You might not have expected us to be sharing private banking information with you — unless you’re one of the lovely people who spams our inbox asking for that very information.

But this time we’re giving the people what they want — at least kind of. We’re going to tell you about our experience banking with bunq, as a business in this guide. Because if corona-isolation has taught us anything, it’s that now is the time to get all this grown-up stuff sorted out.

What was the setup process like with bunq Business? How long did it take? What is bunq like for businesses? And — in typical DutchReview timely fashion — how did it do during these troubled times of coronavirus and the associated social isolation?

As you might know, we’re big fans of bunq. We’ve told you before about how they’re the perfect bank for expats, and all the ways they make being a freelancer in the Netherlands easier. Today, we thought we’d go one step further and tell you all about our experience switching to bunq as a business or freelancer.

Why did we decide to switch to bunq Business?

So why did we decide to switch to bunq Business? There were a lot of reasons — never let it be said we make a decision lightly. But honestly, the most important part for us were the features bunq offers: this bank is really set up to offer businesses the simplest ride through the complicated road of entrepreneurship possible. And as you can imagine we’re getting all kinds of international payments, and this being 2020 and all — life can be complicated and we needed a bit more from our bank. As many other startups here at PLNT are also huge fans of the rainbow-coloured bank we’ve decided to jump on the bunq-ship as well.

We’ve talked about why bunq is perfect for freelancers before, so lots of those factors apply to businesses as well, but there were a few things that stood out to us as particularly important and handy for businesses.

bunq Business allows you to cut down massively on paperwork

First of all, there’s the digital aspect of it. If you’re a business owner, you probably have enough on your plate without trudging down to your local bank, carting half a square kilometre of paperwork with you.

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freelancing in the netherlands
We never received more than that piece of rainbow-colored paper on the desk. Image: Abuzer van Leuwen/DutchReview

bunq is a digital bank, so you can do literally everything from the comfort of your own… office. Or home. Or street, depending on how bad things are going for you. Below, we take you step-by-step through the whole sign up process, but before we get too technical on you, here are a couple more reasons we switched to bunq.

Setting aside VAT automatically: another benefit for bunq Business

bunq Business SuperGreen allows you to set aside VAT automatically. That’s a pretty massive advantage, especially for the mathematically challenged among us. The VAT then rests in a separate account, ready for the government to demand it from you in the form of taxes, rudely presuming you want to be part of a functioning society.

Keep an eye on your finances with bunq Business

Speaking of a functioning society, it’s pretty helpful to know how much money you have in your business account and what it’s destined for. bunq’s business account allows you to put your precious dosh into separate accounts so you know exactly what it’s for — you could have one for wages, for stock purchasing, for cheese snacks… the possibilities are endless.

You can also scan all your receipts with bunq Business SuperGreen

Receipt scanning is also a really cool feature of bunq’s Business SuperGreen account. As a business owner, you’ll need to keep track of your expenses, and unfortunately, receipts are a major part of that. You can either crumple them up in a box, put the box in a really safe place, and never find it again — or you could just scan all your receipts, have them automatically link up with payments you’ve made with your bunq card, and relax. Your choice.

Integration with the camera and app is so seamless that this turned out to be a major plus of bunq. Every time we bought something, especially the small stuff, we just shot a snap of the receipt and forgot about it — like the world is supposed to be. If you’re paying with your card, the bunq app immediately pops up on your phone in a chill way asking you if you want to attach a receipt. These are the things that make our lives happier and better! (We’re +30 with kids now, so that explains that).

freelancing in the netherlands
Scan and deduct that 2,50 Cappucino right away. Image: DutchReview

bunq Business invests ethically

There’s another reason we switched to bunq, and we’re not saying this only to show off how social-justice-oriented we are. bunq, as you might know, only invests ethically. You can also choose where your money is going, which is potentially extra important for businesses, who often deal with far larger sums of money than individual people do. You want to make sure all that hard-earned cash is, well, not supporting fossil fuels or child labour.

