Finding the right bank account for your business is vital to keeping on top of your finances.
All types of businesses require a business account apart from sole traders – however, it is good practice for them to have one, too.
Start by asking for bank recommendations from within your network. Choose contacts who have similar banking needs to you and compile a short list of the most popular accounts. Don’t forget to ask your accountant, too.
Most banks offer new businesses great introductory offers (no fees, for example) – but always check the charges after these offers end. Banks also offer support advisers for start-ups – but, again, make sure to ask what support is available in the long term.
Business accounts often come with monthly charges as well as direct charges for transactions. If the monthly charge comes with a fixed amount of free transactions, ask what the fee is once you’ve reached that limit. Also ask about overdraft facilities and any other charges that you may incur. With this information, together with an estimate of how many transactions you expect your business to carry out, you can compare the costs of each bank.
Now consider what features of a business account are most important to you.
These days, most businesses want quick and easy 24/7 access to their account, so online banking is the preferred option. However, it is still possible to bank in person if that’s what you prefer. Whichever you chose, check if there is the option of a meeting with a ‘real person’ should you ever need one.
Some banks offer their own bookkeeping toolkit (usually for an additional fee) whereas others can link to additional accounting and receipt-capturing software. To decide what you need – and don’t need – speak to your new best friends, your accountant and business adviser.
And, finally, check how easily it is to switch bank accounts. You need to be able to change providers if you are not satisfied with your current bank or have found a better deal elsewhere.