How to open a UK business bank account

Time needed: 5 minutes

Below, we have prepared a step-by-step guide for opening a UK bank account. The following provides a high-level overview as to the sort of data and detail that is required to open a bank account in the UK for overseas-owned companies. It is by no means complete – there are multiple sign-offs internally within your banking partner, and if your application passes one hurdle, doesn’t mean the next inputter/operating won’t have further questions relating to ownership, identification documents, etc.

  1. Key information on the parent company

    – Name of legal entity, registered address, shareholder data and percentages.
    – Addresses of main shareholders (usually 25% or more) and directors.
    – Description of parent company trading activities
    – Jurisdiction for tax purposes of parent company.
    – Where the individuals are registered for tax, in any other jurisdictions other than that of the parent company location. The bank require tax registration details for anyone registered for tax and social security outside of the UK.

  2. Key information on the UK company

    – Name of a legal entity, registered address
    – Director addresses
    – Description of UK company trading activities; the bank is looking to fully understand why a UK account is required.
    – Projected turnover of the UK company.
    – Details of expenditure, outgoings, potential suppliers, and potential customer names.
    – Details of directors and whether they are registered for tax in any other country other than the UK.

  3. UK bank mandate details

    – Details of signor’s who will have access to the UK account
    – What currency accounts, if any, are required
    – Internet banking: simple, or enhanced; access only, key payments, authorise payments, etc.

  4. Anti-money laundering data

    Notarised Proof of Identity and two forms of home address documents such as a recent bank statement and utility bill, showing home address of the individual. This data will be required for the majority shareholder(s) and those who are to have access to the UK bank account.
    Covering letter from the Notary addressed to the UK bank confirming they have met with individual X on Y date, and notarised passport/bank statement/utility bill
    Where the documents are not in English, they will need to be translated.

  5. Resident for Tax Purposes

    Under FATCA regulations, UK banks are required to know where the company is resident for tax purposes – if it’s part of a group, other such jurisdictions may need to be noted also.

  6. Here is more detailed guidance…

    Here is more detailed guidance on what is involved in opening a UK bank account.