Best business bank accounts for limited companies (Ltd)

Opening a business bank account for your limited company can be quick and easy.

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There’s no obligation for a new limited company to immediately open a bank account – it may be that your limited company never plans to use banking services but there are many advantages to doing so.

Latest reviews of business bank and e-money accounts for limited companies

Best business bank account for app and online banking: Starling

Business Current Account

★★★★★

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24/7 customer support

Instant notifications

Software integration
Add the new Business Toolkit onto your free Starling account, and get the first month free of charge (RRP £7pcm).
This business bank account from Starling could suit limited companies thanks to its lack of fees. There is no monthly account fee, no UK payment charges and no fees abroad either. Applying via the app is easy and you'll also get free 24/7 UK support via the app, phone or email. Account holders can benefit from integration with accounting tools including QuickBooks, FreeAgent and Xero, automated business spending categorisation, receipt capture, and international payments. Provided you're happy to pay a fee, you can also customise the account with add-ons. These include the Business Toolkit which helps you create and send invoices, calculate tax, record your VAT and submit your VAT return, a Euro business account for exchanging and holding euros, and a US dollar business account for holding, sending and receiving US dollars. Your money will also be protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
  • Add the new Business Toolkit onto your free Starling account and get the first month free of charge (RRP £7pcm)
  • Completely free UK current account opened and ready to use in 20 minutes
  • Safe and secure
  • Fully licensed by the FCA and PRA
  • Free to use your card abroad including ATM withdrawals, splitting the bill made easy with "settle up" feature, competitive and comprehensible overdraft fees
  • Decent interest rate paid on current account balances
  • Efficient app offering a range of good features such as budgeting tools and saving features
  • Has a marketplace offering competitive pensions
  • Mortgages and insurance from other growing fintech companies
  • Teen account options
  • 24/7 customer support (for all types of enquiries)
  • Relatively new so does not offer every feature, e.g. mortgages
  • No bank branches, all done via the web
  • Only available to UK residents
Account fee Free
Bank transfers Free
Accounting integrations FreeAgent
QuickBooks
Xero
Requires credit check Soft search with no impact on credit score
Overdraft





Up to £50,000 subject to eligibility and application

HSBC - Kinetic Current Account

No monthly account fees for 12 months, thereafter a monthly charge of £6.50 applies.
If you're looking for a business account for your limited company, you can apply for the HSBC Kinetic account in a matter of minutes via the app. There's no monthly maintenance fee for the first 12 months and you'll also be able to apply for an overdraft of up to £30,000. In addition, there is the option of a business credit card and a business savings account. Users can manage direct debits and standing orders on the account, freeze and unfreeze their debit card, analyse spending with automatically categorised transactions, and keep track of their finances with a monthly breakdown of cash flow. You will be able to scan and deposit cheques via the app, and make payments of up to £25,000 per day. Larger payments can be made via business telephone banking. The account can be accessed on your mobile or on your desktop.
  • Easy to apply for and manage
  • Arranged overdraft
  • Useful app features to help you track spending
  • No monthly fee for 12 months
  • Interest is charged on overdraft
  • Monthly maintenance fee applies after first 12 months
  • No interest paid on credit balances
Account fee £6.50 per month (waived in first 12 months)
Bank transfers Free
Accounting integrations QuickBooks
Sage
Xero
Requires credit check Soft search with no impact on credit score
Overdraft



Lloyds Bank - Business Current Account

Business Current Account

★★★★★

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12 months' fee-free monthly and transactional banking for switcher customers.
This business account from Lloyds offers 12 months’ free day-to-day banking for new businesses, plus dedicated support from its UK-based business management team. Electronic payments in and out of the account are always free. Account holders will also be able to benefit from a three-month free trial of Business Finance Assistance, an online accountancy package that integrates with your business accounts. This can help you to manage invoices and submit VAT returns. Additionally, you’ll have access to Lloyds Bank Academy which offers free tools and webinars to help your business thrive. To be eligible for the account, your business must have an annual turnover of less than £3 million and you must be a sole trader, partner or company director. You can apply for the account online but also manage it via the mobile app.
  • Free everyday banking for first 12 months
  • Free electronic payments
  • Access to Business Finance Assistance and Lloyds Bank Academy
  • Fees apply after first 12 months
  • No interest paid on credit balances
  • Fee applies to Business Finance Assistance after three months
Account fee £7 per month
Bank transfers Free
Accounting integrations N/A
Requires credit check Soft search with no impact on credit score
Overdraft





Up to £5,000 subject to eligibility and application

Best business bank account for small businesses, sole traders and freelancers: Tide

