Opening a Business Bank Account in Germany

For corporations, it is a legal obligation to open and maintain a business account without any gaps. For all other legal forms, there is no purely legal obligation to maintain a separate business account.


  1. GmbH
  2. UG
  3. gGmbH and gUG
  4. AG


  1. Freelancer
  2. Small businesses
  3. Businessman e.K.
  4. GbR, OHG, KG and GmbH & Co. KG
  5. Partner companies


Even though a business account is not mandatory for many legal forms, banks generally exclude the use of private accounts for business purposes in their general terms and conditions. This means that there is a de facto business account obligation for all self-employed persons and companies to open a business account. In addition, there are good reasons for opening a business account as early as the start-up phase. A business account is the linchpin for business finances and business payment transactions. With a business account, founders separate private and business finances right from the start and ensure transparency. A business account is an essential component and success factor for smooth accounting and office work. The main advantages of a business checking account are:

  1. Clear separation of business and private accounting
  2. Less effort in the office
  3. Tax deductibility of account fees only possible with a pure business account
  4. Anonymity of private finances in the event of company audits
  5. Business accounts often offer additional functions in the area of bookkeeping or even sub-accounts.


Besides all this advantages, the question remains, where to open the business account. This depends on your requirements and is linked to the question of who you would like to have as your house bank in the future. What should you look for? Is it the local proximity to the bank because of advice and cash transfer? Is it the bank’s range of services in the area of financing? Is it the cost of using the account? In the following we want to highlight 7 criteria which you should take into consideration:

  1. Legal form 👨🏽‍⚖️

    Not all banks offer business accounts for all legal forms. In most cases, a distinction is made between freelancers and small businesses on the one hand and partnerships and corporations on the other.

  2. Payment and cash transactions (Cash) 💸

    Cash usage in Germany is on the decline. However, entrepreneurs in retail and catering need the cash transfer to deposit and, if necessary, withdraw cash. The important thing here is:

    1. Are cash deposits and withdrawals possible?
    2. What do cash deposits and cash withdrawals cost?
    3. How dense is the network of ATMs, branches or alternative deposit locations such as supermarkets for deposits and cash withdrawals?
  3. Consulting, Financing & Growth 📈

    If you are planning to finance your business or make transactions in foreign currencies, you should take this into account when choosing your business account provider. As a rule, only branch banks can provide you with such offers, which is why you should then also open your business account there. Financing advice includes not only business loans and credits, but also the area of subsidies and subsidy conditions.

  4. Costs 💰

    Depending on usage, the costs for the business account can vary greatly. In addition to the monthly account management fee, you should pay particular attention to the costs for paperless and paper-based bookings, fees for deposits and withdrawals, and card costs. In addition, there are fees for credit balances and debit interest for a business account. Free items should also be taken into account: for example, if there is a quota of free bookings for transfers.

  5. Business account opening 💼

    Appointment at the branch or quick online opening? Branch banks generally use the appointment in the branch, while direct banks and FinTechs use the various identity procedures. The quickest way for an entrepreneur to open a business account is via the video identification procedure or the Bankident procedure.

    1. Account opening date: Lead time approx. 1-2 weeks, depending on date availability. Account is activated after the appointment.
    2. Postident procedure: Complete documents online, print and send by mail. Duration approx. 1 – 2 weeks.
    3. Video-Ident procedure: Verification of identity via video conference. Duration approx. 10 minutes.
    4. Bankident procedure: Digital identity verification via an existing bank account. Duration approx. 10 minutes.
  6. Trust and security 🤨

    As a founder, you have the choice between banks with a very long history or young FinTech start-ups that have only been active for a few years. If brand and name recognition play a role for you, you should factor this into the decision. In addition, FinTechs may well raise the question of survivability, whether all providers will still be on the market in five years. Also check:

    • Is the business account or bank subject to the strict rules of German deposit insurance?
    • Does the account display a German IBAN? This may be important for your customers.

    German IBAN and German deposit insurance are important in that many new business account providers from abroad are entering the German market and do not offer these points.

  7. Additional features 🌟

    In addition to traditional account services, some providers are increasingly offering complementary bank account services to support entrepreneurs in the area of accounting & office. These include, for example, invoice software or accounting solutions and financial planners. 7 typical additional functions have been worked out by the business account comparison.

    1. Invoice software and order management
    2. Accounting software, also with DATEV interface
    3. Tax and accounting service for bookkeeping and office
    4. Sub-accounts for transparent accounting processes
    5. Virtual cards and expense management
    6. Liquidity planning functions such as CashRadar from Commerzbank


The best English speaking banks in Germany for your business

Some english speaking banks we can recommend to check out are:



However, you should always check for yourself and see if they meet your personal requirements!

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All information is without guarantee.