A Complete Guide on How to Open a Business Bank Account in the UK


July 10, 2024

The first important step towards starting or expanding a business in the UK is to open a business bank account. To open a business account with most UK banks, applicants generally need to be UK residents or operate a business based in the UK. This guide will walk you through the process, requirements, and the best practises to open a business bank account in the UK. Whether you are in the process of company formation in the UK or looking to switch banks, this comprehensive guide has you covered.

Why Do You Need a Business Bank Account

  • Financial Segregation: Simplifies tax preparation and financial tracking.
  • Professional Approach: Enhances credibility with clients and suppliers.
  • Legal Requirement: Essential for limited companies and partnerships.
  • Financial Management: Access to business-specific banking features like overdrafts and loans.
  • Credit History: Helps build a business credit profile.

Required Documents

  1. Proof of Identity: Passport, driving licence, or national ID card. 
  2. Proof of Address: Recent utility bills, council tax statements, or bank statements. 
  3. Business Information: Certificate of incorporation, business plan, and company formation papers. 
  4. Directors' Verification: Identification and address verification for all directors and significant shareholders. 
  5. UK-Based Representative: Director or employee who is a UK resident. 
  6. Companies House Registration Number (CRN) 
  7. Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR): 10-digit number from HMRC.   

Popular Banks for Opening a Business Account in the UK

  • Barclays
  • HSBC Kinetic Current Account: International payments, mobile cheque deposit, overdraft application.
  • NatWest Start-up Business Account: Free accounting software, 24/7 support, instant payment notifications.
  • Starling Bank Business Current Account: Automated spending categorisation, 24/7 support.
  • Revolut Multi-Currency Business Account: Supports over 25 currencies, customisable roles.
  • Lloyds
  • Santander

Steps to Open a Business Bank Account

  1. Evaluate Your Business Needs: Consider transaction volume and required services.
  2. Select an Account Type and Provider: Types include Sole Trader, Startup, Business Current, Business Savings, and Charity Accounts.
  3. Gather Documentation: Ensure all the necessary documents are current and complete.
  4. Submission of Application: Apply online or via mobile for most banks, with some requiring direct contact.
  5. Verification and Review: The bank will evaluate your application and may request further information.
  6. Set up Your Account: Once approved, configure your account settings and begin using it.

Costs and Timeframes

  • Costs: Monthly fees range from free to £10 (often waived for the first year). Other fees may include ATM withdrawals and CHAPS payments.
  • Timeframes: Approval times range from 24 hours to several months.

Managing Your Business Bank Account

  • Regular Monitoring: Consistently review transactions and account balances.
  • Use Accounting Software: Link your bank account for streamlined financial management.
  • Stay Informed: Periodically check your bank's fees and services.

Tips for a Smooth Banking Experience

  • Build a Relationship with Your Bank: Maintain regular communication with your bank manager.
  • Stay Compliant: Keep your business information up to date and ensure timely submission of required documents and reports.

Special Considerations for New Company Formation

  • Choosing a Bank Early: Some banks offer pre-approval services for new companies.
  • Integration with Business Services: Look for banks that partner with company formation agents and offer integrated services.
  • Networking and Support: Some banks provide access to startup hubs and mentorship programmes.


Opening a business bank account in the UK is a crucial step for managing your company's finances efficiently. By understanding the requirements and following the outlined steps, you can select the best account for your business needs and streamline the application process. Proper management of your business bank account will contribute to your company's success and financial health.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Which is the best bank for small businesses in the UK? It depends on your specific needs. Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, and Santander are popular choices.
  • How long does it take to open a business bank account in the UK? From a few days to several weeks, depending on the bank and the complexity of your business.
  • Can a non-UK resident open a business bank account in the UK? Yes, but the process may require additional documentation and take longer.
  • What documents are required? Valid identification, proof of address, business details, and identification for all directors and significant shareholders.
  • Do sole traders need a business bank account? It is highly recommended for better financial management and professionalism.
  • Are there fees associated with business bank accounts? Yes, including monthly charges and transaction fees.
  • Can I use my personal bank account for business purposes? It is not recommended, especially for limited companies and partnerships.

By following this guide, you can navigate the process efficiently, ensuring that you choose the right bank and maintain a good relationship with your financial institution. Proper management of your business bank account will contribute to your company's success and financial health.

You can reach us on 020-8239-4999 or E-mail us on dhruv@doshiaccountants.co.uk for discussing your requirements.