If you are planning to expand your international business into the United Kingdom, you are going to need a local bank account at some point, to manage payments.
Without a business bank account, separating personal and professional finances, avoiding undue exchange fees, simplifying tax reporting, and managing the business’s accounting, can become a complexity.
But thankfully, the UK is regarded as one of the most ideal financial centers, and its financial services sector consists of private UK banks, multinational banks, and publicly owned lending institutions, so this complexity is resolvable due to the several options available for non-UK residents who decide to register a company in the UK.
If you’re expanding your corporate presence to the UK and are looking for a straightforward way to open a business bank account in the country, the following steps are some important considerations to keep in mind.
Can you open a UK business bank account as a non-resident?
There’s no legislation stopping a non-UK resident from opening a UK business bank account. But it can be difficult to open a business bank account in the UK as a non-resident, as many business banking providers in the UK state in their eligibility criteria that you need to be a UK resident to open an account with them.
This is probably because banks have to run thorough identity checks and follow comprehensive anti-money laundering regulations whenever an individual applies for a business bank account.
As a UK resident, these checks are very easy to make, but as a non-resident, it’s often more difficult and time-consuming to do these checks, which means several banks won’t accept applications from non-residents in order to avoid these issues.
This doesn’t stop several other providers from allowing you to open a UK business account, even if you’re not a resident, but it’s recommended to shop around a bit and check the terms and conditions of a few banks before choosing and starting the bank account opening process.
If in doubt, just contact your Damalion expert and let us help.
How to open your business bank account in the UK?
Formal banks in the UK usually require you to visit a branch to open a business account, where you’ll be able to get the whole process done.
Here are the basic documents you have to provide in order to open a business bank account in the UK:
- Business name and address
- Certificate of incorporation
- Your personal details
- An ID
- Proof of address
- Companies House registration number (only if you are limited company)
- Approximate business turnover
- Personal financial situation
As a non-UK resident, some of these requirements may vary. For instance, you may be asked to provide proof that your business has a physical presence in the UK, with documents like your office’s rental agreement or bills. This might sound stringent, but your Damalion expert is here to help simplify the whole process.
Other options as a Non-UK resident to open a business account
Although no legal limitations prohibit non-UK residents from opening a business account in the UK, many banks may not accept applications from non-residents without proof of address within the UK. Traditional banks will also mandate a face-to-face meeting before providing the business account, in which you will sign a bank decree to avoid fraud concerns.
Alternatives to this are to either use digital providers (virtual bank accounts) who let you open a business account online without too much administration or “Your own bank” if they have branches in the UK or an “International account” that supports pounds (as well as other currencies).
Choosing a bank account for your business in the UK.
If you are looking to open a bank account in the UK, which account you opt for will depend on your personal circumstances and what you are looking for.
Selecting the right bank account for your company in the UK requires a lot of research, in which you should consider the services your business seeks, the rates and fees, the bureaucracy, the range of products and services, ease of access, and the essential documentation you have to provide. It’s significant to understand the process of opening a business account and your company’s finances in order to choose the best bank for your company’s success. You won’t have to do much research as your Damalion expert can also help in this aspect.
Need help getting a UK business bank account?
Opening a bank account in the UK if you aren’t a resident can be tricky. This is partially due to the strict anti-money laundering rules that British banks have to follow. Nevertheless, if you’re a credible business owner and have the documents to prove it, you should be able to open a business account there without restriction.
Contact your Damalion expert now in order to open a bank account for your business in the UK.