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Choosing the right bank and account for your business is essential for the success of your business. Services offered and fees charged vary greatly between different banks, so spending time making the right choice will be beneficial.

Once you have decided which bank will best suit your business requirements, and the type of account you may be invited to have a meeting with the business team at the bank, or the bank may allow you to open the business bank account online. Whichever way you open the account, you will have to provide various types of information.

The bank will want to know the details of your business and the type of business activity. If you have had finance to start up the business, the bank will want to know where the finance originated which may include investors, from your own savings or borrowed from another bank. A business plan will also be required. This is a document which contains details of the business, strategies, objectives and financial forecasts. The bank will also obtain details of your credit history, and if your business is a limited company, the bank will require a certificate of incorporation.

In addition to requiring information about your business, you will be asked to provide documentation and information to the bank. Proof of identity will be required, which may be in the form of a driving licence, passport or the bank may accept another form of identification. You will also have to provide proof of address, which may be a recent utility bill. This proof has to be provided for all members of the business. If the business is a limited company, proof of address has to be provided for company secretaries and all directors as required by money laundering legislation.

An account opening mandate will be required, but is typically provided by the bank. The bank will require a list of people who are authorised to sign on the bank account, and also a sample of the signature of each person. You will be asked to decide the combination of signatures required on the account. For instance, you may want two signatures to be provided on each check, or you may be happy to allow just one person to be authorised.

As your business develops, you may find that you banking requirements may change. At this stage you may consider looking for a business bank account which better suits your needs, or negotiate to alter the conditions of your present business bank account.

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