Have you ever attempted to open a business account in a European bank online? If yes, you have probably realized that it is like fighting your way through a thick jungle forest. We can be your guide in this journey and safely lead you through the jungles.
Whether you are a local business owner or an established international businessperson, you will have heard how difficult it is to open a foreign bank account for your company today. What make the situation even worse is the contradictory information on the issue that you will find on the Web. Different websites make opposing claims and you cannot know for sure which one is true and which one is false. Some say, for example, that setting up an account with a foreign bank has become completely impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic… Is it so? Let us clarify this issue.
If you are a non-EU resident, you will usually run into the following main obstacles when trying to open a business account in a European bank:
- Foreign-registered companies are not welcomed by European banks in general;
- There are high open and hidden charges associated with establishing a bank account in Europe (due diligence fees, document copy legalization, online interviews, and so on);
- Restrictions – both legal and arbitrary ones – that are applied to foreign companies by European banks.
Actually, this should not be surprising, as the contemporary banking-related legislation requires that banks understand what kind of business their clients are involved in. Sometimes it is hard for the banks to get to know even clients from their home countries let alone foreign applicants for services. The information that foreign clients supply has to be validated abroad, which is understandably a more difficult task.
This is why you can find many stories in the Internet about banking services being denied to foreign applicants and about people losing thousands of dollars or euros when trying to set up a bank account in a European jurisdiction.
Such stories can potentially make you think that opening a business account in a European bank is close to impossible. We assure you that with our assistance, it is quite possible indeed.
Below we discuss how you can go about establishing an account in a European commercial bank, what benefits it will bring, and what aspects you have to take into consideration when preparing to carry out this task.
Is it possible to open a business account in a European bank online?
The short answer is yes, it is possible to do it.
Can your company acquire services from a European bank? This question is more complicated and several conditions will have to be met if the answer is to be positive.
As you probably know, every bank and every PSP (Payment Service Provider) will have their own requirements to the prospective clients wishing to open accounts with them. Besides, business banking is growing more and more complicated as new legal requirements are introduced by the regulating authorities and various procedures involved in opening a bank account abroad are toughening.
The following parameters have to be looked at in order to determine if a particular company complies with the European banking criteria:
- What are the countries of the company owners and directors’ tax residency?
- What country is the company domiciled in?
- How much free capital do you have (the capital that is not required for your business operations)?
- What are your economic ties with the European country where the bank is located?
- Are you able to meet the bureaucratic requirements that the bank puts forward?
The bank’s decision to open or not to open a business account for you will also depend upon the type of business activities that your company is engaged in. It will depend upon the bank officer’s empathy level. It will depend upon the experience that the bank has in servicing clients that are similar to you.
It would certainly be a good idea to inquire with your colleagues and partners about the problems that they faced when opening European bank accounts.
You have to take many different aspects into consideration when choosing what foreign bank you should apply for services to, especially if you want to do it without leaving the comfort of your home. If you make the wrong choice, you can find yourself in two situations. First, you can receive a ‘service denied’ reply from the bank or second, you can obtain a bank account that you will not be able to use.
There are banks where you can set up a business account relatively easily but there you will often find high operational commissions, poor client services, low functionality (no online banking opportunities, no debit cards, no way of making a transaction in a certain currency), and so on. It is quite easy to find a bad bank and open an account that is going to cost a lot of money to maintain. But this is certainly not what you are looking for.
Speaking about the fin-tech environment, you should also stay on the alert there. Payoneer, PayPal and other suchlike electronic payment systems may unexpectedly initiate an investigation to find out if your company complies with their mysterious standards. While the investigation is going on, your account will be frozen and you will never know when your money will become available to you again. Such situations have been occurring more and more often over the recent years.
To cut a long story short you have six types of financial institutions to consider when pondering opening a business account in a European bank online:
- Traditional banks;
- Digital banks or neobanks;
- Fin-tech companies;
- EMIs (Electronic Money Institutions);
- Payment systems without banking licenses;
- Payment systems holding banking licenses.
European fin-tech craze
If you have not been living in informational isolation for the last five years, you will have heard about the fin-tech madness currently on the go in the European Union. New fin-tech companies, electronic money institutions, payment systems, and electronic banks appear by the hundred in all EU countries every year. There are thousands of them at the moment and it is really hard to figure out which of them you can trust your idle money to.
Some of them do have banking licenses others do not. Some do not issue IBANs. Some cannot make US dollar transactions. Some of them have been known to freeze the clients’ accounts and suspend the provision of services.
