Top 5 Best Bank Accounts For Freelancers In Kenya
Self-employed people, including freelancers, independent contractors, and anyone making money from a side hustle or hobby, have many great options when choosing a business bank account.
Freelancing has unique challenges – balancing deadlines, meeting client requirements, ensuring consistent cash inflow, and managing invoices. With all these, you want to simplify as much as possible. And one way to do so is by using the proper commercial bank account. Having the appropriate bank account can provide significant insights into your freelance business's health and aid in managing your finances more effectively.
How to Open a Bank Account as a Freelancer in Kenya
Starting as a freelancer is one of the most flexible businesses you can embark on. You don't necessarily need to set up your business as an LLC or S Corp formally. You can always use your details instead. Starting as a sole proprietor with your Social Security number and personal financial information is possible.
However, different documents are required by Kenyan banks depending on the bank and the account type. Therefore, it's wise to confirm what's needed before your appointment. Typically, you're likely to need documents such as:
- Proof of ID, like a passport or a public identity card
- Proof of residency, similar to a Kenyan residency card
- Evidence of your home address in Kenya (like a utility bill or rental agreement)
- Passport-size photo of yourself
- Character reference, such as a reference or recommendation from an employer
- KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority) Pin to prove you're registered to pay tax
Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers in Kenya
Equity Bank boasts a reputation with a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars from SmartAsset, indicating it's a fantastic option that deserves careful consideration. Equity Bank offers a range of products, including credit cards, savings accounts, checking accounts, and more. It has a fair savings rate of 0.10%, but some banks provide higher speeds. Equity Bank's standard checking account is an all-purpose one that doesn't charge an annual fee, making it ideal for freelancers seeking to maximize their deposits while maintaining easy control over their funds.
KCB Bank Kenya
KCB Bank offers individuals and businesses both conventional and interest-free bank accounts, loans, insurance, and investment products. They also have an online platform and a mobile banking service, making it easy for freelancers to manage their finances on the go. The bank's services can be accessed through a USSD code (*522#) or the KCB mobile banking app, available for both IOS and Android devices.
The Co-operative Bank of Kenya
The Co-operative Bank of Kenya offers personal and business banking solutions with several benefits for freelancers, such as loans with no penalties for early prepayment and credit cards with low rates. Furthermore, it has one of the best banking applications and excellent technical support, making it a top choice for freelancers in Kenya.
Standard Chartered Bank won the Best Global Consumer Mobile Banking award in 2016, making it a top choice for freelancers due to its excellent mobile banking capabilities. Freelancers can access their accounts anytime and anywhere, providing much-needed flexibility. They also offer guaranteed exchange rates and low fees.
Stanbic Bank Kenya
Stanbic Bank Kenya offers individuals and businesses savings, investment, lending, and insurance products. You can manage your finances using the bank's online portal's financial management feature. Stanbic's customers can access their bank accounts and conduct transactions via their mobile phones using the bank's USSD code or mobile app.
Advantages of Online and Mobile Banking for Freelancers
Online and mobile banking platforms are a game-changer for freelancers. They provide convenient access to your finances, allowing you to track income and expenses, make payments, transfer money, and monitor your savings growth from wherever you are.
With these digital tools, you don't have to visit the bank physically. You can carry out your transactions anytime, anywhere, giving you the freedom and flexibility freelancers often require. Some banks also offer budgeting tools within their apps to help you manage your income and plan for expenses effectively.
Choosing the Best Bank for Your Freelance Business
Choosing the right bank for your freelance business requires careful consideration. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Digital Services: Ensure the bank offers reliable online and mobile banking services. This is crucial as it allows you to manage your finances conveniently.
- Fees: Look for banks with low prices. High bank charges can eat into your profits significantly.
- Customer Service: The bank should have responsive customer service that can quickly handle issues.
- Savings Interest Rates: If you plan to save, choose a bank that offers high-interest rates on savings accounts.
- Access to Credit: You may need to borrow money as a freelancer. Therefore, it is wise to select a bank with favorable loan terms.
As the gig economy continues flourishing in Kenya, many young professionals and scholars are freelancing to build their careers. One of the critical challenges that freelancers face in Kenya is finding an effective way to manage their finances. The correct bank account can play a significant role in solving this problem. By considering factors such as online and mobile banking capabilities, fees, customer service, savings interest rates, and access to credit, you can choose the right bank to help streamline your freelance business operations.
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