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Profit-making companies (sole traders, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited companies and unlimited companies with the intention of making a profit)

To help you open your current account, here is a list of the minimum documents and information you'll need to provide us with to open your account. We’ll need this for anyone authorised to operate the account. The person opening the account will need to confirm they are authorised to provide this information.

This list is not part of the application process. It’s to provide you with details of what documents and information we will ask for as a minimum when you open your business current account. Please note, we may request additional information or documents in some cases. Presentation of the relevant documentation and information does not guarantee that an account will be opened.

Participating providers of UK business bank accounts have agreed to a basic set of information that they will need to set up a UK business current account. Find out what you’ll need to provide using the simple Business Account Checklists Link opens in a new window from UK Finance, the UK’s leading trade association for financial services. The UK Finance checklists primarily cover sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, however, if your business is a limited liability partnership or an unlimited company, the information is still relevant to you.

ID and verification

As part of opening a Business Current Account, we need to perform appropriate identification checks on any person who owns or controls more than a certain percentage of business shares or voting rights (usually 25%), as well as anyone else who will be authorised to operate your account.

There are two ways to do this:

  • We may be able to check your identity and address using an electronic verification check. This will not affect your credit rating.
  • In some cases, we may need to send correspondence to any of your addresses to verify you are who you say you are. In that event, you will have to respond before we can continue your application.

The same identity checks may also have to be performed for existing customers.

If we do ask for documents you will need to use original documents. You can either bring these to one of our branches or submit them to us via another method following the instructions we will send you. You will need to provide one document to confirm your identity, one document to confirm your personal address and one document to confirm your business trading address. The same document cannot be selected from each list.

In addition to the documents outlined in the UK Finance Business Account Checklists, we will also accept the following documents as proof of your identity:

  • Current signed passport
    Including current visa or other authority to remain in the UK if required
  • Current full or provisional UK driving licence
  • Current biometric residence permit
    Issued by the Home Office

Other documents may also be acceptable. You can also visit your nearest branch or contact us on 0800 032 3971 and we will be happy to discuss other forms of identification and documents we can accept.

In addition to the documents outlined in the UK Finance Business Account Checklists Link opens in a new window we also accept the following documents as proof of your address:

  • Evidence of current entitlement to a state or local authority-funded benefit
    For example, Benefits Agency, Universal Credit or Local Authority Housing or Council Tax benefit notification, issued within the last three months
  • Evidence of current entitlement to state pension
    Issued by the Pension Service within the last 12 months
  • HMRC issued tax notification and correspondence
    Issued within the last six months
  • Insurance certificate for a current annual policy for home, vehicle, pet, mobile device or travel

Other documents may also be acceptable. You can also visit your nearest branch or contact us on 0800 032 3971 and we will be happy to discuss other forms of proof of address documents we can accept.

We will also need to know your address history over the last five years.

If we can verify your trading address electronically we may not ask you for any documentation. If we can’t verify your trading address electronically, we’ll ask you for one of the following:

  • Lease agreement clearly showing your business name and trading address
  • Business bills issued to your trading address within the last three months
    For example gas, electricity, water, landline services or a local authority/Council Tax bill or payment book for the current year
  • Business invoice issued to your trading address within the last three months which shows the purchase of stock, fixtures, fittings or tools of trade
  • Business premises or activities insurance certificate showing the business name and trading address

Other documents may also be acceptable. You can also visit your nearest branch or contact us on 0800 032 3971 and we will be happy to discuss other forms of proof of trading address documents we can accept.

We’ll need to know what signing instructions are to be placed on the account. This is needed for anyone who will be authorised to operate the account and perform specific actions such as release payments, sign cheques, add or delete other signatories.

Here is some guidance on minimum signatory requirements for different business entity types:

Business entity typeMinimum signatory requirements
Sole traderThe sole trader
PartnershipAll partners/general partners
Limited liability partnershipAll designated members (unless the constitutional documents specify otherwise)
General or limited company (Limited by share or guarantee)Two Directors or one Director and the Company Secretary.
Unlimited companyTwo Directors or one Director and the Company Secretary.

Information we will ask for about you and your business

As part of the application process we’ll also ask you for personal information and information relating to your business. The majority of this information is included in the UK Finance Business Account Checklists.

