Business Banking Guide

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Do I need a separate business bank account?

If you're running a limited company, you'll need a separate business bank account as the company is its own legal entity, and its finances must be kept separate from the business owner or director.

While you're not legally required to have a business bank account as a sole trader, there are benefits to doing so. For instance, it enables you to keep your business finances separate, and your business accounting records organised.


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7 reasons why businesses fail and how not to

A large percentage (some say as many as 80% in the first two years of operation, though numbers vary by country and industry) of small businesses fail early on.

Some of the reasons why these businesses go under are unavoidable, such as a rapidly diminishing demand for a product at a time like a recession.

However, many avoidable causes also exist; small business owners are often new to owning a business, so they skip steps or are never informed of how to move forward to long-term success.

Here are seven common reasons why people don't maintain their small businesses, and how you can avoid letting your new small business fail. You can learn from these lessons now and see your business thrive.

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How do I set up a new business bank account?

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How do I plan my business?

The first step is to conduct thorough research into the market and your potential competitors, and put together a business plan.

Here are several key questions that can guide you through the process of creating your business plan:

  • What need are you addressing?
  • Who is your customer base?
  • What products or services do you provide?
  • What resources do you need to get started?
  • How will you market your business?
  • Who is your competition?
  • Have you identified support networks, such as getting a mentor or joining a mastermind group?
  • How will you measure success?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Your business plan should include the following elements:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Description of product or service
  • Revenue model
  • Operations and management
  • Competitive analysis
  • Customer analysis and customer acquisition strategies
  • Financials
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What should I consider when choosing a business bank account?

For small business owners, freelancers or contractors, there are four important factors you need to consider when choosing a business bank account: features vs cost, sign up process, day-to-day banking experience and customer service.

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7 benefits of Business Bank Accounts over reimbursing employee expenses

The financial services sector has an enormous effect on the economy, people, and businesses.

In 2017, the financial services sector accounted for 6.5% of the total economic output in the UK. The sector added £119 billion to the economy and offered 1.1 million employment opportunities.

In the 2016/2017 financial year, the financial services sector remitted £27.3 billion in taxes. In addition to these benefits for the economy, the financial services industry has huge benefits for businesses. Notably, banks are prominent for helping both big and small businesses to thrive and guarantee their success and survival in the long-term.

Through commercial banking, banks have an array of products and services for enterprises ranging from lending money to foreign exchange, basic accounts, investment banking, and payment and transaction payment. Business bank accounts help businesses manage their finances and cater for expenses.

benefits of business bank accounts for small business owners
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How to optimise your entrepreneurial morning routine

An entrepreneurial mindset starts from the moment you wake up in the morning.

Great entrepreneurs use their morning routines to energise, get focused, and prepare for an optimally productive day. Whether you're hustling for your startup, or are a visionary leader for a flourishing enterprise or self-employed business owner, leading your own business takes focus and energy.

What you do in the morning can make a huge difference you feel and even how well you think for the rest of the day. And you don't have to rebuild your life around running 10 miles every morning or eating nothing but grapefruit.

In fact, just a few small tweaks to your morning can shape your life for focused and vibrant business leadership.

Here's how to optimise your morning like a boss:

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Business Banking Guide

  • How to choose the right account
  • Challenger banks
  • Starling, Revolt, Tide and Metro bank overview
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How do I open business bank account?

The process for opening a business bank account will vary, depending on the bank you choose to open an account with.

Certain banks may require an in-person meeting, while others may require just an online registration to complete the sign up (we tested out several challenger banks, and found Revolut and Tide to have the smoothest account opening process).

In general, you'll need to prepare the following documents for the sign up:

  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of address

You may also need to provide the following information about your company:

  • Full business address
  • Contact details
  • Companies House registration number (for limited companies and partnerships)
  • Estimated annual turnover
  • You may be required to show proof of your personal financial situation, and provide documents to show you have a clean credit history
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How do I transfer/ change a business bank account?

Switching business bank accounts can be a tedious and time-consuming task.

But if you're a small business with less than 50 employees and an annual turnover of less than £6.5 million, you'll benefit from a simpler and quicker process-by using the Current Account Switch Service. This free-to-use service is part of Pay UK, and enables the transfer to be completed within seven days.

You'll need to take the following steps:

  • Check that your bank or building society is participating in the scheme
  • Get your paperwork sorted out. Use this resource to obtain a checklist of the documents you need.
  • Apply for a new business bank account. After the security checks have been completed, you'll be able to choose a switch date.
  • You'll be able to use the services on your present bank account as usual until the switch date-after which you can then begin using your new account.
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The best business bank account: Tide, Revolut, Starling or Metro?

We road tested the best business bank accounts out there so you do not have to.

Starting with the four contenders with the best features and costs on paper, we put them through their paces testing usability, ease of sign-up, response times and the day to day banking experience.

The full details are below, so you can experience what each one is like from the inside, without having to go to all the trouble of opening accounts with each of them.

It's a long article, so let's get to the conclusion and summary first for those who just want to see the results.


Conclusion

At the end of the day, different businesses have different needs and there isn't a one-size-fits-all bank account.

Freelancers and contractors have two strong options: I personally recommend you to go with Starling given its ease of use and low fees.

However if you are more of a traditionalist and like the support that a physical branch provides, go with Metro Bank.

For a small business, Revolut is the clear winner.

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