How to Buy Bitcoin through your Limited Company

This article explains the best way to buy bitcoin through your limited company.

Yes, UK limited companies can invest in crypto like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero. HMRC has even given great clarity on how cryptocurrencies are taxed (more on that later).

So how do you buy crypto using your business funds?

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are HIGH RISK and very volatile. When investing in Bitcoin you can end up losing ALL your money. See this warning issued by the FCA. Buy at your own risk. Full disclosure, I hodl some crypto. Not a big amount to make me rich or quit my job. I am not a die-hard crypto fan or against it for that matter.

With the disclaimers out of the way, let’s go!

Which platform to use for buying crypto through your limited company

When it comes to cryptocurrencies there are so many platforms around. But not many platforms offer corporate crypto accounts.

My preferred choice is Binance. On Binance, you can open a corporate account and invest in bitcoin and cryptos through your limited company.

binance exchange

The process is not very quick, due to the number of documents they need from your LTD company. If you’ve opened a corporate account for buying stocks & shares then you know what I’m talking about.

It’s not complicated, it just takes a bit of time to gather everything.

So why Binance? I like the fact they are a big company one of the leaders in the crypto space. They have an intuitive interface suitable for both novices and experts.

They also follow high-security standards, such as 2-factor authentication, and have a huge following in the crypto community. That doesn’t prevent them from being hacked but it’s always a good sign. They even run their own cryptocurrency BNB, BUSD (of course they do!).

Note: Coinbase also offers company accounts but you need to get accepted as “institutional investor”. Not sure they actually accept small businesses – I personally never heard back from them. I use them for buying crypto as a person (not company) and here’s my referral sign-up link where we both get a free £7 BTC bonus if you sign up (and thanks!). Binance offer a lot more crypto pairs than Coinbase and they’re cheaper too.

So let’s see how we can buy some crypto using company money.

How to buy Bitcoin through your limited company

Here are the detailed steps and what to look out for.

Step 1: Open a Binance Account

Head over to Binance and register for an account. Use my referral link to register and we will both receive a small crypto-cashback every time you make a trade.

Use your company e-mail if you have one and a strong password.

Step 2: Switch your account to Enterprise

You need to “Switch to an enterprise account” to declare this is a corporate account.

Go to Your Icon -> Click on your E-mail -> Settings -> Basic Info.

This is your profile page where you can verify your identity as a limited company. Click on the “Switch to an enterprise account” like the image:

binance limited company account type

Step 3: Verify your account

To buy crypto through your limited company you need to complete the verification process. This takes time but has to be done. There’s nothing complicated about it, though.

Here’s how the verification screen looks like. I will go through the documents one-by-one shortly.

binance uk limited company documents

To verify a Binance company account, they need the following details:

  1. Original Certificate of Incorporation and Business Registration
    You’ve got the certificate of incorporation from when you registered your company. If you don’t have it, search for your company on Companies House and go to Filings. You can download it from there.
  2. Memorandum and Articles of Association
    Same as 1.
  3. An official Company Report or other government documents which were issued within the last year, including a) a list of current directors (natural person), their nationalities/jurisdictions, passport numbers; b)a list of ultimate beneficial owners (natural person), their nationalities/jurisdictions, passport numbers, and their percentage of holdings, etc.
    Go to companies house, search for your company, go to “More” and click Company Snapshot. They’ll need your credentials so if you don’t remember them just follow the “forget my password” to reset your password. Companies House will then give you an HTML file. Binance don’t accept HTML so you need to open it on your browser. Just open it using your browser -> Print (you won’t print) -> Save as PDF
  4. An ownership structure of your company
    They offer a sample document which you need to download and fill out. But what they provide is not very helpful. What they should give is a doc with empty boxes in which you can type. You can use my templates if you want – 100% ownership or 50-50% ownership. I used the app Preview on a Mac to edit and draw the rectangles. You can also use Adobe PDF Edit PDF function to write text on my templates.
  5. Sanctions Questionnaire
    That’s just another form asking you to declare you’re not dealing with any sanctioned countries. Straightforward.
  6. Authorisation letter
    This basically authorises yourself to trade on behalf of the company. Binance once again offers a template which is not editable. You can use my template on Google Docs. Don’t ask me for permissions, use File -> Make a copy.
  7. Link to the government website
    See 1.
  8. A full screenshot from the government website which contains the current company details. Kindly also make sure the system clock on the desktop is included.
    Oh well, ok, whatever.

