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How to Open a Business Bank Account in Australia (2024)

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Both residents and non-residents can open business bank accounts in Australia, provided their business is registered in Australia. Nevertheless, the verification process for non-residents is more complex.

Required documents include, but are not limited to, business registration details, ABN/ACN, proof of address, and identification documents for all owners or partners.

Online business account opening is often an option for sole traders and a single-director company. For companies with multiple directors, verification processes require an in-person visit to a bank branch.

If you are starting a business or looking to expand to Australia, you'll likely need to set up a business bank account. 

This guide will cover everything you need to know about opening a business bank account in Australia, including required documents, the best banks, the application and verification process, timeframes, and costs.

Which Entities Need a Business Bank Account in Australia? 

According to, If you want to operate a business in Australia as a partnership, company, or trust, you must have a dedicated business account for tax purposes.

However, sole traders and freelancers are not mandated to have a business bank account. Nevertheless, it's highly advisable to do so becauseeeping personal and business finances separate will facilitate accurate tax reporting and accounting practices.

Another reason is that major Australian banks provide higher daily payment limits and co-signatory authorisation for business accounts. 

With that being said, if you still want to use a single account for personal and business purposes, you must make sure that you differentiate personal expenses from business expenses in your cash book.

To search and confirm your business entities in Australia, use the Australian Business Register (ABR) Lookup.

🔍 Tip: Discover more in this article detailing why it's crucial to maintain separate personal and business accounts, regardless of your business entities.

Who Can Open a Business Bank Account in Australia? 

The fundamental requirement is for the applicant to be 18 years old or above and for the business to be registered in Australia, regardless of whether the owners are residents or non-residents. 

Are Non-Residents Eligible? 

Non-residents may be eligible depending on the specific bank's policies. However, as mentioned earlier, the business must be registered in Australia.
Non-citizens will also need to meet specific visa requirements designated by a state or territory government, including the Business Innovation and Investment Visa or the permanent Business Talent Visa.

The application and verification process for a non-resident's business bank account may also be more complicated than for a resident. 

What Documents Are Needed to Open a Business Bank Account in Australia

Required information and documents vary by bank and the type of business entities, but the fundamentals include the following:

Information Details
Business Name • Full business name as registered with ASIC 
• Full company legal name, if applicable
Trading names, if applicable 
For sole traders: Full name under which the business operates if not registered
Business Address Proof of address, e.g., utility bills or lease agreements
Nature of Business and Industry Description of business activities and industry sector
Sources of Wealth  Description of the sources of your wealth and their countries of origin.
Australian Business Number (ABN), if applicable An 11-digit identifier issued by the Australian Business Register (ABR), which is managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). 
Required for registered businesses in Australia
Australian Company Number (ACN), if applicable A 9-digit identifier for businesses registered as a company issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN), if applicable A 9-digit identifier similar to an ACN, issued for foreign companies and entities operating in Australia. 
Business Tax Details This includes but is not limited to

• Business tax filing number 
• Tax residency status, including whether your business is recognised as a tax resident of another country.
Beneficial Owners or Partners Information Information and identification documents of all the beneficial owners or partners, including but not limited to

• Full name 
• Residential address 
Date of birth 
Country(ies) of citizenship 
Tax residency status 
Tax identification number 
Identification documents (e.g., passport and driver's license)

The Australian government has adopted a system known as the "100-point check" to authenticate identification documents, a practice followed by many institutions across the country, including banks. 

This system assigns a specific point to documents. For example, a passport or birth certificate carries 70 points, while a driver’s license carries 40 points. To successfully verify identification, a total of 100 points is required. Further information and a full list can be found in Australia’s 100 points of identification guideline.

You should note that while the point system is widely used, the specifics may vary depending on the institution and the purpose of the identification check. Major Australian banks provide an extensive checklist detailing the required documents for each type of business entity and a list of accepted identity documents. 

It's best to check with your preferred bank’s website for comprehensive information.

🔍 Tip: A sole trader may or may not have an ABN. Banks have different policies regarding whether sole traders without an ABN can open an account.

How to Open a Business Bank Account in Australia

Now that we have an overview, let's explore the step-by-step process for opening a business bank account in Australia.

Step 1: Choose Your Australian Bank 

The first step is to select the bank with features and costs that align with your business's nature. 

When it comes to the best bank for a business account, the four prominent banks in Australia, known as the "big four,” are the popular options to consider:

  • Commonwealth Bank: A leading Australian multinational bank offering online banking solutions, digital tools, and EFTPOS terminals. Ideal for businesses focused on accepting online payments.
  • Westpac: Another prominent Australian multinational bank, considered Australia's oldest banking institution. Standout features include exclusive partner offers and the EFTPOS Air mobile app.
  • National Australia Bank (NAB): NAB is Australia’s largest business lender, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Statistics February 2024. The bank offers a variety of business accounts, feature-packed cards, and comprehensive business banking support tailored to businesses of all sizes.
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ): Focused on banking and financial products, ANZ serves retail and business customers across nearly 30 markets. Their standout feature is their support for small business banking.

