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Business finance guides and comparisons

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Running a business isn’t for everyone. It takes organisation, passion and time. You need to be ready to make mistakes, learn and innovate.

Whether your business has one employee or 100, your needs as a business owner remain largely the same: to have an understanding of business fundamentals across finance, human resources, marketing, industry and innovation.

When it comes to business finance, on one hand, business services fundamentally work just like personal services. On the other, supplementary bureaucracy can make it harder to apply or even to precisely understand in advance which conditions you’ll be offered.

Finder’s guides and comparisons can help you navigate this troubled sea.

What type of business services are available?

In a way, running a business is not that different from running a (very big and complicated) household, so most personal finance services, from banking to utilities, are available in their business version.

In some cases, you could theoretically use a personal option for business purposes – for example, if you are a sole trader, you can do everything from your personal bank account. However, this is often not possible, either because the law forbids it or because providers won’t allow it.

Moreover, business needs may be similar to personal ones in quality, but they rarely are in quantity: businesses move higher amounts of money, require more credit, use more electricity.

For all these reasons, choosing business-dedicated options is usually a necessity more than a choice. Picking the right one can give you a headache, but once you’re sorted, you’ll be glad you did.

Business finance vs personal finance

So, how are business deals different? Here’s a basic list of what you should be prepared to deal with:

  • Tailored deals. Offers will vary hugely depending on your business annual turnover or number of employees, and in some cases it will be impossible to get a quote before giving the provider a bunch of information about it.
  • More paperwork. Unsurprisingly, opening a business bank account requires way more documents than opening a personal one, and the same applies to most business services.
  • More fees. Business options are usually more expensive than personal ones.

All this makes obviously makes it harder to compare products and get good deals – but not impossible. As usual with any finance choice, the first rule is: know what you need. Assess your business and its needs carefully, so that you know exactly what you’re looking for.

How to compare business finance deals

It really depends on what you’re looking at (a business loan, a bank account, an energy contract?), but in general, it’s a good idea to consider the following:

  • Eligibility. It’s the first thing to check. There’s no point in obsessing over whether a deal is right for you, just to find out half an hour later that you can’t apply anyway.
  • Value for money. Getting a good service is even more crucial for your business than for your own place. You can’t just take all your employees to work from an internet café if the broadband is too slow, can you? Sometimes, you may want to allocate some extra funds, and just get a reliable service. It’s difficult to assess them in advance, but hey, that’s what our reviews are there for.
  • Fees. Hidden fees are everyone’s nightmare – read the small prints carefully before going for a deal.
  • Overall cost. Rates and percentages help you compare different types of products, but sometimes it’s just worth looking at your yearly budget and thinking of how the new expense you’re considering is going to impact it overall.
  • Flexibility. It’s difficult to predict how well a business is going to do, especially at the beginning. If something goes wrong, do you have enough breathing space to recover? What happens if you have to delay a payment?
  • Rewards.They’re probably not the main thing to think about, but many business providers will treat you with extra perks and discounts, so they’re worth checking out, especially when looking at credit cards.
  • Customer service. Accidents happen, so it’s better to be prepared and know in advance how to contact your providers and whether they’re responsive and helpful. Also, if you’re the kind of person that would rather talk things through in person, you may want to avoid digital-only providers, and the other way around.

Video interview: Jamie Devlin on how Revolut for Business works

*Disclaimer: The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Unless indicated otherwise, products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Best", "Top", "Cheap" including variations, are not product ratings and are subject to our terms of use. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

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