In order to open a business or corporate account in Pakistan, you must first have a corporation registered with the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
First you should select which Bank you want to keep your account in. In Pakistan there are several options, most of them being private commercial banks and not government owned banks. For example, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) only offers personal banking and therefore you can not open a corporate account with them. Commercial Banks in Pakistan include Mezaan Bank, Habib Bank, Standard Chartered, Soneri, Bank Alfalah, Al Baraka, Bank Islami, Faysal Bank, and many many more.
All the above noted banks have more or less the same requirements for opening corporate accounts. The more important thing is however to actually have a corporation. Read this article to learn how to register a corporation in Pakistan.
Business or Corporate Bank Account Opening Requirements in Pakistan:
- Registered Corporation with SECP.
- Certificate of Incorporation.
- Registration with the Federal Board of Revenue with National Tax Number NTN.
- Rubber Stamp of your Corporation which displays the full legal name of your company (e.g. Beyond Nothing (SMC) Private Limited).
- Memorandum of Association.
- Article of Association.
- Minimum Account Opening Deposit Fees 1000-2000 Rupees.
- Your CNIC or ID Card, Original and photocopy.
- Account opening letter printed on company Letterhead and signed and Stamped by Authorized person (e.g. Chief Executive Officer)
- 8-10 extra blank company letterheads
Most of the above documents can be obtained from your SECP account in the form of Certified True Copies. To learn how to obtain certified true copies of your company’s documents, read this article.
Other Information relating to opening a business or corporate account in Pakistan
Choice of Branch
Your Corporate Account should be in a location that you can justify to the branch. Every bank has multiple branches across a city and they will ask you “Why come to this branch when you can go to some other branch”. Usually, your corporate account branch should be close to the address where your company is located. However, you can justify the location for the following reasons:
- “My company is located here but my clients are near this branch location, which would make it easier for me to carry out transactions”
- This company is a side business, and I am doing a job near to this branch. Therefore this branch is convenient for me.
- Any other reason acceptable by the branch. Make it easy for them.
The bank may ask you to write an undertaking explaining the choice of location, giving clear justification why you have chosen this particular branch.
Physical existence of your business
Due to issues like fraud and money laundering, banks have a surveying team that actually visits your business address to confirm whether you actually exist or not. They expect to see a factory, employees, or an office with computers and furniture. This is simply to avoid the creation of accounts of fake entities that are in fact producing nothing.
Even if you are running a purely online business, you need to explain to the bank how you are running it. Do you have a laptop? Is it all on your phone? They need some kind of evidence to prove its a real business.
How to Request a bank for a business or corporate account
Walk in through the front door of the bank and ask to speak to a representative regarding opening a corporate bank account. Be nice and polite. Tell the representative about your business and what kind of service or product your business provide. They will ask some basic questions, like the kind described above, and asked you for the required documentation, also described above. Always keep hard copies of your documents and rubber stamp with you.
After filling out the bank’s paperwork and stamping everything, the bank will send you your account details which you can used to log in to the mobile banking app or online banking website. This is where you can deposit your paid up capital and start making transactions. The entire process can take 1-2 weeks depending on holidays and efficiency of the bank itself.
You will be given a chequebook at minimum with 25 leaves for free. Debit cards and additional cheques are available although they may come with a fee. It is up to you how you want to negotiate these items with the bank. Some banks do not offer cash services like ATM and prefer all your transactions are done electronically for good record keeping purposes.
This process is easy to complete but difficult to undo. Therefore, be 100% sure that you are comfortable with the bank, its staff, the location, and the terms of the bank as you are about to enter into a long term relationship with them for the sake of your business and peace of mind.
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