Starling Bank business account review

Just how good is Starling's business account?

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Starling Business
Customers have been flocking to Starling Bank, impressed by its slick app and fee-free spending abroad.

Now the challenger bank is also offering a business account option. Read on to find out more about Starling Business and whether it could help your company.

Starling Business Account

Starling Bank: Download for free today

  • No monthly fees or fees overseas from Starling Bank
  • Apply in minutes from your mobile
  • Cut down on admin with Quickbooks, Xero & FreeAgent integrations
  • Get real-time payment notifications & categorised transactions
  • Flexible overdraft facility with clear, reasonable rates
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What is the Starling Business account?

Starling says its aim is to make banking straightforward, simple and quick.

Starling’s business account is no different. Launched in 2018, it takes a matter of minutes to sign up through the app, while its mobile-only approach and easy to use app might make managing your receipts and invoices easier.

Its business option is available if you’re an individual owner of a limited company, and either the only person with significant control, or if you’re part of a limited company with multiple owners. If you’re a sole trader you must have a personal current account to open a Sole Trader Account.

How does the Starling Business account work?

Like many other challenger banks Starling offers a banking experience that is pretty different to traditional banks. Here we walk you through getting started and what features you would get with a business account:

  • Quick application. Download the app on your smartphone. After entering some personal details, you take a photo of an accepted I.D. and film a short video of yourself. With a business account Starling run a few quick credit checks too, but the whole process shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
  • Your card. You’ll be issued with a contactless Mastercard debit card, which should take between 3-5 days to arrive. However, you can start using Starling straight away through Google or Apply pay.
  • No fees. Starling won’t charge fees on electronic payments, domestic transfers, monthly account fees or ATM withdrawals.
  • 24/7 support. You can speak with a human adviser (not a robot) at all hours of the day. Contact them through the app, over the phone or by email.
  • Real-time info. There’s no waiting around for payments to show up. You even get notifications every time money enters or leaves your account.
  • Spending insights. See your spending broken down into categories like utilities, travel or entertainment.
  • CSV exports. Share your transactions with your accountant or accounting software like Xero, Quickbooks and FreeAgent.

Is a Starling Business account right for your company?

As briefly mentioned already, you can only apply for a Starling business account if you are an individual owner of a limited company, and the only person with significant control over the business, or if you’re part of a limited company with multiple owners.

Starling is particularly suitable for smaller or medium businesses, as it is free, flexibile and quick to set up.

Is Starling Business safe?

As Starling is a licensed bank you are partially covered. In the event of the bank going bust, it is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). So you would be protected for up to £85,000 and they are PRA and FCA regulated.

However, the FSCS doesn’t apply to all business types so you should check with its website whether your company is eligible. It’s worth bearing in mind that the FSCS small business threshold is less than £1 million turnover in a year.

You might also be wondering about how safe the actual app is? Starling have a number of security features to ensure your money is safe from fraudsters:

  • Your finances are secured behind a passcode and password and completing your registration requires video and photo-ID.
  • If you ever lose your card, you can immediately deactivate it with a push of a button and customer service is there whenever it’s needed.
  • A live record of your transactions and home screen notifications means you are alerted to any strange payments immediately.

Starling CEO Anne Boden explains why Starling Bank is different

Pros and cons of Starling Business Current Account

Pros

  • An account up and running in about 10 minutes.
  • No joining or monthly fees.
  • Works with Quickbooks.
  • Contactless card delivered within a week.
  • Spending insights will help you manage your company’s finances. Every penny can be scrutinised.
  • No spending fees abroad and Mastercard exchange rate.
  • Marketplace gives you more financial control, letting you connect to platforms like Xero and FreeAgent.
  • Its “Goals” savings feature available to businesses too.
  • 24/7 customer service.
  • Fully licensed by the FCA and PRA.

Cons

  • The lack of branches might cause some communication problems.

The verdict

If you’ve made it to this point of the review, you might me wondering: a free business account? For real? Yes, it’s 100% true and, if you’re looking for a way to save money, the Starling Bank business account is hard to beat.

