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Minimum documents and information required to open an account with us

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 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.

Acceptable proof of identity documents

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 provisional UK / EU / Liechtenstein / Norwegian / Swiss photo-card 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.

Acceptable proof of address documents

In addition to the documents outlined in the UK Finance Business Account Checklists 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.

Acceptable proof of trading address documents

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.

Signing instructions

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 type

Minimum signatory requirements

Sole trader
The sole trader
Partnership
All partners/general partners
Limited liability partnership
All 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. 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
Unlimited company
Two 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

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:

Additional business 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

Account usage and funding information

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

Existing banking details

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

Switching your current account to us

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.

Signed banking mandate

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.