Frequently Asked Questions
Extra Direct – Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below a selection of Frequently Asked Questions for the key areas of our business, Extra Direct, so please visit the dedicated section depending on your circumstances. We have THREE main sections within our FAQs.
- NON-UK Resident Directors or Shareholders
- High Risk or Restricted Business Activity
- UK Residents with Adverse Credit
We can help in all of these circumstances however for more specific answers, please see the relevant section below.
Non UK Resident business accounts FAQs
Please find below a selection of FAQs regarding the Non UK Resident business accounts available – for any questions here not shown, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What sort of services can you offer and how can you help with my business account?
We generally offer TWO main services and the best one will depend on your business and personal circumstances, so we will advise once we have some more information.
Application Service: Assuming we are confident we can assist you and there is nothing we consider too complicated, then we can offer our full Application Service, where we will be able to provide a servcie to help with the whole process.
Sourcing Service: If your circumstances or business is more complicated and there is no obvious solution, then we will offer you our Sourcing Service, where will collate all your details and information and use our network of banking contacts to help source a banking partner for you. PLEASE NOTE that with our sourcing service, once we have found someone who will accept your application there will also be an ADDITIONAL Application Service fee payable to proceed.
I am not a UK resident, can I open a business account without coming to the UK?
Yes – We will be able to help you open a new business account as long as you can be fully identified and your business verified, which we can often do remotely via a certified and approved accountant. We have a dedicated area specifically asking the question How can I open a UK business bank account as a non resident?
Is there a Minimum opening deposit requirement for a business account?
No – On approval you will generally NOT be required to deposit a minimum amount into the account however should that change you would be notified before proceeding.
Does anyone else have access to my account?
No – Only the Director or Applicant will have any access to your new business bank account once it is opened.
How long does to take to open a business account?
An online business account that can be opened without the need to travel to the UK will take approximately 2-5 working days to open once all documentation has been received and SUBMITTED, so the sooner you decide to proceed, pay any fees due and provide all the necessary documents required, the sooner your account would be opened.
What documentation will I be required to supply?
You will be expected to provide, for every Director of a business, sufficient proof of Identification which may include a notarised copy of a valid passport and proof of home address. (Some providers will only require copies of your documents)
Business documentation will include a copy of your certificate of registration, share certificate and any other relevant business documents which could substantiate you have a genuine business.
PLEASE NOTE WHY THIS PROCESS IS SO ESSENTIAL: This identification process is an essential and legal part of the application procedure which the authorities insist needs to be completed prior to any account being opened.
Failure to make the necessary checks, confirming someone’s identity and proving the business is a legally trading entity is an offense with a potential custodial sentence, meaning all banks and their staff MUST be completely satisfied before approving an application..
It is for this reason why you strictly adhered to providing all the necessary information during the application process.
What kind of account will I receive? Will it be a high street account?
Ordinarily No, as the quickest and easiest options are based on online business accounts, often allowing you access to a UK GBP account without the need to travel to the UK.
However some businesses and non-UK residents a mainstream business bank account may be available but the cost and time involved will be considerably more and involve a personal visit to the UK.
How much does it cost to open a business account?
Every business and bank is individual and unique, with no two the same, meaning the cost and process to open any account will vary from one application to another.
As such the cost to open will depend on such variables as, the type of business, the number of directors and shareholders, nationality and where the Directors/Shareholders reside, the business turnover, types of transactions required, time to open and other potential variables – which is why the cost will vary, however applications for UK Residents START at £125.00 and for Non-UK Residents the costs START from £195.00, however with our GUARANTEED SERVICE our average fee for Non-UK residents is between £300-400
High Risk, MSB, Adult & other Restricted Activity FAQs
If you need to open a business account but your Bank does not like the business activity, then you may struggle to get any banking facilitates, so please find below some previously asked questions with our relevant answers which we hope will help.
Can you help open a Business account for an MSB?
The simplest answer to your question is YES, however with all these things you would need to compromise as to what is available as currently none of the mainstream banks in the UK have an appetite for an MSB business.
So your options will be limited however we do have options which include anything from a Bank to an Online provider, meaning what ever we found you will almost certainly need to compromise – but yes, there will be options available.
I make a lot of payments to African countries, is there a high street bank account available to me?
Whilst we would be confident that we could NOT open a high street bank account for you, we would almost certainly be able to find something for you that would accept your application, which would be able to accept UK faster or online payments into your business account, then allow for the transfer of those funds out to your African counterpart.
So whilst not a mainstream bank, we would have options available subject to the usual checks and application process.
I have a gaming business but none of the banks will give me an account, can you help?
With Gaming there are always issues depending on whether or not there is any ‘gambling’ involved, so some businesses in the gaming world could have an issue even if they don’t look to offer any gambling.
