8 Steps to Open a Business Bank Account for International Companies
How to open a business bank account for international companies in 8 steps.
All national and international companies are required to open a bank account. This is essential for setting up a subsidiary in France.
To learn more on setting up a legal structure in France, check our guide " Start a Business in Paris Region ", which outlines the essential steps.
If you are already based in France, this procedure is simpler. You just need to add your Kbis to the package information list. The opening of your bank account will be formalized during the meeting at the bank.
If you are setting up a branch, you don't need to open a capital deposit account or provide a Kbis certificate. You will just need to submit the foreign company's Articles of Incorporation. A document outlining the legal framework for setting up an entity in France is available here.
To save time before you choose your bank, you will need to anticipate and prepare a list of documents (in digital format and fully translated into either French or English) prior to your meeting with the bank. This “information package” will allow any bank to look into the possibility of opening a bank account.
Choosing your Bank
Time limit: 2 to 5 days
Choose Paris Region works with a network of bank partners, which you can contact via our digital platform “Connect with our selected partners”. Once you have established contact, you will submit your documents (Information package) in digital format and fully translated into either English or French. Many international banks already have branch partners in France. If this is the case with your bank, it can save you some valuable time. You should feel free to contact your bank and ask about the appropriate transfer procedure.
Time limit: Within 1 week
Review of the documents by the bank's Compliance department.
The bank will analyze all the documents received with the help of its financial security department. For example, the future French subsidiary's beneficial owners, business activities, etc. will be reviewed.
The bank may also request other documents.
The banker or Choose Paris Region will contact you to arrange a meeting with the bank.
Time limit: Within 4 days
Video conference meeting with the bank to further explain your expansion project and validate compliance.
The purpose of this meeting with the bank is to get to know your company and to describe:
- your business and activities
- your project in France,
- your growth and recruitment plans.
After this meeting, the bank may request further documents.
Time limit: Within 1 week
Opening of the capital deposit account and delivery of the capital deposit certificate by the bank.
After the meeting, and subject to receipt of the necessary documents, the bank will open a capital deposit account, which will temporarily house the share capital of your future subsidiary.
You will then receive a capital deposit certificate. This is essential, as it will be required to register your subsidiary with the Commercial Court.
Registration of the subsidiary
Time limit: 1 to 2 weeks
The company will send the capital deposit certificate to the lawyer/accountant that it has appointed to register the subsidiary in France.
A list of documents in digital format and fully translated into either French or English must also be provided to the law firm or chartered accountant to register the subsidiary with the Commercial Court. Depending on the type of legal structure you wish to create, you will find the documents you need to provide via this link.
If you don't yet have a lawyer or chartered accountant, Choose Paris Region works with a legal partners available on our
digital platform “Connect with our selected partners“.
Time limit: 48h
Once you have registered your subsidiary, you will be issued a Kbis certificate. The Kbis is an official document that certifies the company's registration. It is the company's "identity card".
You will need to provide this Kbis to your banker to allow him/her to officially open the operational bank account.
Be sure to check the information on the Kbis before sending it to the bank. Should there be any errors, you or your advisor must report them to the commercial court clerk's office for amendment.
Official opening of the bank account
Time limit: 10 days
Face-to-face meeting with the bank to sign the documents.
The banker will ask you to sign the bank account opening documents. He or she will provide you with specimen signatures. Once all the compliance checks have been carried out, the bank will issue your IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
You can now do business freely in France.
Some banks have an office in the customer's country and can transfer the procedures to this office to make the process easier.
Time limits for information only