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How to set up a business bank account

If you run a Limited Company, or want to keep your finances separate as a Sole Trader, it’s essential to have a business bank account. It makes your business’ financial data much easier to manage, and helps you stay organised when you’re invoicing, bookkeeping, and filing your tax return.

If you’re unsure how to set one up, it’s easier now than it’s ever been. Here’s the Solna guide to getting started.

 

Choose who you want to bank with

In a way, this first step is the toughest. Just Google ‘business bank account’ and you’ll find hundreds of big names you recognise (Barclays, Lloyds etc), as well as some small alternative finance brands you don’t, like Tide, Starling Bank and Revolut.

Solna is a fintech brand, so we’re very much in favour of supporting new finance technology businesses like us. These brands can offer impressive perks and can often get your account set up much faster than the big banks. For some though, there’s stability to be found in the old reliables. It’s entirely up to you and what you think your business needs.

 

Get all the facts straight

Whichever account you go for, there are some essentials things you should always check out before you commit:

  • Does the account have a monthly or annual fee? Will they be waived for a few months/a year while you get going?
  • How much will you be charged for payments in and out of your business?
  • Is there a turnover or deposit limit?
  • Will you earn any interest on your balance?
  • Can you add multiple account holders or users?
  • Are there any extras on offer e.g. discounted business insurance, privileged access to business finance?
  • Can you manage everything easily online/on mobile?
  • How easy is it to get support? Is it available out of hours?
  • If you already bank with someone else, how long will a switch take?

This is all incredibly useful stuff to know, and asking these questions can help you find the best account for your needs. And remember to think ahead - even if something doesn’t affect you now, it might in a year or two.

 

Make sure you meet the application criteria (and have the documents to prove it!)

Different accounts are designed for different businesses, so they could ask for different pieces of info before you sign up.

To open any business bank account, you will usually need:

  • To be the director of a UK-based limited company, or a UK-based sole trader.
  • Personal and business ID.
  • Proof of address.
  • An appointed Company Secretary. If you’re the sole company director, you’ll need them to sign some documents and show their ID too.

 

Get set up!

The application shouldn’t be too long-winded, both banks and startups alike have streamlined the process to compete with each other. A paperless sign up process is now the norm, you’re unlikely to need to go into a branch.

Some startups claim to be able to get you set up in 10 minutes. For others it might take a little bit longer, but the plan is always to get your account working as soon as possible. When you’re up and running, you can start processing payments and paying Direct Debits through your business bank account.

 

Once your bank account is taken care of, Solna can help you with the cash side of things. Solna uses automated invoicing and clever insights to help you get paid faster. Best of all, it’s completely free.

Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. Get started now.

 

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