Who needs a business bank account?
If you’ve recently started a business in Ireland the next step is to set up a business bank account. There are a lot of different banking options available in Ireland – we can help you choose the right option for your business.
Some banks have lots of experience helping Startups and charge no bank fees for the first year in business, which can help minimise your costs in your early days.
This guide can give you an idea of the different offerings available, especially if you’re a non-resident director setting up in Ireland. However, we recommend contacting the banks directly to see what services they can offer you.
If you’ve just set up a company in Ireland as a non-resident director, get in touch with our Client Services team. We can help with your accounting and compliance obligations and we’re always happy to discuss your business needs.
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 and want to minmise expenses. If you have to pay substantial bank fees for each transaction it may be worth shopping around more to find the best value.
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?
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 as short as possible. Ask whether they offer completely remote account set up or if an in-person meeting with one of the directors will be required.
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.
What you need to open a business bank account
Every bank is different and will have different requirements for opening an account with them – that’s why we always recommend getting in touch with banks directly to find out their requirements. However, if you want to open a business bank account, many banks will ask for:
- Photo ID from the account holder or holders
- Proof of address from the account holder or holders
- Certificate of Incorporation (if you are a Limited Company)
- a Copy of your company’s Constitution
- Proof that your company is registered with the Registration of Beneficial Ownership (RBO)
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, maintenance and overdraft facility fees are waived for the first 24 months for start-ups.
Free tools and guides
Bank Of Ireland also offer a range of free tools and guides for new businesses.
A range of deposit options
Bank Of Ireland business accounts have a range of business deposit options including instant access to business notice accounts and fixed term deposits.
Access to Bank Of Ireland 365
With access to 365 online, customers can make online payments of up to €20,000 a day and access their account whenever they need.
Subscription to Business Online (BOL)
Business Online (BOL) is Bank Of Ireland's dedicated online banking service for business customers. They waive subscription fees for this service for 2 years for new business customers.
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, Kilkenny, Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Donegal and Galway.
How do I open a business bank account with Bank Of Ireland?
If you’re a sole trader or a Limited Company, then you can apply for and set up your business account online without stepping foot in a branch.
Partnerships and all other types of business customers can arrange a meeting online with one of Bank of Ireland’s business advisors.
Bank Of Ireland Covid-19 response
Bank Of Ireland are helping business customers and personal customers directly impacted by Covid-19 who are seeking payment postponement for up to 6 months. You should contact your local branch for more information on how they can support you.
- Customers who continue to be impacted by Covid-19 can contact their Business Relationship Manager directly. If you have not been assigned a Business Relationship Manager you should call 0818 882 961 or 353 (0) 1 4883035
- Payment breaks for small businesses and agribusinesses can be applied for online through the Bank of Ireland website.
- You can also call the Bank of Ireland Finance department on:1850 29 19 29 or email: email@example.com for more information.
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.
Permanent TSB gives you the option to pay wages or suppliers in one transaction by uploading a payment file rather than setting up each transaction individually every month
Business Visa debit card
Your Visa Business Debit Card allows you to lodge cash and cheques and withdraw up to €1,500 a day in branch.
Dedicated Business Banking Team
Permanent TSB have a dedicated support team that you can contact in-branch or by phone if you have any questions.
Face to face banking
You still have the option for face to face banking if that's what you prefer - Permanent TSB has 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 0818 200 100 or +353 1 215 1363. Check out the documents you need to open your Bank account with Permanent TSB.
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 so you can find a payment solution that fits your business.
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.
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. Check out our Starting a Business FAQ for more information on setting up a business account.
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.
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.
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 and see the fees before a transaction is executed so you always know what you're being charged.
Sterling and Euro accounts
Get both Sterling and Euro accounts for bank transfers in/out – you can add new accounts immediately/in real-time.
Integrate your accounts with your own systems using the Fire Business API – to automate reconciliation and receive real-time updates on your accounts.
Easy for accounting
Compatible with all major accounting software packages, including Xero, Quickbooks and Sage One.
No setup costs
No setup costs or ongoing monthly maintenance fees.
N26 bank account
N26 offers a low-cost, easy to use online banking service aimed at Sole Traders and freelancers.
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.
All banking services can be accessed through a smartphone. You'll get push notifications to your phone anytime a transaction comes in or out of your account and can access insights on your spending in-app
Get a business Mastercard which includes cashback on transactions of 0.01%. However, you should note that, unlike cashback, cash deposits can only be made at N26 locations, in Germany
Budget for taxes
N26 allows you to create up to 10 ``spaces`` where you can easily set aside money for different projects or to pay your tax bill
European citizens only
You need to be a citizen in a European country where N26 are operating. This means that due to Brexit, N26 has closed all UK accounts. You should take this into consideration when choosing what bank account to open.
Offer interest on savings accounts through the N26 partner bank - interest is paid every 3 months and funds can be accessed in just 2 days
How do I open an account with N26?
The business banking options are Business Standard (free), Business Smart (€4.90 per month), and Business You (€9.90 per month).
You can set up your account online in just 8 minutes.
If you need any additional help, N26 offers customer support via live chat in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Revolut business account
A Revolut business account offers a fully digital account in over 30 currencies. It is a great option for companies who need to make and receive payments in multiple currencies.
Revolut allows you to sync transactions to accounting platforms such as Xero and FreeAgent, saving you admin time.
Prepaid business cards
You can give each of your employees prepaid business cards (physical or virtual) that are connected to your companies main account. Revolut allows you to track and set limits for your teams spending and approve expenses, all in real-time.
Discounts and perks
Revolut has several 'Business Partners', such as Apple and Google Adwords, who offer discounts for Revolut Business Account Holders.
Create and send professional looking invoices with Revolut's web or mobile app in minutes.
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.
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. Revolut have also updated to allow for direct debits in Euro.
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 – your account can then be approved in as little as a few hours, although it can take up to a week if demand is high
You’ll need to complete Revolut’s ID verification process online and provide them with information on what your business does.
If you’re opening a corporate account Revolut will also request incorporation details like your company’s registered name and incorporation number.
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 sync your activity for over 40 currencies to Xero, saving you admin time.
You can use TransferWise's API to automate and generate payments, get real-time notifications on platforms like Slack, simplify expense reporting and more.
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.
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:
- Telling TransferWise about your business
- Telling TransferWis about yourself
- 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, and Ulster Bank, 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.
Check out our Startup Offer – accountancy services for startups. 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.
Talk to a member of our Client Services team about your businesses needs today
Larissa is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and is the Founder and CEO of Accountant Online, which specialises in company formation, company secretarial, annual accounting services, bookkeeping, tax, and payroll services for micro and small companies in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK.
Larissa has been shortlisted for the Image ‘Businesswoman of the Year Award’ in 2017 and 2018 and awarded ‘Accountant of the Year’ in 2018. Larissa volunteers as a role model for LEO Donegal’s ‘Ambition’ programme and is a Lead Entrepreneur for ‘ACORNS’ and ‘Going For Growth’ which are development programmes designed to support ambitious female entrepreneurs, and for ‘Back For Business’, a development programme assisting returned emigrants or those planning to return to Ireland to start and develop a business. Accountant Online has won many awards, including ‘Best Small Practice’ in 2017, ‘Best Medium Practice’ in 2018, and in 2020, ‘Medium Practice of the Year’ and ‘Practice of the Year’.