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Do I need a business bank account if I publish my own books?

Published at 
30 September 2022

You plan to earn big by publishing your own book or books. That's why you set up your own company for it (because yay advantages!). The money has to come in somewhere, but which is actually better, just your own bank account, or a business bank account?

Note - this information is based on the law and regulations in the Netherlands.

Is having a business account mandatory for my company?

If you are going to publish your books under the legal form of a sole proprietorship, having a business account is not mandatory. A self-employed person is a sole proprietorship by the way. 

If the business is a private limited company or switches from sole proprietorship to BV, then a business account is mandatory.

Why would you want a business account?

It is actually very wise to open a business account. You will be able to easily separate your business finances from your personal finances. Should the tax authorities ever knock on your door for an inspection, you won’t have any hassle with separating the two. 

A second advantage is that you have a better overview of what comes in and goes out. 

It is also useful that you do not spend money that is outside your budget, i.e. what is available on your business account.

What does a business account cost?

This differs enormously per bank and the experiences that everyone has per bank also differ. So I'm not going to give advice here on which bank you should take. 

Consider the following when choosing a business bank account: 

  • Monthly/annual fixed costs 
  • Transaction costs 
  • Costs for possible online payment via your own website 
  • Any other services offered, for example a portable ATM if you plan on going to conventions. 

A nice overview of the options can be found on the business banking website (zakelijkbankieren)

I personally went for Rabobank. The service is good, I can walk across the street if I have any questions and the price is nice too. This is because there are only transaction costs. Settlement of this bill was also done within a few hours.
Frankly, I was even surprised at the speed. Everything was possible online and via the app, but they guide you well through those steps. 

Of course this is my experience, as I said, see what suits you best. 

Of course, having such an account costs money, just like registering with the Chamber of Commerce. My next step in this process was figuring out what my costs will be.

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