bankIt’s often quickest and easiest to arrange an appointment with your own personal bankers to set up a business account. This avoids some of the hassles associated with money launder regulations. Any company officer not already known to the bank will need to visit the branch personally and take I.D. documents with them. For limited companies the bank will want to see the certificate of incorporation and may want copies of memorandum and articles of association.

Be careful of introductory offers that only last for the first year: Often high street banks have high monthly charges and transaction fees, and pay virtually no interest on business bank accounts.

Alternatively, we can put you in contact with specialist business bankers who usually make no monthly transaction charges and provide an excellent level of service and customer – you’ll need a clean credit history though.

Most banks offer their business customers a range of services such as telephone banking and Internet banking. These methods are ideal for paying business costs such as salary, expenses reimbursements, PAYE, Corporation Tax and VAT - avoiding the need to write out and post manual cheques. Paying electronically is encouraged by HMRC, who have recently extended the due date for electronic VAT payments by 7 days as an incentive to pay this way.

Payments for regular business costs such as mobile phones, Internet, accounting fees, office rent and rate, etc are best paid straight from the business bank account. The invoices from suppliers should be addressed to the business and include no personal use items. Direct debits and standing orders are usually the simplest method of payment.

For larger one off items such as laptops or office equipment we’d advise you continue paying by company cheque. If you’re in any doubt speak to your accounts team first.

It’s tempting to order a cash card or debit card for your business bank account- a few banks even automatically issue them. So many small business owners get into a mess with company cards, and if your wages and expenses are being paid correctly you really shouldn’t need one. Our advice is to avoid the temptation and don’t order one.... really.

Best practice: Ensure you specify with your bank that you wish to receive bank statements made up to the end of each month.No matter what the bank payment methods you use get a full VAT receipt, which includes your business name, whenever it is practical to do so