Every Hungarian company must have a local bank account, which you can only open in person. In a previous article, we explained what Hungarian banks expect from foreigners and how you can prepare for your bank appointment and the KYC procedure. This time, we focus on the arrangements that should make your bank account opening trip to Hungary smooth and efficient.
For how long should you stay in Hungary?
While you could previously open a corporate bank account in one business day, unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Before you travel to Hungary, our banking team will advise you on how many days you should spend in the country. Generally, this will be about a week, but it may vary depending on your nationality, residency status, and supporting documents.
- You can expect a short trip if you are an EU citizen and have a registration card and/or a strong business plan.
- If you are from a third country and do not have a residence permit and/or the necessary supporting documents, we will ask you to stay for more time.
Opening a corporate bank account usually requires two appointments that take one to two hours each. The first appointment will be an interview: the clerk will ask for your personal and company documents, then request you to complete a KYC form. Your file is then submitted to the compliance office, and your application might be approved or rejected immediately – although, in most cases, you have to wait a day or two for the response. If your application is approved, you will need another appointment to sign a contract with the bank. If your application is rejected, however, you will need to try another bank, which might require extending your stay in the country.
What should you bring along to the bank?
When a business is incorporated in Hungary, the Court of Registration issues its so-called (an electronic file or “e-file”). This is a bundle of electronically certified documents that includes the company’s articles of association, shareholder’s registry, and other records. During your first appointment, you will need to submit these to the bank. They are accepted as authentic company documents, meaning that in most cases it is enough to submit them electronically, via e-mail, and you do not need to have any hard copies with you.
There is one notable exception: if your company was formed from abroad via power of attorney, your signature specimen will not be included in the e-akta. This is because POA documents are usually attested by a notary or the Hungarian consulate, but a signature specimen can only be submitted to the court if it is attested by a lawyer. As a result, if your business was set up this way, you will need to acquire a notarized signature specimen during your stay in Hungary, before visiting the bank. If you formed your company personally (by coming to Hungary) or via video identification, you do not need to worry about this because your signature specimen will be attested by a lawyer and therefore included in your e-akta.
You will also need a Hungarian phone number
During your stay in Hungary, you should also acquire a Hungarian phone number. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the bank will want to call you about the decision of the compliance office, and for that they will need a phone number. Secondly, online banking is usually tied to a phone number, but netbank login and verification codes are not normally sent to foreign phone numbers.
Please note: foreign individuals without a Hungarian address are limited to pre-paid plans at mobile phone providers. If you are looking for a post-paid option, you will need to become a resident or sign up for a corporate plan. In any case, your SIM card will also need to be activated, which foreigners can only do by visiting the store of the respective carrier personally. Once your SIM card is activated, make sure that it stays on the Hungarian network for a few hours – otherwise, it will not work abroad, and you will not have access to your netbank.
Need help with bank account opening? Contact an expert!
Helpers has been aiding foreigners in Hungary for over 15 years. Form your company with us, we will help you arrange your bank account opening trip by providing travel assistance, booking all the necessary appointments, and acting as your interpreter whenever needed.