A good business bank account is essential for running your business effectively, whether you’re a sole trader or a large established firm. Here you can see which are the best free and paid-for accounts, and which are best for aspects such as online and app banking or invoicing. We also look at accounts that suit businesses of different sizes.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Best business bank account 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.
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 invoices be created directly from your banking app or desktop account? Being able to create new invoices and manage existing ones is important. Check if the bank account you’d like to open has this helpful feature.
- Are there any additional perks? Whether it’s free credit cards available for your employees or a discount on coffee supplies, it’s good to know what possibilities for saving money come with opening an account.
Best business bank account 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. You can compare a range of bad credit providers here.
How can I find the best business bank account if I have bad credit?
- Are there credit checks? Some providers let you open a bank account without checking your credit history. You could consider one of these providers if you have bad credit.
- Are you eligible? Your credit history may not be that important to these providers but there are other things necessary for opening an account. This could include verifying your business is based in the UK. Check what the requirements are and see if you can apply easily.
- How is the account protected? Make sure your money is safe. Find out which body the provider is regulated by and how your money is protected.
Best business bank account for new businesses and best for accounting integrations
Staying on top of your business finances and filing your tax return is an essential but laborious part of running a business. Fortunately, many business bank accounts now sync with accounting software to make your life a little easier and help streamline your accounting processes.
How can I find the best bank account with accounting integrations?
- What accounting software does the account integrate with? Some business bank accounts offer a wider range of options than others, so if you’re already used to a particular accounting software, make sure your chosen account links up to it.
- Is there a monthly fee? Some business bank accounts will only offer accounting integrations if you upgrade to a more expensive account or plan, so make sure you factor this in when comparing your options.
- What other banking features are available? While accounting software can be extremely useful for your business, it’s important to check that the account also offers everything else you need, such as international banking or an overdraft, for example.
Good for beginners and startups
There are 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 at the right price point will benefit you in the long run.
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 (although 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 and 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 account for app and 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.
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, even in business banking, if you’re specifically after online banking make sure you can access your account on the web via a desktop computer or a 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 account for invoice service
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.
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? Will it chase unpaid invoices for you?
- 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.
Good for international payments
If you have customers or suppliers based overseas, then the ability to make or receive international payments from or to your business bank account will be an important factor.
How can I find the best business account for international payments?
- International banking capabilities. A few of the newer or more basic business accounts don’t offer the ability to make or receive international payments, so if you need this functionally be sure to check before you sign up for an account.
- Fees. How much will your bank charge to make or receive overseas payments? There could be upfront charges as well as currency conversion fees to pay.
- Multi-currency accounts. A banking provider that lets you hold balances in different currencies, or one that offers different currency accounts linked to one another, might be a better bet if you’re going to be dealing with a high volume of international payments.
Good for cashback
Fancy earning something back for your business spending? Some business bank accounts allow you to earn cashback when you spend on your bank card. The money will then be paid into your bank account at regular intervals.
How can I find the best bank account for cashback?
- What are the fees? Many business bank accounts that offer perks such as cashback also charge a monthly fee. Consider whether you’ll earn enough in cashback to make the fee worth paying.
- Are you eligible? To qualify for cashback you might need to meet certain conditions. Be sure to check these carefully before applying.
- Is there a full range of other banking features? Earning cashback can be a great perk of opening a business bank account, but make sure the account offers everything else you might need. Don’t be swayed solely by the amount of cashback on offer.
The best business bank accounts in the UK for 2023
Finder’s best business bank accounts in the UK 2023
- Revolut business: Best for small businesses, sole traders and freelancers
- Cashplus: Best for bad credit
- Mettle: Best for app and online banking
- ANNA Money: Best for invoice service
- Tide: Best for new business and best for accounting integrations
Useful tips on how to choose the best business bank account for your business
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 to be 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 deposit this cash into your business account, you’ll want to make sure that you have a bank branch or pay-in point 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 if you can 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.
- 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.
Business bank account fees explained
Unlike with most personal current accounts, many business accounts come with costs attached, which can range from a monthly fee simply for having the account, to a charge for paying in a cheque.
We outline the main types of business account costs below – bear these in mind when you’re looking at a bank’s pricing structure or an account’s terms and conditions:
How can I apply for a business account?
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 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:
Not every banking provider will ask you for all of this documentation, and on the flip side, there may be some who request even more detailed information about your business and its finances.
