Author Topic: international businesses and money transfers  (Read 815 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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international businesses and money transfers
« on: March 05, 2018, 11:30:39 AM »
Hi all, I am looking for some advice on international businesses and money transfers.

So here is the situation.  My wife was born to German parents in France, so was born a German citizen.  When she was in 1st grade, her father got a job in the US and moved the family to sunny Phoenix Arizona.  Her father became a US citizen and so did my wife when she was bout 15.  My wife received a degree and eventually a masters in Translation from a French University.  After graduation, she was hired at a German company.  She was also working with another private translator in Switzerland.  All was good until we met :)  I am in the military and was stationed in Germany at the time.  Well, we have gotten married and my wife has continued to work for the German company and the Swiss translator as a private contractor (or rough equivalent).  She has been using a personal bank account in Germany to receive the funds from her two clients but recently received a warning letter from her bank stating something along the lines of the account cannot be used for international business or frequent money transfers.  Since neither of us grew up in Germany and my wife only lived there a few years, we are clueless as to how the German banking system works and how to move forward.  We can fully live on my income alone so my wife's income was being used to purchase rental houses to fund our retirement.

Here are some options that I have thought of:
-Keep saving the money in the current German account. 
--Pro: easy, money is there when we travel to Germany, no/low risk of account being closed
--Cons: not an investment, not a good way to use the funds

-Transfer funds into German investment vehicle
--Pro: shouldn't be low risk of account being closed, money is invested
--Cons: not the preferred investment vehicle (prefer rentals); money is stuck in Germany, will likely have to pay German taxes

-Set up some sort of business account
--Pro: account designed to transfer funds so should be closed
--Cons: dont have a clue how to do it, dont know what kind of fees we would face

Does anyone have any suggestions?  We want to make sure we are 100% legal and we have a US CPA helping to make sure we dont do anything wrong against US laws, but also dont want to get in trouble with Germany.

Thank you for your help!