It is not a legal requirement that a person must be a German resident to open a bank account in Germany; it is more challenging to do it from abroad. If you consider opening a German bank account from abroad, you will face bureaucratic challenges and may need to come to Germany in the case of some banks.
Generally, banks that are strictly available online are those where it is more straightforward for those not living in Germany to open an account without coming to Germany. It can be difficult for non-Germans who do not live in Germany to open a bank account with German banks.
At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers will advise you regarding suitable banks for those clients looking to open a bank account from abroad.
Of course, the exact bank and its suitability will also vary based on your company’s structure. Banks suitable for freelancers and sole traders may not be suitable for limited companies.
It should be noted that the majority of German business bank accounts need to be opened by directors or significant shareholders in person.
If you are a foreign director and looking to open a bank account in Germany, you may need to show some of the following documents when opening the account:
- Tax ID card
- residence permit in Germany
- sufficient funds to open a business account
- good credit rating (preferably in Germany)
Being able to display a good credit rating is vital as German banks are very strict on this matter. Often banks seeks details from SCHUFA Holding AG. The SCHUFA collects data from all persons registered in Germany and its purpose is to protect its clients from credit risks. Banks that offer overdraft facilities will often check the clients’ SCHUFA account and creditworthiness data.