Business Bank Accounts in Germany

If you're starting working as a freelancer in Germany, it's important to establish a separate business bank account for your business transactions right from the start. But what exactly should you consider when selecting a business account? What sets apart bank accounts for freelancers and self-employed persons from those for bigger companies? This guide provides comprehensive insights into everything you need to know about a business bank account for freelancers in Germany.
At a glance...
  1. Qonto Basic – Best business bank account for freelancers and self-employed in Germany. Everything in English.
  2. N26 Business Standard – Also great for freelancers. Everything in English.

Qonto Basic
Benotung
1.4
Test it 30 days free of charge & without obligation
Best for freelancers, solo self-employed and registered sole traders
30 free SEPA transfers per month
Paperless receipt management
Cost per month
€13.09
Transaction price
€0.40
Price per month
€13.09
Overview
Bank Olinda SAS
Account name Qonto Basic
Credit check
Financial supervision N/A
Deposit insurance €100,000.00
Account management fees
Account maintenance fee / month gross €13.09
Account maintenance fee / month net €11.00
Account maintenance fees with annual payment
Account maintenance fee / year net €108.00
Account maintenance fee / year gross €128.52
Equals / month gross €10.71
Equals / month net €9.00
Balance & Overdraft Interest
Current account credit Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Balance interest Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Subaccounts
Subaccounts Not availableNot available
SEPA bank transfer
Free transactions / month 30
Bank transfer - Online €0.40
Bank transfer - Offline Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Telephone Not availableNot available
SEPA instant transfer
Included instant bank transfers / month 30
Cost per additional instant transfer €0.40
Foreign payments - SWIFT transfer
Free SWIFT transfers 0
SWIFT - incoming money transfer €5.00
SWIFT - outgoing money transfer €5.00 + 1%
Supported SWIFT fee methods N/S
Depositing cash
Cash deposit
Sole proprietors & self-employed
Freelancer
Tradesmen
Sole proprietor
Sole traders (eK)
Corporate entities
GmbH
GmbH & Co. KG
Partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
Stock corporation (AG)
Entrepreneurial company / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG)
Limited (Ltd)
Partnerships & Other
Civil law partnership / Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)
General partnership / Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG)
Partnership / Partnerschaftsgesellschaft (PartG)
Club / Verein
Cooperatives / Genossenschaften (eG)
Limited partnership / Kommanditgesellschaft (KG)
Corporations in formation / i.G.
GmbH in formation / GmbH in Gründung
Entrepreneurial company in formation / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) in Gründung
General
Annual fee 14 of 15
Online banking & fees 21 of 22
Telephone banking & voucher-based bookings 0 of 6
Overdraft facilities 0 of 5
Credit card & Debit card
Credit card & Debit card 12 of 14
Card payments 12 of 20
Mobile Payment 3 of 3
Flexibility in legal forms
Flexibility with legal forms 11.5 of 12
Apps, User accounts & deposit insurance 15 of 25
Internationality 1 of 2
Accounting, invoicing & more 6 of 10
Points score 95.5 of 134
Grade 1.4
Qonto Smart
Benotung
1.4
Test it 30 days free of charge & without obligation
For freelancers, solo self-employed and registered sole traders
60 free SEPA transfers per month
Read access for accounting
Paperless receipt management
Cost per month
€27.37
Transaction price
€0.40
Price per month
€27.37
Overview
Bank Olinda SAS
Account name Qonto Smart
Credit check
Financial supervision N/A
Deposit insurance €100,000.00
Account management fees
Account maintenance fee / month gross €27.37
Account maintenance fee / month net €23.00
Account maintenance fees with annual payment
Account maintenance fee / year net €228.00
Account maintenance fee / year gross €271.32
Equals / month gross €22.61
Equals / month net €19.00
Balance & Overdraft Interest
Current account credit Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Balance interest Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Subaccounts
Number of subaccounts free of charge 1
Subaccounts with own IBAN
SEPA bank transfer
Free transactions / month 60
Bank transfer - Online €0.40
Bank transfer - Offline Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Telephone Not availableNot available
SEPA instant transfer
Included instant bank transfers / month 60
Cost per additional instant transfer €0.40
Foreign payments - SWIFT transfer
Free SWIFT transfers 0
SWIFT - incoming money transfer €5.00
SWIFT - outgoing money transfer €5.00 + 0.9%
