official ID passport at hand as a PDF or jpg,
- be in a quiet and bright environment for an audio / video interview which will only last a few minutes,
- have your company documents (application to register and articles of association) as a PDF at hand, you will be applying for a company in formation ("in Gründung, i.Gr.")
Baltic International Bank