One of the most recent scandals was caused by the bankruptcy of a large German fin-tech company Wirecard. For more than ten years, the national regulator was covering Wirecard’s illegal actions. As a result, the company finally went bust, which led to the blockage of many Payoneer accounts. What is more, many European fin-tech companies had been relying on Wirecard and of course, the company bankruptcy had a devastating effect on them too.
Not all payment systems are unreliable but many people will feel more secure opening an account in a traditional bank anyway. So, what are you options if you would like to open a business account in a European bank and you want to do it via the Internet?
As we have noted above, the success of this enterprise depends on what type of business you have and what jurisdiction it is registered in. Let us consider in detail what conditions you have to meet in order to establish a bank account in Europe.
Who would be interested in setting up a business account in a European bank online?
Companies that can benefit from having a business account in a European bank can be divided into three groups.
Group 1. Small companies that have clients or partners in Europe. These include digital nomads, migrants, Internet mentors and trainers, drop shippers, traders engaged in various e-commerce activities, online business gurus, subscription-based info businesses, software developers, freelancers, content developers, and everybody else having business relations with counteragents in Europe.
Group 2. Companies that are engaged in the types of business not welcomed by PSPs. These include companies registered outside the EU. Offshore-registered companies, investment funds, fund managers, and companies involved in high-risk business activities are often interested in setting up accounts with European banks.
Group 3. Large companies that have outgrown fin-tech payment systems such as PayPal, N26, Revolut, and others. Those who have large volumes of idle capital often seek to place it at a traditional or at an investment bank. Sometimes, they seek to acquire services from both of these bank types.
The matter is that payment systems will have limits on the number, and what can be even more important, on the amount of transactions. They are often uneasy about servicing large clients and you cannot use them efficiently if you have to transfer large sums of money and do in often. On the other hand, banks in Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Andorra love wealthy clients and they are ready to provide individual services to them and round-the-clock support. You have to use a traditional bank when the level of banking service professionalism is more important for you than the possibility to economize on the cost of transactions.
Reasons to open a business account in a European bank remotely
Why do people and companies want to establish bank accounts in Europe? There can be multiple reasons for that and European banks have a lot to offer indeed. The possibility to open a bank account remotely is especially desirable to those who cannot or do not want to leave home for this or that reason. What benefits do you acquire when setting up a business account in a European bank?
Inexpensive money transfers within SEPA
Making a transaction to a European account from outside the region is expensive. This is one of the reasons why some companies want to have accounts with European banks. Payments within SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) are inexpensive, which allows saving on commissions when making money transfers.
A reserve bank account
When you are planning to start a new line of business operations, you may want to keep the money flows from different lines separate. This means that you need a separate bank account. Besides, any bank in any country of the world may run into problems due to poor management or to some new regulations that come out. If your home country bank starts feeling shaky, you can transfer your capital to you reserve account in another jurisdiction.
Financial asset diversification
In the modern world, you simply cannot afford putting all your eggs in one basket. Banks all over the globe close down on a regular basis. Especially if you live in a country with an unstable political situation, with a corrupt government, with a frequently changing legislation, aggressive security agencies, and so on, you must have a bank account abroad, in a secure jurisdiction. Or rather, a couple of bank accounts.
When talking about asset diversification, people will usually think of putting money in different asset types: gold, securities, real estate, and so on. However, diversifying your assets geographically is not less important! While there are national borders, the state of things and the rules of the game will remain different in every country. If you have your money kept in different places on the planet, you will feel much better protected from possible troubles that may break out in this or that national state.
Access to the European banking system
Banking opportunities are diverse in Europe and Swiss banks, for example, are better known in the world than, say, French banks. However, the European banking system is secure in general and it provides for some fantastic financial opportunities.
By setting up a business account in a European bank, you will gain access to various currency markets and trade platforms. You will be able to use debit cards issued in Europe. You will have a wide choice of payment methods available to you. The same goes for your clients and partners especially those located in Europe. It is well known that when the buyer can pay for the product in a convenient way, there is a greater chance that he or she will purchase this product.
The European banking-related legislation artificially keeps the prices of some banking services at a low level. Both payment systems and banks in the region are obliged to keep their commissions below certain amounts.
Besides, the financial institutions in Europe are often more patient with the clients than the financial institutions in some other parts of the world such as the USA, for example. In Europe, your account will remain functional as long as you make the kinds of transactions that the bank expects that you would make. In other words, you have to inform the bank about the payment purposes and amounts in advance and this will let you use your account with the European bank without any troubles. Banks in the USA, on the other hand, will often require additional confirmation of payment legality, which can be bothersome.
