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Business bank accounts in the Netherlands
Discover the benefits of using a business account and find the best business bank account for you.
If you’re looking for the best business account in the Netherlands, we can help you go about finding one. With plenty to choose from in the Netherlands, we look at the benefits of opening a business bank account and what you should look for when comparing what’s out there.
Compare business bank accounts in the Netherlands
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
How do business bank accounts work in the Netherlands?
To operate a business in the Netherlands, you’ll need a business bank account.
Once a company has been registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel), also known as KVK, then the owner can open a bank account. There are various types of commercial structures available in the Netherlands, although the most common is a private limited company, known as a BV. Freelancers may also choose to incorporate themselves as a BV.
Is my business eligible for a business account?
To open a business bank account in the Netherlands, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- Business type: Business bank accounts are usually available for freelancers, sole traders, small businesses, large businesses or enterprises. If your company is in the public sector or a charity there may be restrictions as to what bank accounts you can open, so check the criteria.
- Personal or business name. Some banks may require you to open the account using your personal name while others may require you to use your business name.
- Registration. Your business may need to be registered at the Chamber of Commerce to open an account with some digital banks.
Residents outside of both the Netherlands and SEPA zone may still apply for a business bank account inside the Netherlands, however, the process is unique and not available to everyone. In this case, a foreign entrepreneur can apply for a business bank account while still waiting for their business to be registered with the KVK, and without having obtained a residency permit. However this is only available to businesses working with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) (or similar facilitator), and then applying for a Quick Scan Dutch Business Bank Account which is offered by a partnership of three banks (ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank).
What are the benefits of a business bank account?
Not sure why you should open a business bank account? Here are some of the advantages:
- All your business transactions are separated from your personal ones, which makes your business accounting records more organised.
- Some banks have mobile apps that allow you to check your transaction history and make business payments anytime, regardless of where you are.
- You can set up standing orders for business expenses. No need to worry about not paying on time anymore!
- You can pay employees easily.
- If you’re a freelancer or small business owner, you may be able to enjoy a maintenance fee-free period.
- From insurance to coffee supplies, some banks offer discounts or promotions for products and services that you may find useful for your business.
Should I consider a digital business bank account?
Digital banks such as Revolut, bunq and N26 all offer business accounts. Whether or not they are suitable for your business is up to you and your business needs. Most digital banks have different levels of business accounts. While the most basic business accounts might be free, top-tier accounts offering a comprehensive range of features will come with a higher monthly maintenance fee. However, if these features will benefit your business and potentially save you money, the higher levels of accounts might be of better value.
Another area to consider is your preference in communicating with your bank to make changes or get issues resolved. Most digital banks will have online live chat available or even a telephone number so you can speak to a representative at certain times. However, only traditional banks are likely to have a physical location where you can speak to a representative in person. Make sure you weigh up the features (and fees) of these digital business bank accounts against the features (and fees) of more traditional business bank offerings to decide which is the better fit for your business.
Top banks for businesses in the Netherlands
The three largest banks in the Netherlands, also known as “the big three”, are:
- ING Bank NV. Established in 1927, ING Bank is the largest Dutch bank in the country. Headquartered in Amsterdam, ING offers banking services across the Netherlands, the rest of Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, and Australia. Its facilities include a mobile banking app and an online ‘My ING’ account with both English and Dutch versions.
- Cooperative Rabobank UA. Rabobank, the second-largest Dutch retail bank, is a highly-rated bank that provides a wide range of services, including retail and corporate banking, financing, investments and insurance. However, Rabobank’s website and banking platforms are only available in Dutch so it may not be suitable for foreign companies.
- ABN AMRO Bank NV. Headquartered in Amsterdam, ABN AMRO Bank is the third-largest bank in the Netherlands in asset size. It has physical branches all around the country, as well as free mobile and online banking.
How do I find the best business bank account in the Netherlands?
There are a number of types of business bank accounts available, so keep the following in mind when you’re comparing your options:
- Monthly fee. Some business banks don’t charge a monthly maintenance fee, such as Revolut and N26’s lowest tier offering, but these come with fewer features. Consider what you’re willing to pay for and if the features make the fee worth it. Equally, don’t be won over by a wide range of features if your business won’t actually use them.