Supported SWIFT fee methods N/S
Depositing cash
Cash deposit
Sole proprietors & self-employed
Freelancer
Tradesmen
Sole proprietor
Sole traders (eK)
Corporate entities
GmbH
GmbH & Co. KG
Partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
Stock corporation (AG)
Entrepreneurial company / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG)
Limited (Ltd)
Partnerships & Other
Civil law partnership / Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)
General partnership / Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG)
Partnership / Partnerschaftsgesellschaft (PartG)
Club / Verein
Cooperatives / Genossenschaften (eG)
Limited partnership / Kommanditgesellschaft (KG)
Corporations in formation / i.G.
GmbH in formation / GmbH in Gründung
Entrepreneurial company in formation / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) in Gründung
General
Annual fee 14 of 15
Online banking & fees 21 of 22
Telephone banking & voucher-based bookings 0 of 6
Overdraft facilities 0 of 5
Credit card & Debit card
Credit card & Debit card 12 of 14
Card payments 12 of 20
Mobile Payment 3 of 3
Flexibility in legal forms
Flexibility with legal forms 11.5 of 12
Apps, User accounts & deposit insurance 15 of 25
Internationality 1 of 2
Accounting, invoicing & more 6 of 10
Points score 95.5 of 134
Grade 1.4
N26 Business Standard
Benotung
1.4
3 free euro withdrawals per month
0.1% cashback on all purchases
Not usable if you already have a private account with N26
Cost per month
€0.00
Transaction price
€0.00
Price per month
€0.00
Overview
Bank N26 Bank AG
Account name N26 Business Standard
Credit check
Financial supervision Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin / Germany)
Deposit insurance €100,000.00
Account maintenance fee
Account maintenance fee / month €0.00
Balance & Overdraft Interest
Interest rate for granted overdraft ab 8.9%
Balance interest Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Subaccounts
Subaccounts Not availableNot available
SEPA bank transfer
Free transactions / month Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Online €0.00
Bank transfer - Offline Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Telephone Not availableNot available
SEPA instant transfer
Cost / instant transfer €0.49
Foreign payments - SWIFT transfer
SWIFT transfer Not availableNot available
Depositing cash
Sole proprietors & self-employed
Freelancer
Tradesmen
Sole proprietor
Sole traders (eK)
Corporate entities
GmbH
GmbH & Co. KG
Partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
Stock corporation (AG)
Entrepreneurial company / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG)
Limited (Ltd)
Partnerships & Other
Civil law partnership / Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)
General partnership / Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG)
Partnership / Partnerschaftsgesellschaft (PartG)
Club / Verein
Cooperatives / Genossenschaften (eG)
Limited partnership / Kommanditgesellschaft (KG)
Corporations in formation / i.G.
GmbH in formation / GmbH in Gründung
Entrepreneurial company in formation / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) in Gründung
General
Annual fee 15 of 15
Online banking & fees 22 of 22
Telephone banking & voucher-based bookings 0 of 6
Overdraft facilities 4 of 5
Credit card & Debit card
Credit card & Debit card 13 of 14
Card payments 16 of 20
Mobile Payment 3 of 3
Flexibility in legal forms
Flexibility with legal forms 4 of 12
Apps, User accounts & deposit insurance 12 of 25
Internationality 2 of 2
Accounting, invoicing & more 2 of 10
Points score 93 of 134
Grade 1.4
N26 Business Smart
5 free euro withdrawals per month
0.1% cashback on all purchases
Not usable if you already have a private account with N26
Cost per month
€4.90
Transaction price
€0.00
Price per month
€4.90
Overview
Bank N26 Bank AG
Account name N26 Business Smart
Credit check
Financial supervision Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin / Germany)
Deposit insurance €100,000.00
Account maintenance fee
Account maintenance fee / month €4.90
Balance & Overdraft Interest
Interest rate for granted overdraft 8.9%
Balance interest Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Subaccounts
Number of subaccounts free of charge 10
Subaccounts with own IBAN
SEPA bank transfer
Free transactions / month Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Online €0.00
Bank transfer - Offline Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Telephone Not availableNot available
SEPA instant transfer
Cost / instant transfer €0.00
Foreign payments - SWIFT transfer
SWIFT transfer Not availableNot available
Depositing cash
Sole proprietors & self-employed
Freelancer
Tradesmen
Sole proprietor
Sole traders (eK)
Corporate entities
GmbH
GmbH & Co. KG
Partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
Stock corporation (AG)
Entrepreneurial company / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG)
Limited (Ltd)
Partnerships & Other
Civil law partnership / Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)
General partnership / Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG)
Partnership / Partnerschaftsgesellschaft (PartG)
Club / Verein
Cooperatives / Genossenschaften (eG)
Limited partnership / Kommanditgesellschaft (KG)
Corporations in formation / i.G.
GmbH in formation / GmbH in Gründung
Entrepreneurial company in formation / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) in Gründung
N26 Business You
Benotung
1.4
5 free euro withdrawals per month
0.1% cashback on all purchases
Not usable if you already have a private account with N26
Cost per month
€9.90
Transaction price
€0.00
Price per month
€9.90
Overview
Bank N26 Bank AG
Account name N26 Business You
Credit check
Financial supervision Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin / Germany)
Deposit insurance €100,000.00
Account maintenance fee
Account maintenance fee / month €9.90
Balance & Overdraft Interest
Interest rate for granted overdraft 8.9%
Balance interest Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Subaccounts
Number of subaccounts free of charge 10
Subaccounts with own IBAN
SEPA bank transfer
Free transactions / month Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Online €0.00
Bank transfer - Offline Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Telephone Not availableNot available
SEPA instant transfer
Cost / instant transfer €0.00
Foreign payments - SWIFT transfer
SWIFT transfer Not availableNot available
Depositing cash
Sole proprietors & self-employed
Freelancer
Tradesmen
Sole proprietor
Sole traders (eK)
Corporate entities
GmbH
GmbH & Co. KG
Partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
Stock corporation (AG)
Entrepreneurial company / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG)
Limited (Ltd)
Partnerships & Other
Civil law partnership / Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)
General partnership / Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG)
Partnership / Partnerschaftsgesellschaft (PartG)
Club / Verein
Cooperatives / Genossenschaften (eG)
Limited partnership / Kommanditgesellschaft (KG)
Corporations in formation / i.G.
GmbH in formation / GmbH in Gründung
Entrepreneurial company in formation / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) in Gründung
General
Annual fee 14 of 15
Online banking & fees 22 of 22
Telephone banking & voucher-based bookings 0 of 6
Overdraft facilities 4 of 5
Credit card & Debit card
Credit card & Debit card 14 of 14
Card payments 16 of 20
Mobile Payment 3 of 3
Flexibility in legal forms
Flexibility with legal forms 4 of 12
Apps, User accounts & deposit insurance 12 of 25
Internationality 2 of 2
Accounting, invoicing & more 2 of 10
Points score 93 of 134
Grade 1.4
N26 Business Metal
8 free euro withdrawals per month
0.5% cashback on all purchases
Not usable if you already have a private account with N26
Cost per month
€16.90
Transaction price
€0.00
Price per month
€16.90
Overview
Bank N26 Bank AG
Account name N26 Business Metal
Credit check
Financial supervision Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin / Germany)
Deposit insurance €100,000.00
Account maintenance fee
Account maintenance fee / month €16.90
Balance & Overdraft Interest
Interest rate for granted overdraft 8.9%
Balance interest Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Subaccounts
Number of subaccounts free of charge 10
Subaccounts with own IBAN
SEPA bank transfer
Free transactions / month Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Online €0.00
Bank transfer - Offline Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Telephone Not availableNot available
SEPA instant transfer
Cost / instant transfer €0.00
Foreign payments - SWIFT transfer
SWIFT transfer Not availableNot available
Depositing cash
Sole proprietors & self-employed
Freelancer
Tradesmen
Sole proprietor
Sole traders (eK)
Corporate entities
GmbH
GmbH & Co. KG
Partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
Stock corporation (AG)
Entrepreneurial company / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG)
Limited (Ltd)
Partnerships & Other
Civil law partnership / Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)
General partnership / Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG)
Partnership / Partnerschaftsgesellschaft (PartG)
Club / Verein
Cooperatives / Genossenschaften (eG)
Limited partnership / Kommanditgesellschaft (KG)
Corporations in formation / i.G.
GmbH in formation / GmbH in Gründung
Entrepreneurial company in formation / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) in Gründung

