How To Open A Business Bank Account In Ireland

Introduction

This is a general guide for business owners to help you open a business bank account in Ireland which suits your needs. There is no one best business bank account and the best business bank account for your business will depend heavily on your business needs and the type of industry you operate in. For example, one bank may have high fees for automated payments and if you have a lot of automated payments another bank will most probably be a better solution for you.

Please note, if your business is at the idea stage, it is not a legal requirement to have a separate business bank account. You most likely don’t need a business bank account at such an early stage. But once you’ve validated your idea and start generating revenue it is advisable you have a separate bank account. Mixing personal purchases with business purchases will get messy and make reporting more difficult.

Given the complex fee structures and varying range of services being offered by the banks listed, it could be cost effective to use the services of multiple banks rather than just one. For example, you may use one bank to accept customer payments via debit card and use another to deposit cash.

None of the websites we visited had a card reader calculator so we created one for you so you can estimate your costs. 

Requirements: To Open A Business Bank Account In Ireland

Before talking through how to open a business bank account in Ireland, let’s first cover some of the typical requirements most banks may ask for. It’s important to understand the requirements first before trying to open a business bank account.

Self-Employed / Sole Trader

  1. Photo ID: Passport or driving licence.
  2. Proof of address: Typically a utility bill.
  3. Bank mandate form confirming you have the right to open a bank account on behalf of the business. Example here.
  4. Sample signature at a branch.
  5. Certificate of Business Name (If trading under a different name to your own).

Company

  1. Proof of ID and address of any signatories.*
  2. Certificate of incorporation with the CRO.
  3. Certificate of Business Name.
  4. Company Constitution / Mem. & Articles of Association.
  5. Account mandate form.
  6. Details registered of the beneficial owners on the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial Provident Societies (rbo.gov.ie).

Note
Some banks still list Memorandum and Articles of Association as a requirement but this has been replaced by a company constitution for newer companies.

How To Open A Business Bank Account In Ireland

If you are self-employed (sole trader) the steps to open a business bank account are far less than for a company. Most banks will allow you to do this online. However, if you’re a company you may need to meet an advisor in person to open the account. This is currently the case with BOI. Below is the process for opening a business bank account with AIB, it is not consisted across all banks. AIB was selected only because they’ve provided details of their set up process. It is not because they provide a better service to businesses.

  1. Go to the bank’s website and review their requirements to ensure you can open a bank account with them. Even though most of these have been mentioned above their may be specific requirements the bank needs which have been excluded. Eg the company secretary cannot be a company (AIB).
  2. Complete the initial request form for a business bank account.
  3. Complete the application form using DocuSign.
  4. This form will need to be signed by the directors or company secretaries only. Only they can accept the terms.
  5. Next you’ll need to agree on the account type, who is provided with debt cards and who is authorised to allow payments from the account. You will also need to provide specimen signatures.
  6. Finally you’ll need to provide proof of ID and address at a branch. For multiple directors this can be done at any branch and does not have to be done at the same time.
  7. After this the bank will do one final check which can take up to 10 working days.

Criteria: Opening A Business Bank Account In Ireland

Below are some of the criteria you should consider when selecting a business bank account to open in Ireland. Make sure you consider each and how they apply to your business needs. Please don’t gloss over this section as there are important things to consider which could have a material impact on your business. Before selecting a business bank account think of all of the things you will need to do eg bulk payments for staff salaries, accept contactless payments, deposit cash etc and ensure each service is provided or can be done so using multiple banks.

Setup Time

It can take roughly 5 to 10 working days to setup a business bank account. If you are self-employed, it’s quicker and for a company it will generally take longer. Always check the setup time and ensure you have all the documentation needed to ensure this is completed quickly.

Requirements

Requirements may vary from bank to bank, but the general items listed above is what you need. Please ensure you check what each banks specific requirements are before starting the process. Especially if you have a special circumstance such as being a non-EEA resident or a company secretary instead of a person.

