I was made bankrupt in February 2006 and discharged in September 2006. Will this stop me from opening a business bank account?
You mention that you were discharged from bankruptcy in September 2006. A key issue will be what has your credit history been like since then?
Running a business without a bank account is very difficult, both in terms of receiving payments from customers by cheque or credit transfer or for making payments by cheque. Some banks offer basic bank accounts for credit impaired people. Some banks say that they have products which will help businesses, but it comes down to individual cases whether the banks think you are a good risk or not.
NatWest and RBS have a product which is available to entrepreneurs who have previously been unable to open a business account. It is called a Foundation account and offers a cheque book, cash machine and Solo debit card, standing orders and direct debits.
Abbey National Instant Plus offers a current account with a Visa debit card but no cheque book, while Halifax offers a cheque book and cash card.
I have no experience of seeking a business bank account from any of these providers. I’m advised that other banks now have similar products so it’s a case of making enquiries. It would be best to start with a bank with which you have a relationship.
If approaches to these are not successful you may be able to able to get an account through a broker.
Do be aware that lenders to credit impaired people usually offer worse terms than to people with good credit histories. If you apply to a number of sources it may further damage your credit record. You must satisfy yourself that any product you consider is right for you.
Please note that the above is not individual financial advice under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
See also: How to open a foreign currency account