What is required to open a business account?
Before you can open any business account, you have to be a registered business entity or sole trader, not a private individual. That’s because business accounts, by definition, are intended for business use only, which will be in the terms and conditions.
These types of businesses are widely accepted:
- Limited companies registered at Companies House
- Sole traders registered with HMRC
Some solutions also accept Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships, charities and public sector organisations. If you’re one of these – or a different entity altogether – you should check the requirements first.
Not everyone falling under these entities gets accepted, though. You may be classed as “high-risk” if you, for example, deal with cryptocurrency trading, multi-level marketing, adult entertainment services, unlicensed pharmaceuticals, precious stones, gambling and potentially illegal trades.
In most cases, only the sole trader, director (of a company) or partner (of a partnership) is allowed to complete the registration. You must also be at least 18 year old, live in the UK and have a UK mobile phone number, as otherwise you can’t use the banking app or verify contact details.
Almost all solutions require that your business is registered and tax-resident in the UK, not abroad.
The exact documents needed to open a business account depend on your type of business and the account provider. At a minimum, you’ll need a valid picture ID such as a passport (doesn’t have to be British in most cases), smartphone, email address and company details.
Some banks and platforms require that you create a (free) personal account first, then add a business account through the app menu.