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. You can also check your credit score here.
Best business banks for customer satisfaction in 2023
Our customer satisfaction awards are decided by the only votes that really matter – yours. We asked customers of 11 major business banking providers to tell us about their experiences. Now we can reveal how they rated these UK banks. Learn more about the awards here including our ratings methodology.
|Overall satisfaction||Customers who’d recommend||Issuer||Review|
|★★★★★||97%||Mettle is a comparative newcomer to business banking and is a digital-only offshoot from parent company NatWest. It’s moved up the ranks this year to secure the top spot with a “would recommend” score of 97%.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||97.2%||HSBC, the largest bank in the UK, also polled strongly in our survey, posting a rating of 4.5 stars. Like some of the other banks here, it offers a free banking introductory period for startups or businesses switching their account, after which fees apply.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||96.8%||Royal Bank of Scotland finished a respectable third in this year’s business banking survey. It posted 4.5 out 5 stars and an 96.8% “would recommend” score. Its customers that we canvassed praised the “great customer service”.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||95%||Another high street veteran, Barclays, isn’t far behind. The bank operates different business accounts depending on company size, and our survey respondents praised its “helpful” customer service.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||94%||Long-established Lloyds Bank recorded an impressive “would recommend” score of 94% in our survey. It offers business accounts for new and established businesses, as well as one for clubs and charities. Customers cited the bank’s customer service and clear pricing.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||91%||It’s a competitive table this year, so while NatWest may have finished in the middle, just over 9 out of 10 of the customers that we surveyed would recommend this bank to a friend, and were generally pleased with its level of customer support.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||91%||Santander operates a range of different business accounts, some of which come with discounted fees for startups or customers who are switching. Customers praised its reliable and “friendly” service.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||91%||Digital challenger bank Starling matched established high street bank’s “would recommend” scores in our survey, despite not having any branches. The customers we polled highlighted its easy to use app and low business banking charges.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||91%||Virgin Money posted 4.5 out of 5 stars and a “would recommend” score of 91% in its first year in our survey. It offers 25 months’ free day-to-day banking to new business customers.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||91%||Although its branch network is mainly confined to Scotland, Bank of Scotland offers accounts to businesses across the UK. It has several business account options to choose from, and there is a dedicated resource centre especially for business account holders.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||94%||The Co-operative Bank is known for its ethical business banking and customers in our survey commended it on its reliable service. Over 9 out of 10 customers would recommend this bank to a friend.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||93%||TSB slipped down the table this but still posted a very respectible 93% “woule recommend” score. TSB relaunched on the UK high street in 2013, and is currently offering an initial period of free business banking for 30 months to startups and account switchers.||Read our review|
|★★★★★||91%||Tide is a digital-only business banking provider, and its customers highlighted its easy account set up and clear to use online features as some its major plus points.||Read our review|
Customer satisfaction ratings methodology
We asked business account holders to rate their satisfaction with the service they had received from their banking provider, and also whether they would recommend that provider to a friend. Our independent survey of 623 business banking customers was carried out in December 2022 – read full details of our methodology here.
We have crunched the numbers and shown the results for the 13 banking providers listed in the table above. We used these ratings to decide the winners of our awards (if there was a draw on the star ratings score, we used the “would recommend” percentage as a tie-breaker).
Business banking ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Best UK business bank by customer service 2023
In August 2023, the results of the “Business banking service quality – Great Britain” survey were published by BVA BDRC, on behalf of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). SME customers with business current accounts were asked how likely they would be to recommend their account provider’s services to other SMEs in the following areas: overall service quality, online and mobile banking services, service in branches and business centres, SME overdraft and loan services, and relationship/account management services. The findings are below.
Getting down to business: How banking is evolving to cater to SMEs in a new eraFinder published a paper in February 2022 exploring current trends, innovations and account switching within the business account sector. The report includes the findings of our survey of business account holders, and insights from experts at ANNA, the Federation of Small Businesses, Kent Business School, Savanta and Starling Bank.
The bottom line
When you’re choosing a business bank account, you need to think carefully about the features your business needs and how you’ll use them. Having an account with no monthly or annual fees may be important to you but one with fees could save you time and money in the long run. And if you often make cash deposits, you’ll need to be with a bank that has branches in your area. There are a range of accounts on offer so you’ll be able to find one that suits you and your business.
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