Which bank account is good for business?
What should you look out for with a business account?
Which account is the right one depends on various factors. One of them is the price, but it is Numerous services also play an important role. Depending on your company's business model, these may be more important than the fees. You should consider the following points when choosing an account:
What is the legal form of your company?
A company can have different legal forms. This has an impact on which bank you can even open an account with. Some financial institutions only offer Self employed Business accounts, others only Corporations. Or the bank has different offers for smaller and larger companies. If it is important to you that you can keep your account even if you change your legal form, you should find out more about this from the bank in advance.
Do you have a lot to do with cash?
Many self-employed people have little to do with cash, for example because they have no direct contact with their customers. But if you take cash, you need a bank where you can do it Can deposit money - a bank with branches or at least one that works with a branch bank.
But that's not enough: the branches should also be in the right places for you. So take a look around your residential area or near your shop. After all, you don't want to carry your income across town.
What software can the account be linked to?
It makes your life as a business owner a lot easier when the account connected to software for accounting and tax returns is. With many account models this is included free of charge, with others you have to buy the appropriate software yourself and then link it to the account. Then you can, for example, create invoices and see which of them are still open. The income-surplus-calculation or the profit-and-loss-calculation can also be done quickly with such software. Which functions are included depends on the respective software.
Not only accounting software can be linked to business accounts. Some accounts also allow data to be transferred to Datev's software or your tax advisor. If you run an online shop, it is helpful if the shop can be linked directly to your account and linked to the accounting department.
Not every account has the features you need, some cost extra. Before opening an account, ask the bank which software is available for the account.
Are your earnings irregular?
If your account is going up and down, you may need an extra way to make money in low-income months. You can do that with one, for example Bank overdraft - the overdraft facility for the business account. Not all banks offer such a loan, especially young providers still lack this service.
In addition to the current account loan, larger loans can also be important, for example to buy equipment or materials. For this it is important that your bank can carry out a credit check and grant loans. Advice on subsidies and subsidy checks are also helpful for some companies.
Which credit cards belong to the account?
Credit cards are often added to the business account. They each run in the name of the individual employee; the company account or the employee's account can be specified as a reference account. By Corporate credit cards you can better document business expenses.
Pay attention to what type of card it is. With debit or prepaid credit cards, the money is debited promptly. While this helps with cost control, it can also be a problem. On the one hand, with other “real” credit cards you get a free loan for usually one month - more liquidity for you. On the other hand, debit cards are often not accepted in hotels and car rental companies - a problem with business trips.
What other points are important?
Direct debit - If you receive a lot of regular payments from your business partners or you make a lot of regular payments yourself, the direct debit system for companies can be a good solution. This way they know that your money will always end up in your account on time and you don't have to worry about regular transfers yourself.
One advantage of corporate direct debits: In contrast to direct debits used by private individuals, they cannot be revoked. As long as you have authorized the withdrawal of the money, it is safe in your account. However, not all banks offer this special direct debit procedure.
In addition to corporate direct debit, many business accounts also use the normal direct debit procedure. Make sure that the bank offers the procedure for both incoming and outgoing payments, especially young providers of business accounts do not always do this.
Access to the account - Many banks rely on mobile banking via smartphone. But if you only have access to the checking account with your smartphone, it will be difficult if it breaks. It can also happen that the apps do not work on all cell phones, for example because the operating system is too old in the opinion of the provider or because the cell phone is rooted.
In addition to technical access, it is also important who, besides you, can access the account and initiate payments: a second founder, for example, or authorized signatories and other authorized persons. The bank determines which account authorizations employees in certain positions have. For example, the amount of money that an authorized person may transfer without authorization may be limited.
Sofortüberweisung - Normal Sepa transfers must reach the other account within one bank working day. It's faster with real-time transfers. If the banks of the sender and recipient offer the method, the money ends up in the account within a few seconds. In this way, one side knows faster that the money has arrived and the other receives the goods more quickly.
Sub-accounts - You can better organize your income through sub-accounts. For example, you can separate reserves for sales tax from your income and expenses.
Payment Terminal - If you run a business or restaurant, you probably want to enable your customers to pay by card. You can get a payment terminal with a card reader with your account at some banks.
Contact Person - With your private current account, you often don't need a contact person, the banks' telephone support is sufficient. Depending on your business model, the business account may look different and you need or want a personal contact person with whom you can talk about a loan or other topics.
Deposit insurance - The money in business accounts is also protected by the European deposit insurance. However, this only applies if the provider of the account is a bank. If it is "only" a payment service provider, like some of the young providers of business accounts, the money is at least kept separately at another bank. How the deposits are secured can be found in the general terms and conditions of the provider.
Jurisdiction - The fact that a bank or payment service provider in Germany offers you an account does not automatically mean that German law applies. Which legal framework applies and by whom the provider is supervised can be found in the general terms and conditions. These are not always available in German from foreign providers. This can make it harder to understand the legal framework. At least the imprint on the provider's website should name the supervisory authority in German.
IBAN - Do you get a German IBAN with the account? Start-ups from other countries do not always offer this for business accounts in Germany. This can lead to problems because some companies still refuse to deposit money into accounts with foreign IBANs or to accept direct debits from such accounts.
Prestige - Even if many start-ups try to offer simple and convenient accounts: In some industries the business partner may react in astonishment to the unknown bank on the bill. You have to decide for yourself whether this could be problematic for you. Perhaps you should pay attention to which banks other providers in your industry use particularly often.
Industry - Some banks offer accounts that are specifically tailored to the needs of certain industries or professional groups, such as medical professions. It can also happen that a bank only assigns business accounts to certain professional groups, for example notaries and lawyers. In some cases, however, these industries are very broad, so that many freelancers and types of company are included.
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