Comparison of German Business Accounts
As you can read on the introduction page, there are almost no free business accounts in Germany.
A friend of us has programmed a calculation tool for comparing nationally active banks that offer good business accounts.
You can use the comparison tool to calculate your requirements. This way you can increase the chance that you opt for one of the better business accounts. Finally, one does not change a business account every day … find more notes below the comparison calculator.
Notes on the tool “Business Account Comparison “
Monthly cash receipt
There are some banks that only accept business customers who already have a developed business, or the account management fee is higher if, for example, the monthly cash receipt is less then Euros 500. This applies to the Deutsche Skatbank. Besides this, their account model does not include a monthly account management fee, but Euros 0.10 per revenue booking.
Average balance on the account
Paperless bookings (beleglose Buchungen)
This includes all orders to the bank that are submitted electronically (no paper forms). These are, for example, transfers using online banking or credit cards. Some bank bookings are free of charge. The stated data in the comparison takes place each month.
In contrast to the electronic processes, there are paper-based bookings, such as transfer forms. Note: There may be additional charges for submitting cheques, but not for the issuance of cheques, if you make them yourself and the payee redeems them. Then they are considered electronic bookings.
Selection of additional options
The additional options are almost self-explanatory. Do you need a bank card or should it even be a credit card? The background of the question is the calculation of fees, since there are regular fees for the issuance of such cards for business customers.
When setting the checkmark at “Only bank branch offices” (Nur Filialbanken), all online-only offers from the comparison are cancelled. Of course, you can also do online banking with the bank branch offices.
Type of company
Here, one distinguishes between:
- freelancers (Freiberufler)
- individual entrepreneurs (Einzelunternehmer)
- registered merchants (eingetragener Kaufmann – eK)
- private company (Gesellschaft des bürgerlichen Rechts – GbR)
- German limited liability companies GmbH, KGaA and AG (Kapitalgesellschaften)
- limited partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft – KG)
- English 1-pound corporation Limited (Ltd)
- general partnership (Offene Handelsgesellschaft – OHG)
- German 1-Euro-entrepreneurial company (Unternehmergesellschaft – UG)
- Other, including the foreign legal forms, like SRL or OOO.
The distinction is necessary, because not all banks offer business accounts for all economic systems. Unfortunately, foreign legal entities besides the English Limited have a hard time, unless you registered it additionally in Germany.
This question relates to the calculation of interest. Formerly, there were some banks that paid interest on balances of business accounts. Since the low-interest phase (Niedrigzinsphase) from 2011, this is hardly the case. Here it is advisable to open an additional call money account (Tagesgeldkonto).
Do you have questions or suggestions on our Business Account Comparison? Then, please use the comment box. You are welcome to share your experiences and recommendations that may be of interest for other entrepreneurs. Thank you for your involvement!
I need to make a German based account for my Bulgarian registered OOD (GmbH equivalent).
The account will be used, to receive payments from my German customers. I intend to keep the excess sums in that account, and transfer only money for operation expences.
I expect a turnover of about €50 000 p.a.
Which would you recommend? Which can be done without visiting Germany?
P.S. HVB is not an option
The opening of bank accounts in Germany for legal persons / corporations from abroad is so individual that we cannot give you any instructions or recommendations as editors of a web portal.
It is best to hire an internationally oriented bank or a paid consultant with the search for an appropriate bank.
Hi, please which one of those banks accept international payment orders in US$ (US dollars). We have revenues from our clients in the USA.
PS: Penta Bank and Fidor Bank do not accept international payments in USD.
What do you think of my new favorite account for such purposes? ► Borderless Account. You can get a free USD account there and transfer in Euros whenever you want.
Hello, thank you for sharing this information.
We are looking into opening a business account specifically for UG registration purposes. It is a startup project and we don’t expect to have any turnover/income reporting for at least a few years.
We also expect to operate exclusively within DE/EU.
Could you please advice on the best account for this purpose?
The easiest should be this account. The account can be used privately and for an UG as well. It is without a monthly fee, which should be working well re. your plans? In case you need a DE-IBAN, this is easiest here. Both providers offer English language support and online banking
Thank you for these suggestions, Richard.
Just wondering, what do you think of Holvi (compared to Transferwise/OnlineKonto)?
They all seem to similar offerings in terms of IBAN, Mastercard, etc.
I have no experience with Holvi. My tax consultant would go crazy if I opened and used a business account with every provider. You are of course welcome to open an account without my opinion and gain your own experience. My experience with TransferWise and OnlineKonto is mostly good, so I can personally recommend these providers. Of course, everyone can check for themselves regarding the factors that are important to them for their business with a provider, as this tends to be generally more extensive than with a private checking account.