Best of this all is in bunq SuperGreen. It works like this: by simply spending money, you plant trees. For every €100 you spend as a SuperGreen member, Personal or Business, bunq plants a tree. We’re not encouraging financial irresponsibility, of course — but even if you’re bad with money, you won’t be bad for the planet with bunq SuperGreen. And although this alone won’t save the planet, trees do really crucial work as they absorb pollution. The long and short of it is that we need to stop burning fossil fuels, but we also need to plant more trees to offset the damage already done. And that’s where bunq SuperGreen becomes really valuable.

So far, the bunq community has already planted 1 million trees together!

 

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Furthermore, you also get a very aesthetically pleasing metal card. It is made out of stainless steel, which extends its lifespan in comparison to a plastic bank card by 50%. No stain on your zero-waste soul with this card, then.

… And it also makes paying invoices just a little bit easier

As a business owner, there will eventually come the tragic day in which you receive an invoice. This, for the inexperienced, means you gotta pay someone. But bunq Business massively simplifies the process — not that that makes the pain easier to deal with, but it does improve the practicalities. Just upload a PDF of the invoice you have to pay, and bunq’s app automatically adds all the details for payment — you just have to press the button. Yes, you have to press it. Sorry.

So what was our experience of signing up with bunq Business?

Signing up for bunq Business was a really chill experience. There was never any moment of weirdness or hesitation — you know that feeling of deep-seated unease you have when you are told you’ll receive a code by text and then you never do? Well: none of that with bunq Business. You feel completely in control the whole time. And also, yes, you can do the whole thing from your favourite chosen spot of self-isolation.

A few things stood out during the sign-up process at bunq:

No need to get all your administration out.

There’s a connection/hook-up with the Chamber of Commerce. So they get your business name, KVK-number and business address. So handy, and it also ensured that the signing up process was actually done in five minutes. It was so efficient.

Especially handy for all you internationals out there, bunq doesn’t need a BSN right away when you join — you have 90 days to supply it!

It’s a mobile phone-based bank, not a physical one.

Obviously, you should have your mobile phone out and ready to go. bunq will text you, and you’ll need this text to confirm your business and personal.

They still confirm your identity for full bank accounts (not just an e-money one)

First off is the general check of an ID. So I got my Dutch drivers licence out of my wallet and proceeded to take two pics with it as instructed by the bunq app. Done in under a minute — quicker than the cops.

The second way to verify my identity was a bit more original and creative. I had to open up the selfie camera and the app would instruct me to talk, shout a few digits (this was observed with great hilarity here at the office) and look over my shoulder. Thereby setting up a selfie video of myself, which looked pretty solid in terms of protecting my stuff. And hilarious:

 

Confirmation is super-fast

The app said confirmation would come in 24 hours. But it actually arrived in 10 minutes! Through their app of course. Again, super-efficient and easy to use.

bunq in the corona-times

To our surprise, the one thing that stayed completely the same — apart from how long we wash our hands and keep our distance, of course — was our banking. And that’s because bunq is an amazing bank to be within these times.

Of course, we secretly hate social interaction all year round, but now that social distancing is in effect in the Netherlands, keeping in-person contact to a minimum is crucial. So having all your banking completely digital is the perfect situation to be in right now.

So, would we recommend switching to bunq Business?

100% yes! It’s a pretty good sign when the bank you choose does well during an international crisis. The coronavirus times have put almost every aspect of society under stress, so it’s really nice when the thing that often causes people stress, like their bank, is not contributing to that.

But we were really impressed with bunq Business well before the COVID-19 crisis took hold. The simplicity of setting up an account, the ability to digitise and simplify everything from receipts to invoices, as well as just a general sense of control over the whole process: banking with bunq was a stress-free and enjoyable process all around. And even the few questions we had were picked up on by their customer service (all in English) super fast and without any corporate stuff, so that’s a plus too.

What has your experience been with banking in the Netherlands (as a business owner)? Let us know in the comments below!

We proudly teamed up with bunq to bring you this article (and we kept our distance and washed our hands

Feature Image: DutchReview

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