EU bank accounts
Nowadays, it is impossible to fully participate in the modern economy without having a bank account; it's regarded as an essential part of every successful person's life. Single market legislation guarantees that banks can operate throughout the European Union without any limits. The ability to offer cross-border services helps EU residents, and non-EU residents, open bank accounts for various purposes.
There are more than 7000 banks and other credit institutions in the European Union. By the end of 2016, more than 2.8 million people were employed in the EU banking sector. EU residents and non-residents tend to open different types of bank accounts. It is possible to divide bank accounts into five types: savings accounts, money market accounts, current accounts, retirement accounts and certificate of deposit accounts.
Savings accounts are considered to be the best accounts for your savings. Current accounts provide customers with the ability to deposit cheques, pay bills and make withdrawals. Debit cards are a primary form of payment for this type of account. Current accounts are used by the majority of customers and they are suitable for anyone who needs to pay in deposits and has a balance of under 5,000 EUR. A money market account will be useful for someone with a usual balance of between 5,000 and 10,000 EUR. This type of account is a great option if you want to park cash. Certificate of deposit accounts are not very popular. In most cases, they are used to hold money that you don't need to spend, as by locking up the funds you can earn more interest. Finally, retirement accounts are good for saving for your future, and they offer some tax advantages.
A major advantage of having an EU bank account is that you don't need to live in the European Union to have an account here. Of course, if you carry out your transactions in euros, you can save money on exchange fees. Security is also a strong incentive to open a bank account in the EU. European banks usually offer state-of-the-art services, including a large network of bank machines operating 24/7 and safe online banking. The cost of opening an account is usually very low. In some cases, you can get a free credit card, usually a Visa or MasterCard.
Today, many non-EU residents are granted permission to travel freely, either for leisure or work purposes, and to open bank accounts within the EU, just like EU residents. However, it is still necessary to understand the procedural requirements and to clarify certain issues that, at first glance, may seem slightly challenging for a non-EU resident. Some of these issues are related to banking in general, while some apply specifically to opening a corporate bank account in an EU state.
The first issue is location. It is highly advisable to choose the country in which you will open your bank account wisely, basing your choice not only on your preferences, but your purposes in opening the account. Generally, non-EU residents find opening a corporate bank account in the EU to be very beneficial, primarily because of the high-quality services offered by the well-regulated European system. Banks across the European Union are eager to support businesses and welcoming to new clients, and it is common policy to offer flexibility and attractive discounts.
In order to simplify the application process and make it faster and more convenient, most EU banks allow you to fill in the application form online. Usually, the time frame for receiving an answer on the application ranges from just a couple of hours (in some rare cases just 30-40 minutes can be enough) to five working days, depending on the nature of the request. However, you should take into consideration the fact that non-EU residents may be charged an additional fee for opening a corporate or other type of bank account, depending on the terms and conditions of the bank.
In terms of the challenges that may arise for a non-EU resident in opening a corporate bank account in the European Union, the only constant is the translation, and, as it is often called, legalisation, of all the necessary documents. Bear in mind that the set of required documents may vary slightly from country to country, which may from time to time pose an inconvenience. As standard, a non-EU resident looking to open a corporate bank account within the European Union will need to provide: the company's incorporation documents, authorisation documents (e.g. powers of attorney), beneficial ownership documents, IDs, etc. To return to an earlier point, it is vital to keep in mind that the EU has multiple official languages, and all documents must be translated and verified in accordance with EU law.
As you can see, opening a bank account in the European Union offers many advantages for EU residents and non-EU residents alike, and is a great opportunity to gain a foothold in the European business environment.