Who needs a business bank account?

If you recently started a business in Ireland the next step is to set up a bank account. There are a lot of different banking options so you should be well-informed before you make the decision.

Some banks have lots of experience helping Startups and offer no bank fees for the first year in business. Saving money on your bank fees can be very important for new businesses.

You may have experience with banks in Ireland already, for example, if you have a personal bank account here. Drop into your local branch and see what services they can offer you. This may be the quickest and easiest way to set up a business bank account in Ireland.

But if you’re a non-resident Director or you just need more knowledge of the banking marketplace, we’re here to help. We’re focused on helping business owners and Directors with their accounting compliance.

Get in touch with our Client Services Team if you have questions about our services. We’re always happy to help!

How to choose the right business bank account?

Questions to ask your bank

Q: How much do you charge in fees?

This is a very important question for Startups in Ireland. Many new businesses are just starting out with little to no cash. If you have to pay substantial bank fees for each transaction it may be worth shopping around more.

Q: Do you have specialised support for Startups?

A bank plays a huge role in any business. It provides your accountant with the necessary information to produce your financial statements. It's also the central location of the money in your business. Do you want your bank to support you on your Startup journey? Do they offer any supports for you as a new business?

Q: What is the application process like?

How long does it take to open the account? A long application process can be tedious. If you have clients waiting to pay you or invoices you need to pay, you want an application process that is short.

Q: Are there any restrictions?

This may not be too important to a new business, but you want to ensure that your bank is able to handle your company's growth. How much does the bank let you transfer per day? How many bank cards/debit cards/authorised signatories can you have on the account?

Q: Do you offer direct debit mandates?

This can be vital for paying bills. It removes the admin costs of making bank transfers every time you pay a bill. Is this something your business needs?

Q: Do you have a banking app?

Do you want to have access to your bank through your mobile? What is their mobile site/website like? Do they offer reports of your spending habits or is this something you need? Considering these questions will help you make an informed decision on the best business bank account for your business.

Bank of Ireland Startup account

The Bank of Ireland Startup package is available for any business that has started within the last three years.

  • Transaction and maintenance fees

    Transaction and maintenance fees are waived for the first 24 months for start-ups.

  • Support networks

    Bank of Ireland has placed a huge emphasis on creating support networks for their start-up customers.

  • Facilities

    Their Workbench programme offers facilities for Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs such as free Wi-Fi, hot desks, interactive screens, and events. Workbenches can currently be found in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and Galway.

  • Incubator

    Bank of Ireland run a 6-month StartLab incubator programme for scale-tech start-ups.

  • Custom-built website

    You receive access to digital Marketing consultants FCR Media which gives you a free custom-built website, a .com domain registry for one year and a GoldenPages.ie listing.

  • Free tools and guides

    They also offer various other free tools and guides for new businesses.

How do I open a business bank account with Bank Of Ireland?

If you’re a sole trader, then you can apply for and set up your business account online without stepping foot in a branch.

For all other business types, including limited companies, you must meet with a Bank of Ireland business advisor in a branch to begin the application process. Download your Bank application form here.

Bank of Ireland is the only bank offering a process specifically 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 services.

Bank Of Ireland Covid-19 response

Bank Of Ireland are helping business customers and personal customers who are seeking payment postponement for 3 months. You should contact your local branch for more information on how they can support you.

  1. Customers can contact their Business Relationship Manager or Business Advisor Service Desk. This is also the number for the Coronavirus Helpline for Business Customers: 0818 200 348.
  2. Three-month payment breaks for small businesses and agribusinesses can be applied for online through the Bank of Ireland website.
  3. Bank of Ireland Finance phone number:1850 29 19 29 or email: bifdirect@boi.com

Permanent TSB business banking

Permanent TSB do not offer a tailored package for start-ups. Their services may be more suited for sole traders and more mature businesses.

  • No transaction fees within Europe

    No transaction fees within Europe, including countries outside the Eurozone.