Why do freelancers need a separate business account?

business bank account germany
Simple separation of personal and business expenses.Foto: SeventyFour / iStock

While it might be tempting for freelancers or small businesses to manage customer payments through their private accounts initially, maintaining a separate business account is crucial. Operating without one makes it challenging to keep your financial records clear and distinguish between business and private expenses. This lack of separation complicates tracking your business’s financial performance.

Mixing private and business expenses makes it nearly impossible to promptly identify your business’s profit. On the other hand, if your business bank account is depleted due to delayed customer payments or excessive expenditures, you’ll quickly become aware of it. Opting for a separate bank account enhances your visibility into both incoming revenue and outgoing expenses, facilitating bookkeeping for yourself and your tax advisor. While established companies consider a business account standard practice, only certain legal entities, such as GmbH, Unternehmergesellschaft (UG), and Aktiengesellschaft (AG), are obligated to maintain one. Nevertheless, having a separate business account is strongly recommended for all freelancers and self-employed in Germany to streamline financial management.

How do private and business bank accounts differ?

Foremost, you maintain a private account for handling cash payments in and out. Payments for rent, loans, cell phone, internet, and telephone are debited from your checking account. Using a debit card, you withdraw cash and make cashless payments for your purchases. The expenses are typically offset by a salary, alimony payments, or social benefits as income. You may also receive a credit card for your current bank account, and with good creditworthiness, a disposition credit can be granted to bridge short-term payment bottlenecks.

In essence, a business bank account functions similarly to a private bank account. It facilitates cashless transactions, payments to suppliers, and the receipt of payments from customers for services rendered. An overdraft can be granted for a business account if the bank assesses your creditworthiness positively. The significant difference, particularly for medium or larger companies, is the specialized services available. Many providers cater specifically to corporate customers, offering tailored advice and support.

How do different business bank accounts compare?

business bank account germany subaccounts
The number of subaccounts varies between providers.Foto: nd3000 / iStock

A few years back, as a self-employed in Germany, your choices for business accounts were limited. However, most providers have now recognized freelancers as a valuable and stable customer base. Consequently, they offer a wide range of account options. As a freelancer, you can select the account model that best suits you and your company. Given the significant differences in costs and services among providers, it’s essential to carefully review the conditions before opening a bank account. Consider which services are vital for you and your needs. Conduct a thorough comparison of the offerings to find a business bank account that perfectly aligns with your requirements in a reasonable amount of time. Once your account is set up and your partners are informed, changing it later is time-consuming and takes away valuable time that could be better spent on your clients.

When comparing providers, pay close attention to the costs associated with transactions. Some banks limit the number of paperless transfers per month, and exceeding this limit may result in high additional fees. If a credit card is necessary, check how many cards the bank issues. While many providers limit the number of credit cards, this might not be sufficient if you have employees requiring additional cards.

Business account Annual fee Booking fees Cards and user accounts included Special features
Holvi Complete €216,00 €0,00 5 Mastercards and user accounts Integrated accounting function
Penta Business Premium €228.00 €0,20 5 Mastercards and user accounts €10.00 monthly discount for companies in the process of formation
N26 Business €0.00 €0,00 1 Mastercard 0.1% cashback on Mastercard payments
Holvi unlimited €1,176.00 €0.00 Unlimited number Unlimited withdraw money

Consider the number of subaccounts, especially if your business is expanding rapidly. Some providers offer a single account for all transactions, while others allow you to set up multiple subaccounts without extra charges.

Explore the offerings of FinTechs, often small start-ups specializing in online banking products. While these banks for freelancers in Germany may not function as traditional banks or hold licenses for such services, they excel in fast and straightforward cashless transactions. Although the price for FinTech products can be appealing, be aware that some providers may adjust the costs based on transaction volume, potentially making account management expensive as the number of transfers increases.

What are the costs of a business bank account for freelancers?

business bank account germany costs
Foto: SARINYAPINNGAM / iStock

In general, the bank is entitled to charge a fee – the account maintenance fee – for managing your account. Typically, this covers the execution of all kinds of incoming and outgoing bookings. However, some banks may also charge a fee for voucher-based bookings, which can be staggered based on the number of transactions per month. Additional fees may apply for the account card or for ATM cash withdrawal. Almost always, a fee is required for cash deposits, but certain providers, like Deutsche Bank, offer up to five free deposits. If you need a debit card for your account, be prepared for additional costs. Nevertheless, some providers offer a free debit card with the business account, so a careful comparison is essential.

Also, don’t underestimate the interest rates if you have a credit line granted. The range of business bank accounts is highly diverse, with significant pricing differences from one bank to another. Before selecting a provider, closely examine the fee structure. Some banks for freelancers offer various account models depending on the number of transactions or subaccounts and credit cards.

How does a free business bank account work?

Some FinTechs refrain from charging monthly fees, in exchange for offering only the most important services, such as making cashless deposits and withdrawals to your account. For freelancers and self-employed individuals at the beginning of their development, such accounts can still be an interesting option. As long as the business transactions are still manageable, a freelancer or trade person can also open a bank account for private customers, which is still offered free of charge by some providers. However, even with a free bank account, you should carefully check which services are offered and for what a fee may be charged. Only a few current accounts are free of charge without conditions, so a look at the detailed conditions is essential.

