If you are a business owner, or just thinking of starting a new business, then you may be in need of a business bank account. Barclays is one of the biggest names in UK banking, so it’s no surprise that they offer a range of business accounts in many shapes and sizes. There’s something to suit everyone - from the sole trader or partnership to commercial banking services for global corporations.
Before opening a business account it is always worth comparing your options, as accounts, fees and charges vary considerably between different banks and providers. TransferWise, for instance, provides a multi-currency account for business.
In this article you can find out about the business banking services Barclays offer to help you decide if they are right for you.
Like other major UK banks, Barclays offer an account to suit every kind of business. Startups and existing businesses are covered, and there are accounts available to meet the needs of clubs, charities, societies and other forms of associations.
Here are the three main types of business accounts offered by Barclays.
The Barclays Start-up account is available to small businesses and individuals who are within their first 12 months of trading. Barclays offer free banking in the first year from opening your account, and this includes payments in and out, but excludes international payments, and stopped or returned cheques.¹
After the free banking period expires, there is a Loyalty Reward scheme² so businesses can get a percentage of their banking fees back, which works on a sliding scale. The higher the account credit turnover, and the longer you have the account open - then the higher percentage of fees that you can get back.
Start-up account holders with turnover under £400,000 per year can benefit from support via the Barclays Business Direct team.³ This service is available for advice and support for your growing business.
Those opting for the Start-up business account get a Visa Debit card attached to their account.⁴
The Established business account is designed to be suitable for most businesses that have a turnover of up-to £6.5m.⁵
Businesses in certain sectors, including agriculture⁶, social housing⁷ and some others are subject to specific criteria by Barclays, so this account may not be suitable for all companies.
Like with the Start-up account, all Established business account holders are eligible for the Loyalty Reward scheme⁵ and can claim back a percentage of their banking charges. A Visa Debit card can also be attached to the Established bank account.⁴
For non-profits, societies, charities, and clubs, Barclays offer the Community Account.⁹ There are no charges for day to day transactions for organisations that are eligible to open this type of business bank account.¹⁰
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When you have to pay employees or suppliers overseas it might seem logical to do this with your bank. You already have an account there, they have all your information, so it just seems easier. Although these are valid reasons, easier certainly doesn’t mean cheaper.
Most banks won’t convert your money with the mid-market exchange rate when you make an international payment. Instead they add a mark-up and charge you a hidden fee that way. TransferWise is different. Its smart technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world. Which means you can save up to 8x by using TransferWise rather than your bank when you send your money abroad.
TransferWise also has a lot of additional features for business users. You can connect with Xero to make your life easier, upload a batch of payments in one go or even automate your payments by integrating with our API. And there’s more to come in the future.
The requirements for opening a business account can vary and can depend on the type of business you operate. Sole traders and partnerships may be required to supply different kinds of information than corporate business or charities, for example.
Here’s a summary of the requirements for opening each type of Barclays business account.
To open the Start-up business bank account and Barclays Established business account you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have the right to live in the UK permanently
- Provide at least 12 months’ UK address history
Applicants will be asked to supply the following information:
- Your Companies House registration number, if applicable
- Details about your business, including tax information and turnover
- Details of all directors or partners
- Your address history for the past 3 years⁵
Barclays supply limited information on the Community account online, and instead ask customers to call a helpline to verify if they meet the requirements for the account.⁹
Barclays offer a range of options for opening a business account. The options available to you will depend on the type of account you are opening and the history of your business.
Businesses opening a Startup account can apply online, as long as they are not transferring their account from another bank. If you are applying to transfer an existing bank account to the Barclays Start up account, the online application form will direct you to book an appointment with a Barclays Business manager.
Start-up account applications can also be made to Barclays over the phone or by booking an in-branch appointment with a Business Manager.¹
For the Barclays Established business account, the same three options are available and you can apply online, by telephone or book an appointment in branch.
For Community accounts Barclays directs customer to apply by phone.¹⁰
Once you have decided the Barclays business account type that’s right for you and how you want to apply, you’ll need to supply all the required information and identification documents to complete the process. This includes:
- Previous bank details, if applicable
- One form of ID to prove your identity
- One form of ID to confirm your UK address
- Business name, start date and business address¹¹
If you’re a startup or a new business within the first year of trading, you’ll be eligible for free banking in your first 12 months with Barclays.
The account and transaction fees in the table below will apply for Established business account holders and for Start-up account holders once the free banking period expires. This list doesn’t cover every type of charge, so please check with Barclays for full details.
Barclays offer two charging plans for business account fees. The mixed payment plan and the e-Payments plan.¹²
|Service||Mixed payments plan||e-Payments plan|
|Monthly account fee||£6.00||£6.50|
|Electronic payments in or out||£0.35 per transaction||Free|
|Cash payments in or out||£0.90 per £100||£1.50 per £100|
|Cheques in or out||£0.65 per transaction||£1.50 per transaction|
|International Payments||£25.00 to £40.00 in branch or by telephone £15.00 mobile or online banking||£25.00 to £40.00 in branch or by telephone £15.00 mobile or online banking|
International business payments can be very expensive, and incur the highest charges out of all Barclays business bank fees. This is the case with most banks, not just Barclays, so if your business makes regular international payments the fees can soon add up. It may be worth considering an alternative provider and TransferWise might be able to help. It’s a specialist in international business transfers and sending money abroad.
To confirm the details and ensure you have everything you need to open your business bank account, you might want to contact Barclays. Here are the various contact methods available:
- New business account customers should call on 0800 515 462¹³
- Existing customers should call on 0345 605 2345¹⁴
- If you’re looking to switch from another bank to Barclays call on 0800 515 462¹⁵
- Non-profit organisations should call on 0800 515 462¹⁰
- Get in touch via Twitter: @BarclaysUKHelp¹⁶
- Online live chat is available on the Barclays website to talk to an advisor
- Search FAQs and guides on Barclay’s site
Looking for an alternative for international payments? With TransferWise for Business you get fast and secure payments with low fees.
When you’re growing your business it’s important that everything runs smoothly, so finding a bank account that works for you is an important step. It always pays to do a little research before choosing your bank account, as the available support, services, costs and charges can differ substantially.
Barclays offer accounts for businesses of all shapes and sizes, but for businesses that expect to send regular international payments, it is worth comparing against other providers, such as a specialist business account from TransferWise.
Sources checked on 19-March 2019
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