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||Yes, also Russian and Latvian||Opening fee 450€ and maintenance fee - €300 per month, for corporate customers||?|
|Bank of China||Depends on the individual banker, some speak better German and some speak better English – as all bankers are Chinese, they all speak Mandarine||If you are neither Chinese nor have commercial interests in China best go to a different bank||No||Obtain the application form here !||Obtain the application form here !||Obtain the application form here !|
|Berliner Sparkasse||Only oral communication, limited to three persons in the call center which is manned with bankers||Small businesses are exclusively served via a call center, only three people speak English, no contracts / forms available in English; personal banker speaking English for clients with prospective turnover above 150 k€; with a German nominee director it is possible to get a corporate account; their mindset is still very paperbound and analog unless essential||Yes||apply here||apply here||n/a|
|Bilderlings||Yes, also in Russian, German, and Spanish||Fee for review of documents for opening a corporate bank account: €800 urgent document review for opening €2,000 active account maintenance (per month) interest will be paid for holding money on accounts||?||open here||open here||open here|
|Yes, and also German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese||reaching to private persons and freelancers interested in a sustainable bank on eye level||?||open here||open here||n/a|
|Credit BLU||Yes, also Arabic, Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish||Opening fee: €495€, unique IBAN fee: €1,995, maintenance fee €39 per month||?||open here||open here||open here|
|CIM Banque||Yes||Service is provided per video conferencing, initial funding requires a deposit of 10.000 CHF/EUR/USD||?||open here||open here||open here|
|Deutsche Bank||Yes||Personal introduction to a banker in order to apply for a bank account is a “must”; to test the bank's willingness in preparation of the personal interview PDF copies are accepted. They need about 2 - 3 months until they have internally processed your application / are conceptually willing to accept you as a client. Even after identifying their conceptual willingness to take you as a client and inviting you to a face-to-face interview, the interview does not practically mean that you have made it but that you are halfway there at having an account with them.||Yes||info here||n/a||n/a|
|Yes||If your line of business is neither in IT nor trading, you can pretty much expect that you will be turned down||?||n/a||open here||open here|
and German next to Arabic
|Evidently best for German - Iranian business||?||n/a||call them||call them|
|Yes||They have many credits for founders and new customers.||Yes||open here||open here||open here|
|Yes||This is another brand from Solarisbank||No||n/a||open here||open here|
|Yes||HOlvi focuses on startups and freelancers with modules for invoicing and bookkeeping||No||n/a||open here||open here|
|Isbank||Yes, German, Turkish||Predestined bank for Turks and Turkish speaking person, branches and ATMs usually found around Turkish communities in Germany||No||open here||open here||open here|
|KBC||Yes||After you have submitted the originals of the founding documents and your notarized ID to them, they will personally call you on the phone with further questions on your banking needs||?||open here||open here||open here|
|Yes, also German||Save taxes, time and money with the only bank account that calculates your taxes in real-time||?||n/a||open here||n/a|
|KT Bank||Yes, German, and Turkish||Individuals 100% online, corporate customers exclusively in one of their branches||No||open account||open account||only in a branch|
|Mercurius Bank||Yes, also Russian, and Czech||International online bank from Czech Republic||No||open account||open account||open account|
|N26||Yes, also German||Open your account in minutes right from your smartphone, and start spending before your physical card arrives, they won't allow you to simultaneously have a corporate and private account. It's anyhow not a wise setup to have business and private funds at one and the same bank!||?||open account||open account||n/a|
|Yes||No personal banker available, support via email or Slack, no phone number,||Yes||open account||open account||open account|
|Yes and German, Italian, Spanish||Their ambition is very clear: building the best business banking service by using technology and design, with a fair and transparent pricing!||?||n/a||open account||open account|
|Revolut||Yes, and many other European languages||No personal banker per phone or email available, all communication goes through the app or secondarily their website||Yes||open account||open account||open account|
|Wise||Yes||Known for its quick transfers and good conversion rates, they seemingly welcome everyone as a customer||No||open account||open account||open account|
|Varengold Bank||Yes||Contact them first online, then you will send you the link to proceed with opening a bank account||No||n/a||open account||open account|
|Viva Wallet||Yes and German||Very interesting for your business when you want bank payments as well as online payments from one hand||?||open account||open account||open account|
|Yes and German, French and Spanish||Very interesting for your business when you want bank payments as well as online payments from one hand||Yes||open account||open account||n/a|