If you’re currently trying to get your Startup or small business off the ground, searching the market for the best business bank account in Ireland can be a tedious process.

Here at Accountant Online, we’re focused on making our Accountancy Services and the entire Company Formation process for new companies as stress-free as possible for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

With that in mind, we have decided to help you open the best bank account for your business through this blog post. We have provided a short guide to the different bank account packages available to your start-up.

We have also asked our client services team what the most common questions from our clients are, which we will answer at the bottom of the post.

Here’s our guide to the best business bank accounts in Ireland…

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Comparison Of The Different Business Bank Accounts Available In Ireland

We have reviewed the start-up business packages provided by the ‘The Big Four’ (Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB, and AIB) companies in the Irish banking sector. If you’re setting up a bank account for your Limited Company, you will be required to have a meeting with these banks in person.

We also outlined some of the main features of the Fire business account and the N26. These services are set up entirely online and may suit non-Irish residents.

Before making your final decision, remember that only you know what business banking services your business needs.

Bank of Ireland Startup Account

The Bank of Ireland start-up 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

    They also 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 GoldenPages.ie listing.

  • Free Tools & Guides

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

How Do I Open An Account?

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, they 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 service.

Ulster Bank Startup Business Account

Available to businesses registered in the Republic of Ireland that is open less than 36 months, and has a projected or existing annual turnover of under €1m.

  • No Transaction Or Maintenance Fees

    Two years with no transaction or account maintenance fees.

  • Internet Banking

    Allows you to view and manage both your persoanl and business accounts.

  • Online Cash Management Service

    The Bankline service gives you control over all aspects of your cash flow, particularly in the areas of management of payables and receivables, accounts reporting and reconciliation forecasting.

  • Business Visa Debit Card

    Apply for a Visa Business Debit Card when setting up your Business Account

How Do I Open An Account?

A 5-10-minute application form must be filled out online. When the form is finished then a meeting will be arranged with the bank. Several other documents are also required to be printed out and signed for this meeting.

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?

To set up an account you must set up 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 Start-up Package is available to start-up businesses in operation for less than three years and who are opening an AIB Business Start-up 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 more suited to business owners who have been trading for more than 18 months.

How Do I Open An Account?

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.

  • 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 is linked to both a Sterling and a Euro account.

  • Easy For Accounting

    Compatible with all major accounting software packages

How Do I Open An Account?

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 offering to deposit cash for German customers

  • European Citizens Only

    You need to be a citizen in a European country where they are operating.

  • Savings

    Offering interest on savings accounts through partner banks.

How Do I Open An Account?

You can set up your account online in 8 minutes.

Revolut Business Account

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 employee's 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, which 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 Debits In EUR

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

How Do I Open An Account

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

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, while also making budgeting for your business a less daunting process.

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

Before setting up a business bank account in Ireland, let us first help you look after your Accountancy needs with our exclusive Start-Up offer for new companies.

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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 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 who have 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 copy of documents.

What’s Next For My Startup?

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 also keeping costs low. We strive to give your Startup affordable, fixed fees to minimise your Startup cost. Our aim is to provide you with the correct advise & guidance your Startup deserves from the beginning.

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.