Business is global – it has been following this trend for decades, and despite the UK’s decision to exit the European community, the global transactions that are conducted in the UK will continue to grow. As a business with customers in the UK, you’ll probably need to open a UK bank account, a business account; it makes transactions a lot easier. A simple platform for receiving, depositing, and transferring money is essential.
Each bank tends to have its own requirements, but often the requirements are similar – and many of them are mandated by law. Are you thinking about doing business in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales? Here are the top requirements for opening a bank account in the UK.
Variations in regulations
The UK – like other countries in the world – has strict regulations when it comes to bank account information, and this is for both your protection as well as the prevention of money laundering and other financial crimes. The regulations can vary, depending on what kind of business you wish to establish, the goods and services related to your business, your clientele, and various local and national laws.
The requirements vary, but here’s what you can expect – no matter which bank you choose:
- Address – Your business may not necessarily require a physical presence in the UK in order to do business, but a bank will insist that you have a business address registered. If you can’t open an office yourself, you should choose the address of a representative (such as a solicitor or trusted partner).
- Business registration – The legal registration of your company must be completely verified before you can open a business account. The registration must be done in the same country as the legal address (for example, if your business address is in England, your business should also be registered there).
- TIN – A business operating in the UK will be expected to pay taxes in the UK, so your business should be duly registered for tax purposes and have a Taxation Identification Number (TIN).
- Bank requirements – These can vary very much, depending not only on the kind of account you wish to open, but also on the policies of the bank itself.
It’s important to stress that no size fits all if you want to open a UK bank account– a lot will depend on the policies of the bank itself, and you should always get information from the bank (and possibly the specific branch itself) regarding the details. Remember also that there are alternatives to opening a bank account in the UK, as there are other institutions which operate worldwide, often online, that allow you to transfer funds and money internationally – and sometimes they are faster and cheaper when it comes to exchange rates and transfer fees. Get specific information first, and consider alternatives before committing.