Freelancer Bank Account: Manage Your Money Like a Pro

As a freelancer in Australia, you’ve probably faced a few issues when trying to open a bank account:

  • It takes several days or even weeks to get a bank account set up
  • Banking fees aren't always very clear, which makes it hard to budget
  • Processes aren't very flexible for sole traders, so you often end up having to deal with paperwork and other admin
  • Bank accounts won't help you with all the other admin you need to do: invoicing, managing taxes, project management, etc

Considering these issues, what are your best options to open a bank account as a freelancer?

In this article, we'll cover:

  1. How to open a freelancer bank account
  2. What to look for in a business bank account for freelancers.
  3. How Parpera is designed specifically for freelancers

Note: Looking to open a freelancer bank account right away? With Parpera you can create a Volt bank account specifically designed for freelancers and sole traders in less than 10 minutes. Download the app today!

How to open a freelancer bank account

When it comes to opening a freelancer bank account, you have two main options: open a digital account, or open a traditional account with the big four Australian banks. In this section we’ll be comparing both options.

Parpera is a digital solution that helps Australian sole traders and freelancers manage their money. Based on over 500 interviews with freelancers, we’ve been able to design and deliver fair and transparent banking, invoicing, and financial administration solutions, all in an easy-to-use app.

We differ from traditional banking by focusing specifically on making it easier for you to manage your business finances and tax obligations. One of the key differences, for example, is that it only takes 10 minutes to open an account online through us — versus potentially several days with a traditional bank account.

How to open an online freelancer account through Parpera

It only takes 10 minutes to open a Volt bank account through Parpera directly from your phone. Here’s what to have ready before opening your account:

Don’t have an ABN? No worries. Get an ABN with Parpera while you open your Parpera account.

After you download the app, opening a freelancer business bank account through us is a simple 4-step process:

  1. Sign up and verify your details.
  2. Setup your business profile (and create an ABN if you don’t yet have one).
  3. Verify your identity.
  4. Access your new business bank account through Parpera.
parpera sign up

We offer a 30-day free membership trial to try out our Parpera App. Don’t like it? You can close your membership at any time, no questions asked, from the settings tab. If you’d like a more in-depth view of how to download the app and become a member, check out our article on the steps to becoming a Parpera member as a sole trader.

We understand that Parpera may not meet every freelancer's needs. So, to give you a full overview, here’s how to open an account with the big four Australian banks.

How to open a business bank account for freelancers with the big four banks:

Unless you already have a personal bank account with one of the big four banks, most likely you’ll have to visit a branch in person. Let’s look at their banking services in more detail.

NAB

Before opening a NAB business account, you’ll need:

  • To be 18 years old or older and a permanent Australian resident.
  • An ABN.
  • To provide 2 forms of identification if you’re a new NAB client. Accepted IDs include Medicare card, driver’s licence, and passport.

Here’s how to open a business account with NAB:

  1. Go to the NAB website.
  2. Click on “Business” in the menu bar.
  3. Complete a short guided question-and-answer menu so NAB can match you with their business bank accounts.
  4. Choose one of two business banking options and click “Apply.”
  5. Go through NAB’s verification process.*
  6. Once verified, you can register for NAB’s online banking and download their app.

*If NAB can verify your identity: you can open your account online and receive an SMS with your NAB ID and an email with your account details.

*If NAB can’t verify your identity: you’ll need to visit one of their physical branches (remember to bring your 2 forms of ID with you).

CommBank

With CommBank, you can only open up an account, personal or business, in person, choosing a branch that has a small-business specialist on site.

What you’ll need to bring with you for a CommBank branch visit:

  • A valid form of ID (either a passport or a driver’s licence).
  • Your ABN.
  • Your industry type or code.

Westpac

You can apply for a business bank account online with Westpac, but you may not be able to open one immediately online unless you’re already a Westpac customer.

Here’s what you’ll need to have ready beforehand:

  • One form of ID (you can choose between a driver’s licence, Medicare card, passport, or birth certificate.)
  • Your ABN.
  • Your business details.

To open up a Westpac account:

  1. Go to the Westpac website.
  2. From the top menu, select “Business.”
  3. From the drop-down menu, select “Bank accounts.”
  4. Choose one of the business checking bank accounts and click on “Open now.”
  5. After reading the details of your chosen account, agree to the terms and click “Apply now.”
  6. Select your type of business.
  7. Select if you’re already a Westpac personal account customer with access to online banking.
  8. Provide your personal details and business details (they may ask you to provide additional information on how your business is set up).
  9. After you apply, one of Westpac’s business managers will call you back to discuss the best financial option for you.

ANZ

For ANZ, you can only fill out a short application online, which will take about 2 minutes. Then an ANZ agent will contact you within one business day to discuss business bank account options.

Alternatively, you can book a branch appointment.

Whichever option you choose, here’s what you’ll need to provide to open an account with ANZ:

  • Personal and business details.
  • Your business plan.
  • Your most recent tax returns.
  • Your business credit rating.
  • A forecast of your cash flow.

Business banking for freelancers: what to look for?

As a freelancer, you don’t have a fixed monthly income and your transactions will vary from month to month and year to year as you grow your freelancing business. So, before opening a freelancer bank account, look for an affordable solution that offers not just a separate business account to satisfy your tax obligations, but one that can maximise your financial administration today and for the future.

Here’s what to look for in a freelancer bank account:

  • A protected, secure account.
  • Online banking and mobile app.
  • Low or no initial deposit requirement.
  • Fee-free business debit card or credit card included.
  • Online invoicing.
  • Bookkeeping features or integration with bookkeeping and accounting software
  • Reliable customer service. 
  • Multiple currencies invoicing (if working with clients overseas)
  • Free ATM withdrawals
  • Low monthly fees

What would really make a business bank account stand out is if you could find all the above at an affordable monthly rate with no hidden fees. Sounds like a dream. But it’s not.  Here’s how we’re providing this with Parpera.

