Welcome to my detailed guide for non-UK residents wanting to open a bank account in the UK.

Since most UK banks require that a director be a legal UK resident of the UK, I’ll point you towards those accounts that will still let you apply while comparing the various business account types, benefits and restrictions.

This article will give you my top choices for ease, functionality and cost.

Best Business Account for Non-UK Residents

Why is it Difficult for non-UK Residents to Open a Business Bank Account?

Opening a business bank account as a non-UK resident can be challenging for several reasons:

  1. Regulations and Compliance: Banks have to comply with strict international regulations to prevent fraud, money laundering, and terrorism financing. This means they have to verify the identity and legitimacy of all their customers, which is more difficult for non-UK residents due to the extra checks and documentation required. For most high-street banks (with their higher cost base), doing this simply isn’t financially viable.
  2. Proof of Address: Most UK banks require proof of UK address to open a business bank account.
  3. Credit Checks: Non-UK residents usually don’t have a credit history in the UK, which makes it difficult for banks to assess their creditworthiness.
  4. Physical Presence: Some banks require the business owner to be present in the UK to open a business bank account.
  5. Verification: Banks may also require more extensive documentation for foreign businesses, such as proof of business operations in their home country, which can be challenging.
  6. Tax Considerations: There might be tax implications for non-UK residents opening a business account in the UK.

Best Business Bank Accounts for Non-UK Residents – An Overview

Account NameMonthly FeeTransfer FeeCard PurchasesOverdraftApply
Tide Free£0£0.20£0Apply
Revolut Business Free£0£0£0Apply
Wise Business£00.4%VariableApply
HSBC Kinetic£6.50£0£0✔️Apply
Air Wallex Multi-Currency£0£0£5Apply
Lloyds Bank Business Current Account£7£0£0✔️Apply

The Best Business Bank Accounts for Non-UK Residents

Best Overall Account for Non-UK Residents – Tide

Monthly FeeTransfer FeeCard PurchasesOverdraftApply

Tide provides four award-winning business bank account plans encompassing all the essential features you would anticipate, excluding overdrafts.

You can apply for these if you’re living outside the UK as long as you are the director of a UK company registered with Companies House.

Tide boasts a superb mobile app. Their complimentary accounts incur neither monthly nor annual fees, while they also present Plus, Pro, and Cashback accounts as paid alternatives, offering enhanced capabilities.

Tide App

Benefit from the convenience of fee-free overseas spending, seamless integration with leading accounting software, and the ability to directly send invoices through the application.

With an impressive 15,000+ reviews on Trustpilot, Tide has garnered an outstanding 72% rating showing that users are generally very happy with the service.

» MORE Read our in-depth Tide Review

Reasons to Choose

  • One of the best Apps in the sector
  • Quick and Easy Account Opening
  • 24/7 Support
  • No Monthly or Annual Fees
  • Easy Invoice Creation Functionality

Reasons to Avoid

  • Post Office Deposits Cost £1
  • No Branches
  • 20p charge for transfers between accounts
  • 3% charge for cash deposits at Paypoints

Best Business Bank Account for EEA Operations – Revolut Business Free

Revolut Business Free
Monthly FeeTransfer FeeCard PurchasesOverdraftApply

The business account offered by Revolut is specifically designed to make cross-border transactions and financial administration effortless. As long as the company is registered in the EEA or Switzerland, you can easily open an account.

Revolut’s accounts provide the ability to conduct business in multiple currencies, make inexpensive international transfers, and manage as well as exchange more than 30 different currencies, all from one centralized platform.

revolut app

This multifunctionality effectively reduces the challenges associated with navigating foreign exchange rates and associated fees, positioning it as an excellent option for businesses involved in international commerce.

In addition to this, Revolut ensures smooth business operations through its integration with top-tier accounting software, around-the-clock customer service, and sophisticated tools for managing expenses.

