Requirements to Open a Business Bank Account
Generally, requirements vary depending on the type of legal business structure, the country where you wish to open a business bank account, as well as your company’s residence status. Banks from various countries usually offer different services to sole traders, limited liability companies, partnerships and other types of businesses.
For a limited liability company, the following requirements may apply:
- Transfer of a specified amount of capital to a new business account, which enables the registration of the business in that particular country (the required amount varies in each bank)
- Registration of the company with local authorities (usually a national commercial register)
- The transferred capital can only be accessed once the company is fully registered with the local authorities
- The head office should be located at the same place where the registered office is located
While different countries require different sets of documents for resident and non-resident companies, the following documents are generally required to open a bank account in Europe:
- Articles of Association, Memorandum of Association or other company documents (e.g. partnership agreement)
- A certificate of company’s registration
- The company’s business plan
- Identity documents of the company’s shareholders and directors
- Proof of company’s registered address
- Samples of signatures by individuals to use the business account
In terms of requirements by country, Switzerland and Scandinavian banks tend to have the strictest requirements as they are the most regulated in the global context. You’ll normally need to attend a face-to-face meeting in the country where your selected bank is located and also have your background checked in order to open a corporate bank account. If you wish to avoid the pain of having to prepare a mountain of paperwork, we highly advise exploring the possibilities available in Estonia, where the e-residency programme opens doors to foreign non-residents as long as they own an Estonian company.