Small business bank accounts

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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.

How to find a business bank account for a small business

When it comes to small businesses, setting up can be a bit of a minefield with many contracts to sort, be it finance, card processing or business banking. Our short guide will help you to choose business banking for your small business requirements.

Does small business banking differ from larger companies?

Bank accounts for SME’s operate in exactly the same way as those for larger companies. That said, when searching for a suitable account for your small or medium sized business pricing may be more important for smaller companies as profit margins tend to be smaller. Before applying for an account, we suggest you think about your business requirements in depth to ensure your needs are met long term.

What to expect when applying for a small business bank account?

If you are new to business, it’s important to understand what to expect prior to applying for your small business bank account. Application requirements and times will vary between each bank, as will the criteria of the types of businesses which will be accepted. Most banks will process applications online, however ordinarily you will need to provide;

  • ID
  • Proof of address
  • Business registration with companies house if limited company
  • If you are a Sole Trader, proof of trading such as invoicing or contracts

Finding a suitable business bank account for an SME

Each business has a unique set of requirements, especially when it comes to finance, opening a business bank account is no different. When reviewing and comparing costs of small business bank accounts it’s important to think about the transactions your business will be making regularly as this is where most of the costs will lie. For example, will you be depositing cash on a daily basis? Will you be sending money abroad?

Every transaction will have an associated cost. Most small business owners focus on monthly and set up costs, overseeing where the business will be long term, with what potentially will be the larger fees.


Best business banking for small businesses

Some banks and building societies offer preferential terms for small businesses and start-ups. They often have flexibility when it comes to the monthly service fee, be it for an initial period. When applying for an account, it’s always worth asking for banking discounts for small businesses.

Switching small business bank account

If you are not happy with the service, you are experiencing from your current provider or feel like your small business is paying over the odds for business banking then it’s always worth shopping around and switching account. Most business owners start by applying to the bank they have their current accounts with; however, this might not always be the most suited solution for your business.

What to expect when applying for a SME business bank account

Most banking applications can now be carried out online, however you may still be required to provide documentation to support your request. If you can package your application correctly, not only will it increase your chances of getting accepted first time, it will increase the speed in which your account is agreed. Documents normally include;

  • ID
  • Proof of address
  • Company registration details

How Merchant Advice Service can help

Merchant Advice Service are pleased to assist small businesses in finding suitable banking solutions. Our partnering banks accept applications from SME’s on a daily basis and offer minimum monthly service costs for new businesses.

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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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