» MORE Read our in-depth Revolut review

Reasons to Choose

  • Easy integration with E-commerce via Apps and Plugins
  • Quick and Easy Opening
  • High Flexibility
  • Send and receive money from 200 countries
  • Block cards or set accounting limits with a tap

Reasons to Avoid

  • Available for Limited Companies Only
  • ATM Fees
  • No Interest
  • Accounts do not support cash or cheque deposit

Best Business Bank Accounts for Non-Residents who Live Outside of EEA – Wise Business

Wise Business Account
Monthly FeeTransfer FeeCard PurchasesOverdraftApply

Formerly known as TransferWise, Wise offers a simple account that is ideal for handling international transactions outside the European Economic Area (EEA). You can use it within the EEA, too, of course, but Revolut is my preferred choice in that situation as it’s a more comprehensive account. Outside the EEA, however, Wise’s fees become more competitive.

Its core advantage is its provision of transparent, affordable, and swift international payments, a crucial feature for businesses operating on a global scale. With Wise Business, companies can maintain and manage multiple currencies at minimal costs, all while utilizing the real exchange rate.

wise app

The platform, designed for ease of use, equips businesses to send, receive, and spend money in various currencies, thus optimizing efficiency and cost-effectiveness in international transactions.

Wise Business also offers compatibility with widely-used accounting software, the capability for batch payments, and a multi-currency debit card, all aimed at simplifying expense management.

» MORE Read our in-depth Wise Review

Reasons to Choose

  • One of the most cost-effective providers
  • 80% of payments are settled within 24 hours, and 35% of the total are instant
  • Complete transparency on all fees

Reasons to Avoid

  • No bank branches
  • No cash deposits or transactions
  • No credit or business loan facilities are available

Great Business Bank Account for International Presence – HSBC Kinetic

hsbc business bank account
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With its robust presence across more than 64 countries and territories, HSBC could be a strong candidate if you’re planning to establish a business bank account in the UK. Their HSBC Kinetic account is particularly attractive and can be set up directly through their app.

For the first year, you’ll benefit from zero monthly maintenance fees.

The account allows for the effortless management of direct debits, standing orders, and scheduled payments, along with the ability to monitor business expenditures through auto-categorized transactions.

The app further offers a secure method for scanning and depositing cheques and supports daily payments of up to £25,000.

The account provides access on both mobile and desktop and includes features for card control, such as activation, freezing and unfreezing of your debit card as necessary.

» MORE Read our in-depth HSBC Review

Reasons to Choose

  • Free banking for 12 months
  • Overdraft facility
  • 600 UK branches
  • Easy Integration with accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks and Sage.
  • Initial one-year’s free banking
  • Foreign Currency Accounts
  • 24/7 online and mobile account management

Reasons to Avoid

  • Monthly fee (after 12 months) on all accounts
  • Kinetic account has some limitations around in-app international payments, cheque books and foreign currency accounts
  • Maximum turnover requirements on some HSBC accounts
  • Support only operates within working hours

Best Multi-Currency Business Bank Account – Air Wallex

Air Wallex
Monthly FeeTransfer FeeCard PurchasesOverdraftApply

AirWallex’s Multi-Currency Business Account is a great solution for global financial management.

This account allows you to operate with over 20 different currencies, granting you the flexibility you need to manage international transactions with ease. No matter where your clients or suppliers are, this account is designed to streamline and simplify your operations.

AirWallex App

AirWallex’s Multi-Currency Business Account provides real-time exchange rates and low, transparent fees, ensuring your business can optimize its international cash flow. With this account, you can receive, hold, convert, and send funds in multiple currencies, all from one simple, secure online platform.

As an added convenience, this account comes with integrated APIs that allow for seamless connection with your existing software or e-commerce platforms. Your accounting systems, payroll, and invoicing can all be linked to streamline your workflow.

Compliance and security are at the forefront of AirWallex’s offerings. Rest easy knowing your global transactions are handled with industry-leading security measures and are fully compliant with international financial regulations.

Reasons to Choose

  • Quick and Easy Set-Up
  • User-Friendly App
  • 20+ currencies
  • No transaction fees
  • No FOREX Fees

Reasons to Avoid

  • No Free Plan
  • Not Protected by the FSCS

Best Bank Account for for Non-UK Residents Needing Financial Assistance – Lloyds Bank Business Current Account

Monthly FeeTransfer FeeCard PurchasesOverdraftApply

Lloyds Business Current Account is a solid choice for businesses of all sizes looking to be supported in a comprehensive manner. As a premier financial institution, Lloyds has built a robust framework that provides more than just standard banking features.