Can you open a business bank account despite a Schufa entry?

When opening a business account, the Schufa score of the applicant is usually queried. The bank uses this to check whether any irregularities in payment behavior have been detected in the past. Additionally, the opening of the new account is entered in the Schufa and listed therein as long as the business relationship exists. With this measure, the bank protects itself, especially if a credit is to be established for the business account. In some cases, it is possible to set up an account even without an inquiry at the Schufa. For such accounts, no credit line is granted; the account is managed on a credit basis. If you want to set up a business account without a Schufa inquiry or if your Schufa entry does not allow you to open an account, you should carefully check the bank’s regulations regarding the credit-free account.

Checklist for opening a bank account for self-employed

Here is a brief summary of the most significant things you should consider before opening a bank account for self-employed in Germany:

  • Account maintenance fees – Explore different account models to find one that suits your business and identify the services you truly need.
  • Consulting options – Especially crucial for freelancers and self-employed people, as questions often arise in the beginning that a bank advisor may better address than an online FAQ.
  • Credit options – A noteworthy criterion for freelancers and self-employed individuals, as this group often doesn’t have a high start-up capital. An overdraft facility can be beneficial, especially in the beginning.
  • ATM availability – If you plan to make many deposits and cash withdrawals, having a suitable ATM nearby is essential. Pay attention to whether and how much the bank charges for these activities.
  • New customer bonus⁣ – Many providers offer special bonuses that can lead to significant savings in the first year or longer.

Best banks for freelancers in Germany

Qonto

Qonto Basic
Benotung
1.4
Test it 30 days free of charge & without obligation
Best for freelancers, solo self-employed and registered sole traders
30 free SEPA transfers per month
Paperless receipt management
Cost per month
€13.09
Transaction price
€0.40
Price per month
€13.09
Overview
Bank Olinda SAS
Account name Qonto Basic
Credit check
Financial supervision N/A
Deposit insurance €100,000.00
Account management fees
Account maintenance fee / month gross €13.09
Account maintenance fee / month net €11.00
Account maintenance fees with annual payment
Account maintenance fee / year net €108.00
Account maintenance fee / year gross €128.52
Equals / month gross €10.71
Equals / month net €9.00
Balance & Overdraft Interest
Current account credit Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Balance interest Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Subaccounts
Subaccounts Not availableNot available
SEPA bank transfer
Free transactions / month 30
Bank transfer - Online €0.40
Bank transfer - Offline Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Telephone Not availableNot available
SEPA instant transfer
Included instant bank transfers / month 30
Cost per additional instant transfer €0.40
Foreign payments - SWIFT transfer
Free SWIFT transfers 0
SWIFT - incoming money transfer €5.00
SWIFT - outgoing money transfer €5.00 + 1%
Supported SWIFT fee methods N/S
Depositing cash
Cash deposit
Sole proprietors & self-employed
Freelancer
Tradesmen
Sole proprietor
Sole traders (eK)
Corporate entities
GmbH
GmbH & Co. KG
Partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
Stock corporation (AG)
Entrepreneurial company / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG)
Limited (Ltd)
Partnerships & Other
Civil law partnership / Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)
General partnership / Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG)
Partnership / Partnerschaftsgesellschaft (PartG)
Club / Verein
Cooperatives / Genossenschaften (eG)
Limited partnership / Kommanditgesellschaft (KG)
Corporations in formation / i.G.
GmbH in formation / GmbH in Gründung
Entrepreneurial company in formation / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) in Gründung
General
Annual fee 14 of 15
Online banking & fees 21 of 22
Telephone banking & voucher-based bookings 0 of 6
Overdraft facilities 0 of 5
Credit card & Debit card
Credit card & Debit card 12 of 14
Card payments 12 of 20
Mobile Payment 3 of 3
Flexibility in legal forms
Flexibility with legal forms 11.5 of 12
Apps, User accounts & deposit insurance 15 of 25
Internationality 1 of 2
Accounting, invoicing & more 6 of 10
Points score 95.5 of 134
Grade 1.4

