Opening a business account in the UK: How-to and best accounts

Selecting the proper of banking service is a significant alternative to get your enterprise fundamentals proper from the start. Whereas it might be inconvenient to keep up a separate account for each your private and enterprise actions, it’s good apply to take action to maintain your accounts clear. Right here, we’ll have a look at the way to go about opening a enterprise checking account within the UK and what choices are on the market.

The professionals of getting a enterprise account

Having a enterprise checking account is a good suggestion for many companies; even freelancers and one-man-bands.

As a sole dealer, chances are you’ll wish to open a enterprise checking account for a number of causes. Firstly, your financial institution might specify {that a} private account is for private use solely and threaten to shut your account in the event that they see numerous business-related transactions.

Secondly, in case your private prices are combined up with your enterprise prices, it might be tough so that you can inform HMRC about how a lot cash your enterprise has made. Lastly, having a devoted checking account is prone to make your enterprise seem extra skilled to shoppers and companions.

It’s essential to pay attention to the method to open an account, in any other case you may waste numerous time selecting the improper one in your wants.

Opening a UK enterprise account with a international entity

If your enterprise has an abroad company id, it’s potential that your property financial institution could possibly arrange an account for you if it has a correspondent banking relationship with a British financial institution. Many main UK banks even have so-called ‘worldwide’ accounts.

These are designed particularly for non-residents, so that they’re a terrific possibility if you happen to don’t have the paperwork to show your UK handle. In actual fact, you’ll be able to even apply for a world account on-line. Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, Santander and NatWest all provide worldwide financial institution accounts.

Nonetheless, opening a checking account from overseas or a world account will not be the proper selection for you. You will have to make a giant preliminary deposit and decide to paying in a minimal amount of cash every month.

Some banks may even cost you a month-to-month charge along with these necessities. This could make your checking account costly to open and run. There might also be different restrictions. As an illustration, chances are you’ll not be capable to shut the account and change to a greater deal till a set time period expires.

What paperwork and particulars do I want to supply to open a enterprise checking account?

For companies establishing a checking account within the UK, the method is comparatively simple so long as you adjust to the eligibility standards. Ensure you have the next paperwork at hand if you open your account:

  • Proof of ID. All named firm administrators will want this. You should use a passport, nationwide ID card or picture driving license.
  • Proof of handle. This is usually a utility invoice or latest financial institution assertion. Alternatively, use a council tax assertion.

The next particulars of your organization might also must be given:

  • Full enterprise handle (together with postcode)
  • Contact particulars
  • Corporations Home registration quantity (for restricted corporations and partnerships)
  • Estimated annual turnover
  • In some instances, you’ll have to show your personal private monetary state of affairs, with paperwork to indicate you could have a clear credit score and banking historical past.

Easy methods to open a enterprise account within the UK

The steps concerned in opening a enterprise account can range between banks.

It’s advisable to begin by researching the choices on-line. Whether or not you may make your utility on-line relies on the financial institution.

It is best to inform the financial institution when you’ve got international shareholders and/or administrators of your enterprise and that you simply want a UK enterprise checking account (moderately than a world enterprise checking account that’s held offshore).

When the checking account is open, you’re free to make use of your native financial institution department in your banking wants on a day-to-day foundation.

For extra data on opening a enterprise account within the UK from overseas you’ll be able to contact the federal government’s Invest in Great Britain & Northern Ireland hub.

Greatest enterprise financial institution accounts within the UK

There are a number of retail financial institution accounts accessible within the UK, together with the excessive road banks: Barclays, HSBC, NatWest/RBS, Santander, Metro Financial institution, TSB and Lloyds/Financial institution of Scotland. Nevertheless it’s price being conscious that the perfect enterprise account in your wants might not all the time be one of many excessive road banks. While you have a look at enterprise account comparisons it might even be price contemplating newer-established ‘challenger’ banks similar to Metro Financial institution or Starling Financial institution. Listed below are the important thing advantages of every banking possibility:


