Business Current 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 account with a bank.
Small sole traders or freelancers could probably manage without a separate 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.
All Irish banks have business banking charges.
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.
Revolut also caters for small businesses – and lets you send and receive multiple currencies. Incoming transfers in USD, GBP, EUR and CHF are always free. On the free account – there is a small (0.4%) markup on the exchange rates – but this will be better than the rates applied by the likes of BOI or AIB.
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 Jan 2023 )
|Business Banking Fees||BOI||AIB||PTSB|
|Quarterly Maintenance Fee||€15||€4.50||€8|
(Debit card purchases,Credits,
Direct Debits, Online Transactions)
|Paper or Counter Transactions||€0.60||€0.39||€0.80|
|Cash Lodgements (Coins)||3%||2%||2%|
|Cash Lodgements (Notes)||0.6%||0.45%||0.5%|
Free Business Banking
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.
Revolut is now also an authorised EU bank and they do free business accounts too. They cater
for sole traders or Ltd Companies. Free accounts are available .
The free account comes with useful features such as :-
You can accept, settle and track payments all in the Revolut app . No need for separate apps and logins.
Revolut also allows you to create and send professional invoices .
You can accept card payments in person with their fast and portable Revolut Reader. Transaction fees start at 0.8% + €0.02. Or use a QR code . (Cash or cheques not possible.)
Of course – customer payments by online card payments are also available.
As we mentioned earlier – N26 is also worth looking at if you are a sole trader/freelancer or similar and want to avoid or reduce your Business Banking Charges. The N26 account is operated fully online and there are no fees for business accounts. Cash or cheques are not accepted. They have a full EU banking licence and funds are covered by the German bank guarantee. (Not suitable for Ltd companies).
Foreign Currency Transactions for Businesses
Making or receiving payments in currencies other than Euros is another way that banks make more money from business accounts. They might say there is no charge for non-Euro transactions – but the banks still make significant amounts of profit from the margin on the exchange rates they use.
Some banks will also charge commissions 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 receiving 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 Exchange for Businesses.
You can find our comparison of the charges on personal current accounts in Ireland.
Thanks “mr bloggs” – for pointing out the 55c cheque processing fee at Ulster Bank . I have corrected the Ulster Bank figure to take account of this.
However – I have double checked the other figures and am satisfied they are correct .
For example Ulster Bank :
Quarterly fee 14.25 * 4 = 57
Direct Debits 0.1 * 260 = 26
Cheques .55 * 520 = 286
Online 0.1 * 260 = 26
Debit Card 0.1 * 2080 = 208
automated cred 0.1 * 520 = 52
Notes .6% of 52000 = 312
Coins 0.6% of 10400 = 62.40