So, are there any catches? Not many, to be fair, but keep in mind that this is stil a digital-only bank. You won’t be able to pop into a branch and speak to someone in person, which some consumers may prefer when it comes to business banking. Traditional banks are also able to offer a wider range of products (including, for example, business credit cards). But, if these things are not a big deal for you, Starling’s business account is a solid choice.

It’s free, it’s easy and quick to set up; you can choose between accessing it from the app or from desktop, you can make payments abroad for free, you can link your accounting software and even open a euro account. If you’re a sole trader or the owner of a small business, it’s one of the best available on the market and you should definitely give it a thought.

Compare Starling against its competitors

Updated March 29th, 2020
Name Product Interest Monthly fee Overdraft
Tide
0%
No monthly fee
No overdraft available
Get a business account in minutes.
Starling Business Account
0%
No monthly fee
Overdraft available
Amaiz
0%
Free Starter plan, or £9.99 a month for Advanced account
No overdraft available
Revolut for Business
0%
Basic free plan, or paid subscription plans
No overdraft available
ANNA
0%
Starts from £0
No overdraft available
The Co-operative Bank Business Directplus Current Account
The Co-operative Bank Business Directplus Current Account
0%
Free everyday banking* for 30 months subject to monthly limits
Planned overdraft available subject to acceptance
*Only applicable for new Co-operative Bank customers maintaining a credit balance of £1000+. Monthly limits for cash deposits and cheques. £7 monthly fee applies after 30 months. Charges apply for special services e.g. foreign and CHAPS payments. Subject to status & eligibility. T&Cs apply.
TSB business banking
TSB business banking
0%
Up to 25 months* free day to day banking
Planned overdraft available subject to acceptance
*25 months free when keeping your account within agreed limits. £5 fee applies after this period, but will be waived if you maintain an average monthly balance of £10,000.
HSBC Business Current Account for Startups
0% AER
£6.50 per month
Subject to status
T&Cs Apply
Free banking for 18 months for start-ups with turnover below £2m, followed by a 12 months fixed price period of £6.50 per month . T&Cs apply. Interest Rate refers to in credit balances.
HSBC Business Current Account for Switchers
0% AER
£6.50 per month
Subject to status
T&Cs Apply
Free banking for 12 months for switchers with turnover below £2m, followed by a 12 months fixed price period of £6.50 per month . T&Cs apply. Interest Rate refers to in credit balances.
Cashplus Business
0%
No monthly account management fees, annual account fee is £69
Up to £2,000 of credit, using it costs £1.50 a day
FairFX business expense card
0%
£50 + VAT per year
No overdraft available
Exclusive to Finder Offer: Annual fee waived for first year + first 10 cards free

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

Anna Business Anna Business
3-month trial

Get a business account from £0 a month

Cashplus Cashplus
Credit builder

Build your credit score with the Cashplus current account

Revolut Business Revolut Business
No fees!

Transfer your money abroad easily with Revolut

Starling Business Starling Business
Free account

Open your Starling business account for free

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BenjaminNovember 19, 2019

    Hello,

    Can the business account be accessed by more than one person?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoNovember 20, 2019Staff

      Hi Benjamin,

      Thanks for getting in touch and I hope you are doing well.

      To answer your question above, yes, you are able to set up a Starling business account where more than one person can access it. To get started, please download the Starling app that can be found on their main website. You will see a GET THE APP sign on the upper right-hand side of the page. When clicked, you will be shown a choice to download for Android or iOs. Simply click and you will be able to download the app. The app will carefully guide you step by step to set up your account.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out should you need further assistance.

      With care,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    DecJuly 1, 2019

    Hi, can I give read-only access to my account to my Accountant

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuelJuly 2, 2019Staff

      Hi Dec,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      I’m afraid that is not possible. It is against company policy that third parties have access to your account. You may also contact Starling Bank to verify this.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Faye

  3. Default Gravatar
    AlMarch 12, 2019

    If for example I drop my phone down the loo, I able to access a starling account via laptop or pc?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaMarch 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Al,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, you cannot access your account via laptop or PC. Please note that Starling account is only available through Smartphones or tablets.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

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