In order to start trading after company incorporation, the business needs a business bank account. It is becoming increasingly challenging to open a UK business bank account for non-residents. Some of our clients choose to use a bank that they already have arrangements with, in the country of their residence. This is perfectly acceptable. At the same time, many of our clients also use our bank introduction service.
We do not offer UK business bank accounts for non-residents as a separate service. Bank introductions are only offered to clients who use our company formation services.
Most Company formation agents in UK offer a bank introduction, but this service is not available to non-residents.
What is the process of opening a bank account for non-residents?
The banks we work with decide on a case by case basis whether the client is suitable to them or not. We ask all our non-UK based clients to compete the bank introduction questionnaire before placing an order for UK business banking.
It is necessary to visit the UK bank branch in person for the business bank account to be opened.
If approved it normally takes 1-4 weeks for a UK business bank account to be opened, providing all the required documents are submitted. The main reason for the delay is that the bank needs to do many due-diligence checks and compliance.
What documents are required to open a business bank account in the UK?
In addition to your company formation documents (we provide these), the bank will also require personal documents from you, namely:
- Your passport
- Recent Utility Bill (not older than 3 months) to confirm your residential address
The bank may also ask for other additional documents, depending on your individual circumstances. You will need to provide additional information about your business for your application to open a UK business bank account.
Is it possible to open a UK business bank account with Nominee Director?
Most British banks do not open bank accounts with Nominee Director or Shareholder. The banks we work with in the UK and other countries accept our Nominees. Our UK business banking introduction costs £500 (if Nominee Director is used) or £400 (if you do not require Nominee services). We will retain £150 to cover administration fees on the rare occasion your application is declined by the bank. We only offer this service once we are confident that the bank will accept you as a client after preliminary discussions.
Other business banking options for your UK Company
There are various other options available for opening a bank account for your UK Company. We would still need you to complete our questionnaire.
There are no restrictions on where the business bank account for a UK registered company can be. In effect, it can be anywhere. Please note that your bank will require additional legalisation of your company documents. We can accommodate you with your requirements, providing you have a list of documents you need.
Business banking in Cyprus
Many limited companies registered in the UK open bank accounts in Cyprus, especially if they are involved in international trade. This is also because the process does not require a personal visit and everything can be done remotely.
The bank we work with in Cyprus offers multi-currency accounts, Internet banking and express payments. Minimum recommended balance on account is £500 or Euros/USD 1,000.
Typically the bank will require the following documents to open a business bank account:
- Pre-completed business bank account application
- We will provide a certified set of the Incorporation documents
- Passport or driver’s license for all signatories on the business account.
- A bank reference is required for all signatories on account
- A board resolution that appoints the authorised signatories
- Utility Bill to verify your residential address
We charge a separate bank introduction fee for this service.
Business Banking in Latvia
Banking in Latvia is another good alternative as it is also located in the EU.
UK Company Banking in Latvia
Our company has also got arrangements in place to introduce you to business banking in Latvia as an alternative to a business bank account.
The bank in Latvia offers multicurrency accounts (GBP, EUROS, and USD), no minimum balance requirement and excellent business Internet banking with major debit cards, and MasterCard credit cards. They also provide express payment processing or wire transfers). You will not be required to visit the bank in person, however you will need to attend a meeting with the bank’s representative at an additional fee of Euros 500- 600. We can always make arrangements for you to visit the banks and their representatives in person.
The documents required are:
- UK Company formation documents
- Original or Notarised copy of a valid passport for each account signatory
- Recent Utility Bill (not older than 3 months)
Although it is ultimately the bank’s decision to accept you as a customer, UK Companies Limited will do their best to help you have a successful business bank introduction service, for your UK Company.