Business banking has become much easier in this era. You no longer need to visit a physical bank branch to open an account and make transactions. Various digital banking platforms now allow you to open an online account and transact whenever you wish. Instead of visiting the branch, all you need is a desktop or mobile device and an active internet connection.
Opening a dedicated bank account is the first step for many businesses to begin operating. This is important because commingling corporate and personal finances can cause a lot of problems.
This article will explain what a corporate bank account is, the requirements for opening one and suggest the best online business account you can choose.
What Is a Business Bank Account?
It is simply a dedicated account for business transactions. It allows you to avoid commingling corporate and personal funds, which can make it difficult to keep accurate financial reports and track expenses. You can use it to receive payments from customers, send money to suppliers, make payroll, etc.
Online business bank accounts have become popular because they are cost-effective and offer features that help users grow their businesses. For instance, many of them have integration with accounting software, meaning every transaction is automatically recorded. Others let you transact across borders by making or receiving payments in multiple currencies.
Requirements for Opening a Business Account
Different banks have different requirements for opening accounts. But, in most cases, you will need:
- A registered address: A valid address that proves your business is domiciled in the country. You may also need proof of personal address, such as a recent utility bill.
- Certificate of Incorporation: Financial institutions may demand proof that your company is incorporated and recognized by the government.
- Identification: You must provide valid identification as the company owner, such as a national driver’s license, ID card, or passport. Identification may also be required for all persons with significant control (PSC), which implies people with over 25% of issued shares or voting rights.
- Contact details, including your phone number and email address.
- A Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) or National Insurance number.
- Business details, such as projected annual turnover and number of employees.
How to Choose the Best Business Accounts for You
Important factors to consider include:
Fees and Requirements
Different banking platforms have different fees, which you should be mindful of. What are the transfer fees? Are there deposit or withdrawal fees? The good thing is that online banks tend to have lower fees as a strategy to attract customers. Some even eliminate transfer fees altogether. Ensure the platform you choose has fees that you can afford.
Likewise, you may find other requirements, such as a minimum monthly balance and a monthly maintenance fee. Always read the fine print for these requirements and ensure you are okay with them (or not) before making a final decision.
Some financial platforms have integrations with various accounting and business software. It will be wise to pick a platform that integrates with the software you use. For example, if you use QuickBooks for accounting, a banking app that has direct integration will save you a lot of stress in tracking expenses and preparing financial reports. Integrations can make bookkeeping and tax preparation much simpler for you.
If you run an online business with customers across the globe, it will be wise to pick a platform that lets you transact with many currencies. Otherwise, you will have to constantly exchange currencies and lose a significant amount of fees. Silverbird is an example of a digital banking platform that lets you transact with many (30+) currencies.
What unique features does the platform have that can help you maintain and scale your enterprise? For example, does it have a mobile app that you can access easily? Does it come with an automatic invoicing solution? Can you set up recurring payments to vendors and suppliers? These features will save you a lot of time and effort on administrative tasks and help you keep tabs on your finances.
Banking platforms offer different perks to lure and retain corporate customers. For example, some offer a small percentage of cashback on specific purchases. You might also find discounts on purchases from specific stores.
Which Is the Best Online Business Bank Account for Startups?
There is no “best” business account for startups to choose from. However, we recommend Silverbird because of the platform’s beneficial features, which include:
- Users can open local accounts in the U.K., U.S., and EU countries and build better trust with customers.
- Users can receive payments easily using the SWIFT and SEPA networks.
- Users can hold, send, and receive money in over 30 currencies.
- 100% online onboarding, meaning you can sign up from anywhere as long as you have your device.
It is important that your startup gets a dedicated bank account for corporate transactions. We have shown you the requirements to get one and listed the factors to consider to choose the best one. We also suggested an ideal banking platform that comes with a lot of benefits.
Sign up for an online corporate banking platform today to make your operations easier.