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What you need to open an account

What I need to open a business or commercial account

Opening a business account with us is straightforward and hassle-free – especially if you're prepared. Having the correct documents will help make sure everything goes smoothly.

Documents you need to provide

To open a business account you need to bring proof of identity and address, and provide other documents depending on what type of business yours is – such as sole trader or limited company. It's all set out here. You also will need to prove that you are aged 18 or over.

Proof of identity and address

Everyone involved in opening the business account will need to provide proof of identity. This includes:

  • Account operators: You’ll need to provide proof to identify the principal business account operators as well as any other authorised signatories or nominated persons you want to add to the account.
  • Responsible individuals: You’ll need to bring proof to identify any beneficial owners of the business regardless of whether or not they will be an account operator. A beneficial owner and / or principle controller is anyone who is entitled to or who controls – either directly or indirectly – 25%  or more of the capital or profits of the business or 25% or more of the voting rights; or otherwise exercises control over the management of the business.
  • Company officials: You'll also need to bring proof to identify a minimum of two Company Officials (for limited companies two Directors) if two or more exist. If only one Company Official is appointed to the Company, we must identify the sole Company Official.

1. If you’re a UK, EEA or Swiss National

Proof of identity:

A valid passport / EU national ID card or UK driving licence is ideal. In most cases this will be all we need.


Proof of Address (1 or 2 depending on circumstances):

In case we’re unable to verify your name and address electronically, it would be useful to have two types of address verification handy.

2. If your nationality is outside the UK, EU, EEA or Switzerland

Proof of Identity:

Valid passport with your current visa (with at least 6 months left on it) or a Biometric Residence Permit.


Proof of Address (1 or 2 depending on circumstances):

In case we’re unable to verify your name and address electronically, it would be useful to have 2 types of address verification handy.

Documents to bring for your business type

The documents you need to bring with you to open an account depend on your type of business and how long it has been trading.

1. Sole traders

If you are a sole trader of a new, start-up or existing business you will need to provide one of the following documents:

  • an existing business bank statement (dated within the last 3 months)
  • a utility bill (dated within the last 3 months)
  • an invoice from a supplier (dated within the last 3 months)
  • a letter addressed to Metro Bank from an accountant acting on behalf of your business
  • HMRC correspondence (dated within the last 12 months)
  • business premises rates bill (dated within the last 12 months)

2. Partnerships

Partnerships, including limited partnerships that are new, start-up or existing business will need to provide one of the following documents:

  • an existing business bank statement (dated within the last 3 months)
  • a utility bill (dated within the last 3 months)
  • an invoice from a supplier (dated within the last 3 months)
  • a letter addressed to Metro Bank from an accountant acting on behalf of your business
  • HMRC correspondence (dated within the last 12 months)
  • business premises rates bill (dated within the last 12 months)

If you are a sole trader or a partnership and you can’t provide any of these documents we can arrange to visit your business premises to confirm the name and address. Your business address can’t be the same as your residential address. 

3. Limited Liability Partnerships

If you’re a limited liability partnership of a new / start-up business within the first 12 months of trading, we will, with your permission, carry out a credit reference agency search  If the results are satisfactory you won’t need to provide any further documents. Otherwise you will need to provide:

  • a Certificate of Incorporation, and
  • a registered members list to clarify the details of the members and their individual shareholding within the company

If you’re Limited Liability Partnership of an existing business we will, with your permission, carry out a credit reference agency search. 

4. Limited Companies

If you’re a Limited Company of a new / start-up business (within the first 12 months of trading) we will, with your agreement, carry out a credit reference agency search.  If the results are satisfactory you won’t need to provide any further documents. Otherwise you will need to provide:

  • a Certificate of Incorporation, and
  • if the Limited Company is using a “trading as” name, a copy of the Company Board Resolution (signed by 2 Directors or 1 Director and the appointed Company Secretary, or by the sole Director, if there is no appointed Company Secretary) authorising the use of the “trading as” name

If you are a Limited Company managing an existing business, we will, with your permission, carry out a credit reference agency search.  If the results are satisfactory you won’t need to provide any further documents.

If the Limited Company is using a “trading as” name, we will also need a copy of the Company Board Resolution (signed by 2 Directors or 1 Director and the appointed Company Secretary, or by the sole Director, if there is no appointed Company Secretary) authorising the use of the “trading as” name. 

5. Community accounts for clubs, societies and charities

If you want to open a Community Account for a new / start-up or existing charity you will need:

Unregistered Charity: Minutes of the Meeting and Constitution documents
Registered Charity: Minutes of the Meeting and Charity Commission number
Registered and Limited Charity: Charity Commission number and Company Registration number
Club/Society/Association: Minutes of the Meeting and Constitution documents. If there are no Constitution documents available a letter on headed paper confirming the same information is acceptable.

Minutes of the Meeting to confirm:

  • An account is to be opened with Metro Bank in the name of the organisation
  • Who the Key Officials are (Chairperson/Treasurer/Secretary)
  • Who the signatories of the account will be and the signing rules for the account
  • The Minutes of the Meeting must be signed by two Key Officials, where there are two or more

Constitution documents to confirm:

  • What the organisation has been setup to do
  • Who the appointed Board/Committee members are
  • Who the Key Officials are (Chairperson/Treasurer/Secretary)