So in answer to your question, then yes we can help gaming but options available will very much depend on the type of gaming you offer and where the flow of funds will be coming from or going to.
Best advice would be to contact us with your details and we can take things from there.
I have an Adult Entertainment business, can you help?
Adult Entertainment business do cause more issues than most, as only a few of the providers we work with will even consider an application, so whilst there may be some options, there will almost certainly be some restrictions.
I deal with Crypto currencies and everyone is declining me, so can you help?
Yes we can help with some Crypto related businesses, however you would need to understand that none of the mainstream of high street banks would be prepared to accept an application, meaning the options available would almost certainly be more online type facilities with no branch network.
As each business is very different, we would suggest it would be better to speak with one of our specialist banking advisers directly who will be able to advise you accordingly.
We're a large corporate that has had our HSBC account close, what can you offer us?
Well it never surprises us when we hear about the closer of any business account and big banks like HSBC don’t seem to discriminate between small or large businesses, but that does not help when you need a larger business account for your company.
We have a number of potential options available and depending on your individual circumstances will depend on what will be available, but we do have access to larger corporate accounts that will almost certainly be able to accommodate your business by offering full UK banking facilities.
UK Residents with Adverse Credit FAQs
If you need to open a business account but you or one of the key principles of the business has some adverse credit, then you may struggle to open an account with any of the mainstream banks, so please find below some previously asked questions with our relevant answers which we hope will help.
Why should we use your service if we can do this ourselves?
There is a large number of new business banking providers available and the market place appears to be growing more, so whilst you may well be able to make an application directly yourself, there are a number of reasons why you would use our service.
- We would help find you the BEST option currently available, opening the wrong account can not only be very time consuming but there may be a much better or cheaper option out there that you are unaware of, so our range of providers will often be far greater than you might ordinarily find.
- We have decades of collective experience in the world of banking, so know exactly how to prepare and submit applications which will significantly increase the chances of acceptance
- As we have relationships often at a much higher level, we can get applications submitted and approved a lot quicker than normal, plus if there are any problems, we will be on hand to help out.
- Our services are GUARANTEED so in the unlikely event you get declined, we will either source an alternative provider or REFUND YOUR FEE IN FULL
- Saves you time as we can often get your accounts opened without the need of waiting weeks for an appointment, to traveling to a bank or spending hours of your precious business time researching facilities that may not even be available or suitable for your business.
If you are still unsure, please feel free to call us directly on 020 3286 3929 or Apply Online Here
How quickly can you open me a business account?
Some accounts can be opened very quickly and almost certainly the same day, however that will depend on not just the provider, but the applicant too, but in most cases you could expect top get an answer within a couple of days once all proof of identification and business has been submitted.
If you need an account opened TODAY, then we would suggest you call us and speak to one of our specialist advisers who will be able to advise you straight away – Telephone 020 3286 3929
It's a new business so how can they decline it for credit reasons?
The simple truth is that even if you have a brand new business or one that has an excellent trading or credit file, all the mainstream banks will still need to do their checks on the Directors, Shareholders or Owners of a business, so you will most likely discover it is not the business that has caused the problem but one of the owners or main principles of the business.
I have been bankrupt, so can you still help me?
YES – We have a number of business banking partners who will base their decision on the activity of the business and turnover, so as long as you can provide suitable identification documents, then your application can be accepted, without the need to perform a credit check meaning they will often not even want to know about your bankruptcy.
PLEASE NOTE; Its always better to disclose any information regarding bankruptcy, insolvency or any other adverse credit as it will rarely make any difference anyway.
I did have a CCJ but settled it, so why is it still causing me a problem opening a business account?
The key problem there is that if you apply at any of the high street banks for a business account, they will perform a credit check on you and any other Directors or Shareholders, so if you or indeed any others have had a CCJ (County Court Judgement) then that will show on your credit file, even if it has been recently satisfied (paid).
Our advice would be to apply for an account that does not require a credit check, as that is far more likely to be accepted, then if you can get your CCJ noticed removed from your credit report, you can perhaps look at re-applying again with one of the mainstream banks – but PLEASE NOTE, if you get declined by one of the mainstream banks, then you will almost certainly be declined by the others, so multi-applying could cause your credit file to look considerably worse that it may ordinarily be, as each time you apply the bank will perform a credit check so you could end up with multiple credit checks on your file which never looks good.
Need some advice? Call us on 020 3286 3929 and we will be happy to help answer any questions.
What proof of ID will I need to open a business account?
Generally speaking you will need to provide a two forms of Proof of Address (home utility bill, personal bank statement or other official document) clearly showing your home address and dated within the past 3 months.
Plus you will need to provide some photographic ID like a valid passport or full driving license, sometime a national identification card can also be used if non UK national.
It is important that all documentation is valid however you may only need to provide these in an electronic format, so scanned or photographed is often quite acceptable.