Ok, if you’ve made it this far, you deserve to get rich trading crypto 🙂 Once you’re verified that is.

The verification is where you’ll spend 90% of your time. The rest of the steps is filling in some director’s details like address, full name etc and uploading an ID document. Most people here would be both the Director, the Authorised Trader and the Ultimate beneficial owner so the rest of the process is really quick. A few things to note.

Note #1: Be specific about the "Source of funds" and "Nature of business". You may be asked extra questions later.
Note #2: I faced "Facial recognition declined". My selfie was probably the issue. I took another one looking straight to the camera and it was fine. Your passport photo should also be clear and show the main page. You know.. the one with your photo on it.

Step 4: Complete the process

After submitting all documents and performing a quick verification using your camera, you’ll see this screen.

binance-company-verified

It doesn’t take 7 days!!! I was actually disappointed when I saw this message, but they only took a few hours to verify my account. Astonishing if you think I applied during the crypto hype and madness of late 2020. Perhaps Binance prioritise limited company accounts? Anyway, they sent me an e-mail a few hours later to say my account is good to go.

When I logged in, my account details screen looked like this.

binance company identity verification complete

However, when I went to the buy crypto screen, I was still unable to buy! After giving it a few hours, I received a Binance e-mail asking me some extra questions. They asked for proof of address (director), proof of address (company), source of funds questions and which currencies I intend to use. Look out for a “Fiat Corporate Onboarding” email just in case.

They also asked again for my Memorandum and articles of association. I just attached again the memorandum of association plus the Model Articles for private companies limited by shares from Companies House.

After 2 days I FINALLY could buy bitcoin using my UK limited company money…

binance enterprise deposit screen

I used the “Faster Payments” method as you see in the screen above to transfer some GBP into Binance. Deposits cost 0.02% of the value. So a £10,000 deposit costs £2 (minimum charge £1.50).

This is basically a normal bank transfer method where YOU HAVE to use the reference code they give you. They need to know it’s you making the payment.

I first made a small transfer of £100 to make sure it works, and voila! The £98.50 GBP reached my Binance account a few minutes later. I could then buy Bitcoin through my limited company account in a few clicks.

GBP deposit binance limited company

How cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are taxed for UK limited companies

That’s the first question that comes to mind before purchasing. What tax do I pay on the bitcoin I bought through my limited company? What if I made a loss?

HMRC have now provided great clarity given how popular cryptos are lately! Perhaps HMRC employees are hodlers too. Reading.

If the activity concerning the exchange token is not a trading activity, and is not charged to Corporation Tax in another way (such as the non-trading loan relationship or intangible fixed asset rules) then the activity will be the disposal of a capital asset and any gain that arises from the disposal would typically be charged to Corporation Tax as a chargeable gain.

The main gist of it is that yes, you need to pay corporation tax on the profits. Similarly to most investments made through a limited company, only the tax gain part is subject to tax. In other words, if you bought £100 and sold £120, you need to pay 19% tax on £20 = £3.8.

You pay tax only in the tax year that you sold the investment, not if you just hold it.

Clever me thought: Ok, if I want out, I’ll just exchange BTC to USDT (the dollar equivalent “crypto”) and not pay any tax, ever, unless I withdraw fiat. USDT is crypto after all. But no, you need to pay tax even if you exchange crypto for another crypto. That’s considered disposal too!

Not bad if you’ve made a fortune on Bitcoin but still subject to tax.

There are some special rules for short-term trading (<30 days). See pooling rules – Exercise for the reader.

Reminder: If you are an individual, you’d still need to pay capital gains taxes on your crypto profits. That’s 10% tax (basic rate taxpayer) or 20% tax if you’re a higher/additional rate taxpayer.

Further reading:

  • Cryptocurrency taxation for a UK limited company (HMRC, see corporation tax section)
  • Cryptocurrency taxes for individuals (HMRC)

Happy crypto investing. I’d be interested in knowing your % of net worth allocated to crypto (before and after 2021!). Mine is just over 2%.

Ledger Nano X - The secure hardware wallet

FAQ

Should I leave my Bitcoin on the Binance platform after purchasing?

No. Buy a hardware wallet like the wallet Nano Ledger S (£54.00) and transfer your Bitcoin and other coins there. This is like a USB stick but only for crypto. You hold your private keys, you hold your crypto. Not an exchange.

Binance is a big well-known exchange. But there is always a small risk of getting hacked. It has happened before elsewhere. If you have a small allocation to Bitcoin, say <£1,000 perhaps it’s ok to leave it there. But for higher values, I would purchase a hardware wallet.

