How to apply for Starling bank account

The winner of 2021 British Bank Awards by Smart Money People – Starling bank – offers the best business banking accounts and current accounts, supplemented with an award-winning banking app. Here’s how to become one of its customers

Starling

How to apply for Starling bank account. Source: facebook.com

Starling is available to all UK residents over 16; although you can remain a tax resident in another country and be of any nationality. You’ll need a valid government-issued photo ID document to open an account. Besides, you must have a valid UK mobile number since the whole registration process is based on that.

This challenger bank is branchless and paperless, so applying for an account takes place online.

Firstly, you need to download the Starling Bank app from Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

Huawei users can also download the Starling app on the Huawei AppGallery. However, this app version misses some functionality (e.g. opening joint accounts) compared to the main two app stores.

The app works on iOS devices version 9.3 or later, and Android devices version 5.0 or later. Jailbroken or rooted devices and custom ROMs aren’t compatible with Starling’s security features.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can open a personal or business account in minutes.

Personal account

  1. Enter your valid UK phone number.
  2. You’ll receive a verification code. Enter or copy it into the required field.
  3. Fill in your personal details: first and last name, date of birth, email address, current home address (must be in the UK).
  4. Go through the verification process. Record a short video selfie. Take a picture of your ID:
    • A valid passport
    • EU/EEA ID card
    • UK Residence Card
  5. UK photo driving licence (full or provisional)
    • The bank may also require you to provide proof of address. The next documents are suitable:
    • Current UK driving licence with current address (unless already submitted as proof of ID)
    • UK Bank Statement with current address
    • Utility Bill with current address
    • Council Tax letter with current address
  6. The bank will quickly check the provided details and create a new account for you.

Once your account has been opened, you can order a contactless Mastercard debit card from within the app and it should arrive in 3-5 business days.

Before it does, you can set up your card in your Apple Pay or Google Pay wallet to start spending money right away. Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay can be also set up but only after your physical card has arrived.

Business accounts

Business account owners are subject to more scrutiny and have additional eligibility criteria.

Thus, your business must be a Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership, or a Community Interest Company (CIC) registered in the UK at Companies House for you to apply for a Starling Business Current Account.

All Persons of Significant Control must be UK residents and individuals (not other companies, trusts etc.).

Please note that to open an account for a limited company, you must be a Person with Significant Control. If your name is not listed in-app, it’s because you’re not currently registered with Companies House as a Person of Significant Control.

At the same time, if your business is not a separate legal entity registered at Companies House, you may be eligible for a Sole Trader account.

To be eligible for a Sole Trader account:

  • The business owner must be a sole trader in respect of the business, meaning they are not in partnership with any other person in relation to the business.
  • The business must not be owned, managed or run through a separately incorporated legal entity.

Besides personal IDs, business accounts applicants should prepare additional documents related to their business activities. Some examples are:

  • Bank statements
  • Dated and signed agreements/contracts
  • Qualifications/registrations
  • Payslips
  • Proof of membership (for example to a trade or industry body)
  • Decision in Principle / Lender documentation
  • Proof of property ownership / Land Registry documents
  • Licence
  • Lease agreement
  1. If you’re already a Starling customer, go to the Home page and click ‘Get a new Starling account’. Proceed to ‘Get a business account’. You won’t be required to verify your identity again, just fill in the business details.
  2. If you’re new to Starling, choose the type of account you want to open:  Business Current Account or Sole Trader account.
  3. Enter your valid UK phone number.
  4. You’ll receive a verification code. Enter or copy it into the required field.
  5. Fill in your personal details: first and last name, date of birth, email address, current home address (must be in the UK).
  6. Go through the verification process. Record a short video selfie. Take a picture of your ID:
    • A valid passport
    • EU/EEA ID card
    • UK Residence Card
    • UK photo driving licence (full or provisional)
  7. Enter your business details.
  8. Provide the documents to verify your business activities if needed.

Most Starling business accounts are verified within one day.

Persons with significant control will each get a Mastercard debit card.

At the moment only directors (identifiable on Companies House) can have access to the account. You can add their details (full name, email address and mobile phone number) in the app.

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