One of the most popular topics we deal with on a daily basis at Rapid Formations is how to open business bank accounts as a non-UK resident. Whilst it’s incredibly easy to register a UK limited company from anywhere in the world, it is more difficult to set up a business bank account unless you live and work in the United Kingdom. However, there are a number of available options once your company has been incorporated.
There is no legal obligation for a limited company to have its own bank account, but it is better to have one. Business finances must be accurate and transparent, so a separate account will make it easier to keep track of your income, expenditure and available profits. This will be of great help when you are preparing annual accounts and tax returns each year.
UK residency is not a legal requirement
There are no legal restrictions that prohibit non-UK residents from opening a business account. However, most banks will not accept applications from overseas due to fraud concerns and the additional administration costs.
You do not have to open a UK bank account
There is no legal requirement for a UK company to have a business bank account in the UK. You can open one in your country of residence. To do so, you must get your company documents apostilled (legalised). Please scroll down for further information on document legalisation.
Business account options for non-UK residents
Rapid Formations has partnered with TransferWise to provide non-UK residents with a UK business banking solution. TransferWise will provide you with a UK business bank account number and sort code, as well as simultaneously providing you with US, Australian and Eurozone bank details at the same time. You will be able to receive money for free and hold over 40 currencies in your account at any one time. Our Non-Residents Package, which is specifically tailored to suit the needs of non-UK residents, includes a free TransferWise business account.
Opening a business bank account in your country of residence
A useful alternative to opening a UK account for your limited company is to open one in your country of residence. To do so, your company documents must be legalised. This process is called ‘apostilling’. You must obtain Apostille Certificates for these documents to confirm their authenticity.
Apostilled documents are accepted in all countries that are party to the 1961 Hague Convention, There are 105 in total. We are unable to offer advice to non-member countries regarding the acceptance of apostilled documents.
Rapid Formations in-house Notary Public is available to sign company documents and organise Apostille Certificates with The Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In general terms, two Apostille Certificates are required: one for the certificate of incorporation and another for the memorandum and articles of association. The cost of each certificate is £89.99 plus VAT, which includes all courier and postal charges.
You can view full details of our apostilled documents service here.