The last thing you want is to see your crypto get stolen as it happened with my Nano coins on another exchange (BitGrail) 2 years back.

What’s the best way to buy crypto as an individual (not a company)?

I use Coinbase which is the easiest and most straightforward way to buy crypto for beginners. You can use my referral link and we’ll both get £7 in BTC value for free if you sign up.

What are the Binance fees for limited companies?

Binance is one of the cheapest ways to buy crypto as a limited company.
GBP Deposits and withdrawals cost 0.02% (£1.50 minimum). Once you’ve got money in, there’s a 0.075% fee for buying/selling crypto. That is £0.75 for every £1,000 purchase. Not bad at all!

Can I not make a transfer to my Personal Coinbase account from my company?

No, this is treated as a director’s loan to you with all the negative effects this comes with. You can take a director’s loan up to £10,000 tax-free as long as you repay it within 9 months of the end of your Corporation Tax accounting period.

Be careful with crypto and as always, do your own research!

Use my Binance Sign-up Link to get a small crypto cashback when you trade.

If you liked this article, feel free to share it with someone who owns a Limited Company and told you “I told you so” in 2017.

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32 thoughts on “How to Buy Bitcoin through your Limited Company”

  1. I have been attempting to do this for a few months now, having setup a new LTD company with the purpose of investing funds in cryptocurrency. So far I have been unable to do this as a lot of banks offering business accounts do not allow “payments to cryptocurrency companies” within their terms and conditions. Starling, Revolut, and many others do not allow this. Totally crazy. They won’t let me send my businesses’ funds to an account registered in the same businesses’ name.

    Warning to others! Make sure your bank allows such payments.

    Reply
    • I had the same issue until I found Tide, they actually let you do this.

      The main problem for me is that Coinbase and some other platforms didn’t like the idea that the funds I have for Crypto, came as a loan from another company I owned. I guess they’re being extra cautious as they’re now audited by the FCA (even though getting funds as a loan is completely legal).

      Did you have any problems explaining the source of your funds for your investment company?

      Reply
      • Thanks for the info RE Tide, I will reach out to them. Unfortunately so many banks are either facing massive delays with account openings, or have suspended new account openings entirely so the whole process is taking a long time.

        Yes like you I have faced lots of suspicion and questions regarding one company loaning the money to the other investment company… Even though this is required under UK law and I am sole shareholder and director of both companies. Everyone in the crypto and banking space is being over cautious at the moment in my opinion.

        Reply
  2. Thanks for uploading this article Michael.
    Like you I have been buying crypto since last year personally and I started buying some through my investing LTD company in December (not through Binance).
    The hype has been big in these past months, especially since BTC and ETH have skyrocketed in just 8 weeks. Governments had to communicate the negatives of Crypto since they’ve seen people jumping into it without any understanding of crypto, blockchains or anything related to it. I would advise anyone that wants to get into crypto, to at least understand the basics. Nothing to be afraid of, but it would be good to do your own research before jumping into the Bitcoin bandwagon due to FOMO.

    Michael I’m curious to know if you’re using your trading or investment company to buy crypto. Also, are you planning on long term, trading or a bit of both?

    Reply
    • You can always use funds in your bank account, Jane, but when the corporation tax bill is due you need to have enough funds to pay it. I can think of a nightmare scenario where people buy investments (doesn’t have to be crypto) using the company funds, then investment value goes down and they don’t have enough funds to pay the CT.

      Personally, I set aside the tax money so I can pay the tax bill even if my investment value went to zero.

      I’m with Santander bank by the way (£7.50/month).

      Reply
      • Thanks for your reply.

        What would be the benefit then of using a separate ‘investment Ltd’ vs the main ‘trading Ltd’ in that case?

        A: you can either buy and hold bitcoin on the trading Ltd balance sheet, and pay CGT only on any BTC gain

        B: or, you can pay CT on the trading company profit, and then transfer to the investment Ltd and then pay CGT on any BTC gain

        So why would someone choose to do B in which you’ve already been taxed CT? Unless I am missing something?

        Reply
        • You’re not saving on corporation tax, either way you do it. You first need to account for CT and then invest the retained earnings.

          Now whether you decide to invest through your existing company or a separate one is a whole other topic!

          Reply
  3. I think you missed a very important feature, you can loan yourself the crypto and as it doesn’t count as a money loan, the rules and caps on directors loans do not apply!

