Guide

European banking services

What you will need to set up your business account in Europe

If you are a business based in the UK and want to set up a business account in Europe, there are different requirements depending on the type of business you run and the country in which you want to open the account.

Limited liability companies

If you are setting up a limited liability company in Europe, most banks will require you to deposit a proportion of your company's paid-up capital in a business account in that country in order for you to register your business as a legal entity there.

Requirements may vary between countries. Some countries may have higher capital requirements, while others require the head office and the registered office to be in the same place.

The account in which that money is held is usually blocked until the company is formally registered by the relevant authorities.  To register your company formally, you need to obtain an official identification number from the relevant company registration authority.

You will use the company registration number in most of the company's correspondence with official authorities - eg taxation services, enterprise agencies, employment authorities.

The Official Company Registers provides details of how to register your company in different European countries.

Opening a business account

You can open a bank account in any member state of the EU according to that country's rules. Banking rules in the EU are not harmonised and requirements vary from country to country.

To open a business bank account in an EU member state, you are commonly required to provide a number of documents, such as:

  • proof of identification
  • proof of residence

However, different countries will require different documents. Some banks may even require references and credit checks.