The essentials of a UK non-resident bank account

If you are setting up a new UK business, one of the first things you should do is get a UK bank account

Can I open a UK bank account?

There are no laws or restrictions in the UK that prevent non-residents from opening a UK bank account. However, it may not be as simple as it would be for UK residents.
Most banks require company directors who live in the UK when applying for a bank account. This is due to the UK's anti-money laundering laws, which make it difficult for banks to accept applications from foreign business owners.
To open a UK business bank account, you must have a UK company registered with Companies House. Thus, to be qualified, you do not need to live in the UK.

What are the benefits of setting up an account?

  • You can save time by automating the process when it comes to submitting Self Assessment tax returns to HMRC, 
  • It helps you build a credit rating for your company,
  • It gives you access to business tools, resources, finance & credit,
  • It makes your business more professional.

Please watch the video given below to get more details:

Can you open an account in the UK with a bad credit history?

With a bad credit history, opening a UK business bank account can be challenging, but not impossible. By arranging a meeting with your selected banks, you may be able to make a convincing case for your suitability as an applicant if you have a clear business plan.
Credit checks are performed by most banks, but not all of them. To comply with UK anti-money laundering laws, some digital banks only conduct soft credit and identity checks. This indicates that your application has a higher chance of being approved even if you have a bad credit history.
Alternatively, some UK high street banks provide 'basic' bank accounts, which are targeted at people with bad credit.

What information do I need to provide to apply for it?

UK high street banks require you or your director to visit the branch in person to verify ID proof or provide further information such as: 

  • Details (including residential address) of all partners, members or directors,
  • Details (including contact and UK registered addresses) of your business, 
  • Company’s cash flow or forecasts,
  • Your registered company number with Companies House.

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