For new entrepreneurs, finding the best business bank account can be challenging. To help you out, our startup client, Ingrid, has offered to share her experience with you. If you have a startup story you’d like to share with our community, we’d love to hear from you…just drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s Ingrid’s story:
In this blog post, I have gathered the information I found when looking for a business bank account. Hopefully, it can help make your choice easier.
What Is A Business Bank Account And Why Do I Need One?
Having a business bank account will help you keep your personal banking separate from your business banking. This will make your reporting, VAT returns and budgeting easier, so it’s definitely worth getting this right. You will also need this account to pay yourself, employees or bills and to receive payments from your clients.
You should know, that you need to register your business in Ireland before you can open a business bank account. If you haven’t registered your business already, let Accountant Online do this for you by dropping them an email or reading our blogs on setting up as self-employed or starting a limited company.
What Is The Best Business Bank Account In Ireland?
Finding the best business bank account is about finding the right account for your business.
Some banks have special offers for startups while others offer key features that might be beneficial for your business. Some banks have free mentoring, some have free bank transfers within Europe, others offer a space for you to work.
Only you know what is most important to your business.
Common to all the banks that I have presented here is that they offer online banking, some form of book payment upload facility e.g. for paying salaries, and multiple administrator logins to business accounts. Below I have listed additional features that they offer for startups, giving them a plus or minus rating where appropriate.
- Transaction and maintenance fees waived for 24 months for startups
- Workspace: Workbench where startups can sit and work for free. You can find Workbenches in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Galway, and new workbenches coming up this year, so check here for the latest updates
- The Workbench staff are hired on the basis that they have experience with starting businesses. They are familiar with startups and are in a position to offer valuable advice.
- Free events: Workbench also offers free events aimed at providing useful information for new startups. The Dublin Workbench has about 7 events a week, they offer mentoring, training, or useful tips from other start-ups
- Finally, you receive access to a service called FCR Media which gives you a free custom built website, a .com domain registry for one year and GoldenPages.ie listing. Click here for details.
+ Anyone eligible for their startup offer gets two years’ transaction fee free banking (Please note: other charges may still apply).
+ Free mentoring and events through Ulster Bank’s Small Business Can website
+ There are no transaction fees within Europe, this includes countries outside the Eurozone
– No startup offer
– No overdraft for new start-ups for the first 12 months.
Startup package includes two years with no Account Maintenance and Transaction Fees as well as cash handling fees up to a maximum discount of €100 per fee quarter.
Special offer on My Business Toolkit at €15 a month.
- Receipt bank that helps you organise all your expenses,
- PlanHQ to help you map out your professional business plan,
- MozyPro that gives you access to 10 GB of data, enables you to backup and encrypt your files.
- Sage One Accounting and Payroll, which enables you to manage cash flow, file VAT returns, create invoices and process payroll.
- bOnline, an online website builder that is easy to use, as well as a domain name, and business email address and web hosting. That means that if you haven’t already created your website, this might be a very valuable offer for you. Details here.
+ AIB Bootcamp available to some startups.
+ AIB Startup Academy available to some startups.
+ No location where startups can meet or sit to work. However, they do have “the Lab” in Dundrum where all AIB customers can come for advice.
+ Very easy to setup your account online
– No particular startup offer
– No offer for cash and cheque processing
– Don’t offer loans
– Don’t offer savings accounts with interest.
+ You can set up your account online in 8 minutes.
+ Offer interest on savings accounts through partner banks.
– Currently, only offer depositing cash for German customers.
– You need to be a citizen in a European country where they are operating. Full list here.
What Do I Need To Open A Business Bank Account?
There are some requirements that will be the same across all banks, so you might want to have that information ready before applying. The requirements may differ for different kinds of business, depending on whether you are a Sole Trader or a Limited Company.
What Do I Need To Open A Business Bank Account As A Sole Trader?
To open a bank account as a Sole trader you will need:
* One form of ID verification
* Two forms of address verification.
* If you have a business name that is different than your personal name you will also need your Business Registration Number.
What Do I Need To Open A Business Bank Account As A Limited Company?
To open a bank account as a Limited Company you will need:
*The original or a Certified Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation. This is issued to you from the CRO when you register your company.
* If you are trading under a different name from your company name you need the original of Certified Copy of the Certificate of Registration of the business name.
* The Company’s tax reference number.
* Proof of ID and two forms of proof of address. If your company has more than two directors you will need to provide this ID for two of the directors.
* Proof of ID and two forms of proof of address for one person who’s authorised to sign transactions. For companies that have more than two people who are authorised to sign, you will need this for at least two of them.
* If the owner of your company is a limited company there are additional requirements, and so you should contact the bank directly.
What Is Accepted As Proof Of ID And Proof Of Address?
Each bank will have a list of the documents they accept as proof of ID and proof of address, so it will be worth confirming this when you have selected your bank. Generally speaking, a passport or a national EU ID card is valid as proof of ID, and utility bills and bank statements are sufficient as proof of address.
EEA nationals setting up a business bank account in Ireland
The online banks such as N26 and Fire do the whole setup process online, without you having to go and see them in person. Note that for N26, you will have to be in the country where they operate. You can find the complete list on their website here.
For AIB, TSB, Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland you will have to meet the bank at least once in person to finalise setting up your account. Depending on the bank they might ask you to come in more than once. Bank of Ireland is the only bank offering a process especially for foreign business owners where they generally require only one in-person visit. They will schedule this towards the end of the business account setup process and do any earlier interviews via FaceTime or other online video call service.
In terms of documentation, you will need a certified copy of your ID and proof of address if you can’t show up with the original. A bank or an official institution in your country can usually do this for you, but I would recommend contacting an advisor at your selected bank directly to verify who can confirm the copy of documents.
What Did I Choose?
Hopefully reading this has given you a better understanding of what the banks have to offer for your business. While writing this blog post, I spent a lot of time calling, emailing or visiting the different banks. During this time, the one bank that really stood out was the Bank of Ireland. They were very helpful both on the phone and when I dropped in.
Having a free place to work and to meet other startups is very important to my business. So I went to check out the Bank of Ireland workbench in Grand Canal Plaza Dublin 2 and was invited to one of their events. Subsequently, I found it very useful, not only to listen to the presentation but to meet other startups, to share concerns and get advice. It was definitely the right choice for me, so I am opening my account with Bank of Ireland.
That being said every business in unique, and you should choose the bank account that is right for your business. This article has outlined the offers, but don’t hesitate to contact the bank directly to ask what they can do for your business. Good luck!
What’s Next For My Startup?
At Accountant Online, we offer accounting services for new startups that aim to meet your compliance obligations, while also keeping costs low.
If you haven’t registered your company yet, we offer a company formation package. We cover everything from company name checks to your Certificate of Incorporation. If you’re not ready to take that step yet these blog posts will help guide you through the process;
- Will I pay less tax if I’m a Limited Company?
- 25% Tax Credit for Research & Development
- Sole Trader or Limited Company?
At Accountant Online, we can set up your limited company within a week! Our company formation service is fast, secure and given by trusted, qualified accountants.
Accountant Online is a firm of award winning Chartered Accountants serving Ireland and the UK. We understand how important it is for you to meet your compliance obligations, while minimizing your tax liability. We aim to save our clients money without compromising on the quality of our service. Get in touch for a free consultation on 01 905 9364 or send an email to email@example.com