If you’re trying to open a business bank account as a non-UK resident you might be finding it challenging and running into difficulties.
Well, you’re not alone.
In fact, while UK companies are among the most popular options for international entrepreneurs, they are also one of the most difficult to bank.
The reason for this UK-specific connections and documents are often needed to open a UK company bank account as a non-resident.
Fortunately, difficult does not mean impossible. If you know which banks to target, use the right account opening strategies, and know how to overcome some of the biggest challenges, you’ll be able to find the best bank for your company and open an account.
In this article, we’re going to help you get started by sharing some of the obstacles you’ll face, how to overcome them, and how you can start opening accounts immediately.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to any sections that are immediately relevant to your search.
Table of Contents:
- Opening a Business Bank Account in the UK 101
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ready to Explore Your Options?
Opening a Business Bank Account in the UK 101
Let’s dive right into the reason that most non-resident businesses struggle to open a UK bank account:
UK banks want to deal with companies that have a local presence in the UK. Of course, there are exceptions to this. But, generally speaking, this particular point is the major roadblock that stops non-resident companies from opening accounts.
Of course, “local presence” is defined differently depending on the bank you’re speaking to. At certain banks, they want you to meet their particular local account opening requirements and only accept certain types of documents, while other banks will want to see that a shareholder or director lives around the corner (or has a local manager).
So, needless to say, bank selection is critical when trying to open business bank accounts in the UK for non-resident business. But, so is your ability to meet the account opening requirements at the banks you choose.
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Requirements to Open Non-Resident Business Bank Accounts
In addition to the standard corporate document requirements, UK banks will also want you to provide a local address, local phone number, and in certain instances local directors or shareholders.
Unfortunately, many of the local address and phone number options that are available to non-residents are insufficient and often get rejected by banks. Likewise, most non-resident companies don’t have local directors, local shareholders, or local staff.
With this in mind, our team decided to solve every conceivable account opening challenge that UK non-resident businesses face. This includes address and phone issues, a list of specific banks that cater to UK companies at different revenue thresholds, and specific account opening strategies that business owners can successfully open accounts.
We published all of our findings and solutions in the most comprehensive UK non-resident business report ever published:
- UK Banking for Non-Resident UK LLPs & UK LTDs
You can get immediate access to this report (and many more) when you join either GlobalBanks IQ or GlobalBanks Insider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking to open a business bank account in the UK as a non-resident. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Can a Non-UK Resident Open a Business Bank Account?
Yes, it is possible for a non-UK resident to open a business bank account. However, most non-resident business owners find it difficult to meet the account opening requirements at UK banks. With this in mind, identifying the specific banks, account opening strategies, and supporting documents that are essential for success before approaching a bank is crucial.
To navigate your options, consider joining GlobalBanks IQ and access our dedicated UK banking report for non-resident UK LLPs and UK LTDs.
Do I Have to Have a UK Company to Open a Business Account?
In most cases, UK banks are very reluctant to open business bank accounts for non-UK companies if they do not have a presence in the UK. Instead, if a business requires GBP accounts, we typically suggest opening these accounts in an non-UK jurisdiction where it’s more realistic for your company to be accepted.
Note: the specific jurisdictions available to your company typically depend on the country of registration, country of operation, transaction activities, shareholder and director profiles, business activities, and many more variables.
Ready to Explore Your Options?
If you would like assistance navigating your banking options at home or abroad, we can help.
You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.
But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.
Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.