    Reply
    • You cannot lend yourself crypto if all you’ve got in the company is fiat! The challenge is buying crypto in the first place (using company money) not withdrawing crypto from it.

      Reply
      • What I’m saying is that buying crypto with the company has the advantage that you can then loan that crypto to the director, and because it’s a good/asset and not money as per HMRC guidelines, the directors loan rules don’t apply.

        Reply
          • As per HMRC site:

            Loan relationships
            The loan relationship rules (Corporation Tax Act 2009 Part 5) explain how Corporation Tax is charged on the profits and deficits a company makes from its loan relationships.

            A company has a ‘loan relationship’ if it has a money debt that has arisen from a transaction for the lending of money. This will be the case where it has lent or borrowed money.

            More information about the loan relationship rules is in HMRC’s Corporate Finance Manual (CFM30000)

            HMRC does not consider exchange tokens to be money. In addition, there is typically no counterparty standing behind the token and, as such, it does not seem that the token constitutes a debt. This means that exchange tokens do not create a loan relationship.

            In addition, there are rules (Corporation Tax Act 2009 Part 6) that bring certain other items into the loan relationship rules. These rules will not generally apply to exchange tokens. In particular no money debt will typically exist and it is HMRC’s view that exchange tokens do not constitute currency. More information about deemed loan relationships is in HMRC’s Corporate Finance Manual (CFM40000).

  4. Has anyone had any delays in opening a Binance account for their Limited Company?

    I applied the day after this post went out and had the message setting expectations at 7 days, the same as above.

    However as we approach the second week I’ve still received no response and just wondered if it’s due to uplift in demand, or whether there is an issue.

    I’ve tried the support chat, although the automated response states to remain patient, but I’m unclear if it’s account specific or a generic response.

    Has anybody else had any success in this timeframe, or is else awaiting a response please?

    Reply
    • I’ve been waiting too. Only three days so far but no confirmation email, etc. saying it’s pending (just the “pending” status on my Binance dashboard).

      Has yours finally been opened? I’d be very interested to hear the outcome…

      Note: I already have a Kraken Business Account but they don’t support Trailing Stop Loss….it makes it much harder to swing trade over the course of, say, two to four days since who knows where the price moves when you go to sleep at night….

      Reply
      • I did get there in the end, although it took a number of follow ups on the web chat, along with a subsequent exchange to get approval for transferring fiat currency into the account, as that was delayed too.

        All good now though.

        Reply
        • Ah great! Good news.

          How long did it take from submitting the verification details to being up and running?

          Also, would you say chasing them on web chat was instrumental to achieving the result?

          Sounds like you would have caught it in time to take advantage of the “Musk-inspired” BTC spurt. hope you took it!

          Reply
          • It was about 3 weeks or so in total, although it was frustrating as I could see the price creeping up over this time from the 22K I had hoped to buy in. Elon’s announcement landed after my initial test deposit, but a few hours before my final transfer of funds had arrived, so although I managed to buy some under 30K, the remainder were over 32K.

            I do think that without the web chat, I may still be waiting, as I was told they would escalate and my approval came through a few hours later.

  5. Hi,

    Really interesting article , thanks for posting. I’ve opened a Binance account and intent to invest in bitcoin using profits in my trading Ltd Co account – its’ been a few days and the account verification is still ‘pending’. I’ve looked in to making a deposit and all the options for GBP show ‘sorry, this payment method is not available for corporate users’.

    However, when I go to ‘Buy Crypto’ on the left hand bar in the Binance app, It looks as If I can buy Bitcoin using a credit/debit card now..?

    Anyone know:
    – Is bank transfer permitted after the account is verified, or just no longer available for GBP?
    – Any issues if I purchase using the company debit card before the account verification is complete…?

    Reply
  6. Thank you for the information. I’m I correct in saying if you’re not trading any gains could be transferred back into the company account then into your pension and no corporation tax will need to be paid?

    Reply
  7. Hi there,

    Can I ask is it essential to open a business account with a crypto exchange like Binance? Or could I just open a new ‘normal’ personal account, and only deposit funds into it from my business bank account? Therefore the crypto account has never been used for personal trades and only business trades.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Ameet

    Reply
    • The issue I see with this approach is that it might be seen as a director’s loan instead. Also, need to make sure the crypto company are happy to make withdrawals to a bank account different to the one they have in their KYC records (personal bank).

      Reply

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Hi! I’m Michael and I love writing about different ways to earn, save and invest our money. Coffee addict :)

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