New Bank Account

I went to open a current account for my auto entrepreneur business, and was told this was OK, but now the bank wants me to give them my siret/siren number - is this usual?

Bonne chance Barbara, I hope you get some answers ;-)

BTW all my OH's family are with crédit agricole, mortgage is with them - never a problem (apart from the high charges but most of the main banks are the same) But my Dad also has a business account and a personal account with them up near Tours and he's been trying to close the business account for months (from a distance) and put everything into his personal account (two different branches, different people) In short it's chaos and because he isn't sur place to bang on the counter and insist things get done it's driving him mad. He's discovered the brit line which is a help for him but at the end of the day it's the person dealing in the particular branch and if they dig their heals in the only way to sort things out is face to face and stand your ground. He's here in france this week and has an appointent to finally, he hopes, sort things out! Shouldn't be like this but it is. Again things have changed enormously in the last 10 years, there's still a long way to go but things are changing ;-)

Ah yes Andrew I did laugh.

Yesterday was sorting out the mess day.

Credit Ag seem nice...guesse that the word nice sums them up.

They are trying to find out about credit card machine FEES etc

so is Barclays.

Quite understand Barbara, that's what I said in my original post - if you need credit card machines and have a large cash flow then a full on business account is the only option. We've budgeted 700€ for the business account on our next project as it's a necessity as it is for you. My 8€ a year account at la poste just wouldn't handle it and la poste aren't the bank to deal with for full on business accounts, we'll be with the bank that gives us the best deal for the business loan and take it from there (we're playing 5 banks against each other - 5 dossiers - and then let them fight it out!)

It takes a while to get used to French banks but rest assured they've got much better in recent years, they were far worse, yes it's possible!

I do appreciate the simplicity of the post office Andrew but...

I use a credit card machine and a service called " A la distance"

we are in an age when clients booking 5 days with you in a B and B situation during summer ....they want a day class in cooking and dinner.

The deposit is vital in order to know that there is a formal booking.Just need the authority from the bank to allow this and you can take details from the client ...EXPIRE DATE and 3 digits on the back. Put all this through your machine and attach the little pop up ticket to the enquiry.

Perhaps bank transfer? But most people seem to like this method.

My current bank manager recently suspended this facility without warning.

She did this because she did not get her way.

She wants me to submit manager accounts and i SAID no.

We have a small buisness which is being operated to help us live not to assist the bank in helping themselves to what they want from our account.

I have now asked the manager at a larger branch to get some proof of this Formular Zen....WHICH we signed for...WHICH TAKES '46 euros PER MONTH from our account.

I am sorry but banks are not my fav place...

La Poste sounds good but I just can't stand going to the post office and also we had real problems when we wanted to close a child's savings account and found the staff generally very unhelpful, so it rather put me off.

Yes that's the downside of the internet banks - you need to have a regular cashflow. If you don't need a CB then la banque postale is one of the cheapest, hole in the wall card for getting money out at any la poste machine, cheque book, internet access, etc all for around 8€ a year (not a month with most other banks!) Bonne chance ;-)

I had a look at online banks and found that in order to have free banking you need a regular amount, about €700 euros, coming into the account every month, something I can't do at the moment. For the card, I don't need one at the moment, just an account to receive payments, perhaps online - this is something I am still looking into. However, I might take them up on the six months free trial and keep looking around too.

have just read on a forum that oney had to stop offering its credit cards as part of the loi Lagarde, all those who already have cards are not affected and cards are renewed no problem, just no new ones for the moment and no link on their site either, but apparently they will be back with more free cards soon...(Oney is part of Banque Accord/Auchan)

the offer of free credit cards is getting smaller and smaller, free accounts too - ING comes out top in most polls and if I wasn't already with la poste with everything set up there plus the convenience of popping into my branch, I'd change for ING's free internet bank account with free CB:

But as I said earlier in this thread, if it's a business with a high cash flow and banking needs (not often the case for an AE due to the limits) then a standard business account would be worth paying for, especially once you get into the realms of taking credit cards etc...!

