Best business bank account in the UK 2020

Find out the best bank for business in the UK to get the right deal for your business.

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Best business bank accounts for online banking

With bank branch visits on the decline and customers increasingly managing their money through digital channels, the range of features on offer through online banking has become a crucial part of any business bank account.

Best business bank account for app and online banking: 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

How can I find the best bank account for online banking

  • How can I access my bank account on the web? Although slick mobile banking apps are a big thing right now, if you’re specifically after online banking make sure you can access your account on the web via a desktop computer or laptop, and not just through a smartphone.
  • What are the online banking features? There are lots of things you can do via online business banking, from making payments and setting up standing orders, to calculating your expenses or sending out an invoice. Check that the account you select has all of the online banking features that you want.
  • Are there any transaction fees involved? With business banking it is common to be charged small transaction fees, even for making or receiving online payments. When choosing an account, give consideration to your online banking usage to make sure those small individual fees don’t add up to one big cost for your business.

Best business bank accounts for small businesses, sole traders and freelancers

Small businesses and sole traders make up a huge part of the UK economy, and a growing number of banking providers are offering business accounts specifically tailored to their needs.

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

How can I find the best bank account for small businesses?

  • What are the fees? You’re not a big company owner so you probably want to keep your expenses low. Find out if there is any fee for setting up and managing your account and how much you have to pay for each transaction.
  • Can the invoices be done directly from your app or desktop account? Being able to create new invoices and manage the existing ones is important. Check if the bank account you’d like to open has this helpful feature.
  • Are there any additional perks? Whether there are free credit cards for your employees provided or a discount on coffee supplies available – it’s good to know what possibilities for saving money come with opening an account.

Best business bank accounts for startups

There’s a lot of factors to consider when starting up a business for the first time, and banking is one of them. Spending time to find an account that has all the features you need, and at the right price point, will benefit you in the long run.

Best business bank account for beginners and startups: 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

How can I find the best bank account for startups

  • Is there any free banking on offer? If you’re going into business for the first time, some banking providers offer a decent period of free business banking with new accounts. (Though be mindful of what the costs may be after this free period ends.)
  • What tools come with the account? As a startup, you might be after a “one stop shop” type of business account, so take a look at what features it has. Many accounts can now integrate with your accounting software, create and track invoices for you, or even help calculate your tax bill.
  • Are there any other financial services available? If you’re also looking for a business credit card, overdraft or loan, it’s worth checking which business banking providers offer those products as well.

Best business bank accounts for bad credit

A poor credit history can have an impact on opening a business bank account. Fortunately, there are some banking providers who specialise in business accounts for those with bad credit, or don’t conduct credit checks at all.

Best business bank account for bad credit: Cashplus

Cashplus business

★★★★★

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Poor credit friendly

Instant notifications

Software integration
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 people who have a poor 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 2 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
  • Not all services can be accessed via the app
  • Traditional bank still needed for majority of your business finance needs
Account fee £69
UK ATM Charge £2
Account software integration platforms FreeAgent, Xero
UK transfer charge £0.99
Additional cards
Additional card fee 5.95
Credit check

How can I find the best business bank account if I have bad credit?

  • Are there credit checks? Some institutions let you open a bank account without checking your credit history. Make sure the one you choose is one of them.
  • Are you eligible? Your credit history may not be that important but there are other things necessary for opening an account. Check what the requirements are and see if you can apply easily.
  • How is the account protected? Make sure your money is safe. Get to know which institution it’s regulated or protected by.

Best business bank accounts for invoicing

Issuing invoices and getting paid is obviously vital to running a successful business. It’s now possible to create, send and keep track of invoices directly from some business bank accounts.

