sole trader bank account

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by crossthebreeze, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    Are there any banks that aren't incompetent cockwombles?

    I've had a business account with Natwest for a few years. Its in my name and a business name I don't use anymore, and it will accept payments in either my name or that business name. They majorly fucked up and didn't apologise properly though, and their charges are ridiculous, so I want to switch.

    So I just tried to switch to Yorkshire bank as they do free banking for 2 years for switching, had an appointment today. They won't open an account just in my name - it would have to be "My Name Business Account" and they would only accept cheques with all the words "in case I tried paying in personal cheques (?)". They also won't open an account in the business name I want to start using (which has my actual name as part of it) because I don't have "proof" of trading in that name. I'm a sole trader, so not registered at companies house. They wanted a letter from my solicitor or accountant - I don't have either. They wanted proof that I could be googled under that business name - I do garden maintenance rounds so don't do much internet advertising, and while she found plenty of evidence on google that I work as a self employed gardener, because it was in my name or my previous business name, she wouldn't accept it. I tried to argue how ridiculous because how could I trade with a name until I had a bank that would accept payments in that name, and then she got all "computer says no" on me. Apparently I could be committing fraud or money laundering for all they know (!).

    On the other hand other banks have said to me that even if I change my business name and my trade, they won't consider me eligible for new business promotions unless I set up a Ltd company, as because I'm a sole trader, its me that's the business.

    I could very easily just use my personal account for a few big transactions a month and run everything else in cash without it seeing a bank account or the eyes of HMRC, but I'm trying to run things transparently and honestly.

    Any ideas?
  2. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    I use Tide for business banking. They're ok, and the app is super convenient (i'd imagine doubly so if you're doing work in gardens and out and about?), and apparently you can get a freelancer/sole trader account 'if you're registered with HMRC'. Can I open an account? Not entirely sure what that means, but hopefully it's helpful.
    telbert and crossthebreeze like this.
  3. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    Thanks, they look interesting. The only sticking point is that they don't deal with cheques - I don't get many of them, but do have a couple elderly customers who sometimes pay me that way.
  4. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    Ah yeah, forgot about that - can confirm 100% that they don't, got a refund from HMRC and couldn't cash it. Luckily I still had my Metrobank account, are they an option? Is there one near you?
  5. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    When I was a sole trader I just used my current account. None of them seem very interested in you unless you’re a ltd company.
  6. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    I just use my current account and thought that was all proper and above board?
  7. Chilli.s

    Chilli.s changed the little words

    I moved my biz acct to Santander building society, free banking, but only able to pay in via the hole in the wall or by post (?) dunno why. Bank were cheeky cunts wanted to charge for everything. Handling money is their bis they were lucky to have me let them have mine to play with when I wasn't using it.
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  8. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    It’s fine, it’s just that it can be easier to use a separate account when it comes to doing your return, or if you get audited. But I never bothered as my accounts were quite simple.
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  9. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Mine are as well. I've thought about another current account with Nationwide to keep it simple, but it kinda works.

    My other half has just had to get a business account. She's gone with the Co Op and the charges seem brutal after being used to "free" banking.
  10. Shirl

    Shirl Brexit my arse

    Me too.
    I'm very straight about my business accounts and as my turnover is very small I doubt it would be worth my while to open a business account. If I was audited it's fairly clear what's pension income and what's sales income. I did consider it at first but I'm with Yorkshire and couldn't be bothered to find an accountant to verify that I really did have a business.
  11. Boudicca

    Boudicca Seaside Queen

    Another sole trader here who doesn't have a business account. I download my statements into Microsoft Money, classify the transactions and give the business stuff to my accountant as Money reports. I don't have a company name though.
  12. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    Ah so you've had a similar issue with them. They are ridiculous! Other banks don't ask for the level of proof they were asking for, I don't think anyway. Its a shame because they had a good switching offer and all the services I wanted, have a branch close to me, and are apparently better than most banks ethically. I can't understand why they wouldn't let me open an account in my own name at least.

    My turnover isn't big, but I find it easier to keep things separate - and I sometimes need to deal with cash, I'm looking into linking it with things like Go Cardless, and stuff.

    Exactly! Natwest are proper taking the piss with charges, which seeing how they can't even do what they're meant to do, is especially not on.

    Co-op are cheeky wankers as well. Their offer is free banking for a year if your balance doesn't dip below a grand - meaning they get at least a grand to play with which you get no interest on, and then if you do have cashflow problems and dip into it, they hit you with charges. Not appealing!
    Shirl likes this.
  13. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Why not set up another personal account and skip the hassle and cost?
    danny la rouge and cupid_stunt like this.
  14. Chilli.s

    Chilli.s changed the little words

    Yeah, fuck those wankers off, Santander gave me a business account, paid interest, all free, no overdraft though but can't remember.
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  15. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut ... the Great.

    Yorkshire Bank sounds bonkers to me.

    I used my own current account until I went VAT registered & started to use Xero for my accounts, so I opened a business account with RBS, partly because of the direct bank feed into Xero, with 2 years free banking, and I had none of that hassle. They just did the normal credit checks on me, and I showed them a business card, sorted.

    That seems like the logical thing to do in this case.

    BTW the Tesco Bank current account pays 3% interest on balances of up to £3k plus you get Clubcard points when using your debt card anywhere, which is a good deal, and you can pay in & withdraw at the customer service desks in their main stores.
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  16. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    I'm a sole trader and I use my personal account for everything. I have an accountant and I pay my taxes and nobody has every said I'm doing anything dodgy.

    However I dont use a trading name.

    I have a friend in a very similar situation to you. She is a sole trader but uses a trading as name (she's a fitness trainer). She tried to change business banks recently but had problem because of the trading name and people writing cheques in that name.

    She solved it by setting up a second personal account and asking people to make cheques out to her own name.
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  17. Chilli.s

    Chilli.s changed the little words

    No one needs a business account, it's not a requirement of law or tax or anything. I suppose banks small print in their agreement may say you cant use a current account for a sole trader business. All you need do is keep accurate accounts. You may need to show some proof of the accounts if the Inland Revenue want to see. Having all business transactions in one account does make accounting easier though.
  18. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    I know its not a requirement of law or tax, but I do know people who've had their personal accounts shut down by their bank for trading out of it - if there's lots of different payments going in especially cash and cheques or other tell-tale stuff - basically the banks want to charge you for running a business! Also I sometimes come across potential interesting work for a large local organisation - and the route to getting that apparently to become a preferred supplier, for which a business account would be a requirement.
  19. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Or at a post office counter. It all seems a bit odd. I considered using them because that's where my current account is. (I was going to transfer money across from the business bank to the current account each month to get the interest I get on my current account, but in the end just kept using my current account).
    Chilli.s likes this.
  20. Chilli.s

    Chilli.s changed the little words

    It was having the "bussness account" printed on the cheques and on the account name that sold it to me. And it does add some sort of illusion of credibility to some things.

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