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Every business owner, from the newest of sole traders through to the largest of limited liability companies, needs a business account to manage their finances. Having separate personal and business accounts is essential, and makes it far easier to sort out your accounting and tax, as well as making sure you keep track of your business profits.
St George bank has a range of bank accounts to suit different types of business. When you’re deciding which account will work for you, take a look at business bank accounts from traditional providers, as well as products from online competitors such as Wise Business. With generally lower overheads, these digital options may be able to offer a fast and convenient service for less - leaving you with more money to reinvest in growing your business.
More on that topic in a moment. First, let’s review the accounts available from St George bank.
St George offers a few different business account products, for both day to day banking and for businesses who want to invest and earn interest on their balance.
Check out the overview below, and the fee information which is coming up a little later, to help you decide which might suit you. Don’t forget to compare the accounts on offer here with those available from modern competitors like Wise Business.
This is an everyday transaction account, and will let you access your money via internet and mobile banking, and in branch services as needed. You’ll also get a linked bank card to make it easier to spend. There’s an account fee of $10 a month, which may be waived subject to hitting a minimum balance of $100,000. You can get up to 30 simple transactions fee free every month, after which there are various transaction fees which we will cover a bit later.
The Business Cheque Account Plus is an interest bearing account which comes with many of the same features as the Freedom Business Account. In this case, the monthly fee is $20, unless you have a commercial overdraft with St George. You’ll get up to 70 fee free transactions for this price. Full details - and all the small print - is available online.
This account offers competitive interest rates, but doesn’t come with a debit card or cheque book. Instead you’ll nominate a linked bank account to pay funds in and out of this account. It’s not intended to be a transaction account, rather a place to hold excess business funds and earn interest.
You’ll be able to open an account with St George if you have an Australian registered business, including:
- Sole Traders
You must also be 18 or older, and currently resident in Australia.
Existing St George bank customers may be able to open an account online in just a few minutes. However, for other customers, you’ll need to take a few steps to prove your identity and get up and running.
There’s a helpful tool available online which lets you pull up a checklist of the documents you need to apply, based on the account you want to open, and your company structure. For example, if you’re a sole trader you will need:
- Your name and date of birth
- Your ABN
- Your own full residential address, and the registered address of your business if different
- Full business name
- Foreign tax identification number if relevant
Find the checklist for your situation on the St George website.
Depending on which account you decide to open, you’ll have some fees to think about. Here are some of the key costs to consider when you’re deciding which account might work for you - get the full details in the account terms and conditions.
|Open an account
|Monthly maintenance fee
|Freedom Business Account - $10, or a $100,000 minimum monthly balance Business Cheque Account Plus - $20 Business Access Saver - $0
|Freedom Business Account - 30 free basic transactions, then a fee of $0.50 for cheque services, and $1 for branch assisted transactions will apply Business Cheque Account Plus - 70 free basic transactions, then a fee of $0.50 for cheque services, and $1 for branch assisted transactions will apply Business Access Saver - 4 staff assisted deposits for free, then $3 per transaction
|Overseas ATM use (if available)
|Overseas periodical payment
|$10 + telegraphic transfer fees of $10 - $20 + overseas bank charges
|Inward international payment
|$15 - $38 + overseas bank charges
|Foreign currency conversion fee
|3% of the transaction value
If you’re planning on making or receiving regular international business transfers - to pay suppliers, or receive payments from customers based overseas, for example - you may not get the best deal possible through St George.
See if you might get cheaper international transactions by opening a borderless account from Wise Business. You’ll be able to hold your money in multiple currencies, and receive inward payments for free in Australian, US andNew Zealand dollars, euros and British pounds. You can then switch your money to whatever currency you need, when you need it, using the Google exchange rate and for just a small transparent fee.
Check out the pricing and coverage for the Wise borderless account for business. After all, you want to save time, as well as money, when running your business.
You can call the business specialists at St George bank on the number listed online, or check out the online FAQ for answers to many common questions.
When you’re looking for a business bank account, the number of options available can be somewhat overwhelming. It helps to think carefully about the type of transactions you’ll regularly make, and the features which are really important to you. Consider the way you use your account now, and also any changes you may make in future as your business grows. This is particularly important if you are expecting to develop a global footprint, as international transactions can prove costly with traditional banks - and these high charges may eat into your profits unnecessarily.
Check out the options available from the main big banks, but also remember to take a look at the digital alternatives such as the borderless account from Wise Business. You might just find that the best bank account for your business isn’t from a bank at all.
Sources correct as of 21 August 2019
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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