Have you recently started a business or are you self-employed and looking to open a business bank account? We answer frequently asked questions by freelancers to help you make the right decision as you shop for a new account provider.
Can I use my personal account instead of a business account?
If you are a sole trader, you may use your personal account for business purposes, depending on what provider you use, but it is not recommended for a number of reasons (see question 2). If you are a limited company, you must have a business account.
Why shouldn’t I use my personal account for business use as a freelancer?
- Your bank or provider’s T&Cs
It is likely your account provider has stipulated that your personal account should not be used for business purposes in its T&Cs. If it is clear you are violating these terms, your account could be closed.
- It makes calculating your tax return tricky
If your personal and business costs are mixed up, it can make it difficult to calculate how much tax you owe at the end of the financial year.
- Brand reputation and trust
Having clients pay into a business account and seeing your company name come up as the payee looks more professional. Some clients may not feel comfortable paying into a personal account.
Why should I open a business account as a freelancer?
- Enhanced visibility over your business finances
With a business account you can see at a glance what you’re spending, how well you are doing, and manage your business more effectively. With this increased visibility, it will be easier to deduct business expenses as you fill out your annual tax return.
- Access more suitable features
Some business accounts may offer better fit features, such as the ability to process batch payments, export data compatible with accounting software or order business debit or credit cards.
- Prime your business for growth
Opening a business account is the first step towards a finance system that is built to scale. If you want to grow your business, it is better to have the correct systems in place from the off than to return a few years later when issues may have grown.
What is the easiest business account to open as a sole trader in Ireland?
There are a number of account providers available to freelancers in Ireland. Broadly speaking, these can be split into high street offerings and challenger bank offerings.
If by ‘easier’, the implication is ‘quicker’, often the speediest way to open a business account is via a challenger bank. These providers are more agile and often have faster onboarding processes. They may also offer account features that high street banks do not.
What documents do you need to open a business account?
Before opening your business account the provider may need to run a Know Your Customer (KYC) check on you. These checks are to prevent fraudsters from using their account services for illegal purposes. To prepare for a KYC check you should have to hand at least a form of identification, proof of business activity and address. Required documentation can vary depending on the provider.
I want to open an account today, how do I do this?
You can apply for a Fire Business Account online today at fire.com. Once the team has approved your documentation your account will typically be live within two working days.
Why should I opt for a Fire Business Account?
From Mastercard® debit cards and bank transfers to a host of API services, a Fire Business Account gives you all the features of a premium business account – but with so much more:
- Open any number of Sterling and Euro accounts
With a Fire Business Account you can keep various parts of your finances separate in segregated Euro or Sterling accounts. Easily silo VAT and expenses.
- Order as many debit cards as you need
Get access to your own business Mastercard debit card. Order more cards for your staff as you grow and block and unblock in real-time.
- No set-up costs
No fixed costs, no recurring fees, no hidden charges and no surprise bills. At Fire we provide clear transparent pricing, meaning you always know how much a transaction will cost. We’ll deduct the transaction fee when it happens, so you only pay for what you use, when you use it.
- Access a full suite of payments services
From Faster Payments, to SEPA, to direct debit, 24×7 FX and Open Banking (Get Paid by QR Code) features, Fire is constantly adding new payments services to its Business Account offering.
- Reports compatible with accounting software
Export data compatible with leading accounting platforms including Xero, FreeAgent and Sage. Reduce time spent and mistakes made when calculating your accounts.
- Integrate and build
A Fire Business Account is the account that grows with your business. As you scale, you may require an account provider that offers API services to allow you to automate your payment processes, saving time and money. Fire has a full API used extensively by medium-to-enterprise clients for splitting and sweeping funds automatically – and for integrating with third-party systems.
At Fire, we work closely with freelancers, self-employed people and small business owners to help them manage their finances using a Fire Business Account. The account’s unique features enable them to effectively monitor expenses, ring-fence tax, automate reconciliation and utilise accounting software. To find out how a Fire account could benefit your business, get in touch with our team.