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Business bank account for non-UK residents

Why is it difficult for non-uk residents to open a business bank account?

The simple answer is strict anti-money laundering (AML) regulations imposed by the regulators. UK high street banks see it is a lot of work and hassle for them to check the directors, their background, their credit history and the rest of the checks when they reside outside UK. So, majority of them including Barclays and Lloyds either do not offer (or make it incredibly difficult to get) a business bank account for UK companies with non-UK resident directors.

What are my options as a non-UK resident to open a business bank account?

Option 1: UK virtual bank account

We have affiliations with a few institutions that offer UK virtual bank account for non-UK residents. This is a good solution for majority of businesses, with non-resident directors. You will get a UK bank account number, sort code and IBAN number.

Using this virtual UK bank account, you can get payments in £(GBP) via credit card or bank transfer and make payments to your suppliers’ bank accounts. You can also connect your account with HMRC to pay taxes. You can receive payments from marketplaces such as Amazon. You can send payments via bank transfer, use ATM cards or withdraw funds to your local bank account in your country.

However, there are few restrictions with this virtual bank account and it may not be offered for certain high-risk countries. But, we work closely with them to secure a bank account for most of our overseas customers.

Our fee for processing your application for virtual bank on fast track is £249+vat. Our fee covers examining your suitability, preparing the paperwork, facilitating the necessary documents, completing and submitting your application for fast track approval. The process could take anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks.

Refund policy: If in any case your bank account application gets rejected we will be happy to refund all but processing charge of £49.

Option 2: Bank account with a UK high street banks (Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC etc.)

If you are willing to travel to the UK with necessary documents, we can help with setting up a bank account with a popular high street bank.

We will examine your suitability, prepare the paperwork, facilitate the necessary documents, complete and submit your application for fast track approval. After submitting the application, you must travel to the UK soon with the necessary supporting documents, and present to the bank representatives face to face. If required, we can arrange to attend the meeting alongside you. Our fee for processing your application on fast track is £599+vat.

Note: We do not facilitate visa/work permit or travel requirements and you must arrange it yourself.

Refund policy: If in any case your bank account application gets rejected we will be happy to refund all but processing charge of £99.

Is it simple to open a business bank account in the UK?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to set up a business bank account with a major UK bank, unless you live and work in the UK. However, we have arrangement with a few banks who might offer business bank account for overseas directors.

What are the benefits of virtual bank account?

Virtual bank account is one of the ideal options for non-UK resident directors who cannot or do not want to visit the UK. Our team will handle all the required paper work and procedures, making it hassle free for non-resident directors.

What are the features of virtual bank account?

  • You will get a UK bank account number, sort code and IBAN number.
  • You can use virtual bank account to get payments in £(GBP) via credit card or bank transfer
  • You can also make payment to your supplier’s bank accounts or to the HMRC
  • You can also receive payments from market places such as Amazon
  • You can send payments via bank transfer, use ATM cards or withdraw funds to your local bank account in your country.

How long will it take to open a virtual bank account?

It normally takes between 3-4 weeks, but could happen before that time as well. Once your company is registered in the UK our team will contact you and initiate the process to help you open your virtual bank account in the UK.

Can you guarantee that you will get me a UK business bank account?

We have multiple options and possible avenues to help open your business bank account. However, banks have their own policies and they make the final call. So, we cannot give any guarantee. But, in case if your application is not accepted, we will be glad to refund the amount paid for the bank account service.

Do I need a mail forwarding address to apply for a business bank account?

Yes, you will need a mail forwarding address, fortunately it is included in all our international packages expect the classic package, in which case you can purchase it separately.

What are the documents required to open a virtual bank account?

Generally, you will have to provide 2 different documents for identity proof and address proof, although valid documents differ from bank to bank. In most cases, these are the acceptable forms of identification.

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • National identity card
  • Tenancy agreement or mortgage statement
  • An electricity or gas bill (less than 3 months old)
  • A recent (less than 3 months old) bank or credit card statement that’s not printed off the internet
  • A recent tax bill

In most case a valid Identity proof document issued by your respective government should be enough. The bank will contact you directly for the identity proof documents.

Do I have to live in the UK to open a business bank account?

You do not have to live in the UK to open a business bank account. There are no restrictions legally that stops non-UK residents and non-UK citizens from opening a UK business bank account. However, most banks follow stringent procedures to open a business bank account for overseas residents/citizens because of money laundering, funding for illegal activities, fraud concerns and associated administrative costs.

I am a UK citizen and I currently live abroad. Can you help me open a business bank account (with Barclays or Lloyds) without visiting UK?

No. Barclays or Lloyds bank do not offer business bank accounts for anyone who currently do not reside in the UK. It does not matter if you are a UK citizen or not. You must currently reside in the UK (with a legal residency status) and must visit the local branch to open the business bank account with Barclays or Lloyds bank.

What are the options with major UK high street banks for non-residents?

We have conducted a study on the options with the major banks in the UK and these are our findings. This may vary for every company based on the applicant’s status and the bank’s individual terms. We cannot guarantee either approval or rejection of your banking application.

HSBC:

HSBC provides business account for UK-registered companies with non-resident directors. However, the non-resident director(s)/individual of the company must visit UK branch of the bank. They must also present supporting identification documentation and also sign a bank mandate.

Lloyds bank:

We believe there is a slightly indirect way to open a business bank account with Lloyds. If at least one director of new company resides in the UK, they offer a business bank account even if other directors are non-UK resident. The UK resident director should visit the local branch in person to open the account. Please contact Lloyds bank directly for more information and their current policy.

Barclays bank:

Barclays International offers business bank account if you are prepared to deposit and maintain £25,000. All non-resident applications must start from Barclays International in the Isle of Man. This bank account is classified as offshore, but it can be based in London, the Isle of Man or Jersey. Please contact Barclays bank directly for more information.

Is it mandatory to have a business bank account to operate my business?

There is no mandatory legal requirement for a UK company to have a business bank account in the UK. You can even use your bank account in your own location, to handle your business transactions. However, it is advisable to run a business bank account to win the trust of customers and suppliers in the UK.

Can you help me get a payment gateway merchant account?

Yes, we can help you to get a payment gateway merchant account for your new UK company. We have affiliations with a few payment gateway provider companies including WorldPay.

International all-inclusive package with virtual bank account - £549

Register your new UK limited company as an overseas resident with our international all-inclusive package with a virtual bank account

Get started

International all-inclusive package with high street bank account - £899

Register your new UK limited company as an overseas resident with our international all-inclusive package with a high street bank account

Get started

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