- Transaction fees and other charges. Will you have to pay for cash withdrawals, direct debits or cheques? Besides any monthly maintenance fee, have a clear idea about other charges that may apply for carrying out simple, everyday transactions.
- User access. Some business banking accounts have limits on how many users you can add or how many free debit cards you can have.
- Limits on free local transfers. You may find there are limits on the number of SEPA transfers you can make. If you are transacting outside of the Netherlands you will need to consider this.
- Limits on transfers and currency conversion fees. If you conduct your business in multiple currencies you should consider the currency conversion fees you might be charged as well as any limits that are imposed on the business account for non-Euro transfers.
- Locked contracts. Do you have to sign up for the account for a certain amount of time? Check this before signing.
- Extra features. Watch out for convenient features such as access to both a mobile and web app, extra integrations, the ability to make bulk payments and expense management tools to keep your business finances in order.
What fees and charges will I have to pay for a business bank account?
Whether you turn to a traditional bank or a digital one, there will likely be fees and other charges associated with your business bank account. Here’s a list of some of the fees and charges you might come across:
- Maintenance fee. Some banks will apply a maintenance fee to your account to effectively manage your business account. This fee might be added monthly, quarterly or annually.
- Transaction fees. Everyday transactions such as direct debits, standing orders, ATM withdrawals, online or credit transfers and contactless transactions may have charges applied for each respective transaction.
- Overdraft facility fees. These are negotiated on an individual basis as per the business and can include fees for applying for and arranging an overdraft.
- Unpaid charges. If for some reason there are not enough funds in your business account to pay a cheque, direct debit or standing order, then unpaid charges will apply.
- Extra service charges. If you require additional services, for example, ordering a duplicate bank statement, amending a standing order or carrying out an urgent money transfer, then each will usually carry its own charges.
How do I choose the best business bank account in the Netherlands for me?
A friend or relative may tell you that they have the best business bank account but that doesn’t mean it will be the best account for you. Business bank accounts offer different features that will appeal to different businesses. After all, not all businesses are created equally and the same goes for business bank accounts.
To find the best business bank account for you and your business, ask yourself the following questions, then shop around and compare your options.
- What do I need my business bank account to do? If you want a business bank account to just cover the basics, you may find that a fee-free or lower tier account is suitable. Just be aware of the fees, charges and limits that might apply. If, on the other hand, you want a business account that does a lot more, look for the mid and top tier accounts. You’re likely to pay a higher monthly fee but it might offer great value for money if you know you’ll make use of the features and deals.
- Will my business make use of all the features on offer? Don’t be fooled into paying a monthly fee in return for a range of features that your business has no intention of ever using. Value for money can only apply to features that you need and will use.
- How much will my business bank account cost me? While you may not have to pay monthly fees with some business accounts, that doesn’t mean they are “free.” Check the usage fees, other charges and limits on the account. You might find an account of this nature offers poor value for money compared to a mid or top tier account with a higher monthly fee.
- What’s the best way of dealing with my bank? If you’re used to digital banking, then you might not mind communicating with your bank via a mobile app, online chat or over the phone. But if you’d like to deal with requests in person, then a traditional bank may be your only option. The bank you choose should be the one that matches the way you want to bank.
How do I open a business bank account in the Netherlands?
To open an account, business owners will need to have already registered their business with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, ie KVK).
If opening an account with a brick and mortar bank, then it is likely that the business owner will be required to have at least one face-to-face meeting with the bank in order to open the account. If using a digital bank instead, then the physical meeting is usually replaced by a video call, although proof of residency and a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, ie BSN) is required in both cases.
Business owners will also need to submit the same documents needed to open a personal account in the Netherlands, which are:
- A BSN (Burgerservicenummer) number
- A valid form of ID such as a passport or European Identity Card
- Proof of address (ie, inschrijven with the gemeente)
- Non EU residents will also require a residency permit (eg, a visa)
The bottom line
From allowing multiple users to enabling batch payments, business bank accounts in the Netherlands offer many benefits. What you and your business need from a business bank account will be different from what somebody else and their business requires. The best business bank account in the Netherlands will be the one that is closely aligned with your own business requirements. So use our guide to compare business bank accounts before you open one to make sure it’s right for you.
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