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 current 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 the 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.
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 June 2022 )
|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.
As we mentioned earlier – N26 is 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).
Revolut is now also an authorised EU bank and they do business accounts too.
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 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 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.