In the UK, over 99% of the business population comprises of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The rapid growth of SMEs in the country has necessitated the need for company owners to open business accounts for the efficient running of their corporate operations. Legally, you are not obliged to open a bank account for a small enterprise in the UK. Nonetheless, a bank account for your SME is vital, especially when you want to keep clean financial records. Click here for more details on how to open a business account.
However, having to walk into a bank branch to open an account for your SME can be quite frustrating and tiring. This is why it is worth identifying a bank that offers online account opening services. So, how do you open a bank account online?
This article highlights everything that you should know about opening a business bank account online.
Most bank policies and regulations do not allow 100% opening of accounts online. Owners of small businesses can only initiate the account opening process to a specified phase online, after which they are required to show up to a branch of the bank to complete the process. However, some banks have realised the economic significance of allowing businesses to open accounts online. So, when you decide to open an account for your SME online, here are the basic requirements.
• Personal Information
This includes your name, date of birth and an identity document such as a national ID, passport,or driving license.
• Contact Information
You may also be required to provide your contact details, such as your physical address, email address, and phone number.
• Enterprise Details
The bank will also need details for your SME, including its name and registered address.
For most banks, an application for account opening is only complete once you append your signature on the application form. Fortunately, most banks accept e-signatures for online account opening.
Opening a corporate bank account online is similar to opening a personal account. The only difference is that a corporate account is registered in the name of your SME, with a few additional details required to open an account for an enterprise.
Here are some basic steps to follow when opening an account online.
1. Decide on Your Ideal Bank and Account
Look around for the best bank by evaluating various factors, including ATM withdrawal fees, customer support, overdraft service, and online banking. You also need to decide on the type of bank account you want based on the needs of your enterprise. The various types of bank accounts available include savings, checking, and money market accounts. Each of these accounts comes with varying benefits and drawbacks. Research on the features of each account before settling on your preferred choice.
2. Browse the Bank’s Website
Ensure the website is safe before initiating the application process. Often, website security experts recommend looking for a lock symbol next to the site’s URL. Once you are on the right website for your preferred online bank, click on the ‘open an account’ tab.
3. Choose the Type of Account You Want
Once you click on the ‘open an account’ tab, you will be directed to a range of account types from which you will select the type of account you want.
4. Fill Out an Application Form
The online application form highlights the same details as the traditional application. At this point, you will be required to provide some basic details and documentation, including your name, address, ID card, and business details. Appending your signature to the application form is also very important at this stage.
When you are done submitting the online application form, you will wait for the bank to approve your application. Most banks will take longer reviewing your application form and documentation. You might, therefore, need to log in later to monitor the approval. However, some banks may approve your application immediately after submission. Since most banks do not accept 100% online application, you may be required to walk to one of the bank’s branches to complete the process.
6. Make Your First Deposit
Once you are approved by the bank, you will be notified of your bank account details. Most banks will require you to make an initial deposit to have your account activated. You can make this deposit from your personal account or via phone. If this is the first account with the bank, you will have to walk to one of the bank’s branches to make a cash deposit.
If you had requested a debit card in the application form, then you will receive it once the bank approves the application. The duration it takes to have the debit card shipped to your physical address is often indicated via the confirmation email. For security reasons, the bank will ship the debit card and its PIN at separate times. You can activate the debit card online or by phone to start making withdrawals.
Opening a bank account online for your enterprise comes with plenty of benefits, including the following;
• Fast Application
Traditional applications take quite a lot of time compared with the online applications. You do not need to queue in a bank to open an account for your enterprise. An online application takes you less than 10 minutes to complete. From application process and fund deposit to cash withdrawal and top-ups, you can comfortably carry out your banking processes online.
• Automation Tools
Opening a bank account online provides you with automation tools that enable you to carry out automatic transactions. For example, the online bill payment allows you to automate payment of various bills in time.