Free Business Accounts in Germany
Finding a good business account in Germany is not that easy. In particular, if it should be a free business account.
This page will help you to find and obtain the ideal bank account for you.
Finding the right bank
Which bank is the appropriate for you, depends primarily on how big your “business” is and how you have structured it. Not every German bank offers accounts for businessmen.
They are divided into:
Self-employed with occasional or low revenues
First, open an additional private current account. Unfortunately, it is the case that the bank conditions for private people in Germany are better than for entrepreneurs. Change the account and bank, as soon as your business has grown (see point 2). Until then, you can still take advantage of a retail bank (Privatkundenbank).
⇒ Comparison of the best current accounts (in German language)
Your company has your name (e.g. John Doe Services), but your revenues are already so large that you would get noticed at any retail bank, or do you need financing for your business?
⇒ Jump to the section “free business accounts for self-employed“.
You have created structures for your business and formed your company in one or more legal persons, such as the company forms UG, GmbH or AG? Or do you need a bank account for your abroad residing company with a foreign legal form (e.g. LLC, Limited, SRL, OOO) in Germany?
⇒ Click to jump to the section “Free company accounts for legal persons“.
Free business accounts for self-employed persons:
Free company accounts for legal persons:
Good banks that offer free business accounts
The DAB Bank is a pure online bank with its headquarter in Munich. Its focus is on deposit accounts. You can also open a deposit account to invest the profits from your business. Business accounts have been offered since 2014.
Conditions for a successful account opening:
- You must have an address in Germany
- Account opening only for the self-employed (no legal entities)
This is offered by the DAB Bank:
- Free account management
- Free DAB MasterCard Classic
- Free DAB Girocard
- Free cash withdrawals from ATMs
- Mobile account usage via banking app
- Credit line for account overdraft
Interesting details about the business account of the DAB:
Withdrawing cash is possible worldwide from any ATM with the MasterCard logo using the DAB Mastercard.
Additionally, you can withdraw money with the DAB Girocard within Germany from all ATMs of the CashGroup or abroad from the ATMs of the UniCredit Group.
The overdraft limit (Dispo) is initially Euros 500. An increase of up to Euros 25,000 may be requested at any time. For a successful credit increase, it is advisable to use the business account at least for six months, in order to be able to demonstrate ones creditworthiness and income.
The decision to increase the overdraft limit usually takes two banking days.
Account opening at the DAB Bank
The business account is requested online. Subsequently, one performs the legitimating with an ID card or passport in a branch office of the Deutsche Post (PostIdent-procedure). Alternatively, the identification can be made in a German branch office of the HypoVereinsbank. Both possibilities are free of charge for the customer.
The Deutsche Skatbank is the Internet subsidiary of the Volksbank Altenburger Land. As a customer of the Skatbank, one can access various advantages of the interconnection of the German Volksbank and Raiffeisenbank, for example, the many nationwide ATMs and bank statement printers (Kontoauszugsdrucker).
Requirements for a successful account opening:
- You must have an address in Germany,
- at least Euros 500 revenue per month
- as a self-employed entrepreneur or legal person.
Note: The Skatbank opens business accounts also for the so-called 1-Euro-corporations (Kapitalgesellschaften) such as UG, Ltd., however, these corporations initially bear accounting fees (Kontoführungsgebühren).
This is offered by the Deutsche Skatbank:
- Free banking (but Euros 0.10 per booking)
- Prepaid MasterCard (Euros 20)
- Bank card (Euros 5)
- Free cash withdrawals from all VR-ATMs
- Credit line for account overdraft
Interesting details about the Skatbank company account:
Bank cards, as well as the Prepaid MasterCard, can be created for several authorized persons.
You can withdraw cash free of charge using the bank card at all German ATMs of the Volksbank and Raiffeisenbank. There are almost 20,000 of them in cities and villages.
The bank statements can be retrieved online or picked up free of charge from the bank statement printers (Kontoaufzugsdrucker) in almost all branch offices of the VR-banks.
SEPA company direct debit (Firmenlastschrift)
The Skatbank business account is capable of performing direct debits (debit entries from the current accounts of their customers).
Account credit and business loans
There is the possibility to permanently settle a credit line with the Skatbank. In this framework, the account can be overdrawn without consequences. The interest rate adjusts to the market conditions and belonged in the past 5 years to the absolute best in whole Germany.
