Business banking for people with bad credit

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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.

Opening a business bank account with poor credit

Finding suitable banking when you have adverse or poor credit can be a headache, with many high street banks and building societies declining new account applications. Opening business banking can seem daunting and new business owners worry about the costs and process involved. On this page we’ll look at what to expect when opening an account, and how to prepare to ensure your application is accepted first time around.

Finding a business bank account with adverse credit rating

Both personal and business credit ratings can affect banking decisions for a minimum of six years and sometimes even the lifetime of the company.  Banks and building societies assess this in different ways depending on when the adverse credit occurred, how much it was for and the reason behind it.


When applying for a business bank account, loan or card processing it’s important that you have these details to hand and to disclose them before application. Some providers will accept adverse credit to varying levels so it’s vital to establish you fit criteria prior to submitting the application.

No credit check business bank accounts

Not all providers do a hard credit check when applying for business banking. If you or your business has poor credit or minor adverse history, such as CCJ’s, debt management plan or IVA’s and late or missed payments it might be worth using a provider who won’t require proof of repayments or search your credit history.

These banks and building societies will often carry out a soft credit check (which won’t appear on credit history) and business checks, such as ensuring the business is registered on Companies House.

Applying for a business account with poor credit

When opening a business bank account with poor or adverse credit, preparation is key. Planning and packaging your case correctly before submitting an application will increase the chances of the account being accepted. Here’s what we suggest you have to hand;

  • ID
  • Proof of address
  • Details of your adverse credit including timings and amounts outstanding
  • If you’ve been declined elsewhere, and the reason

If you are planning on submitting an application online, we suggest you speak to an advisor before completing the forms. With smaller banks especially, this will allow underwriting to have a heads up on your case and potentially pre-approve it before receiving documentation.

Business bank account for bankruptcy (both personal and company)

Understandably, there are limited accounts available to directors with a registered bankruptcy or ongoing debt management plan. However, if the bankruptcy is over six years old and is personal debt rather than a business made bankrupt there are options available to both limited companies and sole traders. To discuss this in further detail speak to our experts today.


Terminated business banking

If you’ve had your account terminated following recent adverse credit, there are alternative business banking options available. Although high street banks may not be able to offer suitable solutions, smaller and online providers can.

How Merchant Advice Service can help

Merchant Advice Service have partners who can assist with business bank applications despite adverse credit. We work closely together to ensure your application is accepted quickly, meaning your new account could be live in as little as 24 hours. To find out more, speak to our experts today.

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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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