All the mentioned banks provide free electronic transactions and business debit cards. To determine which bank suits your business best, you can explore each business product in detail through various channels, including their websites, phone customer service, or visiting a branch.

Another strategy is to inquire about introductory bonuses when opening a new account.

💡 Tip: All major Australian banks offer “business transaction accounts” for everyday transactions, “business savings accounts” for earning interest, and “specialised business accounts” for industry-specific needs or foreign currency transactions.

Step 2: Submit Required Information and Documents

Once you have made your selection, the next step is to determine your eligibility and gather the necessary information and documents for submission. 

The bank should provide an application form and a clear list of the necessary documents, specifying whether originals or certified copies are required. Many banks list these details on their websites.

You can either submit the documents online or at a branch. 

Step 3: Go Through Verification Process

After the bank reviews your documents, they will request verification of identity, documentation, or certain business information. You may have the option to verify online or be required to visit a branch. 

It is common for banks to require a physical visit at a branch for businesses with complex structures involving multiple signatories, partners, or directors. 

Step 4: Activate Your Account 

If approved, you should be provided with your account details. You may be required to activate it by depositing a small amount of funds into the account.

Is It Possible to Open a Business Bank Account in Australia Online?

Yes, it is possible to open a business bank account online in Australia, but the possibility, process, and eligibility criteria vary among banks.

Most banks allow you to start the application process online, but verification is still necessary at a physical branch. 

Some banks allow you to complete the entire process online, subject to specific eligibility criteria. For instance, you may need to be an existing customer with an Australian passport or address. 

Types of businesses also matter; while sole traders can often open an account entirely online, partnerships or companies with multiple directors often need to visit a branch.

Here's a quick look at the eligibility requirements for online business bank account openings with prominent banks:

  • Commonwealth Bank: CommBank enables online account openings for sole traders, Australian private companies, SMSFs, and partnerships with up to four individuals. New customers with businesses not falling under these categories must open their accounts in-branch.
  • Westpac: Westpac provides online account openings for existing business customers, sole traders, and single-director companies operating in Australia with an Australian address. Other entities and accounts requiring multiple signatories need an in-branch ID check.
  • National Australia Bank (NAB): National Australia Bank (NAB) allows online account openings for sole traders and Australian private companies with up to two directors, provided the applicant holds an Australian passport, and the directors possess valid ABNs/ACNs and address details. 
  • ANZ: ANZ allows online account applications for sole traders and single-director companies based in Australia, subject to ANZ's ID verification process.

How Long Does It Take to Open a Business Bank Account in Australia?

The time it takes to open a business bank account in Australia can range from hours to weeks and varies depending on the complexity of the business.

For example, completing the application may take only 8 - 15 minutes. However, the verification process can vary in duration depending on factors such as the industry, the intricacy of the business structure, and the number of shareholders. This process takes a few days or, in some cases, weeks.

For businesses with minimal complexity, such as sole traders, the verification process may take significantly less time, such as within 24 hours. 

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Business Bank Account in Australia?

Opening a business bank account in Australia usually costs zero or a minimal amount, as most Australian banks waive the setup fee. Some banks may request a small initial deposit to activate the account. 

Below are the other banking fees and their typical amounts:

  • Setup Fee: Generally free
  • Monthly Fee: Generally waived for online-only transaction accounts, or approximately AUD 10 per month for accounts requiring branch assistance
  • Assisted Transactions In-Branch: AUD 2.50 - AUD 5 per transaction
  • Cheque or Quick Cash Deposit: AUD 5 - AUD 10
  • Cheque Processing Fee: AUD 0.60 - AUD 1
  • ATM: Free for local ATMs and AUD 2 - AUD 3 for international ATMs.
  • International Transaction Fee: AUD 20 - AUD 32 or 3% - 5% of the amount

Best Business Accounts in Australia in 2024

  Best For Eligibility
Combank logo Small businesses seeking seamless integration with diverse payment platforms. Sole trader, company, partnership, SMSF, trust, association
Westpac logo Businesses that prioritise innovative mobile payment solutions, with Westpac’s EFTPOS Air Mobile standing out as one of the key products. Sole trader, company, partnership, association, SMSF, trust, non-profit

Plus, entities must operate in Australia with an Australian address.
NAB logo Businesses of all sizes looking for tailored lending options and extensive support from a business lender.  Sole trader,  Australian private company, partnership, trust
Plus, an applicant needs to be an Australian resident for tax purposes.
ANZ logo SMEs looking for personalised small business banking support and flexible financing options, including optional overdrafts. Sole trader, partnership, company, trust, association, co-operative

🔍 Tip: Explore in detail the top business bank account options in Australia.


Can non-residents open an Australian business bank account?

Yes, non-residents can open an Australian business bank account. However, the specific eligibility varies between banks. Typically, the business must be registered in Australia with an Australian address.

The verification process is also more involved than that of residents. 

Can I open a business bank account in Australia online?


What documents are needed for an Australian business bank account?


Do I need an Australian address for a business bank account in Australia?


Do I need an ABN to open a business bank account in Australia?


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