Business bank accounts for discharged bankrupts

You can still get a bank account if you have declared bankruptcy, although you won't get the same range of features.

Having bad credit, whether because of a bankruptcy or because of other credit history issues, can make your financial life very complicated, and this includes opening a business bank account.

But there are a few banks and providers that will offer you an account. It won’t have the full range of features, but you should be able to get yourself a basic setup.

Business accounts with no credit check

Name Product Account fee Bank transfers Accounting integrations Non-Sterling transactions Overdraft Account management Key benefits
Cashplus Business Bank Account
Free
£0.20
First 10 payments sent each month FREE
Clear Books, FreeAgent, KashFlow, QuickBooks, Sage, Xero
2.99%

On invitation
App, Online
Tide
Free
£0.20
Free if both accounts are with Tide
FreeAgent, KashFlow, QuickBooks, Reckon One, Sage, Xero
Free
App, Online
Register your limited company for free (usually £12) and open a Tide account in one go: choose 'Register a company' from the Tide homepage menu
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Compare up to 4 providers

Can you get a business bank account after declaring bankruptcy?

Most traditional banks will carry out a credit check when you apply for a business bank account. That’s even if your business is registered as a limited company and is thus separate from your finances: they’ll check you as a director.

If you have recently had a bankruptcy, it will appear on your credit file and your application might be refused.

It is still possible to get a business bank account after bankruptcy, thanks to a few providers such as Tide and Cashplus which carry out no credit checks when you apply.

Discharged vs undischarged bankruptcy

When you initially file for bankruptcy, a series of limitations are placed on your assets, and your existing bank account can be frozen or closed. You may get access to some of your money to meet your living costs.

While this procedure is ongoing, your bankruptcy is “undischarged”. While it is not illegal for you to open a new bank account during this period of time, it can be very hard because banks will not usually accept your application.

After one year, your bankruptcy will normally be “discharged”. You won’t get your old assets back, but if you come into possession of new ones, they will not be normally claimed.

Having your bankruptcy discharged will make it slightly easier for you and/or your business to open a new bank account, but you might still get refused by most traditional banks. That’s because a bankruptcy stays on your credit file for six years after being filed.

How to compare business bank accounts for discharged bankrupts

You need to look for business accounts that can be opened without credit checks, or ask your bank about so-called “basic” accounts. Here’s what you should consider when comparing options:

  • Fees. Some dedicated business accounts for people with bad credit might be more expensive, but they are not necessarily your only option, so it’s worth comparing a few to try and find a cheap one.
  • Limited choice. The range of accounts, features and perks available to you will inevitably be limited, so you might not be able to afford to be too choosy.
  • No credit options. Business accounts that can be opened without a credit check usually don’t include an overdraft facility. Don’t expect a business loan or a credit card offer either.
  • Brokers. When looking for business accounts for people with poor credit, you will likely come across brokers that will offer to take care of it for you in exchange for a fee. While that’s certainly an option, it will be more expensive, so make sure you’ve exhausted the alternatives first.
  • Ask about rebuilding your credit rating. If you can, it’s worth asking the bank you are considering about ways to rebuild your business credit rating. It may not be possible at the moment, but for example, will it at some point consider offering you some kind of overdraft facility?
  • Budgeting, invoicing, accounting. The best business accounts come with extra tools and features that will help you run your business. These can include features that will help you categorise your business expenses, integration with existing accounting software, and invoice service.
  • Using cash? Business accounts with no credit checks are often digital-only, so what if you frequently need to deposit cash? While it’s less than ideal, it’s not the end of the world. Tide, for example, allows you to deposit cash on your business account at the Post Office, in exchange for a pretty reasonable fee.

Pros and cons of business bank accounts with no credit checks

Pros

  • It’s easier to get accepted, even if you declared bankruptcy in the past.
  • You will get all the basic features that allow your business’s financial life to function, from a debit card to the ability to make and receive bank transfers.
  • It may be quicker to open and set up compared to a standard business account.
  • Some do actually offer a pretty decent range of features that can help you run your business.
  • It’s a first step towards rebuilding your business credit score.

Cons

  • Expect a limited range of options and features.
  • You won’t be able to get an overdraft.
  • Some accounts for businesses with bad credit may come with expensive fees.

Frequently asked questions

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