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A Checklist Of Business Account Options

Jun 3, 2008
Opening a business account is a major point in the early stages of your company. The market is currently saturated with thousands of account choices making the decision a difficult and sometimes bemusing one to make. But what are the major considerations to be made? What factors must form part of your decision?

First and foremost on your checklist when choosing a business account should be the interest rate you will receive. A small business is more likely to benefit from an approach that takes into account charges rather than interest rates. Charges come part and parcel of small business operation and hence finding a package that keeps these charges to minimum is highly advisable. Accounts that have great interest rates will normally have higher penalties for entering your overdraft, something that may be a regular occurrence as your business is starting out.

It is widely regarded that if you are looking for high interest rates the best place to find them is with an online provider. This is mainly due to the fact that online banks have fewer overheads and hence the monetary benefits can be passed onto account holders. It is worth investigating all internet banks carefully however, there are a number of unscrupulous operators and standards and legislation are more lax for internet companies.

The best way to achieve accountability and transparency to your finances is to open a business account, especially in terms of tax and audits. A business account can also be deemed as a marker of credibility as most banks will ask for a business proposal in order for you to start banking with them. That said, it is not a necessity to have an account, as a sole trader it is possible to use your personal banking package to operate. This path is not exactly advisable but in circumstances where the operator has no choice it is possible to use your personal banking. However, if you are starting a limited company you will have to have a specialist financial solution in order to meet legal requirements.

The most advisable account for those starting a business is one with cheque transaction provisions, at least for the first few months of operation. This simple form of financing will allow you to understand and manage your income and expenditure easily. Once your company is settled however you may want to look into more advanced forms of banking.

Banks offer start up companies a wide array of benefits for the interim period, subsequently you should scour the market looking for the best option; often going with your own bank will not bring as many benefits as you may receive as a new customer. Bear in mind options such as internet and phone banking and trying to secure the best deal for these additional services.

Once you have chosen a bank make an appointment with the account manager, for this meeting you will need a certain amount of documentation. This will include a business plan and information of where your start up finances are coming from. At this stage you will also have to provide a list of signatories and if you are starting a limited company, you will also need to produce a Certificate of Incorporation.

By following this advice you should be able to find a suitable solution for the financial requirements of your business. Remember you are signing up for a service and subsequently you will want to find a bank that not only provides you with a good deal but also takes the time to support your business. The right account is a foundation stone of a solid business structure, without this, success may prove allusive.
About the Author
Banking expert Thomas Pretty looks into the factors to consider when selecting a business account for your company.
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