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 it 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 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 May 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 . The account is operated fully online and there are no fees for business accounts . Cash or cheques are not accepted. They have an full EU banking licence and funds are covered by the German bank guarantee.
Foreign Currency Transactions for Businesses
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.
Setting up an overseas bank account to receive funds can be a hassle and involve significant paperwork.
If your business is regularly making or recieving large payments in Sterling , US Dollars or other currencies – you might want to look into using the services of a currency exchange specialist. They can also help your business reduce the risk of currency fluctuations affecting your business profits. More here about Currency Hedging Options for Businesses.
We have written more about some of these currency exchange companies here
You can find our comparison of the charges on personal current accounts in Ireland.