Ulster Bank Business Account: What you should know

Remay Villaester (May)

If you’re searching the market for a new business bank account, you’re likely to come across Ulster Bank.

Owned by the Natwest Group, Ulster is one of the major banks operating across Ireland and Northern Ireland. It has a choice of business bank accounts, including a dedicated account for start-up businesses.¹

Ulster Bank claims to have customers in most sectors, so can offer specialist expertise and support if you need it. If you meet certain eligibility criteria, you’ll even get your own dedicated Relationship Manager when banking with Ulster.¹

In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about Ulster Bank business accounts, from the features to the fees.

We’ll also show you how a multi-currency account could save you money on international transactions.

What kind of business bank account does Ulster offer?

There are two main types of Ulster Bank business accounts to choose from – the Business Bank Account and Startup Business Current Account.

However, there is also a dedicated account for not-for-profit organisations

Business Bank Account²

This everyday business current account offers:

  • Access to Anytime Banking, including through the Ulster Bank app
  • Monthly statements
  • Cheque Book and Credit Book
  • FreeAgent accounting software packaged included free of charge
  • Visa Debit Card
  • Access to Bankline
  • International Payments

You can apply for this account online or using the Current Account Switching Service. Your business will need to be registered in Northern Ireland and have an annual turnover of under £2 million.

Startup Business Current Account³

This Ulster account offers all the same benefits as its standard business current account, including free access to FreeAgent accounting software. But there are also a few extra perks designed to help brand new companies to get off the ground. This includes no transaction fees for 18 months, which is good news for your cash flow.

Who can open a startup business account with Ulster Bank? As you’d expect, there are strict eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet. Your business will need to be less than a year old, have an annual turnover of less than £1 million and be registered in Northern Ireland.

Does Ulster offer a business debit/credit card?

The Business Bank Account with Ulster Bank comes with a Visa Debit Card², but you’ll need to register for one with the Startup account. However, you can do this at the same time as opening your new bank account.³

You can also apply for the Ulster Bank OneCard credit card. This has the following features:⁴

  • Interest-free credit on purchases for 37 days (subject to conditions)
  • Insurance policies included - Travel Accident Insurance and Assistance, and Corporate Liability Waiver Insurance
  • Annual fee of £32 per cardholder
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Can you make international payments with Ulster?

You can send and receive money internationally using your Ulster Bank business account, but bear in mind that fees may apply. We’ll cover the standard charges for international transfers in the next section.

Another thing to think about with international payments is the exchange rate used for currency conversions. This can vary depending on the provider, but when using banks there is likely to be a mark-up added. This gives you an unfavourable rate and could make your transfer more expensive overall.

How much does it cost to have an Ulster business account?

We’ve covered the features on offer with different Ulster Bank business accounts, but what about the fees? If there are services your business relies on every day, you’ll need to make sure they won’t cost you a fortune.

Here are the main fees and charges with Ulster Bank for business customers⁵. This covers both standard and start-up business accounts.

Service or transaction type Fee
Account maintenance fee £8 per quarter
Cash and cheque deposits £0.70 per £100 for cash£0.40 per cheque
Electronic payments within the UK (free for 18 months for Startup Business Current Accounts) £0.43 per Direct Debit£0.58 per Standing Order
International transfers - sending⁶ £25 (for payments sent in GBP)
International transfers - receiving⁶ £0 to £6 (depending on currency)
Business debit card transactions⁶ Free to 2.65% (Non-Sterling Transaction Fee)

How to save money on international payments

transferwise borderless account

International transfers with banks can often be expensive and complicated. You may end up losing money on hidden fees or an awful exchange rate, which can make your transfers more costly than they need to be.

But banks aren’t the only option for sending money abroad. By opening a Wise Business Borderless account you can start sending money worldwide for low fees and always at the mid-market exchange rate. This means a fair rate without the mark-up.

You can hold 55+ currencies in your account at once, and only pay tiny fees for converting currencies. You can switch between them as and when you need to.

There’s a whole suite of other handy tools at your fingertips with Wise too. For example, a Wise debit Mastercard and integration with accounting software such as Xero and Quickbooks. Plus, a choice of local bank details so you can get paid by clients in other countries in their own currencies.

Get a multi-currency account

If your company is registered in Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank could be a good option for managing your everyday business transactions. It’s a particularly attractive option for startups wanting to save money on everyday transactions.

After reading this guide, you should have a handle on the account types and banking services available with Ulster. And crucially, you’ll know all about how much an Ulster Bank business account could cost you.

Remember – it pays to take your time when researching business bank accounts. Scrutinise the small print and choose carefully, to find a bank or payments solution that suits the needs of your business. Good luck!

Sources used:

  1. Ulster Bank Website - Business account
  2. Ulster Bank website
  3. Ulster Bank website
  4. Ulster Bank website
  5. Ulster Bank business account fees
  6. Ulster Bank business account fees

Sources checked on 24-January 2021.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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