Best Business Bank Accounts for Non-UK Residents

Explore the best business bank accounts for non-UK residents.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Rachel Wait

Edited By

Rachel Wait

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If you run a business, a business bank account is the best way to keep your business and personal finances separate.

Most UK banks require the director of a business to be a legal UK resident.

Still, there are alternative options to high street banks that will help you to manage your business finances if you’re a non-UK resident.

In this article, I'll explain the process for opening a business bank account as a non-UK resident. I've also compiled a list of the best business bank accounts available for non UK residents.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Revolut Business★★★★★Click Here
2. Tide★★★★★Click Here
3. HSBC★★★★★Click Here
4. Wise★★★★Click Here
5. Airwallex★★★★Click Here
6. Monese★★★★Click Here

What Is a Business Bank Account?

A business bank account is much like a personal current account but is more business-focused and has additional perks and features to help your business grow.

No law says you must open a business bank account in the UK. But if you are a limited company, your business is legally separate from you and you should use a business bank account, not a personal account, for business expenses.

If you're a sole trader, you don't have to have a business bank account and could use your personal bank account for your business affairs. That's because your business is not a separate legal entity.

However, having a business bank account and keeping your personal and business finances separate makes good financial sense. It can make it a lot easier to track expenses and file your tax return.

If you're not a UK resident, the best bank account for your business may be with a digital provider. Some digital-only banks don't require a UK address, just valid forms of ID.

Digital-only banks also often offer multi-currency accounts, enabling you to carry out business across the globe.

What Do You Need to Open a Business Bank Account as a Non-UK Resident?

If you're a limited company applying for a UK business account, you must register your business with Companies House.

If you're a non-UK resident, you can still register your business with Companies House, making opening a bank account much more accessible.

To register your company, you only need a UK-registered office address, or you can use a virtual office address. You'll need to pay a subscription fee to get a virtual address and this will correspond with a real office in the UK.

The information you need for a UK business bank account may differ depending on the provider, but you'll generally need the following:

  • Business details: Business name and address. You may need to provide estimated business turnover and proof that your business has a physical presence in the UK.
  • Registration number: If you're a limited company, you'll need your Companies House registration number. You'll also need your certificate of incorporation.
  • Personal information: You'll need to share your details and contact information. You must also be the company director to open a business bank account.

Best Business Bank Accounts for Non-UK Residents

All bank accounts from the following list accept applications from non-UK residents.

1. Revolut Business Account: Making Cross-Border Transactions Effortless

  • Account fee: £0 – custom price (depends on plan)
  • Transfer fee: £0 (fee applies after monthly allowance)
  • Account management: Online and app
  • Requires credit checks: Not required

You don’t need to be a UK resident to open a business account with Revolut.

However, your company does need to be registered in the EEA, Switzerland, USA or Australia. Accounts are suitable for freelancers, sole traders and limited companies.

We found that opening a business account with Revolut is relatively quick and easy, and you can benefit from easy integration with e-commerce stores and accounting software.

You'll also be able to make international payments and transfers at competitive exchange rates and you can receive, hold and exchange money in more than 25 currencies. Depending on your plan (some of which charge a monthly fee), you'll have a monthly allowance for fee-free local transfers and fee-free international transfers.

You can track your business spending with instant notifications and accept, settle and track payments from your bank account.

With a Revolut business account, fees apply to ATM withdrawals, and the account doesn't support cash or cheque deposits.

2. Tide Business Bank Account: Free Money Transfers Between Tide Accounts

  • Account fee: No fees for the basic business bank account
  • Transfer fee: £0.20 (no international payments)
  • Account management: Online and app
  • Requires credit checks: Not required

The Tide Business Bank Account allows you to make free bank transfers between Tide accounts.

To open a Registered Business Account, you will need to be the director of an active company incorporated in the UK and registered with Companies House.

You can easily manage direct debits and set up or edit standing orders and one-off payments with a Tide Business Account.

There are multiple plans you can choose from with Tide. The free one will give you all your basic banking needs. Upgrade to the Plus, Pro or Cashback account for more features. With the Pro and Cashback accounts, transfers are unlimited with no charge.

With all Tide accounts, you can create and send invoices for free and hold up to five business accounts. You can also integrate accounting software like Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, etc.

Note that you can't currently make international payments.

Tide offers other business finance, such as startup and business loans, to help small and mid-size businesses grow. You can only deposit cash into your Tide account via a Post Office.

3. HSBC Kinetic Current Account: A Provider With a Presence in Over 64 Countries

  • Account fee: The first 12 months are free, then a fee of £6.50 per month
  • Transfer fee: £0
  • Account management: Branch, online, app and over the phone
  • Requires credit checks: Yes

If you're looking for an international business account, HSBC has a presence in more than 64 countries.

There are no monthly maintenance fees with the HSBC Kinetic Current Account for the first 12 months. You can apply for an overdraft with an easy in-app application process if you need extra funds.

The account also enables you to easily keep track of your cash flow with monthly breakdowns and categorised spending. You can also make mobile cheque deposits and payments of up to £25,000 per day in-app. To be eligible for this account in the UK, you need to be a sole trader or limited company, a UK tax resident and have an annual turnover of up to £6.5m.

