How to Open a Business Bank Account Online

These days you can apply for a business bank account online. Find out what you’ll need to do and how our prepaid cards could help you to manage expenses.

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These days, everything happens online. From team meetings via Zoom, through to buying office supplies and even connecting with clients, modern businesses need the internet to survive. It only makes sense that they should be able to open a business bank account online, too.

It matters which business banking account you choose. They might all seem similar, but they come with a range of different features that can have a major effect on your company. The best business accounts make it easy for firms to manage their money online, and offer a range of digital services that all start at the application stage.

There are other options out there too, of course. Soldo’s prepaid cards are the ultimate partner to any business bank account, making it easy to pay for company expenses and even do your accounting. You can use our cards to handle employee expenses without needing to dip into your current account.

In this guide we explain how to open a business bank account online, and discuss the best features that modern firms can’t afford to live without.

Why do you need a business bank account?

In the UK, the law requires limited companies to open and operate dedicated business bank accounts.

It might seem a little over the top to open a start-up business account when you’ve just launched, but doing so could help you in more than just the legal sense. For starters, business bank accounts make the accounting process a lot simpler,  while giving you all the information and tools needed to run your day to day affairs.

The very best providers offer convenient business online banking services, along with a range of other nifty features.

What do you need to submit a business account application?

Every provider has a different set of criteria for eligible businesses when it comes to applying for a commercial bank account online. Some require more documents than others, while the process is generally more streamlined for the modern providers of business banking accounts.

When you make your application, you’ll usually need to supply the following documents:

  • Proof of ID for all named company directors. This can take the form of a passport, photo driving license, or national identification card.
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill, bank statement, or council tax bill;
  • A full business address;
  • Complete contact details;
  • A Companies House registration number (required for partnerships and limited companies); and
  • An estimate of the business’s annual turnover.

In some cases, you’ll also need to supply additional information relating to the company’s financial history and credit rating. It can therefore help to check your report via a Credit Reference Agency (CRA) before submitting a business bank account application.

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documentation together, you can make your online application. Many major banks and building societies still require applicants to attend in person, but there are some more modern-day banking providers that are happy to complete most of the process digitally.

Keep in mind that in most cases, the bank will need to physically meet with a company representative to sign a bank mandate.

The UK’s best online business current accounts

When people think about opening a business bank account, they usually gravitate towards one of the traditional high street providers – HSBC, Barclays, NatWest, and Lloyds. The market is much bigger than that, though, and you might find that your company is better served by another type of business bank.

When you’re trying to decide on the best bank account, give some thought to the following business banking checklist:

What are the fees and costs for business banking?

The whole point of opening a business current account is to help you manage your money better. Keep an eye out for the true cost of using any given provider, and make sure that all of your day-to-day business banking needs are covered by that rate.

Look out for standing charges, transaction fees, interest rates and any foreign exchange rate costs.

Can you access your account online?

Gone are the days of entrepreneurs going into bank branches to deal with their finances. These days, it’s all about online business bank services, using a mobile banking app, and making payments online just as you would with your personal account.

Does it cover your spending needs?

The best business bank accounts are those that can be used to pay for a variety of business expenses and even to make international payments. It’s worth considering what financial services a bank offers, whether it facilitates fast electronic payments and whether you can access cash when you need it.

What are the alternatives to business accounts?

There’s no getting away from the fact that limited companies need a corporate bank account if they want to trade legally in the UK. There are services that can make your banking experience a whole lot better, though, including prepaid business cards from Soldo.

They offer a useful alternative to a standard business debit card, and can be issued to all members of staff who can then pay for their expenses up to a specified limit. Business customers benefit from a simple and intuitive online system that provides an up-to-the-minute transaction history while even working in tandem with any existing online accounting software.

These features act as the ideal complement to any business bank account, making it so much easier to cover expenses without the need to give everyone access to your main account. Since this is a prepaid solution, you won’t have to worry about any credit history.

Smarter business spending starts here

Soldo is the perfect counterpart for your business current account. By issuing individual prepaid Mastercards and virtual cards to your team, they can pay for expenses without the need for petty cash or constant bank transfers.

Sign up to Soldo in five minutes, and take control of your business’ spending today.

Supercharge your business bank account

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Control spend on prepaid cards

Empower employees to spend; set budgets and track spending in real time, from anywhere.

Automate all expense admin

Send transactions, receipts, and other data to accounting software through smart integrations.

Capture receipts and VAT fast

Prompt employees to photograph receipts, add VAT and categories on the Soldo mobile app.

What our customers say

“Petty cash and reconciling credit cards took a total of 6 days a month. Now it takes me half a day. It’s saving us time! It’s got great flexibility and it makes my life a lot easier”

Sandra Curran, Making Space
Purchase Ledger Coordinator at Making Space

“Since we started using Soldo, it’s been such a relief not to have to regularly email or phone the banks to ask for our credit card limits to be raised. I love Soldo’s flexibility – it’s so easy to maintain and everything is in real-time.”

Dennis Koehler, Get Your Guide
Head of Payments and Fraud at GetYourGuide

“We’re a caring company and always look after each other. With Soldo, I know I’ve always got my drivers’ backs and the best bit is that I don’t need to do loads of work (or miss out on VAT claims) at the end of the month.”

Karen Green, Titans Group
Operations Manager at Titans Group