Good reputation and deposit guarantees
If you have a bank account in a politically unstable country and it is in a volatile currency, establishing partner relationships with foreign companies is going to be highly problematic. However, if you can show to the prospective partner that you have a business account in a European bank, his or her level of trust to you is going to rocket. Are you looking for an investor to extend your business? Get a European bank account and you will find one faster.
In addition to that, setting up a bank account in Europe is the only chance to acquire a state guarantee that your deposit there is insured for up to 100,000 euros.
Why do people fail when trying to open a bank account online?
The reasons why online applications for banking services are rejected can be quite clear for professionals but not so clear for common people. The main reasons for service denial are as follows:
- The applicant has misunderstood or ignored the bank’s requirements when filing the application;
- The applicant has failed to understand that the fact that the bank has a website does not necessarily mean that filing an application for services online is possible. Some banks still require a personal visit even though they advertise their services in the Internet;
- The applicant has submitted the wrong set of application documents;
- The applicants has failed to clearly describe the business structure;
- The way the information about the business is presented by the applicant makes it look like a high-risk business to the bank officer;
- The applicant has provided for no possibility to verify the existence of the business company;
- The applicant’s business company is unable to comply with the bank minimum balance and account turnover requirements;
- The application has been filed to a bank whose commissions are going to exceed the profits made by the company from the transactions.
InternationalWealth portal experts set up bank accounts for the clients in Europe, Asia, and North America. We have been in this business for a long time and we know all the ins and outs. We stay in touch with our partner banks all the time and we receive the most up-to-date information from them about all changes in the requirements and account opening procedures. This allows offering our clients the most efficient instruments and professional support in setting up foreign bank accounts and keeping them functional.
Please apply for a consultation on choosing a foreign bank or a payment system where you can open an account. Depending on the type of business that you have, we will tell you which financial institutions are likely to provide services to you and which of them are going to deny service in all likelihood.
The banking industry is not easy to figure out. You may discover the bank that suits you in all respects but you may be unable to set up an account there simply because the information that you find on the bank website is insufficient. When you do not have all the necessary information, you are bound to make a mistake in the application process and thus miss the chance to establish an account with the bank of your dream.
We have been in cooperation with over two hundred banks and payment systems located in different countries of the world. Offshore Pro Group (the company that the portal belongs to) has a whole department that keeps in touch with the banks and follows all the changes in the banking industry that occur frequently these days. We know what requirements each individual bank puts forward to prospective clients. Sometimes, there will be only one or two banks in the country that will be prepared to provide services to the company of the type that you have. We will know these banks and, therefore, we will recommend them to you.
You can inquire with us about the bank that looks attractive to you and we will tell you if you should apply for services there or you do not stand a chance. How do we know that you do not stand a chance if this is the case? Because we have known clients similar to yourself who have been denied services in this bank.
Please apply for our consultation and you will be able to save a lot of time and money by abstaining from the moves that will lead you nowhere.
Please apply for our assistance in setting up a business account in a European bank to maximize your chances of acquiring banking services. We are true experts in foreign bank account opening as we have vast experience and useful connections in the industry.
If you would like to succeed in setting up a European bank account, please request a consultation by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org, use the live chat, send us a message via WhatsApp, or dial the telephone number.
We guarantee high levels of professionalism and confidentiality. Let our experience and knowledge contribute to the expansion of your business in Europe.
Who can open an account in a European bank remotely?
Any applicant that conforms to the requirements that the bank has for prospective clients can file an application for account opening remotely. What does it mean to conform to the bank’s requirements? First, your business company has to fall in the class of companies that the bank is ready to take onboard. Second, the information that you supply to the bank when applying for services must be confirmed by the corresponding documents. Third, all the application documents must be completed and submitted in accordance with the bank instructions. If providing services to your company does not go against the bank’s policies, it can open a business account for you.
What documents are required to open a business account in a European bank remotely?
First, two document sets are required: the corporate documents for the company and the personal documents for the company beneficiaries. Copies are acceptable but they have to be legalized. If you are supplying translated documents, the translations need to be apostilled. Second, a detailed description of your company business activities has to be supplied. You have to indicate your company partners and the sources of income. Besides, you have to inform the bank administration how you are going to use the account and show the expected account turnover. Third, you have to fill out the application form and all other forms that each bank will have. A standard set of application documents will usually suffice even though some banks may request some additional documents as well.
Why should I open a bank account in Europe?
There are multiple reasons to do that but the key ones are gaining access to the European market, protecting your assets from inflation and possible confiscation in your home country, and diversifying your assets (there are vast opportunities for investment in Europe as you certainly realize). Smaller advantages are almost innumerable.