  • Limit on transactions

    €10,000 limit on transactions.

  • Business Visa debit card

    Provides a business Visa Debit card but doesn’t provide a business credit card.

  • Face to face banking

    Emphasis on face to face banking with over 70 branches in Ireland.

How do I open an account with Permanent TSB?

To set up an account you must make an appointment with a local branch by ringing them at 1890 500 177 (+353 1 2124045). Check out the documents that need to be downloaded to open your Bank account

AIB Startup package

The AIB Business Startup Package is available to start-up businesses in operation for less than three years and who are opening an AIB Business Startup Current Account for the first time.

  • No transaction or maintenance fees

    Two years with no account maintenance and transaction fees.

  • Discount off cash handling fees

    Up to €100 discount off quarterly cash handling fees.

  • AIB's merchant services

    Access to AIB’s Merchant Services for taking payments in-store, online or over the phone

  • Online service for small businesses

    Offer an online service designed specifically for small businesses. AIB also provide an online banking service for medium to large businesses.

  • Brexit Support

    AIB are offering Brexit support to all their business banking clients. This support includes calls with specialist Brexit advisors.

  • Business support for women entrepreneurs

    AIB run a business masterclass for women entrepreneurs. These events are best suited to business owners who have been trading for more than 18 months.

How do I open a business bank account with AIB?

To open an account, the director and one person who is authorised to sign transactions on accounts for the company must meet with the bank in-branch.

You are required to print and sign a document highlighting the terms and conditions of the package. Two directors or one director and one company secretary are required to sign these forms.

Non-residents can open an account with AIB, but they may require additional information and documentation. Find out what documentation you need to set up.

Fire business account

Fire provides a digital account for businesses in Britain and Ireland. It’s perfect for e-commerce businesses who want an easy and accessible way to transfer money between accounts.

  • Sterling and Euro accounts

    Get both Sterling and Euro accounts for bank transfers in/out – you can add new accounts immediately/in real-time.
    Please note that direct debits are only available on Sterling accounts (not Euro accounts), so if you have recurring payments in Euro you need to pay via Bank Transfer.

  • Real-time features

    Get instant notifications whenever you receive a payment, use your card, or there is any account activity.
    Carry out real-time FX transfers between your accounts.

  • No setup costs

    No setup costs or ongoing monthly maintenance fees.

  • Account integration

    Integrate your accounts with your own systems using the Fire Business API – to automate reconciliation and receive real-time updates on your accounts.

  • Multiple users with multiple MasterCard debit cards

    Set up multiple users with different access levels.
    Order multiple MasterCard debit cards for your team that are linked to both a Sterling and a Euro account.

  • Easy for accounting

    Compatible with all major accounting software packages, including Xero, Quickbooks and Sage One.

How do I open an account with Fire.com?

It is quick and easy to open an account – the Fire business account can be opened online in 24 hours.

Non-Irish residents can open an account with Fire if they have a company that is incorporated in Ireland or the UK.

N26 bank account

N26 offers a low-cost, easy to use online banking service aimed at Sole Traders and freelancers.

  • Tag transactions

    N26 allows its users to tag transactions associated with one project. This should help make it easier to split personal from business transactions for auditing and tax reporting purposes.

  • Remote banking

    All banking services can be accessed through a smartphone

  • Business MasterCard

    Offer a business Mastercard which includes cashback on transactions of 0.01%.

  • Limited cash depositing

    Only offer cash deposits for German customers

  • European citizens only

    You need to be a citizen in a European country where N26 are operating. This means that due to Brexit, N26 will be withdrawing all UK accounts by April 2020. You should take this into consideration when choosing what bank account to open.

  • Savings

    Offer interest on savings accounts through partner banks.

How do I open an account with N26?

The business banking options are Business (free), Business You (€9.90 per month), Business Metal (€16.90 per month).

You can set up your account online in 8 minutes.

