In order to open a bank account you will likely need to complete the bank's application form which is unique to each bank as well as provide certain personal information. For some accounts you'll also need to pay money in and the bank may also want to check your credit history. Once you have successfully opened your bank account you are off and running.
You will also need to show who you are is really who you are and where you are currently living.
If the account allows you to go overdrawn - i.e. have a loan facility built into it - the bank will need a credit check on you as well.
You need to prove your identity in order for banks to prevent money laundering. Criminals open bank accounts in false names in order to move illegal money around.
Once you have successfully opened your bank account you will be given methods of easily accessing your money with various cards. You may also be given paying in books, and check books as well as online facilities.
A bank account is extremely useful to have as it allows your employees to pay money directly into your account rather than using large amounts of cash to pay their workforce - which obviously poses a security problem.
If you are setting up your own business you will definitely want to consider opening your own business bank account.
You can set up direct debits or standing orders to pay bills and make other regular payments
A lot of banks allow you to go overdrawn by a set amount of money as previously they use to charge for every bill that couldn't go through once you were overdrawn..so to a large extent this has been stopped - although you will still be charged interest on what you go overdrawn - although it will be a much smaller percentage than previously.