Yes, to a separate/dedicated bank account
The simplest answer is no it does not have to be a ‘business’ bank account, that will depend on the individual bank’s criteria for bank accounts. However, the business should be operated from a separate/dedicated bank account from your personal finances. At the beginning of a new business venture it may be tempting to leave this aspect until a point when the level of financial transactions taking place would justify a separate bank account, this might not be the best of choices. As your business grows and expands, it’s extremely important to separate your business finances from your personal, day-to-day living. The beginning of a business can be a time where all your business transactions can be expenses. Ideally, you would open a separate bank account and pay in any funding received either via grants, loans or your investment. This clearly shows the capital being input into the company and then the expenses will also be clearly identified in the outgoings of the account.
It can seem like a cheaper option to use your personal account and save on bank fees of an additional account. Shop around for the current deals that the banks are offering and whilst the account may have a ‘free monthly charge’ you will also need to check whether there are any charges for cheque deposits, cash deposits, transfers etc What will you transactions be and what are the charges associated with them? Also consider that some business bank accounts do not provide ‘counter assistance’ within the branches. Any prospective business owner should treat their business as a business, regardless of whether it’s a part-time venture or not; while setting up a separate bank account can mean additional bank fees and expenses, you are will be saving yourself a lot of hassle in the future.
Expenses from personal accounts
Having business expenses from a personal bank account can be difficult to prove from normal expenses and you can find these are challenged more.
The time of the tax return Trying to get your taxes in order can be a pain at the best of times, let alone when you’re trying to navigate your way through your personal finance statements to find the business-related expenses. Personal transactions have to remain completely separate from business ones, which is bound to be more complicated if you’ve combined them. It’d also be easy to miss deductions if you’re searching through your personal current account. Whether it’s you, or an accountant, completing your tax return, tidier, well-kept records will ensure that you can claim back every penny. If you operate from a separate business account, you’ll be able to provide a clear audit trail.
If your business operates from its own, separate business account, you will be demonstrating complete professionalism too – definitely a plus point when working with clients and attracting new business. By shopping around for the best deal, you shouldn’t have to worry about spending extra each month on an account that isn’t completely suitable. Remember, your business is a business, no matter how big it is, and treating it as such will give it the best chance of flourishing.