Best business bank account for invoice service: ANNA Money

ANNA

★★★★★

Go to site Read review

24/7 customer support

Instant notifications

Software integration
Invoices are crucial for keeping solid financial and accounting records. To invoice your company’s clients you can always do it the old-fashioned way and create them manually, using templates and sending the invoices out via email. It can be time-consuming though, and the last thing you want is making a mistake while creating them. To avoid that, choose a digital bank that offers accounting software and services that automatically generate invoices you can send to your clients. One such company is ANNA Money which can help you save time and avoid the stress of chasing payments.
  • Ability to connect other provider accounts to the ANNA app through Open banking
  • 24/7 support through the app aiming to give a response within 10 mins
  • Fast set-up
  • Invoice and expense services within the app
  • No seperate fees for account activities solely the monthly fee
  • No credit or overdrafts available
  • Still require a traditional bank account for majority of your business financial needs
  • No cash and cheque deposits
  • Cannot be used in web browser
Account fee £0
UK ATM Charge Free up to £100 per month
Account software integration platforms Coming soon
UK transfer charge £0
Additional cards
Additional card fee
Credit check Soft search with no impact on credit score

How can I find the best bank account for invoicing

  • What does the invoicing service include? Can you create and send invoices from the business account, then track when payments come in and match them to your records?
  • Is there 24/7 customer support? As a busy entrepreneur you may be doing your invoicing in the evening or at the weekend, so if you run into any operational problems it’s good to know there’s someone available to help you out.
  • Is there a full range of other banking features? It’s great being able to run your invoicing from your business account, but if that’s its main feature you may need to weigh up if the account has everything else you might need, such as international banking or the ability to make cash deposits.

Other business bank accounts to consider

CardOneMoney – Good for cashback

The chance to earn cashback as you spend money is a great perk, and that is what you get with a business account from CardOneMoney. You can apply to open an account online and then manage it through the mobile banking app. You’ll also receive a Mastercard which qualifies for the rewards scheme, which means you can earn cashback of up to 3.5% at more than 35 high street retailers when you shop using the prepaid card.

Handelsbanken

Handelsbanken is actually a Swedish bank, but this lesser known financial institution does have branches in the UK. With its business account, you are assigned your own dedicated account manager and also have access to 24/7 customer support over the phone.

The business current account is available in a range of currencies – great if you have international banking needs – and there is the option to apply for an overdraft. Customers can also use the corporate online banking portal, which includes accountancy software integration, plus the corporate mobile banking app.

There is a monthly fee involved, but the nature of the bank’s personalised service means that account fees are tailored to each business customer. This bespoke charging structure makes it difficult to compare Handelsbaken with other business accounts, but expect to pay the top end of the scale for the one-to-one customer support.

Pro

  • Personalised service means the bank polls consistently well for business customer satisfaction

Con

  • Bespoke charging structure means account fees will likely be at the higher end of the spectrum

Metro Bank

Metro Bank is unusual in that it’s a challenger bank that also has a branch network. And unlike its bigger high street counterparts, those branches are open 7 days a week, 362 days a year. Business customers also get access to online and mobile banking too, to manage their finances on the go.

There are several types of business account on offer at Metro bank, which include an account for smaller businesses and an account for larger businesses (those with an annual turnover of more than £2 million).

There’s a monthly fee of £5 for the small business account, although if you keep your balance above £5,000 that fee is waived, and you’ll also get 50 transactions for free that month (rather than at the usual charge of 30p each).

Pro

  • Offers mobile and online banking, plus branches that are open 7 days a week

Con

  • Smaller branch network compared to the main high street banks

Santander

A well-known name on the high street, Santander has four business accounts available depending on the type, size and banking requirements of your organisation.

Its two main business accounts come with periods of free banking or discounted fees for startups and switchers, plus the 1|2|3 Business Current Account offers the opportunity to earn annual cashback on your credit turnover.

As well as Santander’s own extensive branch network there are also some banking services available at branches of the Post Office. There’s a mobile banking app and an online banking service for businesses looking to manage their day-to-day finances digitally.

