If you own a business that’s doing well and you’re planning to expand and go international, the EU may seem like a great idea. After all, with a potential of 480 million consumers to engage, your business needs to capture only a small fraction of such a great market, and with the ease by which products can be shipped, it’s only natural that the EU makes complete sense.
To facilitate transactions and make financial operations go smoother, it may be wise to open an EU bank account (although there are alternatives, of course). Having EU bank accounts can give you many benefits, but there are some important considerations to make. Here’s everything you need to know to open a bank account in EU countries.
The European Union consists of 28 countries, each with its own rules and regulations regarding its banking industry, so it can be a challenge sorting through them all. The language barrier certainly doesn’t help in many cases (though most accept English). Therefore, it may require some research to see which country is best for you, and which bank to choose. The good news: once you have a bank account in one of the EU countries, the whole market is open for you, and other bank accounts are easy to accomplish.
If you’re going to open a business account, you should be able to present proper registration of your business, and this means registering your business first (the exception is the sole enterprise, which doesn’t require it, though it’s always recommended that you don’t mix your personal financial affairs with those of the business you are running).
You’ll need a physical address in the EU. This could be an office, a warehouse, a factory, or any other entity – but you’ll need a physical presence there. If you feel this is not suitable, you can always rely on representatives (such as solicitors or agencies) to take care of this for you. One alternative to this is to have a business partner who is already registered in the EU.
Most banks will require personal appearance to verify identity and signatures.
Yes, you will need a Tax Identification Number. It’s part of doing business anywhere.
As you can see, the requirements of opening bank accounts in the EU may require some time and some investment, so you should think it through – as mentioned, there are some alternatives (such as using online payment platforms, or partnering up with an existing business in the EU for your distribution and transaction needs). Whatever options you pick, there’s no doubt that entering the EU market can be an exciting and very lucrative business decision.