However, we will also ask for the following information:

  • Your experience and background in this line of business
  • Details of any trade body you are a member of
  • If more than 50% of the business income comes directly from business activities
  • The number of permanent sites the business operates from
  • Your plans for the business over the next 12 months

We’ll need to know what your new account will be used for, this includes:

  • How much money, including cash, you expect to pay in to your account
  • The type, frequency and source of payments that will go through your account
    For example; membership fees, charity income or transfers from another bank account
  • Information about any international payments being made to or received from your account
    Including the name of the countries, how often these payments are made, the average payment amount and the purpose of the payments
  • If your business is registered or intending to register as a payment service provider in the UK or EEA
  • If you require overdraft facilities we may ask for financial documentation to support your request

We’ll need the following details about any existing bank account the business holds:

  • The name of the bank where your account is held
  • Where another account is or has been held
    We will require copies of the last three months’ bank statements

In addition to the ID and verification check and the information we will ask you for to open your account, we will ask you to fill out a simple form and agree a switch date with you.

Where applicable, we'll provide you with an electronic or paper banking mandate you will need to complete and sign before we can finalise the opening of your account.

Non profit-making companies (charities, clubs, societies, associations and trusts)

To help you open your current account, here is a list of the minimum documents and information you'll need to provide us with to open your account. We’ll need this for anyone authorised to operate the account. The person opening the account needs to confirm they are authorised to provide this information.

This list is not part of the application process. It’s to provide you with details of what documents and information we will ask for as a minimum when you open your current account. Please note we may request additional information or documents in some cases. Presentation of the relevant documentation and information does not guarantee that an account will be opened.

ID and verification

As part of opening a Business Current Account, we need to perform appropriate identification checks on anyone authorised to operate the account. For community interest companies, checks will need to be performed on any person who owns or controls more than a 25% of the business shares or voting rights.

There are two ways to do this:

  • We may be able to check your identity and address using an electronic verification check. This will not affect your credit rating.
  • In some cases we may need to send correspondence to any of your addresses to verify you are who you say you are. In that event you will have to respond before we can continue your application.

The same identity checks may also have to be performed for existing customers.

If we do ask for documents you will need to use original documents. You can either bring these to one of our branches or submit them to us via another method following the instructions we will send you. You will need to provide one document to confirm your identity and one document to confirm your personal address. The same document cannot be selected from each list.

  • Current signed passport
    Including current visa or other authority to remain in the UK if required
  • Current full or provisional UK driving licence
  • Current full UK driving licence
    Old style paper version
  • Current biometric residence permit
    Issued by the Home Office

Other documents may also be acceptable. You can also visit your nearest branch or contact us on 0800 032 3971 and we will be happy to discuss other forms of identification and documents we can accept.

  • Bank, Building Society, credit card or Credit Union statement
    Issued within the last three months (transactions printed from the internet are not acceptable)
  • Utility bill
    Issued within the last three months (mobile phone bills and internet access bills are not acceptable)
  • Evidence of current entitlement to a state or local authority funded benefit
    For example, Benefits Agency, Universal Credit, Local Authority Housing or Council Tax benefit notification, issued within the last three months
  • Evidence of current entitlement to state pension
    Issued by the Pension Service within the last 12 months
  • Annual mortgage statement
    Issued within the last 12 months
  • HMRC issued tax notification and correspondence
    Issued within the last six months
  • Insurance certificate for a current annual policy for home, vehicle, pet, mobile device or travel
  • Current full or provisional UK / EU / Liechtenstein / Norwegian / Swiss photo-card driving licence
  • Current full UK driving licence
    Old style paper version

If we can verify your organisation electronically we may not ask you for any documentation. If we cannot verify this electronically, where applicable, we will need to see a copy of the Rules and Constitution of your organisation.

Other documents may also be acceptable. You can also visit your nearest branch or contact us on 0800 032 3971 and we will be happy to discuss other forms of proof of organisation documents we can accept.

We’ll need to know what signing instructions are to be placed on the account. This is needed for anyone who will be authorised to operate the account and will perform specific actions such as release payments, sign cheques, add or delete other signatories.

Here is some guidance on minimum signatory requirement for different business entity types:

Business entity typeMinimum signatory requirements
Community interest companyTwo Directors or one Director and the Company Secretary. Where there is only one Director and no Company Secretary or where sole Director is Company Secretary, the sole Director must sign before a witness who attests the signature
Charitable incorporated organisationTwo charity trustees
Unincorporated associationAll members (unless the constitutional documents specify otherwise)
TrustAll trustees (unless trust deed specifies otherwise)
Other entity typeIn accordance with the entity’s constitutional documents

Information we will ask for about you and your organisation

As part of the application process we’ll also ask you for personal information and information relating to your organisation.

