Business Banks

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 in doubt, connect with that bank to open an account for your company or business. Inside Europe we have SEPA.

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.

company bank account

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,
  • "yes" means that the bank will not open an account for you,
  • "no" means that the bank takes no offense.

N.B. Though you might get an account number quickly, using any 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 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.
 Name

English

Description

How to Apply

(Dis)advantages

HRC  

Baltic International Bank

Yes, also Russian and Latvian

Latvian online bank for private and business customers, based on the principles of "environmental social governance"

 

Opening fee 450€ and maintenance fee - €300 per month

?

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

Public bank of China, interested in serving Chinese in Germany or abroad or Germans with interest in China, no online opening

After I have personally submitted the originals of the founding documents to a banker and your notarized ID to them in their office, they will personally call you on the phone with further questions on your banking needs

If you are neither Chinese nor have commercial interests in China best go to a different bank.

No

Berliner Sparkasse

Only oral communication, limited to three persons in the call center which is manned with bankers

Local, public bank, free ATMs at any Sparkasse, be it in or outside Berlin

Online application is only available for residents of Germany and expats (private persons or freelancers)

Small businesses are exclusively served via 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€

Yes

Bilderlings

Yes, also in Russian, German, and Spanish

A UK fintech, understands itself as an alternative for a classic bank, provides all standard bank services,

100% online,

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

?

Credit BLU

Yes, also Arabic, Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

BLU is modern payment platform that allows speedy opening of unlimited number of corporate and/or personal payment accounts in any worldwide currency.

Can be opened in 30 seconds, 100% online

Opening fee: €495€,
unique IBAN fee: €1,995,
maintenance fee €39 per month

?

Berliner Volksbank

Only personally face-to-face with a banker of international department or his assistant

Local, credit union, free ATMs wherever there is a Volks- and Raiffeisenbank, be it in or outside Berlin, they are actually most interested in local businesses or international with Poland, has no issue with citizens from high risk countries

Personal introduction to a banker in order to apply for a bank account is a “must”. Translators are not permitted because they want personal, face-to-face communication, to test the bank's willingness PDF copies are accepted, residence in Germany not required,

Providing proof of real intended activity via a business plan and intended capital flow is a benefit

Yes

CIM Banque

Yes

CIM Bank is a Swiss Private Bank based in Geneva, Wollerau and Lugano. They offer their clientele tailored services along with a deep understanding of each client's needs.

100% online

Service is provided per video conferencing, initial funding requires a deposit of 10.000 CHF/EUR/USD

?

Deutsche Bank

Yes

International bank, offers foreign currency accounts, free ATM withdrawals at any Deutsche Bank or member of their big cash pool, be it in or outside Berlin

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

No

Deutsche Handelsbank

Yes

The bank for digital startups and growth companies in the trade business

100% online

If your line of business is neither in IT nor trading, you can pretty much expect that you will be turned down

?

eihbank

Yes, and German

Banking services only for corporations: trade and project finance, international documentary credit transactions, confirmation and discounting of letter of credit business to foreign exchange and money market operations

First connect with them per email

Evidently best for German - Iranian business

?

Fidor

Yes

Fidor is an online-based direct bank from Germany. The Fidor Smart current account is tailored to private and business customers alike.

100% online ID and document legitimation

They have many credits for founders and new customers. They do open accounts for UG, only for freelancers, and GmbH. Only foreign freelancers with a valid residence can receive an account.

Presumably, yes

Holvi

Yes

Finish Fintech

100%, typically only residents in EU and not Americans

Seemingly focused on startups and freelancers with modules for invoicing and bookkeeping

No

Isbank

Yes, German, Turkish

A subsidiary of Türkiye I? Bankasi A.S., sees itself as the top bank in Turkey, has the first Turkish bank to establish subsidiaries abroad – a German branch began operating in Hamburg in 1932

Arrange an appointment via their website

Predestined bank for Turks and Turkish speaking person, branches and ATMs usually found around Turkish communities in Germany

No

KBC

Yes

An international bank based in Belgium

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

Account will be opened soon afterwards

?

Kontist

Yes, also German

German bank for Startups

100% online, in 9 minutes

Save taxes, time and money with the only bank account that calculates your taxes in real-time.

?

KT Bank

Yes, German, and Turkish

A subsidiary of KuveytTürk

Individuals 100% online, corporate customers exclusively in one of their branches

Multi-currency accounts belong to their standard service

No

Mercurius Payments

Yes, also Russian, and Czech

International online bank from Czech Republic

100% online

Opening an account takes less than 5 days

?

N26

Yes, also German

Mobile bank, spend and set money aside in real-time

100% online, a few minutes

Open yours 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 and it's not a wise setup either

?

Penta Bank - your bank for remote foundings

Penta Bank

Yes Private fintech start-up in liaison with Solaris Bank who formally holds the banking license 100% online, they need 48 hours to open the account. No personal banker available, support via email or Slack, no phone number, Yes

Revolut

Yes, and many other European languages

Description

By downloading their app

No personal banker per phone or email available, all communication goes through the app or secondarily their website

Yes

Transferwise

English

online bank service provider, multi-currency is standard,

100% online

Known for its quick transfers and good conversion rates

No

Varengold Bank

Yes

The high-performance bank for companies focused on international trade.

100% online

Contact them first, then you will get the link

No

Viva Wallet

Yes and German

An international fintech offering not only IBAN accounts but also many online and offline payment solutions

Online

Very interesting for your business when you want bank payments as well as online payments from one hand

?

Name

English

Description

How to Apply

(Dis)advantages

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