Automated Payments

Ensure your business bank account supports automated payments and the fees they charge for such payments are seasonable. Any automated payments should be easy to setup and maintain. For a business with a lot of staff, it will be more crucial that all automated payments setup are reliable and alerts are in place when they fail.

User Interface

If you’re going to be using your business bank account regularly, it’s important the user interface (UI) has been designed well and it is easy to work with. Ask the bank if they can provide you with a demo account to ensure the setup is designed well and suits your business needs. Don’t take it for granted they will be easy to work with.

Integration With Accounting Software

Another important thing to consider is how well your bank account can integrate with accounting software such as Sage & Xero. This is important for your annual returns i.e self-assessment or CRO Annual Return. If there are problems with integration it could result in a more complex and manual accounting process resulting in more manual work on your part as well as higher accounting fees.

Banking App & Functionality

Most banks at this stage should have a banking app, but please confirm they do. In addition, make sure all the features they claim are available both on desktop and mobile. If there are differences, ask them to explicitly explain what functionality is available on what device.

Restrictions

Banks will typically have restrictions in place within their business bank accounts such as limiting the amount which can be transferred in one day. Limiting the amount of money which can be sent to new payees etc. Make sure you are fully clear on all restrictions in place and they are suitable for your business.

Fees

Cost will be a significant factor in selecting any business bank account provider. Please note, with some of the traditional banks, their fee structure can be complex so make sure you read their charges in detail before opening a bank account.

A business bank account fee structure will be very important. Currently Revolut charges 0.8% + 10c per in person transaction on European Cards and SumUp charges 1.69% per transaction. If you run a café which has €25,000 per month in revenue, 6,000 transactions, 60% by card, average revenue per customer of €4.17. Revolut card reader fees will cost €480 v €254 with SumUp.

If you run a clothes shop with €25,000 in revenue, 500 transactions, 60% by card and an average revenue per customer of €50, Revolut will cost you €150 in card fees while SumUp will cost €254.

Supports

Ensure the bank has supports in place to support you on your business growth journey. Some banks may offer supports specifically for startups. In addition, it’s important they provide prompt customer service if something goes wrong.

Security & Controls

As banks are heavily regulated in Ireland, they will be required to provide a certain level of security. Your security needs will depend heavily on your business needs. It’s also important to know what processes are in place when suspicious tractions take place. For example, if you make an online payment the bank may require two factor authentication, approving the payment using an app. Or if €0.01 come across on a credit card, it can mean someone is testing the card to see if they have the correct details. Some banks will disable the card and message you or call you right away to confirm if you made the transaction. Another useful security feature is limiting payments to new payees.
If you are a solopreneur having strict controls over payments made by authorised persons won’t be a big issue. But if you have multiple people who are authorised to make payments you need a way to ensure controls are in place to prevent fraud. For example, requiring two people to sign-off on payments before they are processed, any payments over a certain amount are flagged to the business owner or payments must be scheduled a minimum of 3 working days in advance of payment.

Detail Included Within Reporting

Please ensure that the business bank account you select meets your reporting requirement needs. Linked to the previous section, it’s one thing to be able to integrate with your accounting software, but if the information you need is not being captured in the first place, being able to integrate with your accounting software is not much use to you. When you’ve narrowed down your list of banks to choose from, please confirm with the bank the information they capture and provide you with. Go into the detail of the number of characters provided in the description of each transaction.

For example, one business owner on a forum complained about the level of detail one bank provided in comparison to the level of details he normally received from his previous bank. For him it was an issue as it wasn’t very clear what the transaction related to.

List Of Banks In Ireland Providing Business Bank Accounts In Ireland

You can open a business bank account in Ireland using one of the banks listed below. The list of banks below are in no particular order.

Bank Of Ireland

Key Features & Positive Points

  • Well established bank offering a wide range of services to support businesses.
  • Mobile payments, Apple Pay & Google Pay
  • Online, mobile and phone banking
  • Overdraft facility
  • Cash handling services
  • Start-up package: Some transactions and maintenance fees waved for 24 months. Free subscription to Business On Line for 2 years. Normally €10 per month.
  • Payments acceptance has a clear pricing structure for small businesses. But only up to €8,000 in revenue.
  • Integrates with accounting software such as Xero.
  • Payment acceptance has a rating of 4.2 as per Google reviews.