N26 Business

N26 Business Standard
Benotung
1.4
3 free euro withdrawals per month
0.1% cashback on all purchases
Not usable if you already have a private account with N26
Cost per month
€0.00
Transaction price
€0.00
Price per month
€0.00
Overview
Bank N26 Bank AG
Account name N26 Business Standard
Credit check
Financial supervision Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin / Germany)
Deposit insurance €100,000.00
Account maintenance fee
Account maintenance fee / month €0.00
Balance & Overdraft Interest
Interest rate for granted overdraft ab 8.9%
Balance interest Wird nicht angebotenWird nicht angeboten
Subaccounts
Subaccounts Not availableNot available
SEPA bank transfer
Free transactions / month Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Online €0.00
Bank transfer - Offline Not availableNot available
Bank transfer - Telephone Not availableNot available
SEPA instant transfer
Cost / instant transfer €0.49
Foreign payments - SWIFT transfer
SWIFT transfer Not availableNot available
Depositing cash
Sole proprietors & self-employed
Freelancer
Tradesmen
Sole proprietor
Sole traders (eK)
Corporate entities
GmbH
GmbH & Co. KG
Partnership limited by shares (KGaA)
Stock corporation (AG)
Entrepreneurial company / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG)
Limited (Ltd)
Partnerships & Other
Civil law partnership / Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)
General partnership / Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG)
Partnership / Partnerschaftsgesellschaft (PartG)
Club / Verein
Cooperatives / Genossenschaften (eG)
Limited partnership / Kommanditgesellschaft (KG)
Corporations in formation / i.G.
GmbH in formation / GmbH in Gründung
Entrepreneurial company in formation / Unternehmergesellschaft (UG) in Gründung
General
Annual fee 15 of 15
Online banking & fees 22 of 22
Telephone banking & voucher-based bookings 0 of 6
Overdraft facilities 4 of 5
Credit card & Debit card
Credit card & Debit card 13 of 14
Card payments 16 of 20
Mobile Payment 3 of 3
Flexibility in legal forms
Flexibility with legal forms 4 of 12
Apps, User accounts & deposit insurance 12 of 25
Internationality 2 of 2
Accounting, invoicing & more 2 of 10
Points score 93 of 134
Grade 1.4

How to open a bank account for freelancers?

The documents needed to open a business account depend on the form of your business. Many direct banks allow opening a bank account online, where you fill out the application online and upload the required documents. Alternatively, you can send them via email or post. If you opt for a branch bank, you can visit the local branch and open the account with the assistance of your bank advisor. The requested documents typically include your identity card as proof of identity and the Schufa extract. If your company requires a partnership agreement, such as for corporations, the bank will also request it.

If you run your business with a partner, they should be present during the account opening. It needs to be clarified whether both partners can independently dispose of the account or if joint authorization is required. After submitting the application, the bank will set up your account. For online openings, the identity check through PostIdent or VideoIdent procedures must still be carried out. Following this, your new business account is ready with all its functions and can be used immediately.

When opening a business bank account, consider your specific requirements. Young founders often have different needs than established businesses. Therefore, first, consider which services are significant for you. Then, carefully compare the offers from different banks for freelancers before deciding on your preferred option.

Conclusion – a business bank account makes your everyday work easier

While not mandatory for self-employed or freelancers in Germany, a business bank account can significantly enhance your financial organization, streamline record-keeping, and professionalize your business image. Similar to a checking account, a business account facilitates regular payment transactions, deposits, cash withdrawals, and transfers. Yet, it comes with additional benefits not offered by a private account. Many providers specialize in business accounts, providing expert advice on various business aspects, especially beneficial for startups. Account management fees often cover at least one business credit card, and some providers offer extra features like accounting integration, tax services, subaccounts, cashback, discounts, or insurance packages. These perks can greatly simplify your day-to-day operations. Importantly, a business bank account doesn’t have to be costly – some providers offer a free business account with essential features. If uncertain, comparing options can help you find the right account to meet your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many digital banks offer the convenience of opening an online business account in only a few minutes. This quick process is particularly beneficial for entrepreneurs managing their personal finances alongside their own business.

Certain banks specialize in catering to freelancers, offering tailored features like free transactions and efficient accounting tools. Explore the options provided by these banks to support your freelance endeavors.

Many banks facilitate international banking, even for small businesses. With features like Google Pay and Apple Pay, managing transactions globally becomes more accessible for your business funds.

Digital banks often offer attractive features like a free plan and efficient accounting integration. On the other hand, traditional banks may provide services like business registration assistance and a dedicated trade office.

Many business accounts offer tax services as part of their features. Look for crucial aspects like a DATEV interface for simplified accounting integration and easy access to account statements, making tax-related processes smoother.

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