HK Office

Rm A 15/F Hillier Comm Bldg 65-67 Bonham Strand East Sheung Wan

(+852) 27858778

24/7 Customer Support

Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30

Online Inquiries Always Open

Can a foreigner open a bank account in Europe

How to Open a Business bank Account in Europe?

Table of Contents

If you do business in Europe, opening a European business bank account is a straightforward approach to ensure that you can transact within your preferred country. Each country’s banking system is unique, and banks may provide different services depending on the type of business you own.

Do you want to know more? Our entire guide to opening a European business bank account is available here. So, continue to read and get to know everything!

Why should I get a European bank account?

A European bank account facilitates spending, receiving, and transferring funds within the Single Euro Payments Area. The European Payments Council established the Single Euro Payment Area to streamline and make cross-border payments as simple as domestic payments.

Customers, enterprises, and government organizations in SEPA-member countries can now benefit from simple direct debits and transfers. The SEPA spans the entire EU and many non-EU nations, including the United Kingdom, Norway, and Iceland.

Because they are identifiable via the IBAN system, typical bank accounts in the SEPA zone are known as IBAN accounts. IBAN accounts are widely accepted throughout the EU and worldwide and can even be opened while traveling.

Things to keep in mind while opening European business accounts

When opening an offshore corporate bank account, choose a reputable financial institution that provides the services your company needs.

Please don’t choose a bank purely on the strength of its brand. A huge multinational bank may provide you with the comfort of mind that comes with dealing with a reputable financial institution. Still, it may not provide the services you require for your company’s day-to-day operations.

The laws governing offshore overseas bank accounts have altered dramatically in recent years. Because a local financial authority controls each financial institution, you must select a jurisdiction that meets your company’s objectives.

Examine the terms and conditions of the business bank account carefully, especially those about account opening and maintenance. What are the minimum account opening requirements? Is there a minimum balance that needs to be maintained at all times? Is there a cost for account maintenance, is internet banking expensive, and Is there any transaction fee? Don’t assume that your local bank’s terms and conditions are the same as those of your offshore bank.

A firm can have many bank accounts in the same jurisdiction or in other countries. There is a huge market in the banking industry across European regions. Several famous fintech companies in digital banking services that need to be considered for location-independent businesses are Wise, Revolut, Payoneer, Holvi, and DNBC Financial Group.

What makes a good European business account?

When evaluating what makes a good business bank account, you must first assess the financial services required to run your business. Also, the bank should offer you all client transactions, supplier interactions, payroll, and correct accounting. Additionally, ensure that the chosen bank can provide movement and accounting in all available currencies from international sources.

If your company accepts credit card payments, ensure you obtain full merchant services. When cash-flow management becomes a crucial strategy for a growing business, the correct bank account can help by allowing you to get paid sooner and hold onto cash for longer. You can get more out of your business with the correct bank account!

You have the right to open a “basic payment account” in any EU country. Banks cannot deny your application for a basic payment account simply because you do not live in the nation where the bank is located.

This right does not cover other bank accounts, such as savings accounts. When banks have the authority to refuse you a basic payment account, you may be denied an account if you do not follow EU standards on money laundering and terrorism financing.

If you already have a similar account with another bank in the same country, you may be rejected for a basic bank account in various EU nations.

What are the Features and Advantages of Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Europe?

A business launch package can be tailored to your specific requirements and contain fantastic features that will benefit your new firm, such as opening a bank account. When a European company is registered, it becomes an independent legal entity from its owners.

As a result, a corporation must have its corporate bank account to keep its finances separate from the business owners. After the bank account is established, the plans and agreements are completely between the registered company owners and the bank with which they have decided to deal.

While there are numerous business benefits to establishing an overseas corporate bank account, it is strongly advised that you carefully study the bank’s terms and conditions before signing any papers. Some special features and services offered by European banks are as under:

  1. Some banks waive maintenance and transaction costs for specific years.
  2. Most offer a dedicated Business Startup phone helpline that provides local and international assistance.
  3. Long-term business connections are the goal of Prolonged Business Enterprise programs.
  4. Quick and simple access to a large library of free tools, instructive instructions, and online help.
  5. Contactless payment options are available on Business Debit Cards.
  6. 365-day support for mobile, digital, and tablet banking. This service is available to users anytime and anywhere in the world.
  7. Some banks do not charge their customers an overdraft fee.
  8. Customers can choose from a variety of business deposit options.
  9. International enterprises may require loans from time to time to sustain or expand their operations. Maintaining solid relationships and favorable interactions with banks will make it easier to obtain business loans when you need them. Many business loan applications are available online through the banking website/client portal.
  10. – Some banks provide a service that allows you to organize your asset finance needs over the phone.

Who can open a European bank account?

If you are a permanent resident of a European country, you will have many options for opening a bank account. Any foreign citizen legally residing in a European country or outside of Europe can usually obtain an EU banking account.

People who are not permanent residents of European countries, on the other hand, may have a more limited selection of opening banking accounts. Foreign users can own a non-residential account for worldwide management under the authority of financial services, depending on the unique policies of banks or fintech businesses in each nation.

What do I get with a European bank account?

A European bank account allows you to spend, receive, and transfer money in the Single Euro Payments Area, whether you wish to travel, start a new life, or manage your own business (SEPA). It includes all countries in Europe, including those outside the European Union (EU).

In most countries, opening a checking account is free. However, once your account is open, you may be required to pay a monthly “maintenance” cost. Before signing any paperwork, be sure you read the terms and conditions.

Most European banks will provide you with a domestic debit card that you can use at ATMs and certain retailers in your home country. However, you cannot normally use these cards overseas or online.

