Wise Business Account Requirements - How to open an account in the UK

Paola Faben Oliveira

The Wise Business account - formerly the Transferwise Business account - allows UK entrepreneurs, freelancers and business owners to hold 40+ currencies, get paid by customers overseas fee free, and access intuitive, low cost international features.

If you’re looking for ways to grow your business beyond borders, this Wise business account review covers all you need to know.

📝 Table of contents:

Is Wise a bank?

Wise is not a bank. In the UK, Wise is licensed as an Electronic Money Institution, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), much like banks are. Plus, because it's a global business, Wise is also overseen by a range of regulatory agencies around the world.

As a licensed financial service provider, Wise follows strict rules to keep customers and their money safe. That includes safeguarding customer funds in top tier banks and quality liquid assets, undertaking regular audits and holding adequate capital reserves. And as a digitally native business, Wise was built around robust online security features including manual and automated processes which run 24-7 to protect customers from fraud.

💡 Learn more about how Wise keeps UK business customers safe in this full guide

Wise Business account

As soon as you need to send or receive money on behalf of your business it’s important to open a dedicated UK business bank account. Having a separate business account is legally required for some business entity types - but even if it’s not mandatory for your company it’s a smart way to keep your own and your business finances separate.

Opening a Wise Business account is straightforward and can be done entirely online or in-app. You’ll need to register with some personal and business information, set up security, and upload some documents for verification.

The exact paperwork needed depends on your entity type - but the verification process is an important step in keeping Wise customers safe and complying with legal requirements. The good news is that all you’ll need to do is snap quality images of the documents needed right from your phone, to upload them instantly. If you don’t have what you need to hand you can pause the process, save and come back to it - and you can always connect with the Wise support team if you need help.

Wise Business account requirements

To open a Wise Business account you’ll need to download the Wise app or head directly to the sign up page. Confirm you’re opening an account for your business, and simply follow the prompts to add the details and documents needed.

Here’s what’s needed to open a Wise Business account for your UK incorporated business¹:

  • Personal and contact details of the account representative
  • Business name, entity type, registration number and sector
  • Business registered address and trading address if different
  • Information about the company’s directors

You’ll also need to upload some documents:

  • Photo ID and proof of address for the account representative
  • Business documents - which vary based on entity type

Additional information and supporting documents may be required, depending on the application details and type of business entity. You can expect to be asked to fill:

  • Business category - sector or activity field
  • Account purpose
  • Business website
  • Questions about business description or industry, depending on the business category

Once you’ve uploaded everything that’s needed the Wise team will get to work verifying your account, which can be done quickly, or at least within a day or two.

If you don't have a company registered in the UK yet you can check Wise Business company formation tool, where you can create a limited company in the UK and open a Wise Business multi-currency account in one go.

Open Wise Business Account

Opening a Wise Business account is a straightforward process with a fully digital application, verification and on-boarding.

Once you have a Wise account for your UK business, you’ll get access to these features to help you save time and money as you manage your finances across borders:

  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies
  • Get local bank details for 10 currencies to receive payments fee free
  • Send money with low fees from 0.41%, to 80+ countries
  • Currency exchange which uses the mid-market exchange rate whenever you send or spend money
  • Order international debit and expense cards for you and your team
  • Add and manage user permissions to give your team the tools they need to do their jobs
  • Send batch payments to up to 1,000 accounts at a time
  • Cloud accounting integrations

With Wise Business you can even earn a return on the money you hold in multiple currencies. With Wise Interest, you can get a 4.82% variable rate on your GBP balance held in your Wise Business multi-currency account.

Capital at risk. Current rates do not guarantee future growth.

Variable rate is based on 7 day performance as of 10 Aug 2023. This fund has returned an 0.93% annual average over the last 5 years, excluding Wise and fund manager fees. See full 5 year past performance of funds

meet wise interest!

Wise Business account fees

So what does it cost? Wise values transparency, so you’ll always see the costs of any transaction before you confirm - no hidden fees and no bundled charges which can be confusing to unpick. Here’s a look at the key Wise Business account charges you’ll need to know about:

ServiceWise Business fee²
Open account45 GBP one time fee
Order a Wise debit or expense card3 GBP one time fee
ATM withdrawal2 withdrawals to 200 GBP/month fee free

0.5 GBP + 1.75% after that

Spend with Wise debit or expense cardFree to spend currencies you hold

Currency conversion from 0.41% where needed

Send a payment overseasFrom 0.41%
Convert currenciesFrom 0.41%
Get paid from abroadFree to receive payments in 10 currencies with local bank details

Whether you’re starting up, scaling up, or already running a larger business, a Wise Business account can help you connect to customers, suppliers and contractors overseas conveniently and with low, transparent fees. With this guide to hand you have all you need to get started registering your Wise Business account online or in app today.

Get started with Wise Business

Sources and information:

  1. Verification: a)This list is for information purposes only and is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all of the items that Wise may request to verify a customer's identity. b) Eligibility is subject to verification of customers identity c) Wise may request additional documents to verify a customer's identity
  2. Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

Information up to date on April 10, 2023

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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