Negative Points

  •  Complex fee structure. Reflective of broad range of services offered. Should provide a calculator to allow customer to estimate fees in advance.
  • You are required to contact an advisor to open an account whereas other banks allow this to be done online for most businesses.
  • Fee of €10 per month to use business banking software, otherwise you need to use 365online which is designed for retail customers.
  • There have been some negative comments from business owners online as well as having a very low score on trustpilot of 1.3. It must be noted this is mostly retail customers.
  • The end-to-end process of opening a business bank account is not made clear.
  • Only high level of features and services. Complete list not provided.
  • Payments acceptance is a separate service and needs to be research separately.

How To Open A Business Bank Account With Bank Of Ireland

If you would like more information on opening a business bank account with Bank of Ireland please click here. Select if you would like a business bank account or a startup business bank account. You can apply online if you are a sole trader. If you are company, you’ll need to contact one of their advisors.

AIB

Key Features & Positive Points

• Well established bank offering a wide range of services to support businesses.
• Online application: Sole traders & companies (within certain requirements)
• Insights into your finances
• Easy payment methods including direct debit, card, standing order, online and cheque
• Startup account
o Some transactions and maintenance fees waved for 24 months.
o €100 of cash handling fees.
• Very clear requirements on opening a business bank account as well as the end to end process.
• Integrates with accounting software such as Xero.

Negative Points

• Complex fee structure. Very difficult to estimate costs. Reflective of broad range of services offered. Should include a calculator.
• All business banking features & services are not clearly listed on business account page.
• While not related specifically to business banking, the bank has a very low score on trustpilot of 1.4.
• Very specific requirements for opening an account online e.g. your secretary must be a natural person and not a company.
• Payments acceptance is a separate service and the fee structure is not clear from their website.

How To Open A Business Bank Account With AIB

To open a business bank account with AIB click here. Complete the form depending on your situation. In the case of a company please read the requirements carefully before starting your application.

Permanent TSB

Key Features & Positive Points

• Well established bank offering a wide range of services to support businesses.
• Online application: Sole traders & companies.
• Simple payments: ways to make payments and pay bills
• Business Visa Debit Card
• Bulk payments, mobile payments
• Dedicated business team
• Overdraft facility.
• Very clear requirements on what is need to open a business bank account.
• Integrates with accounting software such as Xero.

Negative Points

• Incredibly complex explanation of fee structure. Fees are spread over two documents. Reflective of broad range of services offered. Should provide a calculator.
• No startup business account with discounts.
• While not related specifically to business banking, the bank has a very low score on trustpilot of 1.4.
• Very little information on payment acceptance and associated costs available on their website.

How To Open A Business Bank Account With PTSB

To open a business bank account with PTSB please click here. You can open your account online. Ensure you read their requirements before trying to open a business bank account with PTSB.

Revolut Business

Key Features & Positive Points

• Revolut has been operating since 2015.
• Account plan page is very clear and detailed. Provides a full list of all the services which are offered.
• Fees are very clear. For standard accounts fees range from €0 per month to €79 per month. For payments acceptance, from 0.8% + €0.02. Based on online/in person and European and non-European cards.
• Provide a card reader app for an iPad and they also provide a card reader at a cost of €49 plus shipping.
• Provides a clear detail picture of their service which includes payment acceptance details.
• While not reflective specifically of their business banking service, they have a rating of 4.2 on trustpilot which is far higher than any of the traditional banks listed.
• Integrates with accounting software such as Xero and Quickbooks.

Negative Points

• Some of the pages on Revolut’s business banking website feel like one big ad which occupies a lot of screen space and says very little which is frustrating when trying to understand the service they offer.
• Certain things could be clearer instead of having to search for example, what card reader devices are available and how much do they cost?
• Unable to offer full banking services such as full cash handling.
• The requirements to open a business bank account for a company are not easy to find and are spread across a number of articles. (Nature of business, Director Structure, Directors and Beneficial Owners)

How To Open A Business Bank Account With Revolut

To open a business bank account with Revolut click here.

