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Why you need a separate banking account as freelancer

Written by Tino Keller
Updated on
Read in 4 minutes

Are you in the process of starting your freelance career in Germany? Congratulations! Exciting times are ahead! One of the most important parts of working for yourself is organising your finances, and it is never too early to start.

There are a few tricks and tips to keep your money in check. One of them is having a business bank account, that allows you to keep your personal and your business expenses separate.

That’s why in this article, we will focus on the benefits of business accounts and introduce you to 3 different banking options for freelancers in Germany.

The benefits of having a separate banking account

In Germany, you are not obligated to have a separate banking account for your business. That means that you can technically use your private bank account to organise your overall expenses. However, there are many benefits of keeping your personal and your business finances separate.

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1. Keep track of your finances

Checking your income and your expenses is a vital part of every freelancer’s life, yet many freelancers don’t open a separate bank account for their business. One of the main reasons for that is the additional cost that can be associated with business accounts. 

But if you use your personal banking account for business transactions and expenses, it is easy to lose track of what is coming in and out. After a while, you can’t differentiate between a business lunch or a private restaurant visit, as it both appears on the same bank statement. 

In that case, paying for a business bank account is a worthwhile investment. Not only does it make tracking expenses and earnings a lot easier, it is also a huge help when preparing your annual tax return, as it requires you to list your income and expenses chronologically – which can easily be done when you keep your bank accounts separate. 

💡Tip from Accountable: Managing your finances is a walk in the park with Accountable. Simply connect your bank account with our app and keep track of everything that is coming in and out of your account. You’ll even get a notification whenever a client has paid your invoice!

2. You are not allowed to use personal bank accounts for business transactions

Another reason why you should get a separate business account is the fact that you are generally not allowed to use a personal bank account for business transactions, which is usually stated in the terms of use. This is because business accounts on average perform a lot more transactions and are therefore not free of charge, as is the case for most personal accounts. The good news is though: You can claim the fee for your bank account as a business expense!

➡️ How to claim business expenses on tax 

3. Simplify your tax returns

It is way easier to submit your tax return when you keep both personal and business expenses separate. Simply log in to your business account and search for a specific transaction, without having to filter out any non-business related expenses. 

This is not only a quicker and more efficient way to fill out your tax return, but it also helps you minimise the risk of making mistakes, as falsely claiming a personal purchase as a business expense can get you in a lot of trouble.

💡 Tip from Accountable: With Accountable, all you need is one click to create your tax declaration or VAT return and submit it to the tax office. 

What is the best bank account for freelancers in Germany?

Which bank to choose depends on your individual needs. If your clients tend to pay you in cash, you might want to stick with a bank that has a local branch close to you. But if you prefer to do your banking online, you might find a fintech bank to be the best choice for you. 

Here are three of the best options for business bank accounts.

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N26: Global banking free of charge

Having a bank account at N26 has many benefits: It is not only completely free of charge, but it also comes with your very own Mastercard Business, which is – you guessed it – also free

You can use the credit card to take out cash in all of Europe without having to pay ATM fees, which is especially handy if you travel a lot for work. Additionally, you also get a Maestro banking card, and can earn 0.1% cash back for any purchase made using your credit card. 

Commerzbank: A well-rounded bank account 

The Commerzbank has several different options for people who want to open a business account. The most basic version called KlassikGeschäftskonto will cost you €9.90 a month and comes with a free debit card as well as ten free transactions per month. 

If you need more features than that, you could opt for the premium version, which includes 75 transactions as well as 10 free deposits and withdrawals and a free debit or credit card. This will, however, cost you €24.90 a month, with further options available for additional charge. 

One of the biggest advantages of the Commerzbank is that they have several branches all over Germany, so you can just walk into one of their banks and talk to a sales representative about your different options. 

HypoVereinsbank: Individual options for freelancers

Another bank that has several different options is the HypoVereinsbank. The cheapest business bank account is called HVB Konto4Business Smart and will cost you €7 a month. However, there is an additional fee of €0.35 for every transaction made – and getting a credit card will cost you €20 a year.

If you have to make more than 40 transactions a month, the HVB Konto4Business might be the better option for you. Even though you will have to pay €15.95 a month for this option, you’ll get a free Mastercard and will only have to pay a reduced transaction fee of €0.12 per booking. 

And again, you get the benefits of an in-person service on top of online banking features if this is important to you.

💡 Tip from Accountable: As a modern and flexible banking provider, N26 is our favourite, as it provides online-based and free services. However, if you are looking for a bank that does offer in-person service, both the Commerzbank and the HypoVereinsbank might be the right choice for you.

Get on top of your finances

Are you looking for a smart digital solution to help you organise your finances? Look no further, Accountable has got you covered! Simply connect your bank account to the app and track every single transaction. Additionally, you can use our photo scan technology to digitally store copies of all your invoices and receipts, which makes preparing and submitting your tax return a lot easier.

All your taxes. Done.

Just add your invoices. Accountable generates all of your tax returns without mistakes..
Tino Keller
Tino Keller

Tino already built two companies and therefore knows the challenges freelancers face first hand. With Accountable he wants to solve all those challenges related to taxes.
When not working, Tino enjoys a nice Asado with a glass of Malbec as well as celebrating one of the occasional wins of favourite soccer team 1. FC Köln.

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