Opening a personal bank account

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Opening a French bank account is a pre-requisite to carrying out everyday transactions (receiving salary, paying rent and bills, shopping, etc.).

To open an individual or joint bank account, you will need to present valid photo identification and proof of address.

As a guide, you may be asked to provide any of the following documents:

  • Photo ID (passport)
  • Residence permit
  • Proof of address: an electricity, gas, water or landline bill, or a declaration that you are being housed free of charge signed by the person providing you with accommodation, together with a copy of one of their bills and their photo ID. Some banks may accept proof of address from the country where you lived previously.
  • Proof of income: pay slip or tax notice
  • Three most recent bank statements
  • Foreign tax identification number

Once the bank you have chosen agrees to open an account in your name, you will need to sign an account agreement specifying its terms and conditions of use and operation.

If a bank rejects your application to open an account, it must provide grounds for its decision. In such cases, you may appeal to the Banque de France, which will assign you a bank.

A free online comparison tool can be used to check the price of services offered by French banks (branch-based or online banking).

You may close your bank account at any time by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.


Helpful tip


Opening a business bank account


If you wish to set up a business in France, in addition to registering your company you will need to open a business bank account.

This will allow you to obtain a RIB (a statement displaying your bank details), which will enable you to complete administrative procedures more smoothly.

To do so, you will need to provide a currently valid identity document belonging to the company’s legal representative, an “extrait Kbis” (company registration certificate) dated within the last three months, your company’s bylaws, its SIRET number and its NAF code.

Doing Business : Aides et financements