Free business bank accounts

Looking for a free business bank account in the UK? We discuss what’s on offer and whether this could be the right option for you.

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Free business bank account providers

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
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 free business bank accounts exist?

The good news is that yes, free business bank accounts do exist (if you’re talking about monthly charges anyway).

Unlike for most personal current accounts, it’s the industry norm to be charged for a business bank account in the UK. That might come in the form of a monthly or yearly fee, or a charge for carrying out certain transactions. Or both.

But since the new wave of digital challenger banks and other fintech providers hit the UK market (and the incumbents responded to them), it’s now possible to open a business bank account that doesn’t come with a fee simply for having it.

But be aware that these accounts often aren’t totally free – there’s usually some small charges to make certain banking transactions, such as paying in cash, setting up electronic payments, making ATM withdrawals or carrying out international transfers.

How do free business accounts make money – is there a catch?

As mentioned above, there are often small charges for each transaction (which could add up if you make a lot), or a usage limit for the amount of free banking you actually get with a free business account.

One of the other ways that banks aim to make money from offering a free account is by using them to gain some valuable brand loyalty from their business customers, who can then be offered products like business loans and overdrafts, which can generate valuable revenue for the banking provider.

You also might be offered advanced paid-for services to “add on” to the free (and sometimes basic) features of a business account. Or banks might attract customers with the offer of a trial for a free business account, which then converts to a paying account further down the line.

Which banks offer free business accounts?

There’s a whole raft of different business accounts out there for you to choose from now, from the more traditional high street banks to the latest digital-only banking banks.

It’s important that you consider all of the features and fees on offer from these providers, so you find the right account for your own business needs.

However, if the “free” element of a business bank account is the biggest draw for you, here are some options (with a link to their full reviews):

Starling:

  • No monthly fees or UK transfer/ATM fees.
  • Set up and managed digitally through a mobile app and web browser.
  • Can deposit cash and cheques.
  • Offers integration with accounting software.

Tide:

  • No monthly fees (though some small transaction fees do apply).
  • Set up and managed through a mobile app.
  • Categorised spending and instant payment notifications.
  • Able to connect to accounting software.

TSB:

  • Offers the first 25 months of business banking for free.
  • Comes with a Square Reader to take customer payments on-the-go.
  • Can use mobile, internet, telephone or branch banking.
  • Has high street branches and other business support networks available.

Pros and cons of a free business bank account

Pros

  • It’s free!
  • It’s a good way for a sole trader to keep their personal and business finances separate.
  • A business account is a requirement for limited companies using banking services, so you may as well get a free one if you don’t think you’ll use it much.
  • Some accounts offer helpful features such as expense and tax reporting tools, or integrations with accounting software.
  • There’s often the option to add on paid-for account features if you need them.
  • Once you’re with a banking provider, you might be able to access an overdraft or business loan from them.

Cons

  • Still likely to be some small transaction fees to pay.
  • The free account features on offer may not be advanced enough for your needs.
  • If you take up an initial free trial, you’ll have to decide whether to keep the account and pay for it at some point.
  • Many of the free accounts are digital-only, so you can’t visit a branch to speak to an advisor in person if you need to.
  • Some of the smaller account providers don’t have FSCS protection.

Is it worth paying for a business bank account?

If you need an account with more advanced digital features then you may have to update to a premium business account or pay for some extra monthly services.

Likewise, if you’re going to be doing a serious amount of international banking, it might be worth paying for an account which accommodates this.

And if you’re after a branch network, then most of the high street banks charge monthly fees for their business accounts (even if they come with a free trial initially).

That said, if you’re happy to manage your business finances digitally, and if the free account you like the look of only comes with basic features, it could still be a great option if your business is just starting out. If you want to upgrade at a later date then you often have the option to do so.

Compare 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
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.
Amaiz Starter
Free
£0.20
Free Agent

EEA transaction charge = 0.5% Intraregional = 1%
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
Monese Business Account
Free
Free
Avios, Paysafe
£2000 allowance with 2% fee after

No but will deduct the money from your balance the next time you make a deposit and will not charge you a fee
Monzo
Free
Xero, FreeAgent and QuickBooks
Mastercard's wholesale rate with no added fees
App
Revolut
Free
Free
5/month free then 20p per transfer
Xero, Time management, Freeagent and Slack
£3
Can hold multiple currencies, issue prepaid corporate cards and track expenses
Mettle
Free

Up to £10,000 a day, £20,000 a week and £50,000 a month
Free agent and Xero
Unable to make international payments
App
Coconut Start
Free
Free
2% currency conversion fee
Get £10 when you open an account by October 31st
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