Tide Free

★★★★★

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24/7 customer support

Instant notifications

Software integration
FINDER EXCLUSIVE: Get 5 months free transfers when using the code FINDER5FREE.
Tide's business account is designed for companies of all shapes and sizes, including limited companies. It offers three different pricing plans, including a free option, so you can choose the one that best suits your company. The most expensive plan is the most comprehensive, and offers three expense cards for your team, cashback on card purchases, exclusive member perks, a dedicated account manager and a 24/7 legal helpline. But whichever plan you choose, you will also benefit from being able to sync your account with accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero and Sage, as well as automatically categorise transactions, and send, pay and track invoices. There are no fees for spending on your card abroad, while cash withdrawals cost £1. Opening an account can take as little as 10 minutes and no credit checks are carried out. Your Tide card should arrive within 2 to 4 working days.
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Categorised spending
  • FCA regulated
  • Quick set-up
  • No monthly fees
  • Easy to manage accounts and track payments within the app
  • Ability to set up direct debits and standing orders
  • Can receive online bank statements
  • No branches - all done via the web
  • Doesn't accept cheque deposits
  • No personal accounts
  • No international
  • Transfers or interest offered
Account fee Free
Bank transfers £0.20

Free if both accounts are with Tide
Accounting integrations Clear Books
FreeAgent
KashFlow
QuickBooks
Reckon One
Sage
Xero
Requires credit check
Overdraft



Best business bank account for bad credit: Cashplus

Cashplus Business Bank Account

★★★★★

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No annual or monthly fee when you apply using the Finder link.
Opening a business bank account with bad credit can be complicated. Most banks will carry out a credit check when you put in your application and reject it if you don’t meet the requirements. All is not lost, though! Some companies, like Cashplus, offer banking services perfect for businesses who have a poor or no credit history. There are no credit checks when you apply. The only thing that needs to be verified is your contact details.
  • Have account up and running in 5 minutes
  • Overdraft option "Cashplus iDraft" once you're eligible
  • Currency cards to use overseas
  • Online services in addition to the mobile app
  • Charge to have your bank card issued
  • Traditional bank still needed for majority of your business finance needs
Account fee Free
Bank transfers £0.30

Free for first 3 payments sent each month (£0.30 for every transfer thereafter)
Accounting integrations Clear Books
FreeAgent
KashFlow
QuickBooks
Sage
Xero
Requires credit check
Overdraft



By invitation

Do you need a business bank account for a limited company?

A limited company is a type of business structure where the company has a legal identity of its own, and the liability of the owners is limited to the capital that they have invested.

Limited companies are privately owned by one or more people, and they must be registered with Companies House, pay corporation tax and file annual accounts.

You don’t need to open a business bank account but if you do intend to deposit funds, and make and receive payments through a bank account as a limited company (which is going to be the case for most), then you will need to open a business account.

Can you run a limited company from a personal bank account?

The short answer is no! As a limited company is a distinct legal entity, its finances must be kept in a separate account to your personal finances.

The situation is slightly different if you’re a sole trader – you can use your own personal current account to make and receive payments relating to your business, but only if your banking provider allows this type of usage. And if your bank sees a huge volume of transactions going through your personal current account, it may still request that you open a business account.

What are the other advantages of a business bank account?

Apart from the legal requirement to open a business account if you’re going to be using banking services as a limited company, there are other advantages to having a business account.

You’ll be able to keep the business finances separate to your own, which will make them much easier to manage and monitor, especially when it comes to expense and tax reporting.

Many accounts also come with enhanced features, such as an invoicing and expense tracking tools, or the ability to integrate with accounting software.

Your chosen banking provider may also offer overdrafts, business credit cards or business loans, if you’re interested in those options.

One thing to be aware of is that unlike most personal bank accounts in the UK, business accounts often come with a monthly fee and other transaction charges. This isn’t unusual, but the level of fees being charged will be one of the things for you to compare when selecting which business account to open.

How to choose a business bank account for a limited company

It’s important that you consider all of the features and fees that come with the various business accounts out there on the market, before deciding which one to apply for.

Here are some key questions that you should look into when researching business bank accounts:

  • Does the account come with a free trial period?
  • What is the monthly or annual account fee (after any free trial)?
  • What are the fees for transactions such as direct debits, international payments or ATM withdrawals?
  • Can the account be easily managed online or through a mobile app?
  • Does the bank has a branch network, if you prefer to speak to staff in person?
  • What features does the account have e.g. invoicing or expense monitoring tools?
  • Does the account offer integration with accounting software such as Quickbooks, Xero and FreeAgent?
  • How quickly can I open the account?
  • Will I be able to open the account if I have a bad credit score?

