Open a Bank Account in France - 2021 Procedure

Open a Bank Account in France

Updated on Tuesday 11th May 2021

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France allows both local and foreign citizens to open bank accounts here. Also, there also several types of accounts one can set up, in accordance with their needs. The French banking system is a modern one allowing for certain transactions to be carried out online. With an impressive number of local banks operating even in the smallest villages of the country, France also accommodates foreign banks opening branch or representative offices here in order to accommodate the needs of both citizens and companies. Our French lawyers can help natural persons and businessmen open bank accounts in France, respecting the formalities for 2021.

Requirements to open a French bank account in 2021

Depending on whether one is a French resident or not, the bank will ask for various documents in order to open a bank account. The following documents must be provided when establishing a bank account in France:
  •  an ID card or valid passport for EU residents;
  •  the residence visa for non-EU citizens;
  •  an utility bill, rental contract or even a property deed as proof of address;
  •  a payslip.
Some banks may also request the birth certificate or even references from other banks, if the applicant had other accounts. Also, foreign citizens may open a non-resident bank account if they do not have a residence permit.
Foreign investors opening companies in France are required to set up corporate bank accounts for the daily operations of the companies. Our lawyers in France can guide you through the procedure for setting up a corporate bank account here. They can also help you with the VAT registration in France. Here is an infographic with extra details:
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Bank accounts for companies in France

The registration of companies in France also comprises an important step referring to the bank account. This is required for depositing the minimum share capital and then for future financial operations in the firm. A bank account in France is needed for limited liability companies, joint-stock companies, partnerships, and other important business forms. One of our French lawyers will discuss the option for you to open a bank account for your company in France in 2021. Also, foreign investors can benefit from personalized services offered by banks in France.

Can I open a French bank account from abroad?

Yes, it is quite simple to open a bank account without traveling to France. This requires our attention and support, as we can properly manage the process of opening a bank account in France, as soon as you offer us the required documents. Instead of dealing with misunderstandings or errors you can talk to one of our advisors and find out more about the opening process of a bank account in France.

What bank services can be offered in France?

All banks in France offer specific online services for a series of transactions. Internet banking services, payments, foreign currency exchange, money transfers between accounts, balance verifications, savings and investments, insurance are among the important facilities that come with a bank account in France. More than that, tailored facilities are offered to company owners in France, depending on the business needs. Setting up a withdrawal limit or soliciting a specific type of card can be tailored to the needs of businessmen in France. You can solicit legal advice from our team of lawyers in France if interested in opening a bank account in France in 2021.

The banking system in France

The Banque du France is the institution that oversees the activities of all the financial institutions and regulates the banking sector, in collaboration with the Autorite de Controle Prudentiel et de Resolution. There are about 266 private and international banks, alongside more than 300 credit institutions and public regional banks. Even though paying in cash is the most popular payment method in France, there is also the possibility of paying with cheques, credit & debit cards, direct debits, standing orders, online & mobile payments, to give a few examples. International payments and money transfers are also accepted in France.

Are there any banking fees in France?

Yes, most of the banks impose different fees, depending on the services solicited and used. Here are a few examples:
  • general admin fees for a bank account – around EUR 10 per year;
  • fees for debit and credit cards – around EUR 30-40/year;
  • about EUR 20-30 or more for international money transfers;
  • the use of ATM is mostly free of charge.
Please solicit us for legal advice and let us help you open a bank account in France.

Services provided by banks in France

Depending on the type of account held, one can benefit from various services provided by the bank. The most popular type of French bank account is the current one (compte courant), but one may also open savings accounts. It is also important to know that in France spouses can open joint bank accounts in order to keep their savings together. The bank will usually issue a card upon the opening of the account and will also provide overdraft facilities to those interested. Bank statements are issued on a monthly basis for a better control over the money. Banks may also offer insurance and mortgage services for those buying properties in France.

FAQ about bank accounts in France

1. How can I open a bank account in France?
You will need a copy of the ID or passport, a utility bill, a payslip, and complete legal support from our lawyers in France.
2. Can I open a bank account in France from overseas?
Yes, you can solicit our team of advisors to help you open a bank account in simple steps. You don’t need to travel to France for opening a bank account.
3. Can I solicit personalized banking services in France?
Yes, customers can solicit and receive tailored banking services in France, depending on their needs. Companies in France can also benefit from the services of a bank representative, on request.
4. How much does it cost to open a bank account in France?
There are no costs for opening a bank account in France, but there might be specific financial institutions that can ask for a small deposit. Fees for different bank services are imposed, so this important aspect needs to be verified.
5. When can I use the bank account?
Your bank account can be used right away, as soon as it is registered in the banks’ systems.
In other news, the business climate of France is appealing to foreign entrepreneurs who establish all sorts of companies, including banks. Here are some interesting facts and figures:
  1. There are about 266 private and international banks in France, plus other 300 credit institutions.
  2. The total FDI stock for France in 2019 was of around USD 868.9 billion.
  3. 32nd is the position of France among 190 economies in the world, as stated by the 2020 Doing Business report issued by the World Bank.
  4. Around USD 17,8 million was the total value of the greenfield investments in France in 2019.
If you want to move and set up a bank account in France in 2021, you can request the services of our law firm in France. You can also contact us in you want to open a company in France.