When you open an HSBC Kinetic current account, you can benefit from perks to help kick start your business, such as 30% off business broadband with TalkTalk Business, next-day card and contactless payments from your customers with Global Payments, discounted accounting software from Ember, and access to business insurance with Aviva.

4. Wise Business Bank Account: Payments From More Than 160 Countries

  • Account fee: Set up fee of £45
  • Transfer fee: From 0.42% (depends on currency)
  • Account management: Online and app
  • Requires credit checks: No

You don't need to be a UK resident to use the Wise Business Account in the UK.

An international account will allow you to accept and pay in over 40 currencies across more than 160 countries worldwide, including GBP.

Wise provides non-residents with a UK business banking solution. All you need is to provide documents about yourself and your business.

With the Wise business account, you can get a debit card for yourself and cards for your employees. You can spend on these cards overseas with no foreign transaction fees.

You can set up local account details for your business in nine different currencies so your overseas customers can use them to pay you wherever they are.

You can also streamline your finances by connecting your accounting software to your Wise business account. You can connect FreeAgent, Xero, QuickBooks and more. There are no bank branches, as Wise is a digital-only bank with no credit facilities. 

5. Airwallex Multi-Currency Business Account: Create a Local Bank Account in the UK

  • Monthly fee: £0
  • Transfer fee: £0 for local transfers, but foreign exchange fee (0.5% to 1%) applies to international payments
  • Account management: Web app
  • Requires credit checks: Not required

With a multi-currency account for your business from Airwallex, you can create local accounts in the UK, and foreign currency accounts across the globe without even needing to be in the country.

You can convert your bank balance into a number of different currencies, and you can open a local bank account in 10 other countries, including the UK, New Zealand, and the United States. A fee will apply to foreign exchange conversions.

View all your funds and accounts in your Airwallex wallet, convert currencies and manage your accounts from the Airwallex app. You can integrate your bank account easily with online stores like Amazon and PayPal. 

Airwallex accounts don't support cash or cheque deposits, and there are ATM fees. If you lose your card, you can freeze and unfreeze it using the app or online banking. There are no overdraft options with this bank account. You can open it if you're a sole trader, limited company, limited partnership, limited liability partnership or general partnership.

6. Monese Business Account: Open a Business Bank Account From Anywhere in the World

  • Monthly fee: £9.95
  • Transfer fee: 0.5% minimum fee is £2
  • Account management: App
  • Requires credit checks: Not required

You can open a Monese Business Account online anywhere without credit checks.

You need to be UK registered and the sole director of the company which needs to be listed on Companies House. You can get set up quickly and easily and have a free personal account that runs alongside your business account. You'll then be able to manage and track your spending for your personal and company finances in one app on your smartphone.

You can use your business account to move money around like a local, and you can send and receive money from more than 30 countries – a fee will apply. All money transfers between Monese accounts are free, no matter where you are.

You'll also be able to set up direct debits and standing orders on the account and keep a close eye on your finances with balance notifications when you're running low.

You can use the app to request payments from your clients, and Monese will let you know when the money has entered your bank account. You can share your account details from the app and create invoices with ease.

Pros & Cons of Opening a Business Bank Account as a Non-UK Resident

If you're not living in the UK, you may face challenges that some businesses won't.

So, we've compiled a list of the pros and cons of opening a business bank account as a non-UK resident.

Pros

✔️ Streamlining finance management: A business bank account lets you track business transactions. You can keep track of income and expenses and separate your business finances from your personal ones. You can access banking services such as international money transfers, overdraft facilities and merchant services.

✔️ Plenty of choice: Some digital banks offer business accounts that don't require a UK address, so you should have plenty of options available.

✔️ Digital-only bank accounts: Digital-only bank accounts allow you to operate your business finances from anywhere in the world so that you can trade internationally and locally.

✔️ UK business opportunities: Having a UK business bank account or a bank account that allows you to operate in the UK makes it easier to do business in the UK. So you can send and receive payments in the local currency.

Cons

❌️ Time-consuming: The application process for opening a business account may take longer for a non-UK resident than for a UK resident. You may need to provide a lot more documentation.

❌️ Most high street banks require UK residency: If you want to open a UK bank account with a high street bank, they usually ask for proof of address.

❌️ Might not have FSCS protection: Some digital-only providers or non-UK banks aren’t covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. However, most do have their own security and policies in place to protect their customers. 

My Verdict

Being a non-UK resident director doesn't mean you can't have a business bank account in the UK. But it's more likely to be a possibility with an online provider rather than a high street bank and it'll also be a quicker process.

Make sure you shop around and compare the best business accounts that are available for non-UK residents, looking at the eligibility criteria and what documents you'll need to provide when you apply.

To expand your business further, consider a multi-currency account instead of just UK business bank accounts from our best list to trade globally and in the UK.

Related Guides:

FAQs

Can a Non-UK Resident Open a Business Bank Account?

What is the Best Business Account for Non-Residents?

Can a Business Be Refused for a Business Bank Account?

Do UK High Street Banks Accept Non-Residents?

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