How to open a business bank account for a limited company

Once you’ve researched and chosen which business account you’d like to go for, you’ll need to apply to that banking provider to open it. Many applications can be now be done online or through a mobile app (especially given the growing number of digital-only accounts), although some banks with a branch network might ask you to visit in person.

Every business bank account will have a slightly different application process, but here is a general list of information and documents that you should have to hand:

  • Companies House registration number for your business
  • Your business name and address
  • Your own personal details and contact information
  • A form of ID
  • Proof of address
  • Estimated business turnover
  • Personal bank or financial statements

Most business bank account providers will also carry out some kind of credit check on you, although there are a few that will let you open an account without one (but be aware these products tend to come with higher usage fees). For more information on opening a business account without a credit check, check out our guide to opening a business account with a bad credit score.

How to open a business bank account as a non-UK resident

If you’re not resident in the UK it may still be possible to open a business bank account here. We have gone further into this topic with a dedicated guide.

The traditional high street banks are likely to offer you a type of international bank account, though you will still need to provide all of your ID and address information (for your current country of residence).

The other option is to go with one of the digital-only accounts which can be opened online or through a mobile app – some of these banking providers (not all) won’t ask you for proof of address or conduct any credit checks.

Compare business bank and e-money accounts for limited companies

1 - 8 of 90
Name Product Account fee Bank transfers Interest (AER) Accounting integrations Arranged overdraft Account management Key benefits Link
OFFER
Mettle by Natwest
Free
Free
0% AER
FreeAgent, QuickBooks, Xero
App
Comes with a suite of free accounting software to integrate with (conditions apply)
Go to site
View details
OFFER
Start Up Business
Free
£0.35
0% AER
FreeAgent
Branch, online, app & phone
Use the digital accounting tool FreeAgent to make invoicing, payroll and managing your cash flow easy. It’s worth more than £145 + VAT a year (based on annual fee as of Aug 2021), but free for you.
Go to site
View details
Finder Award
EXCLUSIVE
Tide Free
Free
£0.20
Free if both accounts are with Tide
0% AER
Clear Books, FreeAgent, KashFlow, QuickBooks, Reckon One, Sage, Xero
Online & app
FINDER EXCLUSIVE: Get 5 months free transfers when using the code FINDER5FREE. Plus register your limited company for free (usually £12) and open a Tide account in one go: choose 'Register a company' from the Tide homepage menu. T&Cs apply.
Go to site
View details
OFFER
Business Account - Standard Tariff
Free
£0.35
0% AER
FreeAgent
Branch, online, app & phone
Use the digital accounting tool FreeAgent to make invoicing, payroll and managing your cash flow easy. It’s worth more than £145 + VAT a year (based on annual fee as of Aug 2021), but free for you.
Go to site
View details
OFFER
Cashplus Business Bank Account
Free
£0.30
Free for first 3 payments sent each month (£0.30 for every transfer thereafter)
0% AER
Clear Books, FreeAgent, KashFlow, QuickBooks, Sage, Xero

By invitation
Online & app
No annual or monthly fee when you apply using the Finder link
Go to site
View details
OFFER
Business Account
Free
£0.35
0% AER
FreeAgent
Branch, online, app & phone
Use the digital accounting tool FreeAgent to make invoicing, payroll and managing your cash flow easy. It’s worth more than £145 + VAT a year (based on annual fee as of Aug 2021), but free for you.
Go to site
View details
FREE TRIAL
The Co-operative Bank Business Current Account
£10
(waived in first 30 months)
Free
0% AER
QuickBooks, Sage, Xero, Multiple providers

On application (subject to status, eligibility and The Co-operative Bank's Lending policy)
Branch, online, app & phone
Free everyday business banking for first 30 months. Sole traders or Single Directors only. Apply online. Charges apply for cash and cheque transactions & other special services. Subject to status, eligibility and T&Cs.
Go to site
View details
Countingup Starter Business Account
£3 per month
(waived in first 3 months)
£0.30
0% AER
N/A
Online & app
Go to site
View details
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Compare up to 4 providers

The bottom line

If you’re going to start a limited company which makes and receives payments, then you’ll have to open a business bank account in the company’s name. While the paper work involved in opening a business bank account for your company can sometimes be a little more onerous than it would be if you were opening a personal current account, it shouldn’t involve all that much extra work.

Aside from meeting legal requirements, opening a business account on behalf of a limited company can be useful for a variety of reasons.

It will make it much easier to keep the business finances separate to your own, which will make them much easier to manage and monitor, especially when it comes to expense and tax reporting.

Once you have a business account, your firm may also be able to access overdraft facilities and business loans. Some accounts also come with enhanced features, such as an invoicing and expense tracking tools, or the ability to integrate with accounting software.

Given the choice of business accounts available today, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding an account to meet your firm’s needs.

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