Your company is an entirely separate individual in the eyes of the law; therefore, all business finances and assets belong to the company rather than yourself. For this reason, it makes sense to record your business income and expenditures in a separate bank account rather than a personal one. Whilst there is no legislation in the UK requiring you to operate a business bank account, there are strict standards in place for recording and reporting the financial activity of your limited company.
A separate account that is exclusively reserved for business purposes will enable you to monitor, trace and account for all income and expenditure with far greater ease and accuracy than sifting through personal bank account statements in an attempt to distinguish company transactions from personal finances. After all, that’s an unnecessary and arduous task that you would be best to avoid at all costs.
How to open a UK bank account for your limited company
Naturally, opening a business bank account in the UK is easier for company members who permanently reside in the UK. However, there are now readily available business banking solutions for non-residents – see our TransferWise offering below.
The easiest and quickest way to open a business bank account for your new company is to take advantage of our banking offerings which are included in all of our company formation packages. Once you have chosen your package and passed through checkout, you will be asked to complete the details of your new company (e.g. appoint the directors and issue shares, etc.). You will then be able to add a bank account in our banking partners page.
All bank accounts have online application processes and most will allow you to open your account in a matter of hours and certainly all within 5 days. Some accounts come with no credit check and others like Barclays and TSB come with extended periods of free banking. The choice is yours!
Can I open a UK business bank account if I live abroad?
For non-UK residents, the process of opening a business bank account in the UK is not quite as easy. Most UK banks require the members of the company to be based within the UK.
Quality Company Formations have teamed up with TransferWise to get around this problem by offering non-UK residents a UK business banking solution. TransferWise will provide you with a UK business bank sort code and account number, as well as banking details in Australia, the Eurozone and the United States, simultaneously.
A TransferWise business account will allow you to receive money for free, hold over 40 currencies and convert your money at the mid-market exchange rate. This account also provides you with a business debit card. Our Non-Residents Package, which is specifically designed for non-UK residents, includes a TransferWise business bank account.
If you’re an overseas director, you could open a bank account in your country of residence. This may be easier and more convenient, particularly if you live in any country that is party to the 1961 Hague Convention.
That being said, you will have to legalise your company formation documents through the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office to confirm their authenticity for overseas banks and authorities. This is known as ‘apostilling’. You must obtain an Apostille Certificate for both your certificate of incorporation and the memorandum and articles of association. Your chosen bank will usually want to see these documents to verify your company’s existence. Quality Company Formations offers an Apostille Document Service for people wishing to choose this option.