Lots of people dream of starting their own business. Being your own boss gives you greater freedom and flexibility and enables you to turn something you have a passion for into a livelihood. There are many reasons why people choose this route.

When setting up a small business, either as a sole trader or a limited company, there are lots of things to take into account and taking good care of your company finances is paramount.

At Gorilla Accounting, we offer an all-inclusive accountancy package designed for sole traders and small limited companies across all sectors. Having the right accountant on board is key to financial success, as is having the right business account.

Do You Need A Business Account?

If you operate as a limited company, a business account is a legal requirement as company finances must be entirely separate from your personal finances.

A business account isn’t mandatory for sole traders but having one is extremely beneficial. As a sole trader, once your gross trading income exceeds £1,000 per year, you become liable for tax and using a personal account for your business would cause you significant issues when it’s time to file your tax returns.

A separate business account also significantly reduces the chances of getting penalties or fines from HMRC due to submitting incorrect information. Separating your business finances from your personal finances makes them much easier to manage.

It might appear that the simplest option is to open a business account with your personal banking provider, but there are many factors to consider. Benefits and services often vary between business accounts so it’s important to do your research and choose carefully. You need an account that meets all your needs, one that you can trust and rely on.

When choosing a business account, cost will likely be a big consideration for new start-ups so a free service would be an important factor. Bigger established companies may look for a provider with an ethical stance that aligns with their corporate philosophy.

Put simply, there are many advantages of having a business account:

  • Better organisation of your finances with separate business and personal accounts
  • Salary payments can be processed if you grow your business and take on staff
  • You can build a strong business credit score and you’ll able to apply for business loans and credit
  • You can receive payments by debit and credit card
  • It helps build credibility and confidence with suppliers and clients as they’re transacting with your business name rather than your personal name

Read on for some of the key factors to look out for when choosing a business account and why Gorilla Accounting recommends Mettle, the business account from NatWest, designed specifically for sole traders and small limited companies.

Low Fees

You can be charged a variety of fees on your personal account and the same is true for business accounts. For example, you could incur fees for making cashpoint withdrawals or using an overdraft facility. General maintenance fees, minimum balance fees and cash deposit fees can also be levied, so look for an account where these fees are not charged or can be avoided easily.

Most accounts also charge an annual or monthly fee, so be sure to choose one with low fees. Look for offers such as a fee-free period for new business start-ups or new customers.

Opening a Mettle business account is completely free! There’s no joining fee, no monthly fees and no transaction charges.

An Account That Embraces Technology

Time is a very precious commodity for all small business owners. It’s your responsibility to oversee the day to day running of your company as well as associated activities such as marketing, invoicing, planning and strategy. The success of your business is on you.

It’s crucial therefore that your business account makes full use of technology to make tasks such as transferring funds, checking your outgoings and managing your finances as quick and simple as possible.

Look for a technology-focused small business account that has an intuitive and easy to use platform that makes managing your finances a breeze. Make sure the account has an app so you can manage your finances on the go with easy access to your account anytime and anywhere.

Mettle’s business account is technology-driven allowing customers to take full advantage of the many benefits this brings. It even syncs with FreeAgent, the market leading cloud accounting software that’s provided free to all Gorilla accounting clients. You can download the Mettle app on Apple and Android devices.

High Transaction Limits

The majority of business accounts impose transaction limits for payments in and out of your account each month. There can also be a cap on the amount of funds you can transfer per day, or even in a single transaction. Keep this in mind if you expect to have a lot of transactions, or high value transactions, that might exceed transaction limits and therefore incur unwanted fees.

Mettle’s transaction limits are extremely generous so it’s unlikely that you’ll hit them, and if you do, no fees will be charged.

Comprehensive Customer Support

Good customer support is vital for small business owners, especially those just starting out. It’s likely that they will have many questions and might need quick answers look for a provider that will help you any time a query arises.

Mettle offers comprehensive and convenient customer support – you can tap ‘Get Help’ in the app to live chat with their team or get in touch by phone or email 7 days a week.

The Ability To Take Card Payments

As we accelerate towards becoming a cashless society, it’s crucial that small businesses can accept payment by card. Card payments are fast, secure, easily categorised and much more convenient than cash payments as there’s no need to make a trip to your local branch to make a deposit.

Mettle supports card payments in and out of your account and you can also set up scheduled payments.

Gorilla Accounting are proud partners of Mettle and you can apply for a Mettle business account in minutes by clicking here.

For more insight, click here to read Mettle’s chat with Gorilla Accounting Director Dan Fallows about how the latest IR35 updates can impact you as a small business owner.