Is it possible to lend a bank account to another entrepreneur?
Business entities making payments and receiving them, within the scope of their activities, have settlement bank accounts. Currently, it is a common situation and the vast majority of entrepreneurs have a company bank account. Therefore, the question arises whether it is possible to lend the bank account of one entrepreneur to another entrepreneur? We will try to answer this question.
Obligation to have a bank account
At the outset, let us refer to the obligation for entrepreneurs to have a payment account. Basically, this issue is regulated in Art. 19 of the Entrepreneurs' Law, where we can read that making or accepting payments related to the performed business activity takes place via the entrepreneur's payment account, in each case when:
- a party to the transaction from which the payment results is another entrepreneur and
- one-time transaction value, regardless of the number of payments resulting therefrom, exceeds PLN 15,000 or its equivalent, while transactions in foreign currencies are converted into zlotys according to the average exchange rate of foreign currencies announced by the National Bank of Poland on the last business day preceding the transaction date .
Therefore, the above provision specifies the conditions the fulfillment of which determines the obligation to have a payment account. However, economic practice shows that also other transactions, not falling within the above scope, are settled through the bank account. Entrepreneurs decide to open bank accounts due to the increasing number of remote transactions or due to the speed and simplicity of this form of settlement. The law of entrepreneurs defines the statutory conditions of transactions, the fulfillment of which requires the entrepreneur to settle the payment using a bank account. However, there are no contraindications for him to open a bank account in other cases as well.
Principles of operation of the entrepreneur's accounts
Issues related to the maintenance of bank accounts for entities conducting business activity are regulated in the Banking Law.
Well, according to Art. 49 sec. 1 and sec. 2 above of the Act, banks may keep settlement accounts. Such accounts may only be kept for:
- legal persons;
- organizational units without legal personality, provided that they have legal capacity;
- self-employed natural persons, including entrepreneurs.
The bank account holder has full freedom in managing the funds accumulated on that account, while the bank is obliged to make every effort to ensure the security of the funds' storage.
However, does the account holder also have complete freedom in managing the account itself? Is it possible to lend a bank account to another entrepreneur?
Bank account in the light of the regulations
When answering the above question, it is necessary to refer to the regulations of the Civil Code. According to Art. 725 of the Civil Code, the bank undertakes, by a bank account agreement, to the account holder, for a specified or indefinite period of time, to store his funds and, if the agreement so provides, to carry out cash settlements on his behalf.
Further clarification of this issue can be found in the Banking Law. Article 52 of the Act indicates that the bank account agreement is concluded in writing and should, inter alia, define such elements as:
- parties to the contract;
- type of account opened;
- account currency;
- Duration of the agreement;
- the forms and scope of cash settlements made at the request of the account holder and the dates of their implementation;
- premises and procedure for making changes to the contract;
- the conditions and procedure for terminating the bank account agreement;
Particularly interesting in the context of the issue under consideration is the provision that the form and scope of monetary settlements are performed at the request of the account holder. The account holder is the party to the concluded bank account agreement. Cash settlements are carried out at the request of the account holder, who is the person concluding the bank account agreement.
Lending a bank account
The loan in question is an agreement regulated in the Civil Code.
Pursuant to Art. 710 of the Civil Code, the lender undertakes to allow the borrower, for a specified or indefinite period of time, to use the item given to him for free for this purpose. On the other hand, Art. 718 of the Civil Code states that after the end of the loan the user is obliged to return the item to the lender in a non-deteriorated condition; however, the taker is not responsible for the wear and tear of things as a result of proper use. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!
Both the above-mentioned provisions indicate that only a thing may be the object of lending. Here we must also refer to the content of Art. 45 of the Civil Code, which states that only tangible items are things within the meaning of this Code.
As we have already indicated, a bank account is a contract. Therefore, it is not a material thing, which means that it cannot be lent. As a result, it is not possible to lend a bank account to another entrepreneur under civil law.
An additional argument confirming this thesis is the content of the Banking Act. The above-mentioned provisions show that the bank account itself and all payments made are assigned only to the bank account holder. A bank account may only be used for settlements by its holder who signs an agreement with the bank. Under civil law, this invoice is an agreement that cannot be lent. The provisions of the Civil Code indicate that lending applies to items of material form.
Information obligations regarding the owned bank accounts
Finally, let's mention one more important issue relating to bank accounts.
Every taxpayer conducting business activity is obliged to report company bank accounts. This is an obligation for both reporting and updating the account number. The update should be made within 7 days from the date of changing the account. These obligations result from the Act on the principles of registration and identification of taxpayers and remitters.
Business entities that are natural persons perform the above-mentioned obligations, relying on the CEIDG-1 form. On the other hand, entrepreneurs who are not natural persons are obliged to report a bank account using the NIP-8 form. Taxpayers running a business are required to report their bank accounts. You cannot get angry at the lending of a bank account by another entrepreneur. Moving on to the summary and at the same time answering the question posed in the title, we can indicate that it is not possible to lend a bank account to another entrepreneur. Such conclusions result from the content of the Civil Code, the Banking Law and the Act on the principles of registration and identification of taxpayers and payers.