Best bank accounts for freelancers and small businesses in Germany - 2023 review

A honest review of Fyrst, Holvi, Kontist, Finom and Wise.


This post was last updated on November 1, 2023

In this guide

A man in a blue shirt tipping on a tablet. A chart is projected on top of the tablet.

This article is for everybody who is operating a business based in Germany and needs a business bank account.

Small businesses and freelancers in Germany can use their private German bank accounts for invoicing clients but it is not guaranteed that the bank will not shut the account down and force you to use their business account (Geschäftskundenkonto). Some banks like Berliner Sparkasse and N26 tolerate income from freelancer activities on private accounts. Please note that any business registered as a GmbH, GmbH & Co. KG or AG is required by law to open a dedicated business account source.

Business accounts with traditional German banks are usually more expensive than private accounts. Some German NEO banks step up with more attractive offers for small businesses. The following list only includes business accounts that have a free plan with a fully functional IBAN acount and English language support. Many of the featured business accounts offer some sort of accounting and tax services in their paid plans.

Some banks have reports of frozen funds source. The reasons are sometimes unclear and can be anything from customers paying with stolen credit cards to payments in other currencies. I recommend to always keep your money spread across several bank accounts with different banks.

Free German business accounts

Wise business

Wise has a *Wise business account with no monthly subscription fees.

Some features of the free Wise business account:

  • Real-time foreign exchange rates without additional transaction rates.
  • Hold up to 50 currencies.
  • Withdrawing up to 200.- Euro for free.

Optional features:

  • batch payments from data in a spreadsheet.
  • Team access.
  • Debit card.
A screenshot of the Wise Business app. A screenshot of the Wise Business app. Wise offers interesting multicurrency features for international businesses.

*Sign up with the Wise Business account here.

Kontist business account

I heard many good things about the *Kontist bank account for self-employed. They offer an app for managing business finances which comes with a business bank account in the English language and accounting features. The self-employed checking account is free as long as you have a minimum of 300.- Euro worth of transactions per month. The first 10 transactions are free, subsequent transactions cost 0,15 Euro each.

Features of the free Kontist self-employed account:

  • unlimited SEPA transfers.
  • Unlimited debit card withdrawals.
  • Apple and Google pay.
  • CSV exports.
  • Receipt scanning.
  • Invoicing tool.

Features in the paid plans:

  • VAT calculations.
  • DATEV export.
  • Invoices and offer generations.
  • Tax declaration and professional accounting (only in the extra Kontist Tax Service plan).
A phone with Kontist self-employed app and the illustration of a hand holiding a sign Verified By Kontist Tax Advisory. The free Kontist plan can be upgraded to paid accounting features.

*Sign up with the Kontist self-employed account here.

Finom

The *Finom business account integrates a free checking account with invoicing features.

Notable Finom free business account features are:

  • Real-time notifications.
  • Invoice and receipt scans.

Features available in the paid plans:

  • accounting.
  • Team access.
  • API access for invoicing.
  • Dark theme (yes, only in the paid plan ūüėā)
Screenshots of the Finom desktop and mobile apps. Finom can be used to aggregate data from other bank accounts.

*Sign up with the Finom business account here.

I use Finom as a business account. The Finom app user interface is very easy to use although there are some bugs. The customer support is very responsive and usually replied within minutes.

Fyrst

*Fyrst offers a great business account. Note that the starter package is free only up to 50 booking entries. Fyrst is the only app in this list that is German language only.

Fyrst free business account features:

  • Free VISA business card.
  • Free cash deposits and withdrawals at 7000 ATMs in Germany.
The Fyrst app on a phone and a text Behalte den √úberblick mit Unterkonten. Fyrst does not have an English version.

*Get the Fyrst app here.

Holvi

*Holvi is another business account for freelancers with full English support. *Click this link, then select En in the navigation.

Holvi does not have a free plan but the Holvi Lite account offers many features for only 9.- Euro / month which is cheaper than the paid plans of most other business accounts.

The Holvi app on a phone and a text Your own German IBAN with a list of features. The Holvi app features.

Holvi Lite features:

  • debit card.
  • Scanning of invoices and receipts.
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Real-time VAT balance.

*Get the Holvi app here.

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