A business bank account helps you to manage your business finances and if you have recently started a new business you may be wondering what are the best business bank accounts for startups? Alternatively, if you are an existing business owner you may be wondering if you are getting the best deal with your existing business account.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best business bank accounts in the UK, including the best app-only business bank accounts and the best business bank accounts with high street banks. If you would like to find out more about setting up a business bank account, read our article 'How to open a business bank account in the UK'.
1 minute summary
- We have partnered with Nerdwallet* to allow you to compare the UK's top business bank accounts in minutes.
- A business bank account allows you to separate your business and personal finances.
- If you are a Limited company registered with companies house in the UK it is a legal requirement to have a business bank account.
- You can choose to bank with a traditional high street bank or alternatively, an app-only bank makes your money more accessible and your money can be managed on the go.
- An app-only bank such as Starling Bank*, Revolut* or Tide* may be a good choice with options of free business banking and fee-free spending abroad.
- If you prefer more traditional banking Virgin Money, HSBC and NatWest allow access to more banking features such as overdrafts and cash deposits, however, you may be charged account management or transaction fees.
Compare Business Bank Accounts
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What is a business bank account?
A business bank account is specifically designed for managing your business finances and having a separate business bank account can help to avoid confusion when you are trying to manage your personal and business finances. If you are a limited company and are registered with companies house in the UK then you are legally required to have a business bank account to keep your personal and business finances separate, but if you are a sole trader, there is no legal requirement to open a business bank account. That said, having a separate account helps to manage your finances more easily.
It is worth considering that some business bank accounts come with monthly account management fees and some also charge for transactions in and out of your business account. It is important to read any documents carefully when choosing a business account so that you know exactly what you will be charged for. If an account offers free business banking, it may limit how much you can spend when using the account, so look out for any limitations and charges if you exceed these limits. If you are a new business owner, you may want to look at our article that looks at the ‘Best business bank account choice for startups and freelancers‘.
Best app-only business bank accounts
The introduction of app-only banks has meant that business banking has become easily accessible and you can manage your money on the go from your smartphone. You can now apply and set up a business bank account directly from your phone meaning you no longer need to make an appointment in a branch and fill in laborious forms. Below, we highlight some of the best app-only business bank accounts in the UK right now. App-only banks may be the best business bank account choice for startups and freelancers due to the low account management fees and free integration with accounting software such as Xero.
If you are a freelancer looking for a business bank account, we have more information in our article, ‘Best business bank accounts for freelancers‘. You can also quickly compare the UK's top business bank accounts via Nerdwallet* where you can also compare additional business banks such as Mettle, Co-op, Cashplus and Metro Bank.
Compare the best app-only business bank accounts
In the below comparison table, we compare the different app-only business bank accounts and features. Alternatively, you can compare the UK's top business bank accounts via NerdWallet*.
For more information on each of the app-only business bank accounts and the fees and charges for each bank, read our independent reviews:
The best digital business bank accounts – a comparison
|Monthly cost||Free/£7||Free/£5||Free/£7/£25/£100||Free/£9.99/£18.99/£49.99 (+VAT)||Free/£14.90/£49.90 (+VAT)|
|Free UK transfers||*||*||*|
|Free ATM withdrawals||Free up to £200 every 30 days (3% thereafter)||**|
|Fee-free spending abroad|
|Cash and cheque deposits||Cash only||Cash only|
|Accountancy tools integration||(Monzo Pro only)|
|Good for…||Free business banking||6 months of free accounting software||Multi-currency accounts||Fee-free spending abroad||1% cashback on business expenses|
*some transfers are free depending on the subscription **some ATM withdrawals are free depending on the subscription
Starling Bank – Great for free business banking
Starling Bank* offers business accounts for sole traders, limited companies and businesses with multiple directors. You can bank with no monthly account fees and benefit from fee-free spending when travelling abroad for work. Starling's Business accounts also allow you to integrate your accounting software such as Quickbooks and Xero. For more information on Starling Bank's business account read our Starling Bank Business review.
