How are company accounts managed?

Do you actually have to keep a business account as a self-employed person? Or is a private account enough?

The private and business current accounts do not seem to have much difference - in terms of their legal nature, but also in terms of the functions of payment transactions. However, the German Civil Code (BGB) has separated business customers and consumers. The banks in particular do not like it when the private checking account is used as a business account, as there are many more transactions on the business checking account and the expense for the account management is also significantly higher. Most banks do not allow you to use your private account for business. But what exactly are the differences between these two checking accounts?

Many private customers are attracted by banks with free checking accounts, but for business customers this usually means that they have to dig deeper into their pockets. In addition, not only the monthly fees for maintaining the account are calculated. The cost of individual bookings is also a disadvantage for business customers. It can be particularly expensive for the self-employed when it comes to paper-based bookings. This means bookings for which the bank employees actually still have to manually enter something into the system (such as a classic paper transfer form).

In addition, business accounts usually do not provide an overdraft facility. If you want to have a loan for your business account, you have to try to get one at your bank. This mostly depends on how you conduct business. However, the business accounts usually also offer additional functions. This includes convenient solutions for electronic payment transactions or the transmission of booking records to tax offices.

However, the business account is not required by law. With regard to tax law, it is only important that all bookings can be proven, whether with a private or business current account. Only companies with limited liability, i.e. GmbHs, are obliged to keep a business account.

What does a business current account cost?

The fees vary quite a bit between banks. There are offers for which you do not have to pay account management fees, but for each individual transfer and transaction. Other banks charge a monthly fee, and these costs already include a number of postings. And of course there are also different offers depending on whether an EC or credit card is included.

Even if you do not have to keep your business account and private account separate, it is very sensible to separate them. If you are in the process of choosing a suitable checking account, you have plenty of leeway. Some banks offer the possibility of a second private account for small or individual entrepreneurs, sometimes a number of sub-accounts. The business account may cost you a little more, but on the other hand, the account will keep things tidy. You will only notice this later in the accounting department, where it will all pay off.