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Old 10.01.2012, 08:26
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Bank accounts for business

Dear all,

I've done a quick search of the forums and not unearthed anything - so apologies if this has been covered before!

Can anyone share any advice on the best banks for a simple SARL/GmBH company (about to inaugurate and still need to select the account to transfer the required funds). We have looked at Credit Suisse, UBS and PostFinance and there doesn't seem to be that much difference between them on paper so I guess it all comes down to how their performance differs in reality.

Grateful for any experiences that people can share - or guide us to any other banks that have not made it to our radar screen. We are in Geneva if that makes any difference.
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Old 10.01.2012, 09:00
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Re: Bank accounts for business

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Dear all,

I've done a quick search of the forums and not unearthed anything - so apologies if this has been covered before!

Can anyone share any advice on the best banks for a simple SARL/GmBH company (about to inaugurate and still need to select the account to transfer the required funds). We have looked at Credit Suisse, UBS and PostFinance and there doesn't seem to be that much difference between them on paper so I guess it all comes down to how their performance differs in reality.

Grateful for any experiences that people can share - or guide us to any other banks that have not made it to our radar screen. We are in Geneva if that makes any difference.
They're all about as good or bad as each other. Best to send an e-mail out to all the usual suspects telling them what you want and see who comes back with the most enthusiastic answer, it pretty much comes down to finding an individual that cares (tricky I know).

If you foresee a lot of international currency transfers (in or outbound), then UBS or CS have the edge as they deal directly with the correspondence banks rather than having to go via external clearing houses.

Good luck with your enterprise.
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Old 10.01.2012, 09:47
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Re: Bank accounts for business

Thanks for the suggestion - I think this might be our next step.
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Old 10.01.2012, 11:21
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Re: Bank accounts for business

SMEs are very much the domain of the cantonal banks. It's what they live off and they have a lot experience working with SMEs. I would certainly go and have a talk with them.
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Old 06.08.2014, 18:20
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Re: Bank accounts for business

Bumping an old thread but I wondered if anyone has recent experience with CS/ZKB/Postfinance? The latter two do startup packages and seem more SME-oriented than CS. Is the Post Office a sufficiently "serious" organisation for business banking? I'm currently with UBS and have been for ages, so it's always worth looking around.
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Old 06.08.2014, 21:28
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Re: Bank accounts for business

UBS does start up packages as well with good deals for the first year. Better the devil you know and find a replacement after that.
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Old 06.08.2014, 21:57
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Re: Bank accounts for business

My experience with banking for a startup - UBS not really in the game (nicest literature but reality is they chase bigger elephants with bigger fees, I couldn't make it work despite being customer 20 yrs) No input for CS. Ended up with ZKB for corporate SFR and EU accounts, bit high on monthly transaction fees, offered line of credit at 8% if needed, offers on-line banking with adequate security, very professional and fast to respond so I'm a happy camper. Would not go with PF if dealing with international vendors, Asian currencies, etc - maybe negative impression to suppliers as "mom-and-pop" bank even though they likely can do the currency/wire services (maybe I'm a bit biased)
PS ZKB is largest Kantonalbank I believe, well known w/in Europe, and you don't have to be incorporated in Kanton ZH to be a customer
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Old 06.08.2014, 22:00
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Re: Bank accounts for business

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My experience with banking for a startup - UBS not really in the game (nicest literature but reality is they chase bigger elephants with bigger fees, I couldn't make it work despite being customer 20 yrs) No input for CS. Ended up with ZKB for corporate SFR and EU accounts, bit high on monthly transaction fees, offered line of credit at 8% if needed, offers on-line banking with adequate security, very professional and fast to respond so I'm a happy camper. Would not go with PF if dealing with international vendors, Asian currencies, etc - maybe negative impression to suppliers as "mom-and-pop" bank even though they likely can do the currency/wire services (maybe I'm a bit biased)
PS ZKB is largest Kantonalbank I believe, well known w/in Europe, and you don't have to be incorporated in Kanton ZH to be a customer
We use PF for our "Verein" business account and so far so good. No complaints. International transfers, donations, WU transfers, e-banking fall into place.
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Old 11.08.2014, 22:15
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Re: Bank accounts for business

I opened an account in Zurchner Kantonalbank and I'm very satisfied. The staff is nice and speaks fluent English. I got all docs very quick so I recommend this bank.
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Old 11.08.2014, 23:10
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Re: Bank accounts for business

We also use PostFinance for our business. They were helpful when setting the business up and offer some attractive start-up packages. Very happy with them so far. They also provide a great ecommerce solution for online shops, which is the main reason we chose them.
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Old 30.06.2015, 20:05
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Re: Bank accounts for business

Does anyone know if banks will open a business account for an American citizen with a Gmbh or if there are restrictions?
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Old 30.06.2015, 20:32
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Re: Bank accounts for business

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Does anyone know if banks will open a business account for an American citizen with a Gmbh or if there are restrictions?
Make an educated guess... Hint: They don't even want you as a private customer for FATCA reasons. Why would they want your small business? If anything is this more trouble with the US authorities.
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Old 30.06.2015, 20:52
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Re: Bank accounts for business

Soooo..... basically it's impossible for a US citizen to have a GmbH in CH?
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Old 30.06.2015, 20:56
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Re: Bank accounts for business

Why don't you try UBS or PostFinance? It doesn't hurt to ask.
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Old 30.06.2015, 20:56
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Re: Bank accounts for business

No, just the account is an issue.

Just be prepared for a LOT of paperwork to complete and tax work to do.
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Old 30.06.2015, 23:05
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Re: Bank accounts for business

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Does anyone know if banks will open a business account for an American citizen with a Gmbh or if there are restrictions?

Yes, the answer is no unless you are resident here and even then they are not keen. The due diligence to make sure you are "clean" far outweighs the cost of anything they could earn. Unless of course you are around the $30 mio mark account
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