Starling Bank Business pros
- No monthly fees
- Multi-currency accounts
- Fee-free spending abroad
Starling Bank Business cons
- Business overdraft facility for limited companies and limited liability partnerships only
- No interest on positive balances
- 0.7% charge for cash deposits (minimum of £3)
Monzo – Great for 6 months free accounting software
Monzo has two business accounts, Monzo Lite and Monzo Pro. Monzo Lite offers customers free business banking with all of the account features of a Monzo personal account such as fee-free spending whilst abroad and categorised spending. Monzo Pro takes it one step further with additional features such as tax pots, integrated accounting software and invoicing but this does come at an additional cost of £5 per month. More information on Monzo's business account fees and features can be found in our Monzo Business review.
Monzo Business pros
- No monthly account fees with Monzo Lite
- Accountancy tools integration
- Fee-free spending abroad
Monzo Business cons
- No Monzo overdrafts or loans (some access to lending options via the marketplace)
- £200 cash withdrawal limit outside EEA 3% fee thereafter
- Some features can only be unlocked with Monzo Pro
Revolut – Great for multi-currency accounts
Revolut* has a business account to suit a range of business types from freelancers to more established corporate companies. Revolut's freelancer accounts can be opened in the business owner's name and the company accounts can be opened in the registered business name. Revolut's free business account offers limited features that come without cost but its paid-for account offers additional benefits such as priority customer support and fee-free spending abroad (up to a set limit). For more information on Revolut's business account offerings, read our Revolut Business review.
Revolut Business pros
- Receive, hold and send money in up to 30 different currencies
- 24/7 customer support
- Range of accounts to suit every business (from no monthly fees to £100 per month for corporate accounts)
Revolut Business cons
- Unable to deposit cash or cheques
- No overdrafts or loans
- A fee to transfer money within the UK (outside of free limits)
Tide – Great for fee-free spending abroad
Tide* has four business accounts, Tide Free, Tide Plus, Tide Pro and Tide Cashback. Tide Free offers free business banking for those that do not want to pay a monthly fee. Tide's Business accounts let you spend money abroad fee-free and you can also take advantage of other useful features within the app such as customisable invoicing and accounting software integration. More information on Tide Business can be found in our independent review, ‘Tide Business banking review‘.
Tide Business pros
- No monthly fee (for the basic Tide account)
- Fee-free spending abroad
- 0.5% cashback with the Tide Cashback business account
Tide Business cons
- 20p fee to transfer money in the UK (some free transfers for subscription accounts)
- £1 fee per cash withdrawal
- No overdrafts
ANNA – Great for 1% cashback on business spending
ANNA has three business subscription accounts to choose from, Pay as you go, Business and Big Business. The Pay as you go account has no monthly fee but the business accounts can be paid monthly or annually. You can spend on your debit card for free in any country but there are fees for ATM withdrawals, cash deposits, international payments and local transfers. Depending on the business account you choose you may be able to benefit from free transactions up to a set limit. More information on ANNA can be found in our ANNA review.
ANNA Business pros
- 1% cashback on selected business spending
- No monthly account fee
- Free card payments in any country (although there is a 1% foreign transaction fee for foreign currency transactions)
ANNA Business cons
- Charges for ATM withdrawals (depending on the subscription account you choose)
- Transfer currency conversion fee
- Charges for local transfers (account dependent)
Best high street business bank accounts
We take a look at some of the best high street bank accounts in the UK including some of the best business bank accounts for small businesses. The majority of high street banks charge a monthly fee to use their business accounts as well as fees for transactions that occur on the account. Some business owners may prefer to use high street banks compared to the newer app-only banks that have no access to a branch as many high street banks offer overdrafts and business loans. All high street banks also offer the added security of protection from the FSCS which is not the case for all app-only banks on the market. We have partnered with NerdWallet* to allow you to compare the UK's top business bank accounts in minutes.