  • Preferred title
    For example, Mr, Mrs, Ms.
  • Legal name
    As well as any previous names.
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
    Including any dual nationalities.
  • Country/City/Town of birth
  • Citizenship
    The country (or countries) in which you are registered as a citizen.
  • Where you pay tax
  • Current home address
  • Time at current address
    If you have lived in your current address for less than five years you will be asked to provide details of any previous addresses you’ve held during this period. We are required to carry out various credit checks and other searches so knowing your address and any previous addresses helps to identify you and confirm your identity.
  • Contact details
    Email address, business phone number and mobile number.
  • Primary link to the business and position held
    For example, Director, Company Secretary, Trustee, Member, Owner/Controlling party, Office bearer, Signatory.
  • Percentage of entity ownership held (if applicable)
  • Whether you are an existing customer of the bank
  • Organisation name
    This is the legal name given to the organisation. This may be different from the name under which the organisation is registered. If the organisation used to have a different name we also need these details.
  • Any other names
    The organisation may operate or be registered under a different name to the organisation name.
  • Organisation trading address
    This is where the organisation operates from.
  • Registered address (if applicable)
    The address at which your organisation is registered at Companies House or any other body.
  • Contact details
    Business email address, phone number and any other methods in which you would like us to contact you.
  • Business website address
  • Organisation type / structure
    This is the legal structure of the organisation. For example, charity, club, society, community interest company or trust.
  • UK registration number (if applicable)
  • Registered UK charity number (if applicable)
  • Date of incorporation or business formation
  • Country of incorporation / domicile
  • Date the organisation started operating
    Please note if this was less than six months ago, we will also need to know any start-up costs, and where these funds came from.
  • Details of any licences needed to operate
  • Details of any trade body you are a member of
  • Parent / Controlling Business Details
    If the organisation is owned or controlled either wholly or in part by another company, organisation, trust, or other entity, we will require the following information about the entity:

    • Name
    • Link to this business
    • % of ownership held
    • Ultimate owner (if applicable)
    • Registered Address
    • Legal Structure
    • Registration number (if applicable)
    • Registered UK charity number (if applicable)
    • Date of incorporation or business formation
    • Country of incorporation / domicile
  • For trusts
    We’ll provide you with a trust identification template which contains guidance on its completion and on the information and documentation we require. The template and any copy documentation should be certified as a true extract or copy on the headed paper of a solicitor, accountant, notary public, corporate service provider, regulated firm addressed to the bank. All trustees will need to sign the banking mandate.
  • Main business activities
    Details of the activities the organisation carries out on a day-to-day basis. There are some industries or sectors where we will need to understand the nature of your organisation in greater detail, as they are more complicated.
  • Industry or sector description and experience
    The industry or sector in which the organisation operates in. Including any details of the experience and background the organisation has in this industry or sector.
  • Sources of income
    Details of where the business income comes from, including the percentage, and whether 50% or more comes directly from business activities.
  • Business Investment
    The amount of funds that have been invested, or are planned to be invested, in the organisation.
  • Number of employees
  • Expected annual income / turnover for the organisation (£)
  • Number of permanent sites the organisation operates from
  • Plans for the organisation for the next six months
  • Tax status

We’ll need to know what your new account will be used for, this includes:

  • How much money, including cash, you expect to pay in to your account
  • The type, frequency and source of payments that will go through your account
    For example; membership fees, charity income or transfers from another bank account
  • Information about any international payments being made to or received from your account
    Including the name of the countries, how often these payments are made, the average payment amount and the purpose of the payments
  • If your business/organisation is registered or intending to register as a payment service provider in the UK or EEA
  • If you require overdraft facilities we may ask for financial documentation to support your request

We’ll need the following details about any existing bank account the business holds:

  • The name of the bank where your account is held
  • Where another account is or has been held
    We will require copies of the last three months’ bank statements

In addition to the ID and verification check and the information we will ask you for to open your account, we will ask you to fill out a simple form and agree a switch date with you.

Where applicable, we’ll provide you with an electronic or paper banking mandate you will need to complete and sign before we can finalise the opening of your account.