Posted: Tue 22nd Nov 2022
Choosing the right bank account for your business is crucial for its financial success. But with so many options available, how do you know which one is the best for your business's needs?
In Ireland, the banking sector offers a wide range of business bank accounts tailored to meet the specific needs of entrepreneurs and companies. These accounts come with various features and benefits that can have a great impact on how you manage your business's finances.
In this blog, I explore some of the top business bank accounts in Ireland, considering factors such as fees, transaction limits, online banking capabilities, customer support, and additional services offered. By understanding what options are available to you, you can make an informed decision and choose the account that's most suitable for you.
What is a business bank account?
If you're running a business, having a business bank account is essential. Its main purpose is to keep your business finances and personal finances separate. That way, you can maintain accurate financial records and file your tax returns without issue.
By having a dedicated bank account for your business, you can easily track your business's financial performance and make sure you're meeting your financial goals.
Does my business need a business account?
Absolutely! Having a dedicated business account offers numerous benefits and is vital in helping you manage your business finances effectively.
What are the benefits of having a business bank account?
Separates personal and business finances
One of the key advantages is the ability to keep your personal and business finances separate. That way, you can easily track your business income and expenses, which makes bookkeeping and accounting much clearer and easier.
This separation is crucial if you're to accurately assess your business's financial health and make informed decisions about its growth and profitability.
Provides a clear paper trail
A business bank account also gives you a clear paper trail for all your business transactions. This is particularly valuable when it comes to filing your taxes or seeking investment for your business.
With a separate business account, you can effortlessly identify which expenses are business-related and make the most of your tax deductions.
Makes business banking a lot simpler!
With a business bank account, you can carry out essential business transactions with ease. That might be making deposits or receiving payments from customers, ensuring you have a smooth flow of funds into your business.
Moreover, many business accounts come with useful features like online banking, which allows you to easily manage and monitor your finances, make online payments, and even perform international transactions.
Key facts about business bank accounts in Ireland
Business bank account fees in Ireland
When looking to open a bank account for your business, it's important to be aware of the fees that Irish banks charge. Always check with the bank before going ahead with setting up an account!
Monthly maintenance fees: Monthly maintenance fees are common for business accounts and can vary significantly between banks. Typically, these fees range from €10 to €20 per month.
Cash withdrawal fees: As well as the monthly maintenance fees, there are usually charges for making cash withdrawals at ATMs. Most banks charge a fee for using ATMs that they do not own themselves. These fees can range from €0.25 to €0.35 per withdrawal.
Stamp duty on ATM transactions: You should also be aware of the government stamp duty on ATM transactions, which is currently €0.12 per transaction. However, some banks may offer options for free or low-cost cash withdrawals, such as using specific ATMs or partnering with other institutions.
Direct debit and lodgement fees: Setting up direct debits and lodgements is another feature of business bank accounts that may come with extra charges. Banks typically charge a fee of €0.20 to €0.35 per direct debit or lodgement.
Other charges: It's important to note that additional charges may apply for bounced cheques, replacement cards, unauthorised overdrafts, and spending abroad. These charges can vary between banks and are important to consider when choosing a business bank account.
What you need to open a business bank account
To open a business bank account in Ireland, there are several documents you must provide and conditions you must meet.
Photo ID: The first requirement is to provide valid photo identification, such as a current passport or driver's licence. The bank needs this to verify your identity, as account holder.
Proof of address: This can be in the form of utility bills or bank statements. The bank uses this information to validate your residential address.
Certificate of incorporation: If you run a limited company, you'll need to provide a certificate of incorporation to show your business is legally registered. Also, proof of registration with the Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO) is necessary to comply with regulations.
In some circumstances, you may be asked for other documents, including:
proof of funding, such as bank statements or financial statements
a completed bank form provided by the financial institution
How to choose the best small business bank account in Ireland
So, what should you be looking for in your search for a business bank account?
I recommend that small businesses, particularly those just starting out, look towards the online banks first of all. Those providers really can offer your small business all of the banking facilities you need at that stage of your business journey.
Generally, for new businesses, one of your main considerations will be the fees, as funds are likely to be tight. Also look at what online services are available, how user-friendly the bank's app is, and how quickly they can set things up for you.
A lot of newer businesses, particularly those with younger owners, don't want to go into a bank. For them, a provider that allows them to apply for all their services without having to go into a branch is ideal.
Compare the best business bank accounts in Ireland
Bank of Ireland: Startup Account
First up, we have Bank of Ireland’s Startup Account. Their package is available for any business that has started within the last three years.
Transaction and maintenance fees: Transaction, maintenance and overdraft facility fees are waived for the first 24 months for start-ups.
Free tools and guides: Offers a range of free tools and guides for new businesses.
A range of deposit options: Bank of Ireland business accounts have a range of business deposit options, including instant access to business notice accounts and fixed-term deposits.
Access to Bank of Ireland 365: Customers can make online payments of up to €20,000 a day and access their account whenever they need.
Subscription to Business Online (BOL): Bank Of Ireland's dedicated online banking service for business customers. They waive subscription fees for this service for two years for new business customers.
Facilities: Its Workbench programme offers facilities for start-ups and entrepreneurs such as free Wi-Fi, hot desks, interactive screens, and events. You can currently find Workbenches in Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Donegal and Galway.
How do I open a business bank account with Bank Of Ireland?
If you're a sole trader or a limited company, you can apply for and set up your business account online without stepping foot in a branch.
Partnerships and all other types of business customers can arrange a meeting online with one of Bank of Ireland's business advisers.
Permanent TSB: Business banking
Permanent TSB does not offer a tailored package for start-ups. Its services may be more suited for sole traders and more mature businesses.
No transaction fees within Europe: Including countries outside the Eurozone.
Bulk payments: Permanent TSB gives you the option to pay wages or suppliers in one transaction by uploading a payment file rather than setting up each transaction individually every month.
Business Visa debit card: Allows you to lodge cash and cheques and withdraw up to €1,500 a day in-branch.
Dedicated business banking team: You can contact them in-branch or by phone if you have any questions.
Face-to-face banking: You still have the option for face-to-face banking if that's what you prefer, as Permanent TSB has over 70 branches in Ireland.
How do I open an account with Permanent TSB?
To set up an account, you must make an appointment with a local branch by ringing them at 0818 200 100 or +353 1 215 1363. Check out the documents you need to open your Bank account with Permanent TSB.
AIB Business: Startup Package
The AIB Business Startup Package is available to start-up businesses in operation for less than three years and opening an AIB Business Startup Current Account for the first time.
No transaction or maintenance fees: Two years with no account maintenance and transaction fees (excluding cash handling). Other fees and charges still apply.
Discount off cash handling fees: Up to €100 discount off quarterly cash handling fees.
Online banking: Designed specifically for small businesses. AIB also provide an online banking service for medium to large businesses.
Brexit support: For all its business banking clients. This support includes calls with specialist Brexit advisers.
How do I open a business bank account with AIB?
To open an account, the director and one person who is authorised to sign transactions on accounts for the company must meet with the bank in-branch.
You must to print and sign a document highlighting the terms and conditions of the package. Two directors or one director and one company secretary are required to sign these forms.
Non-residents can open an account with AIB, but they may require additional information and documentation. Find out what documentation you need to set up.
Enterprise Nation Ireland has teamed up with a range of finance partners to show you which funding options are available and help you gain access to them.
Take part in interactive workshops, e-learning modules and free in-person consultations to move your business to the next level.