Who needs a business bank account?
If you recently set up 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 service 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 non-resident or you just need more knowledge of the bank marketplace, we’re here to help. We’re focused on helping business owners and Directors with their accounting compliance. If you haven’t set up a company yet, we help with the entire Company Registration process.
Get in touch with our Client Services Team if you have questions about our services. We are 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 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 bank statements to produce your financial statements. But it also is 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 tedious application can be unattractive to business owners. How long does it take to get the bank account open? If you have clients waiting to pay you or invoices you need to pay, you don't want to spend too long on the application process.
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 are you allowed to have on the bank account?
Q: Do you offer direct debit mandates?
This can be vital to pay bills. It removes the admin of making bank transfers every time you need to pay a bill. Is this something your business can deal without it?
Q: Do you have a banking app?
Do you want to have access to your bank through your mobile? What is there mobile site/website like? Do they offer reports of your spending habits or is this something you need at all? Considering what options are out there will help you make an informed decision on the best business bank account in Ireland.
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.
Bank of Ireland has placed a huge emphasis on creating support networks for their start-up 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, Limerick, Cork, and Galway.
They also run a 6-month StartLab incubator programme for scale-tech start-ups.
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 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, 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.
Bank Of Ireland Covid-19 response
Bank Of Ireland are helping business cusomers and personal customers who are seeking payment postponment for 3 months. You should contact your local branch for more information on how they can support you.
- Customers can contact their Business Relationship Manager or Business Advisor Service Desk. This is also the number for Coronavirus Helpline for Business Customers: 0818 200 348.
- Three month payment breaks for small business and agri business can be applied for online through the Bank of Ireland website.
- Bank of Ireland Finance phone number:1850 29 19 29 or email: email@example.com
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.
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 with Ulster Bank?
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 with Permanent TSB?
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 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.
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 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. Note that it does NOT accept direct debit yet in Ireland, so this is a major drawback for many small businesses who pay bills by direct debit.
Sterling and Euro accounts
Get both Sterling and Euro accounts for bank transfers in/out – you can add new accounts immediately/in real time.
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.
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 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.
Fire.com does not do direct debit in Ireland. This is a serious disadvantage as many small businesses require services which charge via direct debit (such as Accountant Online). They have told us that they plan to do this in 2020, so hopefully this will happen.
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
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. 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.
Offering interest on savings accounts through partner banks.
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 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.
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'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 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 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 and company registration needs with our exclusive Start-Up offer for new companies.
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.