How To Open A Bank Account In Europe: Available Options In 2023

Opening a bank account in Europe is a profitable investment for the further development of business and capital security. However, these are not the only reasons why many entrepreneurs transfer money to European accounts. Experts at International Wealth, recognized leaders in the offshore industry, also highlight the following reasons for opening an account in Europe:

  • desire to enter the international market with minimal capital and time costs, bypassing bureaucratic obstacles in domestic legislation
  • access to an expanded list of financial services that are not available in local banks
  • increasing the level of service quality
  • placing capital or deposits in highly secure jurisdictions to protect against various risks such as currency conversion losses, currency devaluation, default risks, and protection against third-party infringements
  • seeking favorable investment opportunities, external asset and management
  • obtaining citizenship by investment or purchasing real estate abroad.

In a world where predicting the situation is challenging, offshore zones and EU countries have become popular choices for opening bank accounts for both businesses and individuals. These jurisdictions offer the best banks for offshore accounts.

European banks are ready to provide a full range of banking services that are in high demand among owners of large and medium-sized businesses, IT companies, startups, and freelancers.

Types of European accounts

European banks are ready to open three main types of bank accounts for non-resident clients:

  • personal account – designed for daily transactions.
  • deposit, savings, or accumulation account – intended for the preservation and accumulation of funds.
  • investment account – used for operations in the stock markets (such as purchasing stocks or bonds).

European account for individuals and legal entities: key differences

Opening a European bank account is possible for both individuals and non-resident legal entities. In many cases, the entire procedure can be conducted remotely.

The main difference between a personal and corporate account lies in the fact that a personal account is prohibited from being used for commercial purposes. Regular transactions on the account with different payment purposes will undoubtedly raise concerns among bank employees.

And, of course, there is a difference in the required documentation. Opening a European bank account for an individual entails submitting the following:

  • copy of the passport
  • proof of residence
  • proof of the legality of the funds’ origin
  • CV and bank recommendations (upon request).

Opening a European bank account for a legal entity entails submitting:

  • copies of personal documents for the director/ultimate beneficial owner
  • constitutional documents
  • financial statements
  • completed application with mandatory indication of future receipts, currencies, and turnovers
  • detailed description of the company’s business activities
  • copies of partnership agreements, invoices
  • certificate of the legality of capital origin
  • confirmation of substance in the country of registration.

At the time of document submission for opening a bank account, they will need to be translated into English, and in some situations, an apostille may be required. If the company falls into the high-risk category, the verification process may take longer, and you should be prepared for this.

How to open a bank account in Europe: available options in 2023

There are plenty of options for opening a European bank account. It can be a traditional bank account, an account in a payment system, or a neo-bank institution. Keep in mind that compliance controls in European banks are significantly stricter compared to payment service providers. As a result, businesses often opt for alternative options to traditional banks, such as payment systems.

The functionality of payment systems is in no way inferior to traditional banking services. The choice of a payment system depends on the intended use of the bank account and the client’s profile.

Choosing a bank for opening a bank account in Europe

When selecting a European bank for opening a bank account, it is important to consider its specialization, as banks may exclusively cater to:

  • IT businesses
  • e-commerce and logistics
  • high-risk businesses
  • freelancers
  • cryptocurrency-related activities.

Some financial institutions may focus solely on transaction volume and generating commission-based revenue, while others may specialize in external asset management or private banking. When choosing a foreign bank, ensure that its functionality aligns with your personal expectations.

In the current era of restricted borders, opening a European bank account is possible in countries such as Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Cyprus, Malta, Macedonia, and many others. Some European banks also provide technical support in different languages. Forward-thinking individuals often avail themselves of private banking services in Switzerland.

Swiss private banking

Swiss private banking services have become global leaders in banking and asset management for individuals. Switzerland is renowned for its sophisticated and confidential banking services.

Swiss banks do not restrict foreign investments. Affluent clients prefer to invest in multiple currencies, including the Swiss franc, US dollar, and euro. In addition to private banking services, Switzerland is ready to offer the following:

  • personal/corporate wealth management
  • asset management
  • customized investment solutions for wealth growth
  • pension plans
  • personalized services.

Wealth management has never been an underestimated service, as many affluent individuals turn to this option to preserve their personal wealth through the expertise of professional private banks and their capital managers.


There are numerous options for opening a bank account in Europe, ranging from traditional bank accounts to accounts in payment systems, neo-banks, and even establishing a branch in Serbia to access all banking services.

Finding the perfect solution can be challenging with such a range of possibilities. How can you make the right choice without wasting time and incurring unnecessary expenses? The answer is simple: you need the assistance of trusted consultants, such as the experts at International Wealth.

By seeking assistance from specialists, you will receive a comprehensive range of services, including the selection of suitable jurisdictions and specific banking institutions for opening an account based on your specific objectives. They will assist you with gathering the necessary documents, completing forms, guiding you through every stage of communication with the bank, resolving any issues that arise, and much more.

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