I need to know about how a UK Ltd Company bank account is set up and the difference between signatories and ownership of the account. I set up a Ltd Co and was Director with 100% shares and my partner was Secretary but I stepped down as Director a good few years ago and my partner became Director and Secretary. There was no change in the shares at the time as the accountant didn't change anything. This isn't a problem for us but we need to know the official legal standing of things with the bank account. When asking the bank if we are joint account holders or if my partner is a signatory only, they advised he is a joint owner of the account, however if I own 100% shares, would my partner be classed as a signatory only or be a joint owner for the Ltd Company account? We need to know as my partner is US citizen and needs to declare bank accounts and state if he is an owner or joint owner or signatory only of the account.
So the question is, who owns the account? I don't know if the Limited Company owns the account, if so, would I be the owner (with 100% shares) and he is a signatory only?
Or is it considered a joint between us as we both signed a mandate when it was set up. The other issue to bear in mind is that he is Director and I am not but he has no shares in the company. I called the bank which is one of the major UK banks but the call center is outsourced and I cannot get a clear answer that I feel confident with.
Thank you for your answer, it is very helpful. Just to clarify my understanding on this matter based on what you have advised;
-When my partner completes the question on the form about how many accounts he owns, am I correct to say he should say tick that he is a signatory only, not a joint account holder on this Ltd company business account?
-So we are both only signatories on this account?
-Does that mean we both have equal responsibility on the account but ultimately the assets in the account are owned by the company so whoever owns the shares owns the assets in the account?
We were worried that based on what the bank told us, they would consider that we were joint owners which was a little confusing!
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you to confirm on the above.
Thank you for clarifying this.
You mentioned that he should just include personal accounts, however the form states that you must include all accounts including any accounts where you have signatory authority. It is for US tax for something called an FBAR form. Is this something you are familiar with? I think the bank will disclose the business accounts to the US anyway as part of FACTA so would it be better to include? I understand if you are not able to answer this due to the nature of it being US Tax.