Revolut business account

A Revolut business account offers a fully digital account in up to 24 currencies. It is a great option for companies who need to make and receive payments in multiple currencies.

  • Revolut Connect

    Revolut allows you to sync transactions to accounting platforms such as Xero and FreeAgent.

  • Prepaid business cards

    You can give each of your employees prepaid business cards that are connected to your companies main account. Revolut allows you to track and set limits for your teams spending.

  • Discounts and perks

    Revolut has several 'Business Partners', such as Apple and Google Adwords, who offer discounts for Revolut Business Account Holders.

  • Multi-currency accounts

    Hold, receive and exchange up to 24 currencies using the inter-bank exchange rate, with no added fees from Revolut. You can also have business cards for multiple currencies

  • Open API

    Revolut's open API allows you to merge your business account with your existing business software and processes. This will allow you to automate all of your business processes, including making and scheduling payments.

  • Direct debit transfers in Euro

    Revolut has recently updated its services to allow for direct debit transfers in EUR.

How do I open an account with Revolut?

You can submit your Revolut business account application entirely online, where they will review and process the application within 1-5 working days. You just need to complete their ID verification process online and they can get set you up.

You must also provide them with sufficient information on what your business does. Revolut state that a link for a website and a clear description is the “best thing you can do here”


  • Free to receive money in EUR, USD, GBP, PLN, AUD & NZD

    You can get your own UK, Eurozone, Australian, New Zealand, and US bank details for free without a local address.

  • Integrates with Xero

    TransferWise allows you to control international payments in multiple currencies.

  • Open API

    You can use TransferWise's API to automate and generate payments, get real-time notifications on platforms like Slack, simplify expense reporting and more.

  • Batch payments

    Handle up to 1,000 payments with a click of a button. No need to manually payout to all your vendors or employees.

  • Free debit Mastercard

    If you want to spend a currency you don’t have in your account, there’s a transparent fee. There’s also a charge for withdrawing cash over a certain amount.

  • TransferWise app

    View history, order statements, check or change your PIN, freeze your card, get instant notifications when sending, spending or receiving money.

How do I open an account with TransferWise?

Once you’ve registered your business account, you’ll need to verify your identity with some photo ID, proof of address, and/or a picture of you holding your ID.

You also need to verify your business

The steps include:

  1. Telling them about your business
  2. Telling them about yourself
  3. Adding money to your account.

Do I really need a business bank account?

Sole Traders and Limited Companies are under no legal obligation to set up a bank account for their business. However, it is considered best practice to have a separate account for your business transactions for a variety of reasons.

A business bank account can help you to separate your business accounts from your personal banking, ensuring that your bookkeeping is clear and accurate. This makes it easier to keep up with the relevant reports needed for Irish revenue and makes budgeting for your business a less daunting process.

A separate business account is also essential for vital tasks such as paying bills, receiving payments from customers, and paying your employees and yourself.

If you need help please talk to our Client Services Team today.

What do EEA nationals need when setting up a business bank account in Ireland?

Online banks such as N26 and Fire do the entire setup process online. Note that for N26, you will have to be a resident in the country where they operate. You can find the complete list on the N26 website.

For AIB, Permanent 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. As mentioned previously, The Bank of Ireland is the only company that has a process for foreign business owners.

In terms of documentation, you will need a certified copy of your ID and proof of address if you can’t provide the original. A bank or an official institution in your country can usually do this for you. However, we do recommend contacting an advisor at your selected bank directly to verify who can confirm the authenticity of copied documents.

What’s next?

Check out our Startup Offer – accountancy services for new Limited Companies. Our Startup Offer was created to help you meet all your compliance obligations, while keeping costs low. We strive to give your Startup affordable, fixed fees to minimise your costs. Our aim is to provide you with the best advice and guidance your Startup needs from the beginning.

Call us on +353 (0)1 905 9364, email hello@accountantonline.ie or chat online.

You may also be interested in