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Business bank account – do I need one?


Business bank account, do I need one we are asked a lot. Yes and no, depends on the type of company and on your desires.

One man company or zzp company

A so called one man company or zzp company or freelance company or eenmanszaak is a transparent company. Hence you and your company are one. No so nice in case of a liability claim. With respect to the business bank account it is not required to have one.

Despite what the bank tells you, the Chamber of Commerce tells you or anybody else, you do not require a business bank account. You can use your own personal bank account.

The question is more:

Do you want your private bank account to be used for the business?

We think not.

The advantage of the business bank account is that your can have the account in the name of the company. We think that is professional. Then again, if your personal name is the company name, there is not difference. If the latter is the case, cheapest is to set up another personal account and trade with that.

Another aspect is the accountant. We process your bookkeeping and if we then have to go through your full grocery purchases, holiday spending, rent payments, insurance payments to get to the company details, we spend a lot of time. That time we invoice you. So you are not amused by us charging you more, neither will you not be amused by us  not recognizing some of the insurances to be business insurance, or some of the travel costs not being your holiday.

Finally, we are accountants and have eyes. It has happened that a female former client used her personal bank account so we noticed she purchased condoms, had a wax job, paid for dinner and we noticed something of a hotel. That is for us too much information, as is lingerie or certain toys you purchase for whatever reason.

BV company

A BV company is very much different from the aforementioned one man company. This vehicle is a closed circuit from which payments can be received as salary, dividend or a loan. Using your personal bank account for the business will have serious issues.

The Dutch tax office will take the standpoint that all earnings received in your personal bank account is in fact net salary. A bigger problem we cannot imagine in this situation.

Therefore the BV company needs to have its business bank account. The most important reason is to show the share capital was actually deposited, which activates the limited liability. Why else would you have the BV company.

The bank account itself

The setting up with a bank is a topic for our clients. Our clients do not discuss if they want a business bank account, the issue is, can they have a bank account. If you set up a Dutch BV company with foreign shareholders, there is no Dutch bank that opens a Dutch bank account for you. That is a problem.

Of course we have many clients that were able to set up their Dutch a bank account. We have not yet been able to get our finger behind why some can and some cannot. The policy of the Dutch national bank is not to open a business bank account for a Dutch BV company with foreign shareholders. That said, like some of my favourite clients mentioned: unless your name is Google, Apple or Coca Cola, then of course a business bank account is opened instantly.

The problem with not being able to open the business bank account is the deposit of the share capital. Then again, the rules do not insist on the bank account being a Dutch business bank account. The bank account needs to be owned by and in the name of the BV company. Can be any bank worldwide, that can be used.

Tax is exciting

Tax is exciting, banking is…another trade. A company cannot do without one, or can we? Maybe in the near future the coin platforms develop in an accepted payment method. Just like less than 10 years ago online shopping was regarded dangerous.



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