Pro

  • Free or discounted banking period on offer to startups and switchers

Con

  • After the free banking ends the charges are not the most competitive

Barclays

There is a range of business accounts to choose from at Barclays, including ones designed for startups, charities, small firms or large businesses.

There are two main types of fees applicable on these accounts – monthly fees and individual transaction fees. There is a choice of price plans, and you can select the most economical one for you depending on the payments mix that your business normally requires (e.g. cash deposits vs electronic payments).

As with all the high street banks there’s the option for business customers to bank online, via mobile or in person at a branch. There’s also the opportunity to apply for other Barclays’ business products, such as overdrafts, loans and insurance.

Pro

  • Range of business accounts on offer, with a choice of price plan

Con

  • Account fees could be cheaper elsewhere

Lloyds

One of the biggest banks in the UK, Lloyds offers different business accounts to startup businesses, established businesses and charities.

New account holders and people switching to a Lloyds business account can enjoy an initial 12 months of free banking. After that there are transaction fees involved and a set monthly account fee, which is £7.

Customers can take advantage of mobile, online and branch banking, and have the option of applying for other financial services from Lloyds, including business overdrafts, credit cards and savings accounts. Business account holders can also choose from a range of card payment solutions from the Lloyds Cardnet service, which allows them to take customer payments in person, online or on the phone.

Pro

  • Option to take card payments from your customers

Con

  • Monthly fee and other charges for depositing cash and cheques

How do business accounts work?

A business bank account basically works like a personal one – the main difference is that it’s dedicated to your business’s finances. You should therefore expect the same features, such as a debit card, the ability to make and receive payments, an overdraft option, a banking app and so on.

However, business accounts can be a bit trickier than personal ones.

First of all, fees are often higher – you can get yourself a free current account pretty much anywhere, but it won’t be as easy for your business. Secondly, there are more options and different ways of approaching business banking, so the best deal for your business will largely depend on what your business looks like. But no worries, we’ll help you figure out how to approach this particular problem.

What should you look for when you choose a business bank account?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a business account, many of which apply whether you are a foreigner or a UK resident. It’s important to do your research and think about the following:

  • Cost. Pricing structures can be complicated for business bank accounts. Some have monthly fees, some have transaction fees, and many have both. So think about how you’ll use your account and what will work out the cheapest option for you.
  • Your type of business. It’s a good idea to look for something that’s as tailored to your business as possible. Some banks offer both startup accounts and ones that are designed for more established businesses.
  • Cash. If you take a lot of cash payments and need to load this cash into your business account, you’ll want to make sure that you have a bank branch nearby.
  • Ways to bank. Some business owners prefer to discuss banking in person, while others would rather have a great mobile app that makes banking slicker on the go. Not all banks will provide both.
  • Accepting payments. Do you need to set up card payment terminals as well as a business account?
  • Accounting software integration. If you’re managing a small business, being able to do banking and accounting from the same place makes life easier. Popular integrations include Xero, Quickbooks and FreeAgent.
  • Related financial products. Do you also need a savings account, insurance or a business loan, and does your chosen bank provide these?
  • International banking. Do you trade abroad or need to make a lot of international payments? Check if you can do this with the business account, or perhaps if you open an accompanying account in a different currency.
  • Bad credit. If you have a poor credit history you might be more likely to have your business account application rejected, but some banking providers specialise in accounts for these type of customers (we mention more on this below).
  • Address checks. Some of the digital-only banking providers don’t ask for proof of address. This is particularly relevant if you have bad credit or are a foreigner without a UK address and are looking to open a business account here.

What are the benefits of opening a business bank account?

Separating your business and personal banking is a necessity for anyone who owns a company. Not sure why exactly you should open a business bank account? Here are some of the many reasons:

  • All your business transactions are separated from your personal ones which makes your business accounting records more organised.
  • Some banks have mobile apps so you can check your records and make business payments anytime you want and anywhere you are.
  • You can set up standing orders for business expenses. No need to worry about not paying on time anymore!
  • You can pay your employees easily.
  • If you’re a small business owner, you may be able to enjoy a free banking period for some time.
  • From insurance to coffee supplies, some banks offer discounts for products and services that you may find useful for your company.

