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 and 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 provides you with an overview of different banks available for business owners in Ireland, but please be sure to consult with your bank directly for any specific advice.

How to choose the right business bank account?

Questions to ask your bank

Q: How much do they charge in fees?

This is a very important question for Startups in Ireland. New businesses are just starting out and want to minimise 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 support 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 a 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 a current 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 and proof of address from the account holder or holders

    Acceptable forms for ID can include current passport or drivers licence and acceptable proof of address documents can include a utility bills, some tax documents, and mortgage documents.

  • Certificate of Incorporation and a copy of your company's consitution (if you are a Limited Company)

  • Proof that your company is registered with the Registration of Beneficial Ownership (RBO)

Company bank accounts in Ireland

Here, we outlined the features of some of Ireland's most popular business bank account providers.

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.

  • 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, 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.

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.

  • Bulk Payments

    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.

  • 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. 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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. 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

  • Business MasterCard

    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.

  • Savings

    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 Connect

    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.

  • Send Invoices

    Create and send professional looking invoices with Revolut's web or mobile app in minutes.

  • 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.

  • 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. Revolut have also updated to allow for direct debits in Euro.

Revolut Pro for business owners

Revolut has recently launched a business account, called Revolut Pro, which is ideal for freelancers, gig economy workers and self-employed people to manage their business financials. It offers a dedicated IBAN and 1 per cent cashback debit card and enables multi-currency payment acceptance using QR codes, payment links and invoice templates. It has no monthly fees and no deposit or balance requirements.

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.

TransferWise

  • 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.

  • 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 TransferWise about your business
  2. Telling TransferWis 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, 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.

What’s next?

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