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How to open a German business bank account

Opening an account in Germany for your business might be an easy task for some companies. But for other companies it comes with a lot of obstacles. In this article we try to look at some German and non-German banks that you can use to get your business bank account (“Geschäftskonto”) for your German company.

If you want to find the cheapest or best business bank for your German company or if you have been denied by German banks, then you have come to the right place.

To open a German business bank account, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Incorporation of the company
  2. Select a bank on our list below
  3. Apply for the bank account
  4. Receive your bank account details

Easy German business bank account in 2022

All German companies (with some exceptions) should have a business account. In some cases you might think it is possible to just accept cash, but that will not work as some German companies need to pay in the capital into their business account. Luckily, we have made this guide so you can find a cheap German business bank account.

Business accounts can be called multiple things, but in the end all the terms mean the same. It is a normal bank account that your company uses to make transactions. The most important point or difference is that it is in the name of the company, i.e. owned by the company and not you as a private person.

Some relatively easy to open accounts are Revolut and Wise (formerly known as TransferWise), and you can have an account ready very fast. However, if you have been denied by these providers or tend to get denied, then you should try applying for an account at Intergiro. Intergiro allows you to accept payments in many currencies, account creation is very fast, and the prices are competitive. If you want a good account, then Intergiro is a good choice.

Cheap German business bank account in 2022

German companies are very lucky when it comes to business accounts in general, as there are many cheap options available on the German and international market. This is not the case in Denmark and Sweden where companies have to pay a lot more to get a business account.

Usually, the account fees are divided into opening fees (“Kontoeröffnung”), account management fees (“Kontoführung”), and everything extra that might come on top. We have looked at some German and non-German banks that provide business accounts for German companies.

A very good option for German companies that want a cheap account is Revolut Business. It is priced at between 0 and 100 EUR per month, and there are no opening fees. It is very difficult for competitors to beat this offer, and Revolut is also opening the accounts very quickly compared to their competitors.

Another very good option is Wise Business where you can get a bank account for a fixed price of 50 EUR. After that you only have to pay for what you use, and if you do not have a lot of activity, this might be a very good option for you. If you are looking for a free solution, then this one is unfortunately not for you.

Have Revolut and Wise denied you, or do you need something else? Take a look at Intergiro. They are a very good solution for those that cannot use the traditional banks and the most popular fintech banks. They are not for free, but it is a cheap option compared to paying another company to create a business bank account for you, as this can cost thousands of Euros.

If you for some reason want a pure German account with a German branch, then you should expect to pay more for it compared to these cheap options we have listed on this page.

Free German business bank account in 2022

Again, German companies are very lucky when it comes to free business accounts. It is possible to use both German providers and international providers to get a free bank account.

Out of the German banks (or banks where you can get a German IBAN), we can mention the following: Fyrst, Fidor, Kontist, and FINOM. Of course they have to make money somehow, so not everything is free. Our definition of free is when the monthly fee is 0 EUR, and where you generally do not have to pay anything to open the account.

Can I use my personal bank account instead?

Some company types must have a company bank account. Examples of these af GmbH or UG. If you are a sole properietor, in a partnership or a freelancer that does not need any special services, then you might be able to use your personal bank account. Please ask your bank if this is allowed before doing so.

Some banks terminate your relationship if you use your personal bank account for business purposes, as this is against their terms of service.

In general it is very beneficial to split personal and business activities between multiple bank accounts – even if you are not required to do so by law. This makes things much easier, such as accounting.

Why do you need a bank account for your company?

In some cases it might be required by law to have a bank account in the name of the company, and in these cases there are absolutely no ways to get around it. In other cases it is just beneficial to have a seperate account for your business.

What are the disadvantages of a non-German bank account?

Some of the banks that we have recommended here are not necessarily from Germany or located in Germany. This might make some people wonder about what the disadvantages are.

Since Germany is using IBAN numbers locally, it is usually not a problem for people to pay to a foreign IBAN (that does not start with DE). However, it might raise some suspicion. In other countries such as Denmark and Sweden, they have a different system than IBAN, and there it is a bigger disadvantage not having a local bank account.

In general, you should not have any problems using a non-German bank account with your German company. If you require in-person service close to where you live or German support, then you might need to opt for a completely German bank or provider.

There might be also some extra steps in terms of VAT refunds, which you can read about on the German Tax Authority's Website.

Why do business accounts cost money?

Not all business accounts in Germany are free, and therefore it is interesting to find out why that is the case. Personal accounts are usually free, so why not make the business accounts free as well?

As you might have guessed, there are some expenses when operating a bank. These have to be covered by someone, and the banks have chosen the companies instead of private persons.

Some of the costs banks have are: IT, Know Your Customer, Anti Money Laundering, and many more. Strict regulation drives up the costs, and therefore business accounts have become more expensive over the years, if we do not count the fintech banks.

What is the price of a German company bank account?

The prices are usually not that high for German bank accounts if we compare it to other European countries. You can easily find a cheap or even free bank account for your German company. In case you are in a high-risk industry, then you have to pay for a bank account in most cases.