Can I set up a business bank account for a non-UK entity?

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Happy holidays! I run an Australian company, and we have been exporting to the UK for a few months now. At this point, I think it would be easiest to set up a UK bank account to keep track of the UK profit we’re making. As a non-UK company, is that possible?

Answers

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It’s incredibly difficult to open a UK bank account for a foreign company, particularly if the business is newly established or small. My best advice would be to consult the institution you currently bank with in Australia. You may find that they are part of a larger institution that has banks in the UK. You should also contact HSBC because they tend to be very good at dealing with international small businesses.

Alternatively, you could register a limited company in the UK as a subsidiary of your Australian company. This may make it easier for you to set up a UK bank account, but it will still be a complex procedure because at least one director would be required to present themselves for ID checks and provide proof of a UK address.

Whilst it can be done, I wonder if it is worth the effort at the present time, unless you wish to set up a UK branch of your company. There is no need to open a UK bank account to keep track of your UK income - your accountant can easily take care of this for you. Lots of companies sell goods in foreign countries without setting up bank accounts in each of them.

As it’s difficult to offer specific advice without knowing all of the particulars of your business, I would strongly urge you to talk to your accountant or bank before making any decisions. You want to find the easiest solution that offers the biggest benefits, so they should be able to help you achieve this.

a year ago
 

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