Many entrepreneurs sooner or later face the need to open a bank account in a foreign bank. The reasons can be different, but most often it is a search for a reliable way to keep money and earn interest. It is no secret that most entrepreneurs decide to open a foreign account because of the extremely unstable economic situation in their own country.

The Netherlands is famous for its fundamental legal framework, stability and reliability of the banking system, that is why businessmen from around the world prefer this country. The introduction of modern technologies allows you to track the status of accounts and perform operations on them from anywhere in the world.  

Let's look at the main banks that open accounts in the Netherlands.

First line banks in the Netherlands:

  • ING
  • Rabo bank
  • SNS bank

These banks engage in financial trading and provide all the basic banking products for businesses and individuals. The most popular services loans, mortgages, etc.
In addition to these banks, small commercial or subsidiary banks are becoming popular too:

  • Knab
  • Bunq .
  • ASN bank

They do not engage in financial trading and open accounts mainly for individual entrepreneurs and private entrepreneurs (ZZP).

Over the past two years, there have been a number of legal and political changes in the legislation of the Netherlands and EU countries, which have led to innovations in the procedure of opening bank accounts in the EU countries, including the Netherlands.

As a result of these changes, it has become more difficult to open a bank account in the Netherlands than in previous years due to the introduction of the compliance procedure. This procedure consists in additional verification of individuals related to the opening of a bank account: founders, directors.

The "compliance" procedure includes:

  • verification of the private individual  director;
  • verification of the credit history;
  • verification of sanctions against this person;
  • verification of the activity.

Reasons why you can be denied a bank account

Dutch banks are very strict as far as the compliance procedure is concerned. One of the important criteria and the basis for considering the possibility of opening a bank account is the presence of a residence permit for up to three years or more. Lack of residence permit is one of the main reasons for refusal to consider your application.

Another important point in the decision of the bank is the presence of Cyprus legal entities among shareholders / founders of a Dutch company. In this case, you will most likely need an advice of a legal expert who knows the Dutch law and will be able to point to a number of important details.

So, the main reasons for refusal to open a bank account are:

  • the presence of Russian / Ukrainian origin and the absence of a residence permit in the Netherlands for up to three years or more.
  • the presence of the Cyprus legal entities among shareholders / founders in a Dutch company.
  • no EU residence permit or citizenship of EU countries, for example, only Russian citizenship.

In case of refusal, please remember that the bank is not obliged to provide explanations and reasons for refusal, since the basis for such a decision is its internal regulations.

If there is one thing which is constant it’s that the world is changing rapidly. The companies used to employ legal experts and accounts on a regular basis but nowadays it’s no longer profitable.

Now you can order almost any service and pay for it on an hourly basis. So why pay more? Our company provides services for individuals and legal entities. You can pay for a necessary amount of time of one of our specialists in the selected area.

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Therefore, choose the area in which you need help: legal or accounting.

Next, choose your subscription package and email us at


The author is Natalia Komarovskaya.

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