With any new business, opening a bank account means you’re getting close to trading. But how is it done? We cover the steps, include our top tips, and list the supporting documents you’ll need.

How do I Open a UK Business Bank Account?

The basic steps for opening a new bank account in the UK are as follows:

  1. Choose the right account for your business situation
  2. Check your fulfil the eligiblity criteria
  3. Gather the correct documentation
  4. Apply Online
  5. Wait for credit check or review (where applicable)
  6. Your account will be live, typically within 10 days

What you Need to Open a Business Bank Account?

All banks will require specific information from you to complete your application. They will use this to complete their own legal obligations, confirm your identity, run a credit check (where applicable) and understand more about your business.

Banks typically need the following information:

  • Basic Information about Your business – Your trading name, registered office address
  • Details of Key Individuals – Usually this means directors, or company officers named on the account.
  • Business Overview – what do you do, when did it start
  • FInancial Details – What’s your turnover or cash-flow forecast if you’re a new business

You should have the following documents to hand:

  • ID such as passport or drivers license
  • Proof of your personal address, such as utility bill or bank statement
  • Proof of business address, such as utility bill or bank statement
  • Business Incorporation Documents, including Companies House limited company number
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number from a tax document

How Long Does it Take to Open a Business Bank Account

It typically takes about 10 working days to set up a business bank account, on average. Some providers who don’t require credit checks can get you up and running much more quickly. While others may take closer to a fortnight.

Some online providers are boasting three minutes to get your account opened but there are still identity checks to complete and bank cards to issue, in most cases, before the bank account is fully operational.

How to Open a Business Bank Account as a Non-Uk Resident

It is more complicated to open a business bank account as a Non-UK resident, since UK regulators impose strict Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, one of which is a verifiable UK address. There are, however, specific providers – commonly digital-first banks – who allow those living abroad to open UK accounts. They will typically require:

  • a valid passport from your country of residence;
  • a proof of address in the country where you live.
  • Proof of Business Address

Non resident accounts typically ask for

  • a substantial deposit
  • monthly fee commitment