Business bank accounts for limited companies

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

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Business bank accounts for limited companies

Starling

Starling Business Account

★★★★★

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24/7 customer support

Instant notifications

Software integration
The era of banking in its traditional form is being surpassed. Digital banking is on the rise, offering customers 24/7 access to their bank accounts via apps and other types of online accounts. Thanks to that you can manage your money anytime you want and anywhere you are. What’s more, you can get instant notifications about the payments you made or received and, in many cases, sort your invoices quickly and easily. If you’re looking for the best user-experience, Starling may be the best option for you.
  • 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 £0
UK ATM Charge Free
Account software integration platforms Xero, FreeAgent
UK transfer charge £0
Additional cards No additional cards
Additional card fee N/A
Credit check Soft search with no impact on credit score

Tide

Tide

★★★★★

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24/7 customer support

Instant notifications

Software integration
Tide is a fintech app which offers business accounts to small businesses and freelancers, hoping to relieve them of some of the financial stress that comes with a growing company. Tide’s business accounts come with a number of features that address some of the most stressful aspects of working for yourself and offer all of this for free.
  • 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 £0
UK ATM Charge £1
Account software integration platforms Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, ReckonOne, Kashflow and Sage
UK transfer charge £0.20
Additional cards 35 additional cards
Additional card fee Free
Credit check No - Tide performs an electronic check but no credit check

Amaiz

Amaiz Starter

★★★★★

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24/7 customer support

Instant notifications

Software integration
Opening a business account is a new experience for company owners who are just starting out, but it shouldn’t be a daunting one. Amaiz is one of the new breed of challengers to offer a digital-only current account to sole traders and limited companies. You can open a business account in minutes through its mobile app – which also offers features that bring together banking, invoicing and accounting. Even better, you can sign up for a free trial before committing to any of the monthly pricing plans.
  • Transparent charges - everything included in the monthly fee
  • An app packed with features such as instant notifications
  • Jar sub-accounts and the ability to create
  • Customize and track invoices
  • 24/7 customer support
  • The ability to freeze your
  • Card with a singular tap
  • Quick to get your account up and running
  • No integration with Sage or Xero
  • No branches/face to face communication
  • No overdraft feature or credit facilities available
  • Extra fees to use the card abroad
Account fee £0
UK ATM Charge Free
Account software integration platforms Free Agent
UK transfer charge £0.20
Additional cards Only allowed one card at present
Additional card fee N/A
Credit check They conduct a soft credit check - they check your name against credit agencies, but do not report any of your information to credit score checking sites
Promoted
Tide

Try Tide

  • Award-winning, smart, simple business account
  • The hassle-free account for your business
  • Get your sort code and account number in minutes

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.

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.

However, 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.

Compare business bank accounts for limited companies

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Account fee Bank transfers Accounting integrations Non-Sterling transactions Overdraft Account management Key benefits
Starling Business Account
Free
Free
Xero, FreeAgent
Free

Min. 18 months trading to apply
App, Online
Add the new Business Toolkit onto your free Starling account, and get the first month free of charge (RRP £7pcm)
Tide
Free
£0.20
Free if both accounts are with Tide
Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, ReckonOne, Kashflow and Sage
Free
App
Free spending abroad and at home in any currency, instant payment alerts, automatic categorisation
Amaiz
£9.99 per month
Free in first month
Free Starter plan available
£0.20
FreeAgent, Xero, Sage, Reckon One, Kashflow, QuickBooks
1%
0.5% in Europe, 1% elsewhere
App, Online
ANNA
Free
Free up to a max. balance of £5,000 (or up to £500 paid in per month)
Free
2 free transfers per month and unlimited free transfers to Anna accounts
Coming soon
Free
App
Earn 1% cashback for paying with your ANNA card in selected categories. Enjoy premium benefits free for the first 6 months.
Cashplus business
£69
First year's annual fee refunded.
£0.99
Free transfers in first 3 months
FreeAgent, Xero
2.99%

On invitation
App, Online
First year's annual fee refunded.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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?

Which banking providers offer business accounts for limited companies?

There are many business bank accounts available in the UK, both from the traditional high street banks, and from the newer digital-only banks and financial providers.

Here are some of our favourite business accounts with links to their full reviews, so you can check out exactly what they offer and which one might be best for your individual business needs:

  • Amaiz: App-based account that comes with a wide range of business banking tools that are ideal for beginners.
  • Anna: Digital-only account that features an invoicing service and 24/7 assistance.
  • CardOneMoney: Has higher fees, but you can open the account online without a credit check and it includes a cashback program.
  • Starling: A free and comprehensive digital account that offers accounting software integration.
  • Tide: Digital-only account that is designed for small businesses and freelancers.
  • TSB: Offers free business banking for the first 25 months and has a branch network.

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.

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.

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