Bonne chance Tracy ;-)

Louise, I've been using my personal account at la post to run my AE business for the last three years with absolutely no problems at all, after all what's the difference between having a salary paid into an account or invoices. Obviously if there's a lot of cashflow that'd be different. No one has ever suggested I open a second account. having said that la poste aren't a 'business bank' like crédit agricole etc. Oney is just one of the independant banks that offers a credit card UK style, they don't just take the money directly from your account - you decide how much you pay and it's free, or you pay a small fee and get 1% back on everything you spend (exactly the same as the various UK credit card schemes) OH used to pay 50€ a year for her CB at Crédit Agricole but I soon changed that!

Oops - I've just looked at the oney site and they no longer seem to offer credit cards - existing memebers keep theirs but no new ones ={:-O

I'll have a look later, must get upstairs with youngest's bibéron as he's calling me!

I already have a current account with another bank but wanted to keep the AE account separate. I have heard that you can have some problems when you just start using your original current account for your AE business as when you start to receive payments the banks will query these and ask you to open a second account.

The bank did not ask to see my personal bank statements or for any proof of my solvency, they just want my siren number and proof of my address.

What is an oney card?

Cheers Andrew, will have a look at that. In fact, he has to get round to opening a 'real' bank account as La Poste is not great when you need more professional services. He is a carpenter and we have to look at changing the whole AE thing, when his ACCRE runs out - in May - oh poo, did I just say May???????

As Tracy says, opening a bank account in France is very different to the UK, Being asked to prove what you've been earning/are earning is normal. Writing a rubber cheque is illegal in France whereas it's just seen as bad form in the UK. As with everything here, things are different!

Tracy, Just a thought to save your OH the credit card fee, I've been with la poste since crédit mutuel introduced charges. I didn't take the credit card as it's expensive like most banks, I have an oney credit card which costs nothing and works perfectly (was egg in the UK). that way my ccp only costs the couple of euros per quarter for everything ;-)

My husband and I have AE accounts, one with La Poste and one with Soc Gen. Mine costs 8€ a month but the benefit for me is that Soc Gen accept I am a 'real' business and I have a deferred debit card, a funny kind of overdraft at a low rate and a bank account in my name and my company name (very important to me) so the 8€ is worth every penny especially as it means my CB is 'free'.

At La Poste, my husband get's nothing, but has to pay for various services, including a CB, so the important thing is to check what is on offer from each bank. Both banks asked for copies of all our personal bank statements before opening accounts, solvability is very important in France.

Because I worked freelance before moving to France so they want to see my previous accounts. Perhaps they simply want proof of where my minimal income comes from. I provided a printout showing the amounts, told her to select 2 or 3 at random and I'd email them to her, but she wants the originals. To my mind, my accounts are for the tax office to check if they so choose, not the bank.

Unless it would benefit you in some way, I wouldn't waste 8E a month on a separate account.

The bank in fact now want me to have an auto-entrepreneur account that costs €8 a month with the first six months free. They also offer a free website setting up service which I didn't know about.

I don't see how, if you are just registering as an AE, how you could have invoices for the past 12 months

Just as a p.s. - when opening my personal account, the bank asked my profession and I told them I would be registering as an AE. They did not ask for a Siret but said that the account could not be opened until I present them with my file of invoices for the past 12 months. What this has to do with a personal account, I'm not sure.

Hi Louise,

As an AE you don't need to have a business account, it can be just an ordinary personal accout - therefore the bank doesn't need your siret number. (Although I agree with the comments already posted). I have a seperate account for my 'professional' banking, with just a cheque book and don't incur any charges at all on it. It might be different if you have lots of transactions going through each month or a card, in which case it might be worth doing the maths to make sure you have the best account for you.


Thanks for the replies.