Came to Germany as a freelancer? Or want to create a company? Then you need a business bank account (Geschรคftskonto) because a regular one won’t do it. But no worries, there are even free ones: Use our tool here for your individual comparison.

Even if you’re only a freelancer with a few incoming payments per month, using your free private bank account is not an option in the long-term. Banks like DKB or N26 will at some notice that your payments are for a “Rechnung” (invoice) โ€“ and will ask you to stop using the private account for such purposes.

But no worries, there are also a number of free bank accounts for freelancers in Germany (so called Geschรคftskonto)โ€“ even with English support!

Find here a calculator to compare which one of them suits best for your needs. Under the calculator, I took a deeper look at three of them that suit best for a typical solo freelancer.


(Can’t see the table? Click this link. *)

Free accounts with Mastercard & English support

As an international freelancer, you very likely want to have a bank account with English support. And you probably want to have a free credit card to be able to make your business payments directly from your business account.

For such a situation, three account offers are optimal:

1. Penta

Penta is provived by the German solarisBank AG, and in their free Basic Plan you get

  • a German IBAN account number
  • a Mastercard
  • 50 outgoing transactions

โ€“ all for free. Support is offered via Phone, E-Mail and Social Media (like Slack) in English, German and even Italian. And you can connect your Penta account with accounting software like lexoffice and Debitoor.

Go to Penta*

2. Holvi

Holvi is a Finnish bank, and until recently, customers would get only a Finnish IBAN number โ€“ but this changed in June 2019: Now you also get a German IBAN. And the free account comes with a number of perks: a free Mastercard, an integrated software to create invoices for your customers and tracking their payments, and: you can even create an online store selling your products.

Cash withdrawals are not free, however that shouldn’t be an issue, as you can always transfer money to your free private bank account with free cash withdrawals.

Go to Holvi*

2. N26 Business

N26’s business account is very similar to their private customer’s account so you can also read (and watch) its detailed long-term review.

The business account differs mostly by the fact that it pays you 0.1% Cashback on all you Mastercard spendings. You even get free cash withdrawals at Euro ATMs.

However, there’s one minus: If you already have a private N26 account, you cannot open another business one.

Go to N26 Business*

Overview

Penta*Holvi*N26 Business*
Based in:GermanyFinnlandGermany
IBANGermanGermanGerman
Credit/debit cardMastercardMastercardMastercard
Free transfersunlimitedunlimitedunlimited
Free cash withdrawalsโ€“โ€“yes, in EUR
Cashbackโ€“โ€“0.1%
Go toPenta*Holvi*N26 Business*

One more: Kontist

Kontist didn’t make it to Top 3 above, since their Mastercard costs an additional fee of 29โ‚ฌ per year. But: They offer a business account with awesome features for freelancers! For instance will they automatically calculate your to-be-paid VAT tax โ€“ so you can better see which amount is actually yours, and which will soon go to the tax office. And their account integrates with other accounting tools, like lexoffice, Debitoor and Fastbill.

Kontist does also speak English – simply click on Open account in the upper right corner once you’re on their site.

Kontist*

How to open an account

All of the 3 accounts above offer Video identification: So just have a computer or phone with a camera, and keep prepared:

  • your ID card or passport
  • your German Tax ID number (Steuer-ID)

You will then make a video call and in the process talk to an online clerk and hold your ID into the camera.

Still questions? Need help to pick the right one? Ask in the comments, usually there’s a reply
after 24 hours max.

Links marked with a star (*) are affiliate links. If you click on such a link and then shop or order something, I will receive a commission for your purchase. This does not change the price for you.

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