If you are interested incompany formation in Greece, you will need to set up a corporate bank account for your company. At the same time, you, as an individual, might want to open a bank account in Greece for personal reasons, although you can also use your credit or debit card issued by one of the banks operating in your home country. However, having a local bank account will provide several advantages.
Thus, if you want to open a bank account in Greece for corporate or personal matters, as a foreigner you can always rely on our team of specialists, who can act as an intermediate between you and the local commercial banks and can also provide information on the types of documents you should prepare when opening the bank account, especially when we refer to the one for corporate clients. For extensive details and legal advice, please address to our team of specialists in Greek company formation.
Types of bank accounts
Current accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, accounts in foreign currencies.
Who can open a bank account in Greece
Residents and non-residents, persons with an age above 18 years old, who want to set up an account for personal or corporate purposes.
Bank accounts for businesses in Greece
One can open a bank account in Greece for freelancers, for small businesses, for small and medium sized companies, etc.
Corporate documents required for setting up a bank account
The company's incorporation documents, the registration certificate, the shareholder's identity documents, the company’s business address.
Possibility to open a bank account online (yes/no)
Local tax number required for foreigners (yes/no)
Basic requirements imposed to non-resident clients
A Greek tax number, proof on the residential address in Greece and identity documents.
Situations in which a foreigner may need a local bank account
To avoid paying bank fees when using their foreign bank account, for employment in Greece, for savings, etc.
The institution that regulates the banking system
National Bank of Greece
Law regulating card transactions
Monetary Policy Council Act 50/31-7-2002
Documents required for individuals setting a bank account
The Greek tax number, identity card, passport, proof of address in Greece, proof of salary and other documents.
Opening a bank account in foreign currency (yes/no)
Yes, one can open a bank account in Greece in a foreign currency.
Institution issuing a local tax number
Greek Tax Office
Opening a bank account by appointing a representative (yes/no)
Yes, especially for company formation
What is the process for opening a corporate bank account in Greece in 2023?
The process of opening a bank account that is created for companies imposes the banks to request specific corporate documents from the investors. In Greece, there are various types of bank accounts that vary based on the commercial bank where the company will set up its account. Banks have various products that are created with the purpose of helping individuals who work as sole traders or those who have set up a small business.
At the same time, one can open a bank account in Greece suitable for the needs of a small and medium sized company, or for foreign companies that work as subsidiaries or branches of foreign companies. During the process of company registration in Greece, the investor will receive various documents from the local authorities, such as the company’s incorporation documents, its registration certificate and so on.
Typically, the commercial bank where the bank account will be set up will require the company’s incorporation documents, but also information on the company’s current business address. The company’s shareholders will have to provide their personal details as well. You must also know that this process can be completed online in most of the cases, but generally, in order to open a bank account in Greece for corporate clients, the company’s representatives, who can also be our team of consultants, have to set up a meeting with the bank’s tellers.
How can non-residents open a bank account in Greece?
First, it is important to know that persons who are not residents in Greece can open a bank account here, if specific procedures are respected. The law in Greece does not restrict persons who do not have their residency in this country to open a bank account, but not all types of bank accounts will be available for this category of persons.
This is given by the fact that in order to benefit from all the bank products and services, banks across the world will generally want their clients to have their residency in the place where the bank branch or subsidiary is located, in order to assure a certain level of trust between the bank and the clients.
Limitations can appear regarding the type of bank account, the currency in which the foreigner can open the account and others. This will largely depend on the bank that the foreigner has selected. Still, a foreign person will absolutely need to apply for a local tax number, in order to be able to open a bank account in Greece.
The procedure is not very complicated and if you need advice, you can receive more details from our team of consultants in company registration in Greece. The Greek tax number is named Arithmo Forologiko Mitro and it can be obtained from any tax office operating in Greece.
We invite you to watch the video below on how to open a bank account in Greece:
Provided that you are in your home country and any of the Greek banks have a subsidiary or a branch office operating in your home country, you can ease the procedure by addressing directly to the units working in your home country, but in this case, other procedures will apply.
To have the right of opening a bank account in Greece, you must have an age of minimum 18 years old. Then, you must provide a set of documents that are presented below in this article, and this document should comply with certain legal requirements. For instance, they will need the certification of the Greek consulate or embassy operating in your home country.
If you need advice regarding the immigration procedures imposed by the Greek institutions, our team of consultants in company formation in Greece can assist you. Having a bank account in Greece can have certain advantages, especially for foreigners who want to stay in this country for a longer period of time.
