Compare business bank accounts for small businesses
If you're a small business owner, here's what you need to know about opening a business bank account.
Do I need a business bank account?
If your business is set up as a partnership or a corporation, it is compulsory to make and receive business payments through a business bank account. This is so you can be taxed appropriately on your business profits.
However, if you are a sole trader, there is no such obligation because you are still taxed as an individual in this case.
However, sole traders are still eligible to open a business bank account if they wish.
What is the easiest bank to open a business account?
Most of the major high street banks offer business bank accounts, although a lot of these still insist on lengthy application procedures that require you to visit a local branch, present financial data and sign various documents.
If you want to avoid this, you may prefer to open a mobile-only business bank account. These can be opened within minutes without the need for any signatures or branch visits.
How to find the best business bank account
Here are some of the factors you’ll want to look for when choosing your business bank account.
- Branch access. If you would like assistance from staff in a local branch, you may want to choose a bank that has a branch near your home or workplace.
- What fees are involved? A lot of accounts charge monthly fees, plus charges for making transactions, so it’s worth comparing these to find the best deal.
- Interest rates. Some accounts pay interest on in-credit balances, so it’s worth shopping for the best rates.
- Accounting and bookkeeping. Many accounts include apps that help you with your accounting and bookkeeping. Some accounts will even be able to seamlessly integrate with accounting software such as Xero or QuickBooks.
- Incentives. Some business bank accounts include incentives, such as cashback or overdrafts.
- International payment rates. If you send or receive international payments as part of your business, you will want to check that your account offers fair rates and low fees for this.
- Customer service. Check the online customer reviews to get an idea of the quality of customer service delivered.
How to open a business bank account
Most banks will allow you to begin the application process online. However, some will require you to visit a local branch to complete the process.
Here are some of the details that your bank may ask for during the application process.
- Your business name.
- Your business address.
- Your business registration number (if it’s a limited corporation).
- The personal details and contact information of all business owners.
- Proof of identity and address for all business owners.
- Estimated business turnover.
- Personal bank or financial statements.
Some online-only bank accounts may not ask for any of this. It depends on your choice of bank account provider.
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