Unsure what you may need? Telephone us before hand and double check if you are unsure – Call 020 3286 3929
Amazon Sellers FAQs
If you are looking to expand into the UK and Europe then you are sure to have some questions, so please find below some previously asked questions with our relevant answers.
I have a successful Amazon business here in the USA already, so why should I bother with the UK or Europe?
That is a good question, especially if you have a good business there already, but here are some reasons why you should seriously consider it – there will be plenty more, but these should give you enough evidence as to why it’s such a good opportunity.
- You have probably done 95% of the work already in sourcing, manufacturing and developing your product and this is a very easy way to expand and increase your sales outside of risking new products, more developments, sourcing alternative products etc
- The USA market place is saturated with sellers, as more and more people are becoming involved with using Amazon as a way to sell their goods, meaning competition will only ever increase and your margins will surely come under increasing pressure, so finding an alternative could be an excellent way to combat this.
- The European markets are very much underdeveloped, meaning many of the sellers here simply don’t have the ability or knowledge like a seasoned American seller, so you will have far less competition in this marketplace.
- PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS – This is one of the key reasons why a successful business should seriously consider horizontal expansion as the bigger you grow the more likely you may come under threat, so by having a separate entity in an alternative market place will certainly help protect the long term future of your business interests.
Do I HAVE to regsiter a UK Limited Company to sell into the UK?
No, it is not compulsory to register a UK Limited Company to sell here, however there are various reasons why doing so will benefit you so is often the best and most efficient way of expanding your business.
Will you will provide me with a UK address for the registered company or will I use my address here in the States?
When registering a UK limited company it is mandatory to have a UK registered address, which we can help with so you will not be able to use your USA address.
So if I am not registered for VAT can I sell at a lower price or price it higher as though I were charging VAT and keep increase profit margin?
Yes that is correct, so you can effectively charge a higher price as though it did include the VAT but as you would not be registered, you would not be required to pass that on to HMRC. Alternatively you could sell your goods at a lower price and be more competitive, which ever you felt was best for your business however please bear in mind you will be required to register once your income is above £83,000 (Approx $110k)
I found a company that said could help, but their UK tax knowledge was zilch, what makes you different?
UK Tax (including the various aspects of Vat) and ensuring you are trading fully legally here in the UK is paramount to ensure your business is fully compliant which is why making sure you receive BEST ADVICE is essential.
As such we have teamed up with our accounting partners who manage over 1000 clients worldwide who sell into the UK via Amazon and other online marketplaces.
Their wealth of experience and expertise in advising sellers throughout the world will ensure you will always get best advice.
I will need a business bank account registered with the new limited company, right?
Yes, if you register a UK limited company you will require a business account in your new companies name to collect the payments from Amazon as they will not pay into any other account. Whilst that is ordinarily very difficult if you are a non UK resident, we have some options available who will accept non UK resident directors and shareholders, so will certainly be able to help you.
When good are sold on Amazon is the VAT priced into to cost of the item or do you see it separately?
No in the UK, when selling to the general public all taxes are expected to be INCLUDED and are not shown separately, so whether you are VAT registered or not will not make any difference with regards to your buyers.
What is the benefit of creating a UK company to sell on Amazon UK as opposed to selling as a USA entity?
The benefit of creating a UK company is that you don’t have to start paying VAT to Her Majesty Revenue 7 Customs (HMRC) until your revenue is over approximately $110,000 per year. As a USA company, you’ll be paying VAT every quarter whether you are over the threshold or not.
You may also get similar “threshold” VAT exemptions in all the other EU countries…so you don’t have to pay (until you reach the threshold) in Germany, Spain, France or Italy
Another potential benefit is that you can save money in currency conversions because you can transfer your UK funds using a more competitive FX company rather than Amazon exchanging your payments at their potentially higher margin rates when converting payments back.
One last point is protection, by having a separate business entity, should either one come under attack or you have any problems, you will always have the other entity still trading.
Seems like I'd just end up paying someone to form a UK entity just to avoid having to file for VAT.
The key reasons why you would use a UK company is to
a) Save a considerable amount of money just on Vat, so any cost is overwhelmingly out weighed by the benefit,
b) you would save money on FX payments when collecting fees, as all payments will remain in GBP and can be sent Internationally using a much more cost effective method than Amazons 3-4% charge and finally
c) by using a separate entity it will completely protect all your existing business interests, as should any entity come under threat, you will always have the other one to fall back on (or possibly sell should you become established and no longer wish to continue with it)
How quickly can all of this be set-up and do I have to visit the UK?
To register a new business and open you a suitable business account will take no more than a week once all your documents have been provided, so very quickly in real terms – PLUS you will NOT be required to visit the UK for any part of the process, meaning we can do everything remotely often with just copies of your identification documents.
Complete Business Insurance, offering full protection for every company trading within the UK.