Look for a bank that will provide a widely accepted card, such as Mastercard or Visa. To make contactless payments, you should seek a card compatible with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

While online banking is becoming more widespread, even at traditional banks, ensure your selected institution provides user-friendly online or in-app services that are routinely updated.

You should have access to your account balance and other banking information whenever and wherever you need it.

What do I need to open a corporate bank account in Europe?

Documents

Although regulations for corporate bank accounts vary by country, most financial institutions will require the following documents:

A legalized collection of company documents, including one apostilled copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum, and Articles of Association, issued in the nation of incorporation. Good Standing Certificate (if the company is older than 1 year)

The following information should be provided by the company’s directors, secretary, account signatories, and shareholders or beneficial owners:

  1. Certified/notarized passport copy
  2. Residential address confirmation (original of a utility bill, a bank account, or credit card statement that is dated within the last 3 months)
  3. Your local bank’s original bank reference letter

Some banks may need more information, such as income statements or your tax identification number. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t give all the required paperwork right away—make plans to get your papers in order or look for another bank with different requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Generally, three groups typically want to open a European corporate account. Some are EU citizens or residents, while others aren’t. Some have EU-registered companies, while others have foreign companies.

Residents

Any European resident over 18 who has a valid passport or another form of national identification can open European business bank accounts.

  • Residents of European Union countries can normally apply with only their passport and proof of address.
  • Tourists can open European business bank accounts in countries such as Slovenia without having an official residency.
  • Scandinavian countries, on the other hand, have tougher standards and will most likely take a little longer to set up.

As a result, you should look for a bank that conveys the qualifying requirements based on your specific circumstances.

Non-Residents

Non-residents can also open European business bank accounts.

  • While the alternatives are restricted, a non-resident can create a European business bank account if they routinely accept payments from a European client or tourist.
  • Non-residents, on the other hand, may be required to make an in-person visit because bank accounts in some countries require the supply of documentation in person.
  • Your best bet would be to open a multi-currency borderless account, which will offer you full access to a European bank account and allow you to make and receive payments effortlessly.
  • A borderless multi-currency account is a virtual one that allows you to hold funds in over 40 different currencies.

The most significant advantage for non-residents is that you can convert it anytime.

Traditional European business bank account

You could also go with a standard bank. The simplest approach to opening a European business bank account with a traditional bank is to visit your local branch in person.

You can arrange an appointment or walk in with all your relevant paperwork and speak with one of the staff members about why you need a bank account and what services you want to take advantage of.

It is recommended to arrange an online appointment so that you may validate the necessary documents ahead of time and avoid having to wait in huge lines.

Advantages

  1. Banks that are fully regulated and permitted
  2. Because you are licensed, you can provide more advanced services.
  3. Most traditional high-street banks provide online and smartphone banking.

Disadvantages

  1. Online access is restricted.
  2. Certain services necessitate a trip to the bank.
  3. Greater annual fees as a result of traditional banks’ higher operating costs
  4. Smaller banks may not provide the same range of services as internet banks.

Online European business bank account

Individuals and businesses in Europe have access to a variety of banking alternatives. The first question is what you intend to do with the account and what financial services you need. Once you’ve made that decision, you can choose the best European bank and account type.

Varied clients have different banking requirements – do you require a European bank with minimal payment fees, competitive interest rates, and easy access? Compare the characteristics provided by each bank before making your pick.

Your specific needs must be considered while selecting the best online bank for your needs. The greatest online banks and financial institutions offer various services at various price points. Each of the banks provides a

  1. You can finish the entire sign-up process from home or anywhere you have a reliable internet connection.
  2. Have your passport and residency documents handy as you go through the application process.
  3. Depending on the bank, you may be required to make a short video call to verify your identification.
  4. However, applying for a European bank account is considerably easier if you use internet banking than a traditional bank, which may be difficult and take more time.
  5. While many traditional banks offer mobile banking, you may open a European bank account online. Wise, Vivid, and others are among the greatest online banks in Europe.
  6. You must study and select your preferred bank or payment platform, then visit their website and fill out the online application form.
  7. While some online bank providers are not legally recognized as “banks,” the Financial Conduct Authority approves and regulates them.

Benefits of European bank account online

Today, most individuals in Europe use an internet European business bank account, with figures suggesting that 70% of European adults use their online bank account at least once a month. In some European countries, up to 90% of adults utilize internet banking.

The number of people who regularly use internet banking has doubled in the last 12 years. Europeans utilize digital banking regularly to check their transaction history, transfer funds from one account to another, check their balance and make payments.

People are adopting internet banking to apply for loans, make investments, and investigate their financial possibilities as online banks offer increasingly advanced services and financial goods.

Online business banking accounts are often regarded as advanced and technology solutions, which include:

  1. Make collections and payments easier.
  2. Examine the current and available balances in real-time.
  3. Assist users in obtaining and managing funds at the right bank
  4. Exchange transfers between foreign currencies and the Euro are simple.
  5. Assist businesses in dealing with currency swings and own risk.
  6. Regain control of the transaction process and banking license while lowering administration and related costs.
  7. Users do not need to have a European physical address or live in an EU nation to open a business banking account through online banking services.
  8. It protects your data and money—up to €100,000 under an EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme and a credit facility.

Conclusion

When selecting a bank and determining whether to go with online or traditional banking, it is critical to grasp the distinction between online payment platforms, suitable banks, digital banks, and organizations that provide similar services to banks and traditional banks.

While many online payment systems and financial service providers can issue a debit card, they are not legally classified as banks.

All traditional banks in Europe are fully licensed institutions that must pass a stringent application and compliance process before receiving a banking license. As a result, only those that go through the licensing process can legally call themselves banks.

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn