Top 5 Tips for Opening a European Corporate Bank Account
The onboarding process when opening a new corporate bank account in Europe can be confusing and complex. With the ever-changing banking regulations and the increasingly strict KYC and AML procedures, opening a business account can be overwhelming. Banks require endless documents, information and details about your company before they approve account applications. With a little knowledge (and these useful tips) you’ll know what to expect and how to handle any problems that arise.
Helpful Tips for Opening a Business Bank Account in Europe
- Present a Clear Company Structure
Make your company structure easy to understand so that the bank can identify the directors and principal shareholders. Identification of your company’s key players can be done through a face-to-face meeting with bank representatives; presentation of supporting documents or even by holding a remote Live Stream interview with the bank. Without having clearly identified the company’s shareholders and directors banks will not be able to open a corporate account for your business.
- Avoid Discrepancies in your Paperwork
When applying for a new corporate account in Europe you must provide all the relevant information and documents requested by the bank. Any incorrect information or falsified documents and the bank will reject your account application. The bank’s compliance department will go over your submitted paperwork and do some fact-finding in order to decide whether to approve your application. If discrepancies are found anywhere in your application, you will be red flagged and turned down by the bank.
- Demonstrate Transparency
If you use suspicious technology in the establishment or running of your company, the bank is likely to uncover it during the course of their investigation into your business. For example, don’t use a virtual address used by multiple other companies to hide the number of employees you have or your company’s shareholders. Don’t try to deceive the bank about the activities your business is involved in. You won’t be able to hide the fact that your company is in a black listed jurisdiction so either choose a reputable jurisdiction or be transparent about your incorporation. Many European banks will not open accounts for offshore companies. The bank can and will discover the truth. When they do they are likely to reject your account application.
- Use only Real Functionaries
Don’t use fictitious functionaries in your company’s paperwork. Appoint real directors that play an active role in the company; have an apt C.V. and professional reputation. In the course of your application process the bank’s compliance officer may request an interview with the directors. If in real life the directors don’t match their description on paper your application will be rejected. For example, if you had a friend fill in as a director for the interview and he has no knowledge of the company, its dealings or if he was not suitably educated in your field the compliance officer would red flag your application.
- Submit an Organized Application
Arrange your company’s information into an organized package to submit to the bank. Include all requested documents and information. The bank will provide you with lists of required documents and information for opening a new business account. Don’t make a bad impression by submitting incomplete or disorganized documents. This can result in delaying your application or even rejecting it. Make the bank’s job easier, give them all the information they require to get a clear picture of your business and if they contact you for clarifications give timely, precise and comprehensive answers.
And one more thing…
Read more about the best online banks Europe and remember you are the face of your company; smile, be polite and professional. If you have any questions about opening a European bank account or if you want a few extra tips about how to deal with banks in Europe don’t hesitate to contact us.