If you’re starting a business, you’ll need a separate bank account to make sure your finances can be tracked easily for expenses and tax returns. 

Business bank accounts are much like the personal current account you will have already. However, business accounts offer a number of additional add-ons and benefits for new entrepreneurs. If you want to access these useful features, read on to find out how to open a business bank account and start growing your business with ease.

How to open a business bank account

Step 1: Choose your account provider

A variety of different banking providers offer business current accounts, ranging from traditional high-street banks, like Barclays, HSBC, NatWest and Lloyds, to newer providers, like Monzo, Tide and Countingup.

If you already have an account with one of these providers, you can consider staying with them as your existing banking history may help applications for business loans and credit cards. However, make sure to check out the support and add-ons that other banks provide, such as overdrafts or legal advice, to help get a good deal. Comparison sites like Money Super Market, Go Compare or Which? can help you weigh up your options better.

Step 2: Choose which type of account you need

You should look to find a business current account that suits your business’ needs. Banks often place limits on the value of certain transfers, charge for ATM withdrawals, and apply fees for cash or electronic payments. Therefore, if your business is cash-based, make sure your bank won’t charge you extra just for depositing your weekly takings.

Some account providers also offer new entrepreneurs business advice for getting started. If you’d like help with learning the business basics, research which provider can help you the most.

Step 3: Open a new account

Once you’ve found a banking provider and the right account, it’s time to open one for your business. Opening a business bank account is a straightforward process and you’ll need to confirm a few personal details like:

  • An email address
  • UK phone number
  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of address

Some banks may also ask for additional details, like tax and income information, and whether you’re looking to transfer money from an existing account. If you run a limited company, your bank will likely ask for your Companies House registration number and each of your directors’ details. 

Beyond confirming who you say you are and granting you access to your new business current account, these details allow banks to run checks on your eligibility for other support products, like overdrafts, business credit cards and loans. These additional support features can help grow your business and be a valuable part of the business current account you pick.

Depending on which banking provider and specific business account you choose, you may face annual fees for maintaining your new account. Some banks offer introductory rates and waive the fees for the first 12 months, so if your business is just starting, this can be a way to help you save money.

Opening a business account in 5 minutes

With Countingup, you can open a business current account in as little as 5 minutes. You can open a new account and start trading with just a form of ID, a UK phone number and an email address.

First, you’ll need to download the Countingup app available on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store

Next, follow the steps in the app, uploading some personal details and a selfie confirming who you are. We’ll run some quick checks and let you know when it’s been successful.

Finally, wait just a few days for your new contactless Mastercard to arrive and start your trading.

It’s that simple!

What makes Countingup better?

Countingup is more than just a current account for your business – it also includes an integrated accounting platform for free. This way, you can save time on bookkeeping and making sure your tax calculations are accurate – letting you get back to doing what you love.

The Countingup app also has automated invoicing tools so you can request payment from clients easily, helpful expense reminders so your accounts are always up-to-date, and an innovative receipt capture tool so your financial records are always accurate.

Countingup business accounts come with real-time profit and loss reports so you can quickly understand how your business is doing. They also have expense categorisation tools to save you, even more admin, while enjoying first-class support 5 days a week from our dedicated team.

Gain complete confidence in your business’ accounts. Find out more here and sign up for free today. 

Do you need a business account?

If you’re a sole trader, you don’t need a business account but it can make your life easier. 

Having a dedicated space for all your financial information can mean your business records are more accurate and less cluttered. This can help you understand your business’s performance faster and save you time filing tax returns.

Similarly, if your business has a high turnover, some banks may freeze your personal current account temporarily if you’re using it for business purposes. This is because of fraud protection or money laundering concerns.

If you run a limited company, you need to have a business current account because your business is considered a separate legal entity from you as an individual – therefore, it needs its own bank account.

Find out more about how Countingup can help your business – whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company director here – and sign up for free today.