Additionally, the Deutsche Skatbank finances secured and unsecured transactions.
For both credit types, a minimum loan amount of Euros 5,000 applies (at the overdraft, this does not have to be exhausted). The application for credit, however, should be made only after one year of customer relationship.
At the Skatbank, there are savings accounts in the form of call money (Tagesgeld) and time deposits (Termingelder) available.
Account opening at the Skatbank
The modalities of the account opening are a little more extensive. One starts with an online application and the rest will be clear in the course of the application process.
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When you said German address required does this mean that DAB needs to see proof of address?
I live in the UK but have an address in Germany to collect mail.
The DAB Bank only opens business accounts for companies and entrepreneurs, who actually are registered in Germany. A mailing address won’t be enough.
The German Fidor Bank opens since recently business accounts within an individual procedure for companies / entrepreneurs, who are not registered and do not have an address in Germany.
Perhaps, you want to take a look at that account. It is pretty new, so we still do not have any personal experiences. However, a short query let us know that applications on business account openings are also possible from the UK and even the USA.
PS: Unfortunately, there is only one article about the Fidor Bank on our special portal: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/fidor-bank-open-account/
Thanks Fidor seems really a great match for startups 🙂
I am an Indian living in Netherlands for 6+ years now. I have my own internet based company. I need a bank account in Germany for ease of payment for my Germany based customers. When I tried applying for a new account via the link in this article, it lets me provide only a Germany address (which I don’t have and don’t need). Am I doing something wrong or have things changed since this article?
Any other suggestions for my case?
There is too little demand for business accounts in Germany and the requirements are too individual … so this area won’t be editorially expanded at the current time.
I have a Hong Kong company. Because I live in Germany, can I open a business account in Germany?
Not many banks want to do such business. Often it makes sense, if one want to be active here, to establish a company in Germany (e.g. a GmbH) and to open a business account in the name of this company.
This does not work anymore either. As of January 1. 2018 a German Tax ID number is required to open any business account.
That is not factual.
Foreign companies often don’t have a German tax ID. Even German companies in the course of formation don’t have a tax ID yet, but can open the account introduced here!
The good news: It is easier than expected. 🙂
What bank would be suitable for the American startup, with a local project in Germany? Founder also holds a residence in Germany.
Thanks in advance.
No internet-bank – there, with a probability of 99.99%, you won’t be getting an account. Go to a local bank that has the time and interest to understand your business idea and get to know you as a person. Then you get an account and the bank’s support.
We cannot give any recommendations for local banks, since they differ from region to region, and our specialization are direct banks. Best of luck!
You can use the Transferwise Borderless Account without being resident. It is sort of like a bank account in that you receive your own German IBAN with which to receive SEPA transfers and SWIFT transfers. I applied for a bank account listed on this site and was turned down, so that is what I am using now.
My name is Alok Damodaran. Am an Indian passport holder and a resident of Germany. I have a limited liability or Unternehmergesselschaft (UG) in foundation. To register my company in the commercial registry I need a bank account for my company. I have one partner. My partner is not an EU resident. He is also with Indian passport. Could you please suggest me banks which can help me in opening a bank account. So far Holvi, N26 and HypoVereinsbank said that even though am a resident of Germany and my partner isn’t they cannot help me with opening a bank account. I hope to hear soon from you.
Great idea to found a UG in Germany! In this case, this provider could be the best for you ► Penta. They have online banking and customer service available in English. Let me know if it fits, please.
Best of luck with your new business!
Penta don’t open now bank account for foreign company.
Which bank could do that?
Please have a look here: ► https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/open-business-account-online-germany-company/ Is that a solution for you?
Hi my name is Issa and I am holding a Syrian passport with work permits in Germany I established a GmbH company and to complete the registration I need to open bank account for the company.
Would you please advise which banks accept to open a bank account for me as I tried with Sparkasse and they said try with another bank.
Opening a company account is always a case by case decision. I’ve been denied an opening of such an account at one point as well. But that had been due to my business. A different banker at the same bank might have decided differently. I do not know enough about your business and your business account requirements to actually make a recommendation.
Would you please inform me for opening UG company account
what’s the monthly charges, what’s the abroad bank transfer fee, incoming payment Processing fee, abzueglich entgelt der ostbeauftragten bank?