Business Bank Account Charges in Ireland – a Comparison.
If you run a business – as a sole trader or a limited company , you should probably have a business current account with a bank.
Small sole traders or freelancers could probably manage without a business bank account – but it is a good way of keeping the business finances separate from personal accounts and will be easier to keep records for Revenue. Most banks will also have terms and conditions that exclude personal accounts from being used for business transactions.
If your small business doesn’t deal in cash or cheques – just online payments , cards and bank transfers – you might want to consider N26 . This online bank is Fee Free .
We did a comparison of the business bank account charges that are applied by the main Irish banks . Here is a summary of what we found . (Checked March 2018 – *Ulster Bank new charges are effective from May 19th 2018)
|Quarterly Maintenance Fee||€15.00||€4.50||€14.25||€3.81|
| Automated Transactions
(Debit card purchases,Credits,
Direct Debits, Online Transactions)
|Paper or Counter Transactions||€0.60||€0.39||€0.55||€0.29|
|Cash Lodgements (Coins)||3%||2%||0.6%||2%|
|Cash Lodgements (Notes)||0.6%||0.45%||0.6%||0.5%|
We worked out the total annual bank charges for a small business carrying out the following transactions each week:
Cash Lodgement (notes) : Twice( €500 each time)
Cash Lodgement (coins) : Twice (€100 each time)
Cheques Lodged : 10
Online Transaction :5
Debit Card Purchases : 40
Direct Debits : 5
Automated Credits : 10
Over a year – these are the total charges each of the four banks would make for using the business account as outlined above . (Including the maintenance fees)
Ulster Bank : €1029
AIB : €1269
Some banks will offer a period of fee free banking for new business customers. With BOI, AIB and Ulster this is for 2 years. For larger businesses there will be other charges for things such as making bulk charges by Direct Debit or bulk credits.
As we mentioned earlier – N26 is worth looking at if you are a sole trader / freelancer or similar . They have no fees for business accounts – (but cash or cheques are not accepted.) For receiving payments in Non Euro currency – N26 can be easily linked with the borderless account from Transferwise.
Foreign Currency Transactions
Making or receiving payments in currencies other than Euros is another way that the banks make more money from business accounts. They might say there is no charge for non Euro transactions – but the banks will still make significant amounts of profit from the margin on the exchange rates they use.
Some banks will also charge commission and other fees for foreign transactions. For example AIB will charge €6.35 for an incoming Sterling payment over €127.
If your business is regularly making or recieving payments in Sterling , US Dollars or other currencies – you should probably look into using the services of a currency exchange specialist. We have written more about some of these currency exchange companies here
Sole Traders who are trading under their own personal name can just open a business bank account in their name. If a sole trader has a business name – they will need to register the business name and the bank will need the registration number.
Unlike personal accounts – there are no exemptions for business current account charges.
You can find our comparison of the charges on personal current accounts in Ireland.