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Business accounts

To start up a business as a limited company, partnership or most other business structures you will need a business account. (Sole traders can use their own personal accounts but are advised to set up a business account to ease things like yearly accounting calculations.)

Opening a business account with your current bank might seem a like a logical idea, but not if you'll be losing out on a better deal elsewhere, such as introductory offers. And if you discover the bank you choose is unsuitable for your needs, changing a business account would be more difficult than changing a personal account.

Do some research first and consider these points before you decide:

To begin with, you'll need a pay-in book and a cheque book and the choice to use standing orders if you need them.

The more cheque and cash transactions you make the higher the charges will be, but you can try to negotiate a better deal. If you'll make mainly electronic transactions, or even write a lot of cheques, choose an account that offers free or low-cost charges for these facilities. Interest varies enormously from bank to bank so shop around for the best deals.

Access is also an issue. You need to find out whether the business account offers online and telephone banking? If not look for one that does as these will be important time-saving options as your business takes off.

For more information on your personal needs, you should talk to a financial adviser.

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