Compare the best high street business bank accounts
In the below comparison table, we compare some of the best high street business bank accounts. We compare accounts for small businesses with an annual turnover of £3m and under. If your business has a higher turnover you can choose from a number of different business accounts with high-street banks although the charges and features may differ from those listed in the table below.
You can also compare a number of the UK's top business bank accounts via NerdWallet* including additional business banks such as Mettle, Co-op, Cashplus and Metro Bank.
The best high street business bank accounts – a comparison
|Virgin Money||HSBC||NatWest||Lloyds Bank|
|Monthly cost||Free||Free for 12 months then £6.50||Free||Free for 12 months then £7|
|Good for||0.25% cashback on debit card purchases plus 3 months' free QuickBooks or Xero||No monthly banking fee for 12 months||Free accounting software||Free electronic payments|
|Free UK transfers||Free for 24 months then £0.35|
|Free ATM withdrawals||Free for 24 months then £0.35||Free for the first 12 months|
|Fee-free spending abroad|
|Cash and cheque deposits|
|Accountancy tools integration|
Virgin Money – great for free money management tools
Virgin Money offers different business accounts depending on whether your company's annual turnover is more or less than £6.5million. Here we look at Virgin Money's new M Account for Business, designed for businesses with an annual turnover of less than £1million. More information on the Virgin Money Business Current accounts can be found on the Virgin Money website.
Virgin Money M Account for Business pros
- Fee-free business banking
- 0.25% cashback
- Business insights dashboard
Virgin Money M Account for Business cons
- For businesses with an annual turnover of less than £1million
- £0.90 fee per £100 for depositing cash
- 2.75% transactional fee when spending abroad (minimum £1.50)
HSBC – great for no account maintenance fee for 12 months
HSBC has a business account for each business type ranging from sole trader and single director companies to larger corporate businesses. An HSBC Kinetic current account is aimed at smaller businesses and you can benefit from 12 months of no account maintenance fee before being charged £6.50 a month. The HSBC mobile banking app lets you apply in just a few minutes and you can also benefit from spending and cashflow insights. HSBC Kinetic Business account holders can apply for an overdraft of up to £30,000 and receive the funds on the same day as approval of your overdraft request. For more information on the HSBC Kinetic Business account head to the HSBC website.
HSBC Kinetic Business account pros
- No monthly account maintenance fee for 12 months
- Can apply for an overdraft of up to £30,000 (EAR 16.25%)
- Spending categorisation
HSBC Kinetic Business account cons
- £6.50 monthly account charge once 12-month free period ends
- Must have an iPhone (series 6 or later) or Android device
- 2.75% fee for spending whilst abroad
NatWest – Great for free accounting software
NatWest's startup account is good for those businesses that have been trading for less than 12 months and whose turnover is less than £1m. With NatWest's startup account, there are no monthly account fees and transaction charges are free for the first 24 months. You can also benefit from the free digital accounting tool FreeAgent which helps you to manage tax returns, invoices and cash flow. More information on the NatWest business bank accounts can be found here.
NatWest startup business account pros
- No monthly account management fee
- Free accounting tool
- Optional overdraft
NatWest startup business account cons
- Transaction fees after 24 months
- 2.75% non-sterling transaction fee
- ATM withdrawal fee after 24-month free transaction fee period
Lloyds Bank – Great for free electronic payments
Lloyds Bank has a business account for small businesses with an annual turnover below £3m. The small business account offers no monthly fees for the first 12 months with a £7 monthly charge thereafter. However, you can always benefit from free electronic payments even after the first year. More information on Lloyds Bank Business accounts can be found on the Lloyds Bank website.
Lloyds Bank Start-up Business account pros
- 12 months of free banking
- Free electronic payments
- Free accountancy software for 3 months
Lloyds Bank Start-up Business account cons
- 2.75% non-sterling transaction fee
- £7 monthly account fee after the initial 12 months of free banking
- Charges for cash and cheque payments in and out of the account (after 12 months)
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