If you live and work overseas but you have business in the UK, you’ll want a bank account that can accommodate your UK income.
Can you set up a bank account as a non-resident? You don’t have to be a resident to open a business bank account but it could be a trickier process than for those living here.
Most high street bank accounts operate in one country and currency. They will also require proof of residence in the UK to set up your account, which makes things more difficult if you’re not a resident. However, there are some alternatives to typical business current accounts that may be suitable for non-residents.
International banking options
There are some banking services such as Barclays and HSBC’s International Services. They allow you to open a bank account as a non-resident and use it to hold income and pay for business expenses.
Barclays offers a current account which you can open in a selection of currencies and locations, depending on your needs. They currently allow you to open an account in either dollar, sterling or euro and you can choose to hold these funds in the UK, Jersey or the Isle of Man.
However, the downsides to international banking options such as this is that access may be limited in some countries.
You may also be expected to have a large amount of cash ready to open the account. With Barclays you need a minimum balance of £25,000 or the currency equivalent in cash or investments. This isn’t ideal for those opening new businesses or those who simply don’t have access to that money.
For those who want more flexibility, there’s another route – online banking. With online-only banks, you can set up an account wherever you are and deal with whatever currency you need.
Here are two popular options you could use, though there are a rising number of online banks to choose from:
Tide is an alternative bank account aimed towards businesses who prefer not to go with traditional high street banks or for those who work internationally.
Tide is built around a smartphone app. You manage your account entirely within the app making it more suitable for the modern business person on the move.
You can use Tide just like any other bank account but with added benefits for businesses operating across borders. You can use the app internationally at the point of sale or online without any foreign exchange rate fees.
Tide also automatically labels all income and expenses however you want. This makes it easier to manage transactions through accounting software and helps out your UK accountant.
Revolut is a digital banking alternative allows you to exchange and transfer money within 25 different currencies with no fees. Their website says they have saved customers £150 million in fees.
You can also take advantage of fee-free global spending with their VISA card, currency exchange and peer to peer payments. If you’re invested in cryptocurrency, you can also buy, hold and exchange it through Revolut.
Both options allow you to immediately freeze or unfreeze your accounts if your card or smartphone has been lost or stolen to help maintain security. Tide is free to set up but charges 20p per transaction. Revolut has a free version and a premium version for £6.99 a month.
Many of our current clients who are non-residents use online-only banks, including Tide and Revolut with success. It’s always worth looking around and researching all your options to see which suits you best.
Do you need help setting up as a business in the UK? At The Accountancy Partnership we work with plenty of non-UK resident clients who run businesses in the UK to ensure they are tax compliant. Get a free quote from us here to get started.