France has a large and diverse economy filled with opportunities for small businesses. Their booming tourism industry, excellent luxury goods sector and high-quality agricultural products, among other things, are some of the attractions for non-residents specifically to open businesses in France. This has created a huge demand for French business bank accounts.
Once you open your business in France, it will inevitably expand and you’ll want to stay on top of all business transactions. With more customers, suppliers and transactions, it will become increasingly important to be able to manage everything from one place. A business account will bring clarity and comfort to your everyday finances. This blog post outlines the benefits of having a business account for your company and will share some practical steps for how to go about doing this.
Can you use a personal bank account to run a business in France?
Yes, you can definitely use a personal bank account to run a business in France, but that doesn’t make it a good idea! Personal bank accounts don’t offer the same kind of protection that a business account does. It’s more difficult to keep track of your company’s finances if they’re mixed up with your own personal expenses. There are also usually higher banking charges associated with a personal account as they aren’t really set up with the same functionality as a business account.
For example, if you have to make international payments to your suppliers outside France, you will have to pay a conversion fee and international transfer fees. The fees are generally higher than what you would be paying from a business account. As a general rule personal bank accounts tend to be more complicated and expensive to use for this purpose.
To avoid excess fees and complications,and to give you that added feeling of professionalism, it is recommended to open a business account when you’re starting a company in France (or anywhere!), even if you aren’t permanently based there. This will be useful to keep track of your finances and will help to prevent complications later on.
Why should personal and business accounts be separate?
As mentioned before, there are many reasons to have a separate business bank account for your small business. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of keeping your personal and business accounts separate
Legal and Tax Compliance: Having a separate business account makes it easier to comply with legal and tax regulations by clearly separating business and personal finances.
Record Keeping: Keeping accurate financial records is crucial for the success of any small business, having a separate business account makes it easier to track and manage financial transactions and can make tax preparation and accounting more straightforward.
Professionalism: Having a separate business account can help to establish your business as a professional organisation and can make it easier to get approved for business loans or credit in the future.
Better Financial Management: Using a business account will help you to keep better track of your business finances and make it easier to manage your cash flow, monitor expenses and make informed financial decisions.
Protection: Using a business account will offer you more protection for your business as your personal assets will not be mixed with the business assets. In case of any legal disputes, the court will not be able to access your personal assets to settle the business debts.
Options for opening a business account in France
As with anywhere you decide to start and run your business, there will be many directions you can go in. Take the time to research the different options available and decide which will best match your company’s needs. Here are a few to start looking into:
Traditional banks: Many traditional banks in France, such as BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and Crédit Agricole, offer business banking services and can help you to set up a business bank account. However, they have some strict requirements. If you opt to go the traditional bank route you might need to provide some extra documentation and also probably need to apply for the account in person.
Online banks: There are banks in France, such as Boursorama, which offer business banking services and can help you to set up a business bank account remotely.
Neo-banks: N26 and Revolut are examples of neo-banks that offer digital-only banking services and can help you set up a business bank account. These options are generally flexible and offer more attractive terms than traditional banks.
Other options: There are alternative financial management and payments platforms in France, like wamo, that offer holistic financial services. The advantage here is that companies like ours aren’t registered banks so we have the flexibility to make the procedures for opening an account simpler - while never compromising on security.
If you are looking for a fast solution, wamo is a great choice. Your application to open an account at wamo takes just 10 minutes and your account will be up and running within 24 hours.
Why wamo is a great option for your business account in France
The best thing about wamo is that you don't have to go anywhere to manage your finances. wamo is a financial management and payments platform offering small businesses the comfort and ease to manage their finances regardless of where they are based.
As a non-resident it can be complicated to open a business account with popular or traditional banks in France. wamo has taken this into account and focussed on how tomake this process as simple and straightforward as possible for small business owners.
You can open a business account with wamo in just 10 minutes
We don’t believe in making things harder than they need to be, quite the opposite! While opening a business bank account with a traditional bank can take more time and money than you want to spend - opening an account with wamo is fast and easy and you can do it online from anywhere.
As a financial management service provider and a payments platform in one, wamo is much more than a bank and operates differently to the traditional banks you know. Our features and services are designed specifically for small businesses and entrepreneurs to meet their specific needs and to provide human-centred support at every step of the way! We are really big on great, personal customer service.
To open a business account with wamo, download wamo Business from Google Play or the App Store. You can also open an account from the website. wamo can be used from your smartphone via the app or from your desktop via the webapp, whatever works best for you.
To register, you’ll be taken through a series of simple steps where you’ll need to share some basic information about you and your business. We’ll need to verify your identity - for everyone’s security - by asking you to scan your ID and record a very short video. Don’t worry, we won’t be running any credit checks or using your data for anything other than verifying that you are who you say you are. Security is our top priority.
The last thing you’ll do is choose your subscription plan. It’s important that you think about what plan will best suit your business. If you have a big team, for example, having free virtual and physical debit cards as and when you need them makes it worth opting for the higher monthly subscription amount, easily covering this cost every time.
Take a look at wamo’s subscription plans.
If you have the right documents ready (see below) you’ll be able to whizz through the registration process in under 10 minutes (we’ve timed it!). We’ll get back to you within 24 hours and, if everything is in order, you’ll have a fully-functioning account ready for business immediately. You can then:
- Order wamo Visa debit cards - get up to 10 for you and your team and more on request.
- Instantly create a use virtual debit cards
- Open multiple sub-accounts with either EUR or GBP IBANs
- Take advantage of wamo Rewards perks and special offers And so much more!
What documents do I need to open a business account with wamo
Depending on where you’re located and the type of business you run, the requirements for opening an account might vary a bit. But, in general, you’ll need to provide the following documents to open a business account with wamo:
- Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A)
- Proof of shareholder structure
- Proof of company address
Not necessary, but could be required at a later stage
- Registry extracts
- Certificate of Incorporation (COI)
What is wamo’s Company Formation service?
Our company formation feature gives you the opportunity to register a UK company through Companies House through wamo’s streamlined service, ready in 2 working days!
Who needs this service?
- Business owners (or anyone with a business idea) outside of the UK who wish to start or expand their business into the exciting yet reliable UK marketplace.
- Business owners or entrepreneurs within the UK who want an easy way to register a company.
- Freelancers and sole traders who aren’t able to get a business bank account because they don’t have a registered business (they can register a company and get a business account in one go with wamo).
The best part? Using wamo’s company formation service allows you to get a wamo business account at the same time, meaning that you can have a registered UK company and a business account up and running within 48 hours!
To learn more about registering a UK company from wherever you are in the world, go here.
To learn more about our subscription plan offers, go here.