Opening a French bank account for new business - any recommendations please?

My wife is starting a business in the next few months and she/we therefore need to open a separate account for business transactions. We currently already have a joint personal account with CIC but just wondered what relevant experience is already out there please.

My wife opened a post office account for this purpose - I think because it was easiest/cheapest - I’ll ask her.

Personally, I would never recommend La Banque Postale for business, they’re simply not set up for the needs of businesses that require any degree of reactiveness or flexibility. If you don’t need to cash chèques, and all of your transactions will be electronic, i.e. bank transfers and card payments, you might want to go for a purely online account such as N26 or ING Direct. In my experience, most bricks and mortar banks have cut down on staffing, so finding a permanently resident business bank manager is getting to be a rarety, especially in rural areas, which in turn means that when you do need him/her in an emergency, inevitably they will be elsewhere and you will be left wondering what the hell you pay all those bank fees for.

I’ve tried LCL, Credit Agricole, and BNP over the years, and am currently with BPCE, with which I am mostly satisfied, but it has taken a long time and a lot of threatening to leave them to get where I am today. It helps your case if your business actually brings in the money of course. It still winds me up that electronic transfers online are only just starting to become easier, but it still takes 24hours to add a SEPA account and credit it using BPCE for business, and 72hours if you’re transferring from your personal account. If you’re sending GBP, CHD, or USD, better off paying via a specialised transfer service. I use Western Union, but that is only accessible to businesses with a minimum of about 50K€ worth of transfers per year. If you use PayPal to send and receive payments, you will need to declare it as a bank account in your business annual return.

Many thanks for the response.

Easiest/cheapest sounds good! I foresee needing to make cheque payments but receipts will either be cash or card payments I imagine. Is that all straightforward with the post office account? Is a debit card available as an alternative to cheque payments?

Thanks for your response - I think perhaps my requirements are simpler than yours avoiding some of the limitations and frustrations you mentioned. For example there will be no international transactions / transfers and as pointed out in a previous reply receipts should be cash or card. I don’t see a need to offer Paypal or cheque payment options at this stage so fingers crossed the post office might be adequate. And frankly adequate is all I ever aspire to with banking services in France or the UK!