As a non-UK resident, you will face no obstacles when setting up your UK registered company. Directors and shareholders are not required to be UK residents. However, the same cannot be said about setting up a bank account for your company. The large high street banks are reluctant to take on companies controlled by non-UK residents. For this reason, our links to the UK High Street banks that are promoted on our website only work if the owners of the UK company are resident in the UK. However, there are a few solutions available to non-UK residents.
We now have an affiliation agreement with the online business banking app: Tide will accept applications for a business bank account for companies controlled by residents in most European countries. As with all banks, there are stringent requirements regarding ID and some high-risk or anti-social business activities will not be accepted. For the Tide app to work you will need a UK mobile number. The application to Tide is online, and there is no requirement to attend personally. Other online banks occasionally will open business bank accounts for companies owned by European residents. It is worth checking with us if our online referral has been unsuccessful.
Revolut is another popular online bank that services non uk residents and whose application process can be completed in a few hours. We have a referral service with them which is intermittent at the moment but which will become constant when the Covid 19 is no longer an issue. If they do not appear as an option you can contact them yourself. Their costs are reasonable and the application is fast.
Wise is another rapidly growing fintech bank that offers bank accounts to uk companies with non uk resident directors and owners. Their application process is efficient as are their charges. In our experience they are also exceptionally efficient at international currency transfers.
There are no legal obligations to open a bank account for your UK company. So, if you can use a personal Paypal account or something similar, you may avoid the need to operate a bank account.
Although our referral system is not available for companies controlled by non-UK residents, our high street banks may still offer you an account if you meet their various requirements. You will have to approach them yourself, and you may even have to visit a branch of the bank in the UK to complete your application.
If your bank or a bank local to you has a presence in the UK, they may be willing to open an account for your UK company through their UK branch. The local bank may even process your ID and proof of address documents on behalf of the UK branch so that you are not required to visit the UK.
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