Fees on business accounts » You should expect the following costs
The business account is an integral part of daily payment transactions for freelancers and tradesmen, for founders and for established entrepreneurs. After all, payments with suppliers and customers want to be processed without cash, employees want to receive their salaries as a bank transfer and tax payments to the tax office are also made without cash. When choosing the right business account, costs and fees play a major role. Here, banks definitely differ and there are, for example, only a few banks that offer a free business account. It is worth comparing the fees before you open your business account.
Costs and fees for business accounts
The business account is an integral part of daily payment transactions for freelancers and tradespeople, for founders and for established entrepreneurs. After all, payments with suppliers and customers have to be made without cash, employees want their salaries to be transferred and tax payments to the tax office have to be made without cash. Costs and fees play an important role in choosing the right business account. Here the banks differ quite and there are for example only few banks, which offer a free business account. It is worth comparing the fees before you open your business account.
Who needs a business account?
In principle, founders should open a company account. It makes sense to separate incoming and outgoing payments for your own company from the entire private payment transaction right from the start. This makes your bookkeeping easier and your tax advisor will also be pleased if he only has to check a single company account with the separate bookings for your company. The tax office is also easier to satisfy if you keep the money transactions for your company separately in a separate account.
It may be worth opening a current account for private customers for founders and self-employed persons whose business activities are still of a manageable size. However, if your company has already reached a certain size and you regularly generate larger sales or already have employees, you should definitely open a company account with a bank. You will then benefit from special services offered by most banks. Corporate customers are a very lucrative clientele, which is courted by many banks with attractive services. With this in mind, it is understandable that there are only a few providers of free accounts and that you should carefully examine the offers subject to charges.
What types of business accounts are there?
Company accounts can be divided into different categories. The differentiation between free and chargeable accounts is a variant. The range of free business accounts is manageable, and you often have to reckon with obligations for such accounts. If you do not meet these requirements, a fee will be charged.
The banks also like to differentiate their company accounts according to the target group. For example, there are some accounts that are set up specifically for founders, freelancers or tradespeople. Other accounts are offered specifically for limited liability companies such as the entrepreneurial company with limited liability or the limited liability company. As these legal forms are a company with its own legal personality, the opening of an account is linked to certain requirements. For example, the articles of association must be submitted and, in the case of several shareholders, it must be determined who may dispose of the account.
A distinction is also sometimes made between accounts with Schufa queries and accounts without Schufa. In Germany, the opening of an account is linked to the submission of a Schufa information. If you have a negative Schufa entry, you often cannot open an account. In such cases a business account without Schufa query is an option, whereby such accounts are usually somewhat more expensive and are also kept only as a credit account.
Business accounts are also differentiated according to the type of bank maintaining the account. Both branch banks and direct banks offer corporate accounts. If you can do without a personal support, a firm account with a direct bank is frequently an inexpensive alternative. If it becomes apparent that you will grow strongly with your company, a branch bank with personal advice is usually the better alternative. Your advisor is then the competent contact for all banking transactions and above all for you, if a financing is necessary for your enterprise.
What fees do you have to pay attention to for business accounts?
The costs for business accounts depend on the services. It is striking that the fees charged by banks vary greatly. If you are looking for the optimal account for your company, you should first consider what services you need. Then compare the fees your bank charges for these services. In this way, you can find the bank partner that best suits your individual needs with a manageable amount of effort. A distinction must be made between the following fees
- for account management,
- for cash withdrawals
- for the issue of a Maestro and credit card and
- for the overdraft facility and interest.
Account management means the execution of incoming and outgoing money transactions for your account. You receive money from your customer for a delivery or service. If you have to buy goods, you pay money to your supplier. Costs are incurred for the entire operation of your company, whether it is rent for office space, telephone and Internet costs, office supplies, or salaries for your employees. Today, these transactions are usually cashless. Account management includes the execution of these inbound and outbound transactions. Some banks vary their fees according to the number of payments. Such a fee structure is interesting if you make a large number of transfers for your company.
As an account holder, you also want to be regularly informed about your account balance. For this purpose, the bank issues a bank statement. If you manage your account via online banking, you instruct many money transactions yourself and also have regular access to your account balance. You may not only make paperless transfers, but from time to time you may also present a cheque deposit or a transfer in voucher form. Processing fees may apply.
If you occasionally wish to withdraw cash from your company account, you will need a Maestro or EC card. This card is issued by your bank and is often subject to a charge. Withdrawing cash from an ATM can also cost money. Some banks offer one or two free withdrawals per month and each additional withdrawal costs money. The card can be used by some banks to deposit money into your account, but some banks charge fees for this as well.
If you need a credit card for your business, you may have to pay an annual fee. A transaction fee is also charged for withdrawing cash in other currencies from ATMs abroad or paying in foreign currencies. There are significant differences between banks. If you frequently pay by credit card, you should take a closer look at the charges. The fees are charged as a percentage of the amount. So the higher the amount withdrawn, the higher the transaction costs.
What about free business accounts?
Especially for founders and self-employed people at the beginning of their career, the cost of the account plays an important role. If the revenue is not yet flowing regularly, try to keep the expenses for your company within manageable limits. Free business accounts are very popular against this backdrop. Some direct banks offer checking accounts for private customers, which you can also use as a founder or freelancer. These accounts cover all important services such as account management with the execution of bank transfers and direct debits and the provision of bank statements. These accounts are often managed via online banking. As soon as your business is of a certain size, so that you might even want to take out a loan for your company, you should switch to a corporate account. Although this is usually more expensive, you will also benefit from the comprehensive advisory services of your local personal bank advisor.
Conclusion: Fees are an important factor when comparing accounts
Although the range of business accounts is not as extensive as for private accounts, you should compare the conditions before opening an account. There is a wide range of offers on the market and banks vary widely in their fees. Before opening an account, it is therefore worth checking exactly what services you need for your company and which bank you can find the right offer from.