Having a good business account is essential for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore. Opening a business bank account can help you keep your business accounts separate from your personal finances, and this offers endless benefits.
From a tax and accounting software viewpoint, you’ll be able to better monitor your business and personal finances, as well as your cash flow. But a business bank account can also assist you with business growth, payroll transactions, paying bills without checks and much more if you choose the right digital account to meet your needs.
In this article, 1 Fullerton Credit explores the best business and corporate accounts currently on the market, helping you pin down the perfect business current account for you.
The Different Business Bank Account Options Available
With lots of different kinds of business banking accounts on the market, you’ll first need to decide which of the following is most suitable for you:
- Business checking accounts
- Business savings accounts
- Business growth account
- Multi currency account options
- Specialized accounts for SMEs and startups
You should keep in mind that the type of business you own – i.e., whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership or PLC, could affect your eligibility to certain types of business account. What’s more, most accounts will have a minimum deposit and minimum balance requirement which you’ll need to meet and/or maintain to avoid being hit by an account fee – but more on this later.
Top Benefits of Having a Business Bank Account
Setting up a business bank account online can afford you several important benefits, such as:
1. More Streamlined Payroll Transactions
Running payroll via a business bank account is much smoother. Some providers even offer waivers on bulk payroll fees with certain payment services.
2. Smoother Local and International Transfers
Making international transfers and monitoring your account online is super-straightforward with business bank accounts.
3. Easy-to-Use Online Banking Tools
Simple online tools make it easy to keep on top of your cash flow, manage your money and take care of financial operations of all kinds online.
4. More Straightforward Payments
Whether it be settling bills without checks or paying suppliers and shareholders, business banking accounts allow you to do everything quickly and easily in one place.
5. Multi Currency Account Potential
Some providers offer a business multi currency account where you can hold Singapore Dollars and other currencies at the same time – which is great for international transfers and globally-minded entrepreneurs.
Things to Look for in a Business Account
When comparing business accounts to find a perfect fit, you should look out for the following:
1. Eligibility Terms That Suit You
Every bank has its own eligibility criteria. Perhaps you’ll need to own a Singapore-registered business, or be a citizen or Permanent Resident (PR), for example.
2. An Appropriate Fall Below Fee and Minimum Monthly Balance
Almost every business account sets a minimum monthly balance that you’ll need to maintain each month to avoid paying common a monthly fee known in the industry as a “fall below fee”. If you’re lucky, you might find an account that offers temporary or permanent fee waivers.
3. Fairness with Other Account Fee Charges
On top of fall below fees, other monthly account fees and annual fee charges apply to most business bank accounts. Check the small print and shop around for the best deal – and try to avoid those accounts that charge too many hidden fees.
4. Attractive Mobile Banking and Online Banking Features
The best business banking accounts should have a lot to offer in terms of features, so compare the market to pin down the online tools you desire most, whether that be invoice processing perks or easy-to-use apps.
5. What Kind of Minimum Initial Deposit is Required?
You’ll pretty much always need to pay a minimum initial deposit to set up business accounts – so you should look for those offering a low minimum deposit amount compared to competitors if you’re worried about affordability here.
5 Best Business Bank Accounts in Singapore
Our favorite business bank accounts in Singapore are the OCBC Business Growth Account, the DBS Business Multi Currency Account, the Maybank FlexiBiz Account, the UOB eBusiness Account and the CIMB BusinessGO Lite. Let’s review how these business accounts compare against each other.
|Suitable For||Minimum Initial Deposit||Minimum Balance Requirement||Fall Below Fees||Top Account Benefits|
|Startups and entrepreneurs||$1,000||$1,000||$15||
|Upscaling SMEs and new businesses||N/A||N/A||N/A||
|New startups and business entrepreneur customers||$1,000||$5,000 daily balance requirement||Fall below fee waiver for first 12 months||
|Partnership, sole proprietorship, and PLC SMEs||N/A||N/A||N/A||
As you can clearly see in the table above, different accounts commonly come with different benefits, which is why you should look out for those features that will be most beneficial to you when comparing the market.
Having no minimum initial deposit requirement or fall below fee can prove useful to newer businesses and startups with unpredictable cash flow, while opting for a multi currency account might be a better choice for companies that do a lot of business internationally. Always consider your unique needs when comparing the market.
