It is advisable that anyone who runs a business in Germany also has a bank in Germany to quickly organize day-to-day business activities. Almost all large international banks have offices in Germany and it is also easy to have foreign currency accounts.
To open a private bank account you generally must have a valid passport and written confirmation that Germany is your current place of residence from the local Public Office (Bürgeramt). For a company bank account, the requirements depend on the legal form of the company. In addition to a valid passport you will generally need an excerpt from the commercial register and the articles of association of the company.
Capital can be moved in and out of Germany without any restrictions. However, amounts over EUR 12,500, or equivalent payments with valuables, must be reported to the German Central Bank (Bundesbank). These reports are for statistical purposes only. Forms can be obtained from the Bundesbank.
Reporting obligations for money transfers from abroad depend on the place of residence of the recipient/addresser: nationality is irrelevant. A person or company with a place of residence or business in Germany must report incoming and outgoing payments from abroad for all transactions over EUR 12,500. Alternately, an investor with a place of residence abroad does not have to register a capital transfer to an account in Germany (even if the investor is the account holder).
Payments for the import or export of goods and details in connection with the granting, taking out, or repayment of loans with an originally agreed term of less than twelve months do not have to be reported. For statistical purposes, every person living in Germany and every company located there must also inform the Bundesbank of the ownership of securities or deposit accounts abroad.
Receivables or liabilities from companies (for example, banks) or private individuals abroad must be reported to the Bundesbank if they amount to more than EUR 5 million or equivalent.
For bank account deposits of more than EUR 15,000 cash, banks are required to check the identity of the depositor in order to prevent money laundering.
Goods and machinery can circulate freely within the EU. Customs, import turnover tax (Einfuhrumsatzsteuer), and in some cases, special excise taxes are charged for imports to Germany from non-EU states. The customs payable can be determined online using the TARIC (Integrated Tariff of the European Communities) system. Customs are not charged on investment goods if business operations have been transferred in full to Germany. For more information, please refer to the section on customs in chapter six.
Household objects can also be imported into Germany freely if the owner moves place of residence from abroad to Germany. A customs exemption of this kind must be applied for in writing beforehand.