How Parpera is designed specifically for freelancers

We designed Parpera to be the best money-management tool for freelancers and the self-employed who want to save time and money while complying with their tax obligations. Here are the benefits of becoming a Parpera member:

Fast and secure digital mobile banking

We make opening a business account as simple as possible. In a few clicks, you can open your account with us in under 10 minutes, and can create an ABN if you don’t have one.

When you become a Parpera member, you’re creating a Volt bank account with our trusted banking partner, Volt Bank*, where your money (up to $250,000 per account holder) is protected by the Financial Claims Scheme. This means that your money’s protected in the same way as it is with the big banks.

Here’s what to expect from your Parpera membership:

  • Pricing is $15 monthly membership fee or discounted $135 yearly fee (save 25%).
  • No hidden costs. Ever.
  • No minimum deposit requirement (and a maximum of $245,000 in deposits)
  • Up to $250,000 of deposits per account holder protected by the Financial Claims Scheme.
  • Free unlimited transactions.
  • Free unlimited bank transfers.
  • Free unlimited transfers to your personal bank account (realtime, coming soon).
  • Digital and physical Mastercard Debit Card.
  • Low-cost international bank transfers (coming soon).
  • Separate sub-accounts where you can store GST money for tax time.
  • 24/7 human-contact member service.

But that’s not all, because with Parpera, you receive much more than a freelance business account.

Hassle-free client payments

We designed Parpera to make payments not just easier but faster, too. Here’s how:

  • Invoicing on-the-go. You can create and send professionally designed and tax-compliant invoices directly from the banking app.
create invoice parpera freelancer bank account
  • Faster payments: We’ve optimised the invoice design so you receive client payments quickly. We highlight how to pay you and include payment links in your invoicing so clients can’t make “unclear invoices” an excuse to not pay you on time.
parpera tax invoice freelancer
  • No more copying and pasting: We store your information and automatically include them in every invoice so you’ll never have to search for or copy paste your bank details again. We also store your clients’ details to make recurring invoicing just as easy.
  • Track your payments: See who’s paid your invoices and who hasn’t, at a glance. Get notifications once you get paid.
track invoices freelancer bank account
  • We chase after payments for you: Coming soon — You can set up automatic reminders before payments are due and late payment reminders.
create freelancer bank account invoice

All-in-one money-management tool

We know how time-consuming and frustrating bookkeeping and accounting is when you’re running a solo business. Here’s how we’ve taken the hassle out of managing your tax obligations:

  • Automatic payment-to-invoice matching. We match your payments received to your invoices sent.
  • Automatically save your tax money. We move your GST money into a separate savings account so you won’t be caught without enough funds at the end of the fiscal year.
  • Organise your business expenses. Upload receipts and categorise expenses in a few clicks. Parpera can also automate expense categorisation because we store information from past expenses.
expense categories parpera freelancer

Our Parpera community has your back

At Parpera, freelancers can expect 24/7 member service with human contact. This means you can receive the help you need, when you need it, whether it’s via chat, email, or phone.

When you become a Parpera member, you’ll receive updates, online events, and discounted services with Parpera partners. And we’ll ask you to share feedback to improve our services as well as test out new features before we roll them out.

We hope you find our information on how to become a member and open a freelancer bank account in Australia helpful. The most important thing is to pick an account that fits your specific needs, and will help you run and grow your freelance business effortlessly.

Freelancer Bank Account FAQ:

Which bank account is best for freelancers?

As a freelancer, the best bank account for you will depend on your specific needs.

If you’re looking to open a bank account online and in less than 10 minutes and a debit card in less than a week, then Parpera is your best bet. You’ll also get a complete money management tool, allowing you to create invoices, manage expenses and reconcile payments.

If you prefer banking with a big four bank account, you can follow these instructions to open an account with them: How to open a sole trader account with a Big Four bank account.

However, keep in mind that most big four bank accounts will require you to visit them in person, complete an application and sometimes already have a personal account with them.

Can a freelancer open a bank account?

Yes, a freelancer can open a separate business bank account as a sole trader. This type of bank account is different from a personal bank account and a business one — it’s specifically for sole traders.

In order to open one, you will first need to get an Australian Business Number (ABN), and then head to Parpera or a Big Four bank to open your account.

Download Parpera
  • https://www.nab.com.au/business/accounts/open-a-business-bank-account
  • https://www.commbank.com.au/business/small-business/documents.html
  • https://www.finder.com.au/business-banking/commonwealth-bank-business-banking
  • https://www.finder.com.au/business-banking/westpac-business-banking
  • https://www.westpac.com.au/business-banking/bank-accounts/business-one-high-plan/summary/
  • https://www.finder.com.au/business-banking/anz-business-banking
  • https://www.anz.com.au/business/accounts/

Please note the information contained in this article is general information only and does not take into account your personal circumstances. Before you open any account please ensure that you obtain and read the account terms and conditions  and Target Market Determination to see if the account is suitable for you.

*Parpera Australia Pty Ltd (Parpera) ABN 47 641 580 743 is an Authorised Representative (No. 1292372) of Railspay Pty Ltd (Railspay) ABN 17 646 031 558, which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) (No. 530983).

Volt Bank Limited (Volt) ABN 67 622 375 722, which holds an AFSL (No. 504782) is the issuer of the bank accounts in Parpera's App and deposits of up to $250,000 per account holder are protected by the Financial Claims Scheme.




Sources:

Published on the
February 24, 2022
Business

Download our App to access the future of money for businesses, today!

Download on the Apple App Store LogoGoogle Play App Store Logo