Opening a German bank account is essential for living in Germany, not only for starting a business.
You will need a bank account at the latest when you register your business with the tax office or when you start paying taxes.
You do not need a business account; a normal bank account is sufficient for now. However, some banks will close your account if you use it for extensive business purposes. So this is where you need to watch out!
It should be said that bank accounts in other European countries are also fine, as long as they support SEPA transfers. If this applies to you, you can keep your old account for now.
There are different types of banks in Germany: private commercial banks, public savings banks, and state banks, and cooperative banks. In addition, there are also a number of international banks, online and mobile banks in Germany, which make banking user-friendly and thus mostly simplify it.
|Alternatively, if you are a student in Germany (up to a certain age, usually 29), you have the option of having a student account set up, which exempts you from the fees for an account at a selected bank.|
While some banks are open to working with expats, there are others that are more hesitant or refuse right up front due to a lack of credit history in Germany. Regardless of which bank you choose to open your account with, you should provide the following documents:
You can also bypass the bank interview and open an online bank account for your (business) purposes.
To open an online bank account in Germany, you need to verify your identity after filling out some documents. To do this, you must either use a webcam, send a verification code by email or use the „PostIdent procedure“, which is an approved substitute for establishing identity, with the fee paid by the online bank in question. Often, opening and setting up such an account costs very little or is completely free.
At this point we would like to recommend the Penta Bank that we use ourselves. Here, the interaction was always excellent and the interface was clear for all our needs.
And the most important thing: everything is available in English!
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