Business Banking for CBD companies

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Unlocking Business Banking Solutions for Your CBD Venture

In recent times, the global CBD industry has witnessed remarkable growth, especially in the UK, where the reported health benefits have propelled CBD products into mainstream retail outlets. This surge has created opportunities for entrepreneurs venturing into both retail and wholesale CBD businesses nationwide.

Challenges in Obtaining Business Banking for CBD Companies

Despite the ongoing legal complexities surrounding cannabis, the sale of CBD products has proven to be a lucrative trade. However, obtaining suitable business banking for CBD enterprises can pose challenges, as many mainstream banks hesitate to embrace these products until further research is conducted. This article aims to provide insights and tips to assist CBD businesses in securing suitable banking services.

Why are CBD Businesses High-risk?

CBD companies are often considered high-risk by business bank account providers due to the unique legal and regulatory landscape surrounding CBD products. While CBD itself is not psychoactive, its association with cannabis and the lack of clear regulations in many jurisdictions contribute to the perceived risk. The industry’s rapid growth has outpaced regulatory frameworks, leaving financial institutions cautious about potential legal implications. Additionally, the relative novelty of CBD products and the limited long-term research on their effects raise concerns about product consistency and safety. These uncertainties make mainstream and high street banks hesitant to engage with CBD businesses, as they navigate the evolving legal and regulatory environment to mitigate potential risks associated with the industry.

Challenges in Obtaining Business Banking for CBD Companies

Rejections from Mainstream Banks:


When establishing a company, the initial instinct is often to approach an existing bank for business services. However, mainstream and high street banks frequently decline account applications from businesses dealing with CBD, considering the products ‘high-risk’ due to their relatively recent emergence and limited long-term research.


Strategies for Setting Up Business Banking for CBD


Explore Alternative Options:


While some banks may reject CBD business account applications, smaller banks or online business banking providers may be more receptive. Exploring alternative options can enhance the chances of a successful application and prompt account activation.


Understand Application Requirements:


Before applying, familiarise yourself with the necessary business requirements and documentation, such as ensuring products contain no more than 0.2% THC, providing documented proof of wholesale product sources, and having the business registered before applying.


Properly Package Your Application:


The way you present your application matters. Ensuring all required documents are correctly organised can expedite the approval process and prevent unnecessary delays.

Quick Setup and Costs of Business Banking for CBD

Expedited Setup:


Submitting accurate paperwork during the application process increases the likelihood of a quick account activation, with some providers enabling businesses to go live within 24 hours.


Cost Considerations:


Business banking costs vary among providers, typically involving a small application fee, a monthly service charge, and separate charges for individual transactions. It’s essential to review all costs beforehand to ensure they align with your budget.


Exploring CBD Banking Alternatives

If your existing bank rejects your application or if you’re seeking alternative banking solutions, Merchant Advice Service can provide guidance. Our banking partners offer long-term solutions tailored for CBD businesses. Connect with our experts today for personalised assistance.



Commonly Asked Questions
Can I apply for CBD business banking with mainstream banks?
Mainstream banks often decline CBD business account applications due to perceived high risks associated with the industry.
What documents are required for CBD business banking applications?
Necessary documents include proof of THC levels, wholesale product sources, business registration, and identification.
How quickly can I set up business banking for my CBD venture?
With accurate paperwork, some providers can activate your account within 24 hours, but timeframes may vary.
What are the typical costs of business banking for CBD?
Costs vary; expect application fees, monthly service charges, and separate transaction fees.
Are online business banking providers more receptive to CBD companies?
Yes, smaller banks and online business banking providers are often more willing to work with CBD businesses, offering alternative solutions compared to traditional high street banks.
Why do banks consider CBD products high-risk?
Banks perceive CBD products as high risk due to their association with cannabis, evolving legal frameworks, and the lack of standardised regulations, raising concerns about potential legal implications.
Do I need to provide proof of where wholesale products have been purchased from?
Yes, banks often require documented proof of the source of wholesale CBD products to ensure product consistency, quality, and legal compliance.
Yes, banks often require documented proof of the source of wholesale CBD products to ensure product consistency, quality, and legal compliance.
Absolutely. Merchant Advice Service specialises in assisting businesses, including CBD ventures, in navigating the complexities of business banking. Our banking partners offer tailored solutions, ensuring long-term success. Connect with our experts today for personalised assistance.

How Merchant Advice Service Can Help

Merchant Advice Service specialises in assisting businesses, including CBD ventures, in navigating the complexities of business banking. Our banking partners offer tailored solutions, ensuring long-term success. Discover how we can support your CBD business.


Securing business banking for CBD ventures in the UK remains a complex affair due to the industry’s association with cannabis and evolving regulations. While traditional banks may be reticent, alternative financial institutions and online banking providers offer viable solutions. Strategies for successful banking include thorough preparation of applications, understanding specific banking requirements, and considering the costs involved. 


Merchant Advice Service emerges as a pivotal resource, providing expert guidance and access to banking partners familiar with the CBD sector’s unique needs. It’s crucial for CBD businesses to navigate these challenges with diligence and to stay informed through credible sources such as the Financial Conduct Authority’s service quality information and the requirements for medical cannabis products.



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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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