Which professional bank should I choose when setting up a Société Civile Immobilière?

If you own a property that needs to be managed by several people, you may have been advised to set up a Société Civile Immobilière (SCI). A Société Civile Immobilière enables partners to share the benefits of property management. Anytime explains the principles of the SCI, and how to make the right choice between a traditional pro bank and a neobank pro to manage your accounts.

The advantages of an SCI

Sharing shares in a property

The SCI allows you to share in the ownership of a property, whether for private or business use, in proportion to the investment of each partner. The SCI thus offers the possibility of sharing ownership rights without too many legal constraints.

This legal status authorizes the acquisition, rental, management or construction of real estate.

Choosing the tax system for an SCI

When you set up an SCI, you can choose between 2 tax regimes for the taxation of profits: + the partnership regime, in which case profits are taxed directly in the name of the partners + corporation tax (impôt sur les sociétés).

There are several advantages to opting for the corporate income tax system: the company is taxed at corporate level, the partners can distribute dividends to each other, and the building can be depreciated.

Setting up an SCI also enables you to benefit from tax reductions specific to the real estate sector (Robien, Scellier, Duflot, Pinet).

Passing on real estate assets

The SCI is particularly well suited to the transfer of real estate assets, especially if they are difficult to divide. It avoids indivisions and blockages. The property remains the property of the legal entity represented by the SCI, and its bylaws define how it operates.

You can make gifts of shares in the property during your lifetime, and distribute them as you see fit. If you sell the shares, you don't need to go to a notary, and only 5% will be deducted by the tax authorities.

How to set up an SCI?

Rules for setting up an SCI

A minimum of 2 people are required to set up a société civile immobilière. French nationality is not required, but the registered office must be located in France. The articles of association, which set out the operating rules, must be written and signed by all partners.

The SCI manager is appointed in the articles of association or at a general meeting, and may be dismissed or replaced by the partners.

Generally speaking, especially in a family SCI, the manager is not remunerated.

Steps to set up an SCI

  1. Draft the SCI's articles of association: define its name, registered office, corporate purpose, manager and determine the distribution of the SCI's capital. You can draw up the articles of association yourself, or enlist the help of a notary. You can expect to pay up to €2,000 for a tailor-made contract that perfectly meets your needs: what to do in the event of resale of the shares or sale of the property, for example. Each member of the SCI must sign the contract.

  2. Register the SCI's articles of association with the tax authorities.

  3. Publish a legal notice in an authorized newspaper.

  4. File a complete application with the Registrar of the Commercial Court responsible for the SCI's head office.

  5. Open a SCI business account into which the SCI share capital is paid by all founders within 8 days of the SCI's incorporation.

You must then arrange an annual meeting between the members of the SCI.

Do I need a business account to set up an SCI?

No, you don't need a business account to set up an SCI. There is no minimum amount of share capital required, and no need to present a certificate of deposit, as is the case for SAS-type companies.

On the other hand, as for sole proprietorships, you need to open a dedicated account to handle money movements linked to your property. This dedicated account can be a business account or a personal account.

In the event of a tax audit, you need to be able to separate personal transactions, or transactions linked to other economic activities, from transactions linked to your SCI.

What's more, your SCI is a legal entity. The business account must therefore be in its name, even in the case of a family SCI.

Even if you are not legally obliged to do so, it is highly recommended that you choose a business account for your SCI.

The advantages of a business account for an SCI

Opening a business account for an SCI allows you to assign your name to it as a legal entity. A personal bank account, on the other hand, can only be opened in the name of the individual who owns it.

Having a business account means you can identify all the accounts linked to your SCI. In the event of a tax audit, if all transactions are carried out from the manager's personal account, it will be difficult to distinguish the manager's assets from those of the SCI. What's more, at the time of sale, the existence of a business account in the SCI's name eliminates accusations of a fictitious SCI. Opening a business account with Anytime guarantees the authenticity of your SCI.

Documents required to open a pro account

To open a business account online, you'll need to provide the following supporting documents: + a Kbis extract issued by the Chamber of Commerce, proving the company's registration with the Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés. + an extract of publication or attestation of publication in a JAL (journal d'annonce légale) to certify the company's existence. + a copy of the company's articles of association and an appendix designating the persons authorized to use the bank account. + the name and address of the registered office, where Anytime can send your means of payment on behalf of your SCI.

The advantages of a neobank for an SCI

Before choosing a professional bank, take the time to think carefully about the services you'll need. All professional banks will offer you a similar basic package, including account management, means of payment and movements.

We advise you to use the services of a traditional pro bank if: + you need to call on a dedicated advisor on a regular basis. + you intend to take out a loan with this pro bank, as part of the SCI.

Note that if you take out a loan, all SCI members are jointly and severally liable for repayment. Pro banks require a joint and several guarantee. You should also be aware that management fees for a pro account can be substantial in a traditional pro bank. Don't hesitate to negotiate with your banker to avoid being charged for services you don't need. Find out about existing packages they may offer for an SCI.

On the other hand, we recommend that you use a pro neobank like Anytime for your SCI if: + you want to be able to open a pro account in the name of your SCI in just a few minutes. + you want to benefit from guaranteed service at a reduced rate. + you're comfortable using an online business account, accessible at any time.

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