N26

Key Features & Positive Points

• 0.1% cashback on all card purchases
• Track business expenses with AI powered tool
• Mobile app
• Create rules to set aside funds eg VAT, Tax etc. in up to 10 sub accounts with separate IBANs with a premium account.
• Download transactions as PDF or CSV
• Clear list of features .
• Card reader available as partnered with SumUp. 35% discount available of the card reader device. SumUp charges 1.69% per transaction. There is no monthly fee.
• No fees for cashless payments with Mastercard & Maestro Card in all currencies around the world. Also includes transfers with EEA states but can exclude income transfers on the Swift network.

Negative Points

• Doesn’t seem to be available for companies as designed for freelancers and self-employed.
• May not be suitable for multi person businesses which require multiple payment approvers.
• Unable to have both a personal and business bank account. You can only have one bank account.
• Cannot provide full banking services such as full cash handling.
• While the monthly cost of various plans are clearly shown, additional fees are not. You need search for a pdf document detailing their fees. A calculator would be useful to estimate costs. The pdf document is very clear.
• Deposit fee of 0.5% on deposit greater than €50,000.

How To Open A Business Bank Account With N26

To open a business bank account with N26 please click here. Please note N26 if for freelancers and the self-employed. It may not be suitable for all businesses.

SumUp

Key Features & Positive Points

• Simple plan, one account type to choose.
• No monthly fees.
• POS card reader available (€39 incl. delivery, excl. VAT) with a standard fee of 1.69% per transaction.
• Very clear and concise list of features.
• Bank account can be setup online
• Account statement available as pdf or csv files.
• Free SEPA transfers.
• Simple fee structure.
Trustpilot score of 4.1, significantly higher than the traditional banks listed.

Negative Points

• Card reader fees should be shown on the pricing plan page.
• SumUp isn’t a bank so your funds are not protected by the bank guarantee scheme which protects you funds up to €100,000.
• Unable to provide full cash handling service.

 

How To Open A Business Bank Account With SumUp

To open a business bank account with please click here. Please read their requirements to setup a business bank account for a sole trader and a company (organisation).

Wise

Key Features & Positive Points

• Receiving funds in AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY, USD (non-wire, non-Swift) is free.
• You can generate one-time payment links.
• Fixed fee for wired USD and Swift CAD payments.
• They have a rating of 4.3 on trustpilot which is significantly higher than the traditional banks listed.
• Integrates with accounting software such as Xero and Quickbooks.
• Clear list of features.

Negative Points

• €50 account setup fee
• Wise isn’t a bank so your funds are not covered by the bank guarantee scheme. They mention they take part in specific deposit insurance schemes with reference in the UK with not specific refence being made to Ireland.
• Unable to provide full cash handling service.
• Business bank account requirements need to be searched for, not included on the business bank account page.
• No mention of card readers for retail business customers.

How To Open A Business Bank Account With Wise

To open a business bank account with Wise click here. Please ensure you meet all the requirements before doing so.

Fire

Key Features & Positive Points

• Very clear pricing model
• Very detailed guides on how their business bank account works.
• Allows multiple users and permissions.
• Able to integrate with accounting software such as Xero, Quickbooks and Sage.
• Fire API allows users to process bulk payments.
• Allows you to setup real time notifications.

Negative Points

• Not a bank, as such does not provide an overdraft facility and is not part of the bank guarantee scheme.
• Can not provide full cash handling services.
• No mention of card readers for retail customers.

How To Open A Business Bank Account With Fire

If you would like to open a business bank accounting with Fire please click here.

The content in this article is not financial advice. If you need advice specific to your situation please consult a professional or bank directly. 

Any content provided by the author(s) are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any company, individual, or anyone or anything.

The author(s) have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, they assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, or omissions. The content provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice.

Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and consult appropriate professionals for specific advice tailored to their individual circumstances. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.

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