Starting out is business can be one of the most stressful experiences in life, many have dreams of starting a business and then living like a fat cat as their worker ants run around for them earning money. This couldn't be more wrong, a business is a lot of work and should be undertaken with the knowledge that success will only come through hard work. A big part of this is getting the choice of account right; there are a huge number of account packages out there, so the choice can be difficult, the secret is to get an account that fulfils your needs and nothing else.
For instance during the early stages of your business you should only really look at having an account that allows you to pay cheques in and withdraw funds when you need them. Interest should not be a major concern until your business is large enough to accumulate a balance that will receive a decent amount of interest. It is not until this point that you should find an account with high interest rates for your business.
As a lone trader a business account can often make your services look more professional. It may cost a little extra but having your name followed by your business name on your reports and statements will not only clarify your business dealings from your personal finances but as customers write cheques they will be able address them to your business name rather than you personally; a far more professional situation.
The same can apply to a limited company although in this case it is even more advisable to open a business account. The account will be opened in the name of your business and as a limited company you will need to take your certificate that defines your business as thus. Without the Certificate of Incorporation you will not be able to open an account as banks need proof of your company's status.
It is not always advisable to open your business account with the bank that deals with your personal finances. This is because different banks offer different services to start up customers and with varying charges. Some will have interim periods with no charges while options such as internet and phone banking will vary greatly. Also, it is worth separating your business and personal finances as letting one bank have charge of your entire financial situation can be problematic. Choosing a bank that is trying to entice you to their services is usually a good idea; fundamentally it is about shopping around.
Once you have decided upon a bank make an appointment with the account manager to discuss your finance options. You will need certain documentation for the account to be opened there and then. First and foremost a bank will want to see a business plan that outlays your objectives and goals as well as the current state of your business; without one the bank will not be inspired to support your ideas. You will also need to inform the bank where your start up finances are coming from.
Information about the signatories of the account such as business partners is also required as the bank needs to know who will have access to the account once it is set up. As stated previously, as a limited company you will also need to produce a Certificate of Incorporation if you are starting a limited company. Remember the bank are on your side so try to use their services as much as possible; some will even offer business advice to give you that extra leg up on your way to success.
Starting a business is an extremely difficult process, it is estimated that two out of three businesses fail within their first two years of operation. If you do not want to be part of this statistic hard work will be essential to achieving a solid business that is regularly returning profits. Choosing the right account package can come some way towards this and with a regular review of your financial position, success should be forthcoming.
Financial expert Thomas Pretty looks into the importance of selecting the right business account when starting out in business.