How to choose a bank account for your business?

06/10/2021

A bank account is an essential tool – even for a sole trader business. It is not possible to run a company without one. There is no provision in Polish law that obliges a business owner to have a bank account – in theory. In practice, it is necessary, because many settlements can only be made through one. It is worth spending some time to analyse the available options. What considerations should you take into account when choosing the right solution?

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Image author: rupixen, source: pixabay.com

Many budding business owners question whether they need a business account at all. Can they not just stay with a personal account? They can, but:


  1. making or accepting payments connected with the conducted business must be made through a business owner’s business bank account whenever another business owner is a party to the transaction from which the payment arises 

  2. when the value of a single transaction, regardless of the number of payments resulting from it, exceeds the equivalent of PLN 15,000, the transaction must be made through the business owner’s business bank account (Article 19 of the Entrepreneurs’ Law).


Another important aspect to consider:

  1. separation of private transactions from those connected to your business allows you to manage your business more effectively. Evaluation of the effectiveness of operations and control of revenues and costs is significantly easier when it is not disrupted by private activities. Such operations are transparent for supervisory institutions or officers (such as the tax office) as well and, in the event of an inspection, no explanations are required. What is more – a business owner can include all the costs connected with maintaining a company account as tax deductible costs

  2. only a business bank account allows split payment transactions and the use of a VAT sub-account.



Many entrepreneurs looking for a suitable bank account for their company will intuitively turn first to the bank where they have their personal account. However, “our” bank will not always have products that are equally good for both private and business clients. That’s why it is worth exploring other options.


Start by defining your needs! 


→ Many banks offer solutions dedicated to sole-trader businesses, companies, associations or foundations. What type of business will you be running?


→ What transactions will you be carrying out? Only domestic transfers, or foreign ones, too? Worldwide, or only within the European Union? It’s worthwhile checking the costs and conditions of such transactions.


→ Should other people – a business partner, or a spouse – also have access to the account?


→ Will you need to withdraw cash from the account? The cost of ATM withdrawals may be important. It is worth checking out both domestic and foreign ones. 


→ What banking tools will you use? Payment card, online transfers, ATM withdrawals, cash handling (access to a branch), currency exchange, etc. These are elements that can entail additional costs when maintaining your bank account. 


→ Is the option of using a line of credit important to you? Many banks’ offers include proposals of financial support for companies. It is worth checking the conditions offered by the institution you have selected .


What facilities of a bank account are important?

Setting up a business bank account is one of the first steps for a business owner. As a business owner, you will use it almost every day, therefore it is important that it works smoothly. A bank account not only enables you to settle accounts with contractors or employees and make purchases, but also facilitates mandatory payments to state institutions (ZUS – Social Insurance Institution and US – the Tax Office). When choosing an account for your company, pay attention to the following aspects:


→ The cost of making transfers.

Few banks offer free transfers. However, waiving of costs usually applies to the first few transactions in a month – a fee is charged for the remaining ones. These are usually small, but, when taken together, can amount to a significant monthly cost. More and more banks are advertising no fees for mandatory transfers to ZUS or US. 


→ Card fee.

Most banks do not charge for a payment card, but they may, for example, impose conditions, such as a minimum amount spent using the card during a month. They can also impose a fixed charge that can vary from bank to bank. Over the course of a year, this may add up to a considerable sum.


→ Account maintenance fee.

Some banks offer free accounts. Sometimes, it is necessary to meet certain conditions to keep the account maintenance at zero. Other banks charge various amounts per month.

 

→ ATM withdrawal cost.

This may amount to several percent of the amount withdrawn. Sometimes banks offer free withdrawals for a specified minimum amount, such as PLN 100. For smaller withdrawals, there is a fee.


→ Additional bonuses and premiums.

It is worth taking a look at these details of the bank’s offer – sometimes they can add up to several hundred zloty. Extra money is usually a reward for meeting conditions, such as making a specific number of transfers in a month or transactions for a specific amount. A bonus for using a bank’s services may sometimes include access to other products it offers on more attractive terms. Additional extras may include legal or accounting services, preferential purchases, business solutions, etc. 


→ Account interest rates.

It is worth checking what the bank offers in this respect, especially if you plan to deposit considerable capital in this account. 


How to make the comparison process easier


Choosing the right business account is not straightforward or quick. The most convenient solution is a bank account comparison site, where basic information is gathered together with reports on current promotions that are really worth considering. 


Where can you find reliable cost comparisons? 


The costs of business bank accounts are reliably presented by such services as:

  1. The ranking prepared by bankier.pl.

  2. Marcin Iwuć’s website – run by an economist, experienced manager and business owner, who has been involved in journalism on capital markets and personal finances for over a dozen years. His website includes an interactive business bank account ranking

  3. You can also find a current ranking of business bank accounts at kontomaniak.pl

  4. Or take advantage of the business account analysis at najlepszekonto.pl. 


Changing bank accounts

Changing a business account is of course possible, but it may be troublesome. It requires updating documents, such as contracts with business partners. It also requires updates to company systems, as well as business offices and institutions. You also have to remember about the change when issuing VAT invoices or company forms. 


A carefully chosen business account gives you a sense of comfort in running your business. It allows you to focus on what is important for the advancement of your company. Regardless of your choice - you will be able to link all your bank accounts to Banqup to see all your finances clearly in one place.


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