Opening a Business Bank Account – The Process Explained
The process you’ll need to follow to open a business account or corporate accounts in Singapore is usually relatively straightforward, especially at a time when many providers are offering instant account opening via online-only applications.
Naturally, the steps you’ll need to take will vary a little from one bank to another. That said, you will generally need to:
- Apply online via the bank’s direct website
- Upload images of the personal documents required
- Potentially visit the bank in-person for document checks
Under most circumstances, you will need to provide evidence of the following, too:
- Proof of address
- Proof of ID (sometimes accompanied by a photo/selfie)
- Additional proof of ID for other business directors or company shareholders
- Business Certificate of Shareholding
- Business Constitution of Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Board resolution (unless your business is a sole proprietorship)
Before submitting any online applications, you should check that you 100% fulfil the eligibility criteria for your preferred business account. Criteria can vary from bank to bank and account to account, but fortunately, there are so many options on the market you should have no trouble finding a business account for your unique use case.
How to Manage your Finances More Effectively with a Business Account
A good business account should give you greater control over your cash flow and make it easy for you to manage your company’s finances. Here are some tips on how to use your account more effectively to keep your business financially fighting fit:
1. Consider Linking Your Bank Account with Accounting Software
Certain cloud accounting applications can be integrated with business bank accounts to seamlessly assist you with managing bills and payroll and issuing corporate expense cards.
2. Use Multi Currency Account Products for International Payments
Accounts offering you the ability to hold money in multiple currencies can be used to your advantage when making and receiving international payments. You might even be able to beat overblown conversion fees.
3. Manage Your Money More Effectively with Analytics Tools
The best accounts should come combined with a digital business banking platform that enables you to use analytics tools and digital business solutions to monitor income and expenditure more closely.
4. Take Advantage of Fee Waivers
All bank accounts are subject to fees, but shopping around for business bank accounts can help you to better manage your money by ensuring you lock-in an account with a low initial deposit and limited fall below fee and other charges.
5. Keep Track of Cash Flow
Every business owner can benefit by utilizing all the digital business solutions available via their account to better monitor their cash flow. These tools should help you initiate payments and collections online more efficiently, too.
Frequently Asked Questions About Business Entrepreneur Accounts
How Quickly Can I Open a Bank Account for My Business?
This will depend on the terms and conditions set by your preferred lender. Many banks and financial institutions will allow you to apply for an account online in minutes, while others might require you to attend one of their branches in-person for document checks.
What Fees Will I Be Charged by My Bank?
Almost all banks charge fees on business bank accounts. Fall below fee charges are the most common, but you might also need to pay an annual or monthly account fee, monthly maintenance fees, over-the-counter fees, and cheque book fees – so always check your provider’s small print. There can be a lot of variation in fee prices between providers.
What Level of Monthly Maintenance Fee is Considered Too High?
Any bank that charges you a monthly maintenance fee shouldn’t overdo it. You can usually expect to pay a monthly account fee of around $1 to $20 with most providers (or $12 to $240 per year if paying annually). Banks charging a higher monthly maintenance fee than this might be best avoided – always shop around for the best deal.
What Kind of Overdraft Charges do Banks Hit Customers With?
If your account becomes overdrawn, there’s a chance you’ll need to pay overdraft fees or charges. These usually start at around $20 to $50 per month incidentally, or your bank might charge you a percentage amount of what you have overdrawn, usually at around 4 to 5%.
Conclusion – Find the Right Business Bank Account for You Today
Opening a business account is essential for all Singaporean business owners. But there’s a lot to think about when it comes to pinning down a suitable business banking account for your unique needs. Keep in mind that:
- Business bank accounts offer tons of great benefits – from helping you to separate business and personal transactions, to giving you more control over your cash flow and enabling you to take advantage of great online banking features.
- There are loads of different types of business account on the market – eligibility criteria can vary and it’s important to shop around for a business growth account that’s both available to you and properly meets your business’ needs.
- You ought to look out for a business account that offers features that will be beneficial to you – e.g., find an account with good terms on international payments or multiple currencies if you run an international business. Licensed moneylender 1 Fullerton Credit likes to keep Singaporeans up to date with the latest financial info. We can also provide you fast approval business loan if your business needs a financial boost. Apply online now and get up to S$200,000 funding today.