  • App with free invoicing characteristic
  • Enterprise account free for first 12 months and comes with a selection of financing choices
  • Affords a start-up enterprise account with free enterprise banking for the primary 12 months, and a longtime enterprise account with two easy worth plans


  • Energetic in 64 nations
  • If you happen to financial institution with HSBC in your house nation, they might help you arrange an account within the UK earlier than you get right here
  • Vary of enterprise financial institution accounts accessible
  • Companies with a turnover as much as £2m obtain an annual overview to make sure the perfect commonplace tariff for his or her enterprise

Lloyds/Bank of Scotland

  • 12 months’ free day-to-day enterprise banking
  • Two enterprise accounts with vary of instruments, together with administration recommendation and accounting software


RBS and NatWest’s choices largely mirror each other.

  • No minimal month-to-month charge
  • A number of enterprise accounts to select from, relying on the scale of your enterprise
  • On-line accounting software program from FreeAgent


  • Earn as much as £300 cashback per 12 months
  • Discounted month-to-month charge of £5 for start-ups for the primary 18 months

Metro Bank

  • A enterprise checking account for smaller companies in addition to bigger ones
  • No month-to-month charge if you happen to preserve your financial institution stability at £5,000 or extra (£6,000 from September 2021)
  • Get entry to an area enterprise supervisor if you open your account


  • Free enterprise banking for 25 months
  • Free Sq. card reader
  • Free entry to digital recommendation from Enterprise Nation

Virgin Money

  • Free day-to-day banking for 25 months
  • No month-to-month account charge
  • Earn cashback in your debit card purchases


  • Totally regulated
  • Accounting instrument integrations
  • In-app invoicing and digital receipts

Starling Bank

  • Totally regulated
  • No month-to-month charges or UK cost prices
  • Free 24/7 UK buyer help by way of app


  • Holds cash in 28 currencies
  • Convert at actual change fee
  • Create limitless accounts


  • Order as much as 35 firm expense playing cards
  • Three account plans primarily based in your firm’s wants
  • Ship, pay and observe invoices

For extra a extra detailed round-up, learn What are the best business bank accounts in the UK?

Enterprise banking month-to-month charges

It’s typical for there to be month-to-month charges charged for enterprise financial institution accounts and customers ought to concentrate on this earlier than they open an account. Most UK enterprise financial institution accounts include an introductory provide similar to free banking for 12 or 18 months. Whereas these are tempting, all the time ensure you understand how a lot you’ll find yourself paying as soon as the introductory interval is over.

As a basic rule, the extra transactions you make on the account, the upper the costs are prone to be.

Some enterprise present accounts require an everyday month-to-month or quarterly standing cost. This can sometimes value you round £15 to £20 per quarter, however a there are many accounts that don’t cost this charge in any respect.

How lengthy does it take to open a enterprise checking account within the UK?

It will probably take something from a matter of minutes to a matter of weeks for a checking account utility within the UK to be permitted and potential conferences to be organized, so ensure you issue this time into your enterprise planning course of.

With some operators, for instance Metro Financial institution, it’s potential to stroll right into a department and make an appointment that day. Digital banks promise a fast utility course of as the method is all finished on-line.

Enterprise financial institution accounts for non UK residents

There are growing variety of foreigners desirous to open or are opening corporations within the UK, the place they might additionally wish to have a corresponding UK checking account.

Non UK residents who don’t have the mandatory ID paperwork can nonetheless achieve opening an account, as lately banks have proven larger flexibility on the subject of the paperwork they are going to settle for as proof of handle.

Opening a enterprise account as a non UK resident

It’s not essential to dwell within the UK to open a UK enterprise checking account, though it’s advisable to accumulate UK residency earlier than making use of for one, as some banks won’t entertain an utility except they’ve UK residency.

To open a UK enterprise checking account, you will have two paperwork, one to show your id (often your passport or Nationwide Id Card) and one to show your handle, which applies to each in department and on-line.

It’s often simpler to open a checking account with one of many UK’s largest banks i.e. Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC. It’s because they’ve plenty of expertise coping with non-residents, to allow them to be versatile with their necessities.

Learn extra

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