Whether you are on an initial ‘free’ banking period, or have an established business bank account, you may be surprised at how much your bank charges to process inbound and outbound transactions.
Most of the larger high street banks, keen to tempt fledgling businesses into a lifelong business banking relationship with them, will offer an initial 18 month or longer ‘free banking’ period to new companies.
After this honeymoon period is over, however, you will typically revert to ‘standard’ banking charges… which can vary considerably between banks.
And unlike the retail banking sector, most business accounts receive pitiful amounts of interest – despite the banks lending out your deposits to other companies at handsome levels of interest.
How business bank account charges affect you will depend a great deal on the type of company your run. A retail business with a high level of transactions will have a very different monthly transaction footprint to an interim manager or IT contractor, for example.
How to save on your business banking charges
Assuming your account has a fixed monthly ‘standing charge’, here are some ways to save money on your business banking costs:
- Opt to receive email or web-based statements, rather than paper statements (all statements are likely to be online within a matter of years one would suspect).
- Automated payments (via BACS, Faster Payments, CHAPS) in to your account tend to be charged at lower fees than cheques.
- Ask clients and customers to pay invoices directly into your account rather than via cheque.
- If you are paying in cheques, consider paying in batches at once, rather than being charged a fee for each separate cheque.
- Make debit card cash withdrawals less frequently to avoid regular charges.
- Avoid using an authorised overdraft unless you have to, and certainly avoid any unauthorised borrowing – as the interest costs can be very high.
- Transfer any surplus cash into a higher interest bearing business deposit account rather than earning 0% on your business current account.
- If you opt for an initial ‘free business banking’ deal if you have just formed a company, make sure you find out what your account charges will be once the free period expires.
Here are links to some of the leading high street banks’ charges and fees (these URLs were correct as of Feb 2013):
- How to choose a limited company bank account
- IT contractor bank accounts – the basics
- Do I need a dedicated limited company bank account?
- How do you set up a company bank account?
- New state-backed bank to provide longer-term loans to small companies
- ClearSky Accounting - specialist support for contractors
- Visit Hiscox for Professional Indemnity and Business Liability Insurance
- Contractor Finance - up to £30,000, when you need it
- InTouch Contractor Accountants - Personal Online Accounting
- Join PCG - Free impartial start-up advice for contractors.
- Visit Qdos Consulting for tax investigation cover and IR35 insurance.
- 90% Pay Retention for Contractors - Helix Management Ltd