Firstly, the Lloyds Business Current Account allows easy access to daily banking operations, including but not limited to payments, deposits, transfers, and direct debits. The efficient online and mobile banking services mean you can manage your business finances anywhere and anytime. With the convenience and simplicity it brings, this leaves more time for you to focus on your business.

A stand-out feature is access to Lloyds Academy. Businesses can make use of this valuable resource to gain insights and upskill their employees. The Lloyds Academy provides a plethora of online courses, and webinars focused on various business aspects, such as management skills, digital marketing, financial literacy, and cybersecurity. Not only does this offer an avenue for continuous professional development, but it also enables businesses to stay ahead of the curve in a competitive market.

Lloyds App

Another key advantage of Lloyds Business Current Account is the financial assistance it provides. With the account, businesses gain access to a suite of tailored financial solutions designed to help support and grow their business. This includes overdrafts, loans, commercial mortgages, and even asset financing. Lloyds also offers a dedicated business management service to account holders who may need financial advice or guidance. Their team of business managers can assist in strategic planning and decision-making, ensuring that your business’s financial health remains optimal.

In addition, Lloyds Business Current Account comes with a dedicated relationship manager for larger businesses, offering personalized advice tailored to your business needs. This proactive support ensures your business can make the most of opportunities and tackle challenges effectively.

Reasons to Choose

  • Free banking for the First 12 Months
  • Access to Business Finance Assistance
  • Access to Lloyds Bank Academy

Reasons to Avoid

  • No Interest on Credit Balance
  • Finance Assistances comes with a Fee

What Are My Options as a Non-UK Resident to Open a Business Bank Account?

For non-UK residents looking to open a business bank account, the landscape has evolved significantly with the advent of digital banking. Today, most bank accounts, whether for personal or business use, offer a “virtual” experience, meaning they’re primarily managed online through websites or apps. This digital approach enables you to perform a wide array of banking tasks—such as sending and receiving money, paying bills, and managing currency conversions—without the need for a physical bank presence.

  • UK Bank Details: You get a UK bank account number, sort code, and an IBAN. This makes it easier to do business in the UK, as you can handle transactions just like a local company.
  • Receive and Make Payments Easily: You can accept payments in GBP through credit cards or bank transfers. This is essential for smoothly running your operations, paying suppliers, and receiving payments from customers.
  • Tax and Marketplace Payments: The ability to connect your account directly with HMRC simplifies tax payments. Plus, if you’re selling on platforms like Amazon, you can receive your earnings directly into your account.
  • International Accessibility: You can transfer money to your local bank account abroad or make payments internationally, offering flexibility and control over your finances without the need for a physical presence in the UK.
  • Designed for Non-Resident Directors: This solution caters specifically to businesses with non-resident directors, bridging the gap left by traditional banks.

Do I Need a Mail Forwarding Address to Apply for a Non Resident Business Bank Account in the UK?

Most digital banks that cater to international businesses do not require a traditional UK physical address to open an account. Instead, they may ask for your business registration details and proof of business operations, which can often be provided without a UK address.

Do I Have to Live in the UK to Open a Business Bank Account?

No, you do not have to live in the UK to open a business bank account. Digital banks and some financial institutions offer options for non-residents, allowing you to manage your business finances in the UK from abroad.

Which UK High-Street Banks Offer Business Accounts for Non-Residents?

Among UK high-street banks, HSBC and Barclays offer business accounts that cater to non-residents, but with specific conditions:


  • For UK-Registered Companies: HSBC allows non-resident directors of UK-registered companies to open business accounts.
  • In-Person Requirements: Non-resident directors must visit a UK branch in person to present identification and sign necessary documents.
  • Shareholding Criteria: The majority shareholder, holding over 50% of company shares, must be a UK citizen and resident.

Barclays Bank

  • Barclays International: Offers business accounts for non-residents through Barclays International, based in the Isle of Man.
  • Minimum Deposit: Applicants need to deposit and maintain £25,000.
  • Offshore Account Options: The account is classified as offshore and can be based in London, the Isle of Man, or Jersey.