Please mind that the account can become very useful in the case in which you want to purchase a property here. Regardless if you want to purchase a property for personal reasons or you want to open a company in Greece and want to purchase a property in the name of the company, having a local bank account will be of help.
During the process of buying a property, you will need to pay specific taxes. One of the taxes due is the property transfer tax, which is always paid through a bank in Greece. Even though most of the property sale can be done without the need of having a Greek bank account, when the parties reach the procedure of paying the property tax, the foreigner will need a local bank account, which can then be closed if the person does not need it anymore.
This tax has to be paid to the Tax Office in the region where the property is, or to the Tax Office working in the region where the notary public has his or her office (the participation of a notary public is mandatory, as this entity represents the sole entity that has the right of processing this legal step).
In order to pay the tax with the Tax Office, the institution will issue a code that will be used by the new owner of the property, who will transfer the respective amount of money from a Greek bank account to the Tax Office’s bank account. Another option is that a Greek bank will issue a cheque for the respective amount that will be directly deposited into the treasury department of the Tax Office.
Foreigners who want to purchase a property in Greece can address to our team of specialists. Our team can offer in-depth advice on the documents necessary for the sale of the property and can help you take the due diligence procedures, through which the buyer has the right to verify if the property does not have any hidden flaws that are not mentioned in the sale-purchase contract.
Our team is qualified to help in this procedure, and verify specific situations – the financial situation of the property (if there are any mortgages or debts in its name), its legal situation (the current owner or other persons who may have ownership rights and who are not mentioned in the contract), the price at which the property is sold (the verification is done through a method known as valuation, in order to determine if the seller is not requesting a higher price than the market’s price).
What should one know on the banking system in Greece?
The banking system in Greece is regulated by the Bank of Greece. Greece is a country that is a member state of the European Union (EU), but also of the Eurozone, as it has adopted the EU monetary system. All banking entities and financial institutions are regulated by the National Bank. Below, you can find out few interesting facts about the Greek banking system:
• the transactions that are using payment cards are monitored by the bank in order to prevent fraud related activities, in accordance with the rules of the Monetary Policy Council Act 50/31-7-2002;
• this is why all payment services providers in Greece are required to submit every 6 months details on the card transactions they registered;
• in Greece, the first series of Euro banknotes was introduced in 2002;
•Greece was the 12th EU member state to adopt the EURO;
• the transition from the national monetary system to the EU monetary system took place on 1 January 2001.
How can individuals open a bank account in Greece?
As we said above, foreign individuals can also open a bank account in Greece, by following a set of minimum requirements. Most of the Greek banks will require the same documents, which refer to the following: the applicant’s passport or other identity documents, a proof of address in Greece (various documents can be used in this sense, including the utility bills), as well as the proof on having sufficient funds to set up the account.
Even though you are a foreigner, the local banks will require you to have a Greek tax number in order to open a bank account, and this can be achieved by addressing to the nearest Tax Office. The issuance of the tax number is, however, bound by making the proof of residency in Greece.
In order to open a bank account in Greece, local banks may require a salary slip or even your marriage certificate, in the case in which you want to set up a joint bank account with your spouse. Just like in the case of corporate bank accounts, you can start the process without the need of going in person to the bank.
If you want to open a bank account in Greece for the current year (2023), we invite you to request in-depth information from our team of specialists. As presented in this article, the procedures will differ based on the legal nature of the client (natural person or corporate body). Our team of consultants in company formation in Greece is ready to assist in the process of opening a bank account in 2023 for those representing companies, but our team can also help foreigners living here in this process.
However, in most cases, those who need to open a bank account in Greece will complete the procedure in person or through their representatives. If you need further advice, we invite you to contact our consultants in Greek company formation, who can represent you in this process.
Foreigners must know that many banks do not require any type of minimum initial deposit. If you want to open a bank account in 2023, this rule is available for all commercial banks, as per the regulations of the National Bank of Greece.
However, banks will charge various fees, depeding on the type of account you will set up. It must be noted that fees can be applied in 2023 for ATM services, and they can vary from EUR 2 to almost EUR 4.
Federico Richardson is our company formation expert in Greece and the founder of Lexidy Law Boutique SLP. He can assist clients with the entire company registration procedure in Greece.
Call us now at +302111995654to set up an appointment with our lawyers in Athens, Greece. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Greece.
As a Lexidy Law Boutique SLP client, you will beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Greece.