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Opening a bank account in the UK for non-residents in 2021

The UK has the most vibrant economy globally and has maintained its status quo as the best country for ease of doing business. The tax regime set up by a UK company from overseas is better than other Western countries. The British Pound is deemed a strong currency and has been stable during the Pandemic and the Brexit saga challenges.

Suppose you are a non-citizen and on working visas and need an account. In that case, you can open a traditional account without any difficulty as you will have your rental contract and utility bill that will help you have an account. Whatever you’re set up is, whether you are a freelancer, contracting, sole trader, or running a limited company, you will need to have a bank account to keep your finances straight. There is a lot of scrutiny with the opening of Bank accounts, and they have the right to open an account or not to open. Any rejection cannot be challenged. All this is due to fraud on the increase and more administration costs towards opening an account for a non-citizen.

Anyone can have a bank account if you can provide enough evidence, such as 

 Proof of Address, Utility Bill, or a letter from your friend or relative permitting to use the said address.

There are a handful of banks like Barclay’s. Lloyds Bank, HSBC, HDFC Bank, etc., who will be able to facilitate the opening of a non-resident bank account? But still, you will have to follow all the requirements of the Terms and Conditions of each Bank. The accounts do attract a minimum deposit, balance, and monthly maintenance costs.

If you are settled in a foreign country, you can contact Lloyd’s bank accounts for non-UK residents at your local bank and inquire if they can set up an account for you if they have a corresponding Bank affiliation with a UK Bank. Like HSBC, they can offer you a saving account; you will have to adhere to the prerequisite terms and conditions for the banks as they might be different.

It is important to make sure that you have a business account (a Limited company) and not mix your business’s money in the personal account as this will hurt you in the year-end when you have to submit records to the Tax department HMRC in the UK. If you are a sole trader, you are a UK company formation non-resident with a bank accountable for using your account as you are the same person who is liable to pay the taxes on the income. 

While it is advised that you should open a bank account in the country where the business is registered, you can also open a bank account in the country HSBC business account for non-UK residents where you live. Still, you will have to legalize your documentation for this, and this is called to Apostille the documents.

The process of Apostilling Documents involves the Public Notary and the office of the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London. The documents Barclays bank account for non-UK residents required for this is the Certificate of Incorporation and the Memorandum of Association. After the verification of the documents Apostille Certificates will be issued, they you are able to use this in your country of residence.

Most major banks offer accounts to non-residents. Barclay’s business account for non-UK residents provided they can provide the following whether in-branch or on the internet you will need any of the two documents:

 Identification – Passport or Drivers Licence

 Proof Address – Tenancy Agreement, Utility Bills (must not be older than three months), Letter from the Jobcentre which states you national Insurance number (this would be the best of all), Employer’s letter, A Council Tax bill, A Bank or Credit Card statement (original statements and not older than three months old) and need to be stamped and signed by the bank.

It is always advised that you should go with the major banks. However, you need patience as it is their duty to do their due diligence to avoid setting up a limited company UK non-resident fraud or money laundering issues. Lloyds will be able to offer you a business account if one of your directors is living in the United Kingdom and can provide the above documents.

If you are in desperate need, we can offer a virtual banking account. A virtual bank account is ideally one of the best options for a UK bank account for non-residents.  This is basically for Directors who do not want to travel to the UK. 

The virtual bank account will have:

  • Normal Bank account with a Number, Sort code, and Iban Number
  • Be able to perform GDP transactions via Debit card, Credit Card, and Bank Transfers.
  • Make payments to suppliers, HMRC, etc., and receive payments from Amazon and eBay
  • Also withdraw money as and when required.

The opening of this account would take approximately three to four weeks. This process can start once your company has been registered in the UK.

FAQs for Accounts:

Do Sole traders or Freelancers require a business account?

You do not require a business account if you are a Sole Trader or a Freelancer; you can use your account for your income and expenditure but be careful with the terms and conditions of your bank as they might not allow this. Although having the business account separately will make your life extremely easy when preparing your self-assessment form for submission.

Why do I need a business account?

This is the best way to manage your finances and running your limited company. It is your legal obligation to maintain separate accounts for your business and personal accounts. This will make your year-end compliance better and clearer with HMRC and avoid any inconveniences.

Are Bank Charges deductible costs?

These are expenses for the company and be deducted costs for finance and bank account fees. These costs can reduce your tax bill, and it is worth keeping a record of these charges, including your business credit card and other financial costs. Your accountant can deal with this for you at the end of the year.

What is an Online Business account?

This is an account that you only be able to manage online and can only be applied for online. You will log in through the internet or via an app on your smartphone. The difference between traditional and online bank accounts does not have offices or branches where you can go. Also, you or your customers will not deposit any cash; only direct bank transfers are allowed. The only communication you have with the bank is via live chat, email, or telephone.

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