Opening a UK business account online is an easy way to access the financial services you need. Generally, an online application process is faster and simpler than traditional in-person applications (and you can apply from the comfort of your own home!).

Every bank, EMI or account provider has their own eligibility and application process but there are general steps you’ll need to take when opening a UK business account online, such as:

1. Research the Market

Before you apply for an account, do your research and find a provider who can deliver the services you need. There can be significant variations in the features that are available across UK business accounts, so it’s important to check that you’ll be able to access the functionality you need before you go to the trouble of applying for an account.

Additionally, be sure to check what fees and charges are applicable to the account before you submit an online application. Again, these can vary significantly between one provider to another, so researching the market in advance will ensure you can access cost-efficient financial services.

2. Check Eligibility Criteria

Although opening a UK business account online can be fairly straightforward, you won’t want to spend time completing an application process only to find out that you’re not eligible to open an account. To prevent this from happening, check the eligibility criteria carefully before you begin the application process.

If you’re planning to open a UK business account with a central or high street bank and you’re not a UK resident, for example, it’s highly likely that your application will be denied. Similarly, some online banks do not offer UK accounts to non-UK residents.

Remember – some accounts have different eligibility criteria, even if they are offered by the same bank or financial institution. So, just because you’re eligible to open a savings account with one bank, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll qualify to open a current account.

3. Prepare Your Documentation

You’ll need to provide some documentation when you’re opening a UK business account online, but the type of verification you’ll need will depend on what type of financial institution you’re applying to.

If you’re applying to a high street bank, for example, you’ll be asked to submit proof of your address via a formal bill, such as a council tax bill or a utility bill, as well as a copy of your driver’s license or passport. In addition to this, EU ID cards can often be used to prove your identity if you’re a foreign national.

Depending on the type of account you wish to open, you may also be required to supply proof of your income or savings. If the account has a minimum opening amount, for example, the bank may ask you to provide a statement to confirm that you meet the account’s eligibility criteria.

If you’re applying to a UK business account, you’ll also need to supply information relating to your company, such as its registered address and directors’ details. To streamline the application process, be sure to prepare this information in advance so that you have all the information you need to hand.

4. Begin the Application Process

When you’re opening a UK business account online, most financial institutions have a step-by-step application process available via their website. Generally, you’ll be prompted to input the required information at each stage, so following the on-screen guidance will ensure you complete all elements of the application.

To verify your identity, you might be asked to scan and upload relevant documents and you may be asked to use real-time verification tools, such as capturing a live image of yourself so that it can be compared to an image on your passport or driver’s license. As banks and financial institutions are subject to strict regulations, this is an effective way for them to meet verification requirements and ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) checks.

Once you’ve input all of the required information and uploaded the relevant documentation, you’ll be prompted to submit your application.

5. Start Using Your Account

Opening a UK business account online is often far quicker than opening an account in a branch or over the phone. This means you shouldn’t have to wait long to find out if your application has been successful and, if so, you should gain access to your new account relatively quickly. In some cases, you’ll even be able to begin using your account straightaway!

How Long Does It Take to Open a UK Business Account Online?

Providing you have the relevant documentation available, opening a UK business account online can be a quick process. Often, you’ll be able to complete the application process within a few minutes, so it needn’t be an onerous or time-consuming task.

How Should I Choose a UK Business Account?

It’s important to remember that account features, charges and eligibility criteria vary greatly, so it’s essential to research the market and determine which features are most important to you. By doing so, you can ensure that your future account meets your needs and enables you to manage your finances effectively.

Can I Send and Receive International Transfers with a UK Business Account?

Although you’ll be able to send and receive international transfers with a standard UK business account, this can be a relatively expensive way to make cross-border payments. To reduce transfer fees and to speed up international transfer times, opening a multicurrency account can be beneficial. This will allow you to send, receive and hold funds in multiple currencies, so making international transfers is simple and straightforward.

Opening a UK Business Account with PayAlly

Designed to offer maximum flexibility, innovative features and cost-efficient financial services, our multicurrency account provides enhanced functionality across the board. From competitive exchange rates and low transaction fees to centralised reporting and user-friendly account controls, PayAlly makes it easy to manage your funds.

Request to open a UK Business Account with PayAlly here.