Opening a business bank account in the Netherlands in 2022
Do you want to open a business bank account in the Netherlands? This guide will tell you everything you need to know. We'll provide tips on choosing the right bank, submitting the correct paperwork, and complying with Dutch tax authorities. Plus, we've included links to some of the best banks in the Netherlands for business accounts. So whether you're just starting out or expanding your business into Holland, this guide has everything you need!
What’s the best bank to open a business account with in the Netherlands?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each bank offers different services and benefits. However, some of the best banks for business accounts in the Netherlands include ABN AMRO, ING, and Rabobank. There a also a few online banks that challenge the more traditional banks. A few of those we can definitely recommend.
Do I even need a Dutch business bank account?
Not every business will need a bank account, but most businesses will. If you have a financial holding company that solely holds shares in other companies, in some cases you not need a bank account. If you are physically operating your business, sending out invoices and receiving payments, you will need one. Foreign banks and online payment services such as Revolut or Wise will generally not suffice.
In shot: If you would like to use the Dutch tax system you will need a Dutch bank account.We can always help you recommend a bank if needed.
What documents do I need to open a business bank account in the Netherlands?
The exact documentation you'll need to provide will vary depending on the bank you choose. However, you'll generally need to provide your company's articles of association, proof of identity and residence, and proof of business registration.
Do I need to be registered in the Netherlands to open a business bank account?
No, technically you don't need to be registered in the Netherlands to open a business bank account. Your business should however be registered and have a chamber of commerce (KvK) number. You will get the KvK number once your BV company has been incorporated by the notary. Around 24 hours after the incorporation, your company will be registered at the chamber of commerce. With this registration number (kvk-nummer) you can visit a bank to open a bank account.
In the case of a sole proprietorship or a partnership you can register directly at the KvK.
We do strongly recommend that a company that sets up a business in the Netherlands, has a real connection and real activity to the Netherlands. There are certain rules a company should comply with to successfully operate in the Netherlands. These so-called substance requirements are not black-and-white laws, but are more like guidelines.
As far as substance is concerned, the management and control of the company must be in The Netherlands. A Dutch resident director can meet these substance requirements. He must have an office at the company's registered office and he exercises general supervision over the governance of the company. In addition, he should have the authority to make decisions about the company's general policy.
Our main tips to foreign entrepreneurs to successfully open a bank account:
- Appoint a Dutch resident (does not have to be a Dutch citizen) on the board of your company
- Have a concrete plan on how you are operating your company in the Netherlands and why you have chosen the Netherlands
- Contact your existing bank abroad and ask if they have a branch office or connections in the Netherlands
- Try applying at all banks
- Perform the Dutch bank account Quick Scan (read more at the bottom of this article)
What are the compliance rules for business bank accounts in the Netherlands?
The compliance rules for business bank accounts vary depending on the bank you choose. However, most banks will require you to provide proof of identity and residence, as well as proof of business registration. Additionally, some banks may require you to complete a questionnaire or attend an interview before opening an account. For more information, please consult the website of the specific bank you're interested in.
- Bunq - Do note that you will have to be currently in the Netherlands to open an online account here. A VPN will not work to get around this!
- Rabobank. A cooperative bank, traditionally a bank for farmers.
- ING. Only available in Dutch, but one of the preferred banks for foreign entrepreneurs in the Netherlands.
- ABN AMRO. This bank's policies vary quite a lot. In some cases they have even made a Dutch resident shareholder a requirement.
- Van Lanschot. Holland's largest private bank.
- KNAB. Online bank only.
The main traditional banks are ING, ABN Amro and Rabobank. Rabobank is well-known for their local presence and local market knowledge. ABN AMRO is a traditional bank that has embraced modern technology over the last few years. A preferred partner among the traditional banks for foreign entrepreneurs is ING Bank.
There are many other banks, but these are the most used ones for small and medium-sized business in the Netherlands.
How long does it take to open a business bank account?
An example from ING Bank. To give you an idea on how long it will take to have an account number: If the company is completely Dutch (that means without a foreign entity being the sole shareholder) ING Bank usually gives you an account number that same day. They do not guarantee that they will give you the account number immediately. However, in our experience it is usually the case.
If ING cannot give you the account number right away (for example in case of a foreign corporate shareholder), it can take about two business weeks before you have an account number, because of the KYC process due diligence.
In practice, it varies very much how long it takes. Unfortunately, we cannot give you any exact information on this.
Online versus traditional bank
You may have been researching different types of business bank accounts when deciding where to open yours; however there are also many benefits associated with having an account through a specific type of institution like Bunq Bank (which has become increasingly popular over recent years). This article will compare Bunq bank to the traditional business account, in order to help you make an informed decision on what may work best for your business.
What is Bunq Bank?
Bunq is a digital bank that operates primarily through an app and offers many unique features not available at most other banks. It was founded in 2012 by Dutch entrepreneur, Ali Niknam.
How Does Bunq Bank Work Compared to a Traditional Bank?
There are several ways in which Bunq differs from a traditional bank:
- There are no branches or tellers; all transactions take place through the app.
- You can in some cases open an account without having to provide any identification documents (although some features may require them later on).
- The business account has no minimum balance requirement and comes with higher interest rates than most other business accounts.
Why Choose Bunq Bank?
Bunq bank offers many benefits for business owners, including:
- Everything arranged through the app, including a very helpful customer service live chat
- Fixed monthly fees
- Direct connection of the Bunq app to Wise (formerly TransferWise) which saves you money on international transactions compared to traditional banks.
- The business account comes with a Mastercard that you can use to withdraw cash and make purchases anywhere in the world. This is a great option for entrepreneurs who frequently travel or have international clients.
- You can also connect your business bank account with other accounts you may have, such as PayPal, which makes it easy to transfer money between them.
- Bunq offers an invoicing feature which lets you easily create and send invoices directly from within the app. This is perfect for freelancers or business owners who need to bill their clients regularly.
- Connect your Bunq account directly to your accounting software. In our experience this bank connection was better and more stable than with the other business banks we have worked with.
Business bank account for smaller or larger company
When opening a business bank account in the Netherlands, it's important to keep in mind that there are different types of accounts available, depending on your business' needs. For example, if you're a small business with little or no income, you may want to consider opening a current account . This is a basic checking account which allows you to easily manage your business' finances and make transactions. However, if your business is generating a higher income or has larger deposits, then you may want to consider opening a savings account or term deposit which offer higher interest rates.
How much does a Dutch business bank account cost?
The costs associated with a bank account in the Netherlands can vary, depending on the bank. In general, however, there are often a number of fees that need to be paid. These can include an initial set-up fee, a monthly maintenance fee, and fees for things like withdrawing money or making payments. On average a business bank account for small business costs between 75 and 150 euros per year.
This website keeps track of the exact fees per bank.
Dutch Business Bank Account Quick Scan
Not sure if you are eligible to open a business bank account in the Netherlands for your new business? The Dutch Banking Association (NVB) offers a free-of-charge quick scan to find out if your business will succeed in opening a bank account.
Need more information on business banking in the Netherlands?
If you're not sure whether or not you need a business bank account (for tax reasons), it's best to speak with an accountant or the Belastingdienst directly. They can help you determine what type of account you need and will be able to provide specific instructions on how to open a business bank account in the Netherlands. Send us an email or fill out the form on this page.