In the UK, small and medium business are entrepreneurs encouraged to open a business bank account to use for purely business-related financial transactions. A common cause of financial mismanagement among inexperienced business owners is when they mix business funds with personal funds; oftentimes using money that’s supposed to go to suppliers and employees. Yet at the end of the day, there is no separation of personal or business funds if a single proprietor needs to pay both business and personal obligations.
Why Single Proprietors are Not Required to Maintain a Business Bank Account
Unlike other business structures like Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Corporations, a sole proprietor has no separate business identity. Although a business trade name is in use, the personal funds and assets of a solo business owner may be applied to settle any liability, loan, credit or tax obligation related to his business. In the same way, the personal funds or assets of a business owner can be used to settle any liability or debt, even if it’s not connected or related to a business.
A separate bank account as far as a sole proprietor is concerned, is chiefly for best practice purposes. Maintaining a business bank account makes monitoring of incoming and outgoing funds a lot easier.
In contrast, the partners of an LLC or stockholders of a corporation are not personally held liable for any financial obligations of a business in the event a company becomes bankrupt. However, any funds collected from receivables and realized from liquidating business assets will be used first, in paying off obligations to external creditors, the IRS. employees, bondholders and preferred stock owners.
Only after obligations have been paid that partners or stockholders will be entitled to receive a share of whatever funds remain and in proportion to the size of their investment. This denotes that if the funds derived from liquidation proceedings are not sufficient, the personal funds and assets of partners and investors are shielded from claims of payment by business creditors.
Choosing the Right Bank
Speaking of bankruptcy, it’s also important to choose the most reliable bank, not only in terms of service but also in terms of financial soundness. Have awareness that banks are basically funded by deposits placed by bank clients, as well as by remittances received on behalf of clients who are beneficiaries of other financial institutions.
That being the case, banks collect fees for banking services rendered in order to earn income. Moreover, banks are also authorized to lend out funds to other depositors in order to earn interest income. However, bank officers and credit committees must apply due diligence in doing so, to ensure repayment or to at least, have quality collaterals to foreclose and sell as fallbacks.
In knowing these, you must also choose a bank wisely. If a bank does not perform well in its lending and income-generating activities, it’s an indication that it might not be the best place in which to deposit your business funds.
By the way, it’s best to know bank opening times, as banks do not have uniform banking hours and cut-off times for receiving check deposits for the day.