When setting up a business, regardless of its legal form, many entrepreneurs ask themselves whether it is necessary to open a business bank account. Although in practice it is generally recommended to open a business account, it is not mandatory for all entrepreneurs. However, separating your business account from your personal account is one of the ten tips for successful entrepreneurship.
What is the purpose of opening a business account? Is it mandatory for all legal statuses? If so, what documents do you need to provide?
What is the purpose of a business bank account?
Creating a professional bank account makes it possible to separate an entrepreneur’s personal assets from his company’s professional assets. For this reason, although it is not always mandatory to open a business account, it is generally recommended to do so.
Indeed, being able to clearly distinguish personal banking operations from professional operations is very useful, both for the entrepreneur and for the tax authorities in the event of an audit.
Opening a business bank account: is it compulsory?
Opening a business bank account is not always necessary: it depends on the legal status chosen for your business.
Open a business account as a company
The creator of a company must deposit the share capital of his company in a dedicated bank account prior to its registration. To be able to make this deposit, he must therefore necessarily open a professional bank account when he creates his company (SAS, SARL, SASU, EURL, etc.).
If, at the time of its creation, the company does not have a professional current account and therefore cannot deposit its capital, the bank will not be able to provide the entrepreneur with a certificate of deposit of funds, a document required to proceed with the registration of the company.
Furthermore, once the company is registered, it is not mandatory to keep the business account, but it is generally advisable not to close it. In particular, this allows the boundaries between personal and business banking to be clearly defined to avoid confusion in the case of a tax audit. You can visit bank4pro.co.uk if you want to know how to open a business banking account.
What documents do I need to open a business bank account?
In principle, here are the documents required to open a business account:
- Identity document (CNI or passport) of the company director and, possibly, of other persons authorized to carry out operations on this account;
- Draft articles of association (in the case of the creation of a company);
- If the entrepreneur operates in business premises, proof of use of the business premises (e.g. copy of the commercial lease).
In the case of the creation of a company, the bank will open a provisional business account and issue a certificate of freezing of funds. As soon as the company has been officially established, the funds will be released and the business bank account will be genuinely opened, upon presentation of proof of registration (extract K auto-entrepreneur or Kbis of company).
Opening a business account as a sole proprietorship
The creator of a sole proprietorship (EI, EIRL or self-employment) has no legal obligation to open a business bank account. Indeed, there is no minimum capital requirement for a sole proprietorship. Consequently, sole proprietors are free not to open a professional account and to use a private bank account for their professional activity.
Be careful because self-employment, even though it is a specific form of sole proprietorship, obeys special rules for opening a professional bank account.
Opening a professional account for a self-employed person
The individual entrepreneur who opts for the status of auto-entrepreneur (from now on, micro-entrepreneur) must obligatorily open a personal bank account, dedicated exclusively to his professional activity. This account must be separate from the account he uses for his personal life, in order to avoid any tax or accounting confusion.
Every entrepreneur is free to choose the bank that suits him or her. They can open their business account with a traditional bank or prefer to use an online bank to take advantage of completely paperless procedures.
You now know the basics about opening a professional bank account. If you are planning to set up a company, go to our explanatory sheet dedicated to the deposit of share capital at the bank.