Compare the best business bank accounts

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.
Soldo
£5
Per card
Quickbooks and Xero
a flat 1% FX fee for any transaction in the non-domestic currency
App, Online
Spending limits, real time notifications, company cards
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Compare up to 4 providers

How to open a business bank account in the UK

Firstly, you’ll need to do your research to select which business bank account best suits your needs. As we mentioned above, this will include weighing up the fees involved, what tools and features the account has, how you prefer to bank, and if it’s likely the provider will accept you if you have bad credit or no proof of address.

Secondly, you’ll need to apply directly to your chosen business banking provider to open an account with them. For this part, make sure you have all the relevant documentation to hand. You could be asked for different information by different banking providers, but as a general rule of thumb it will be useful if you have this documentation ready:

  • Your business name and address
  • Companies House registration number if you’re a limited company
  • Your own personal details and contact information
  • A form of ID
  • Proof of address
  • Estimated business turnover
  • Personal bank or financial statements

What is the best business bank account in the UK 2020? A summary:

Ultimately it depends on what you want the account to do, and also on your circumstances, however here are our top picks:

  • Best for small businesses, sole traders and freelancers: Tide
  • Best for international spending: Revolut
  • Best for app and online banking: Starling
  • Best for bad credit: Cashplus
  • Best for invoice services: ANNA Money
  • Best for beginners and startups: Amaiz
  • Best for free banking: TSB
  • Best for cashback: CardOneMoney

Best bank for business UK 2020

In August 2020, the Business banking service quality survey took place by the BVA BDRC. SME customers with business current accounts were asked how likely they would be to recommend their provider, their provider’s online and mobile banking services, services in branches and business centres, SME overdraft and loan services and relationship/account management services to other SMEs. The findings are reported below.

RankingProviderScore
1Handelsbanken79%
2Metro Bank67%
3Santander63%
4Barclays59%
5Lloyds Bank55%
6NatWest54%
6Yorkshire Bank54%
8Clydesdale Bank52%
8HSBC UK52%
10Bank of Scotland51%
11The co-operative bank50%
12TSB47%
13AIB45%
13Royal Bank of Scotland45%
RankingProviderScore
1Barclays73%
2Metro Bank72%
3Santander69%
3NatWest69%
3Lloyds Bank69%
6Bank of Scotland65%
7Royal Bank of Scotland63%
7HSBC UK63%
9Handelsbanken62%
9Yorkshire Bank62%
11Clydesdale Bank57%
12TSB52%
13AIB44%
14The co-operative bank41%
RankingProviderScore
1Handelsbanken78%
2Yorkshire Bank65%
3Santander63%
4Barclays61%
4HSBC UK61%
6Clydesdale Bank59%
7Lloyds Bank58%
7NatWest58%
9AIB53%
10Royal Bank of Scotland52%
11Bank of Scotland51%
11TSB51%
RankingProviderScore
1Handelsbanken86%
2Santander66%
3Metro Bank63%
4Barclays59%
5Yorkshire Bank58%
6NatWest57%
6Clydesdale Bank57%
8Lloyds Bank56%
8AIB56%
10TSB53%
11HSBC UK52%
12Bank of Scotland50%
13The co-operative bank49%
14Royal Bank of Scotland48%
RankingProviderScore
1Handelsbanken73%
2Metro Bank72%
3Lloyds Bank61%
4TSB58%
5Yorkshire Bank55%
5Clydesdale Bank55%
7Santander54%
7Bank of Scotland54%
9HSBC UK53%
10Barclays52%
11NatWest50%
12The co-operative bank47%
13Royal Bank of Scotland40%
14AIB38%

Source: BVA BDRC.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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