What are the best business bank accounts in the UK?

Make the right decision about your small business bank account, whether you're just starting out or you're more established

If you run a small business, you’ll need a business bank account, but how do the different banks compare?

In this detailed guide, easily compare all the different providers, from traditional high street banks to digital platforms. Plus, find out what documents you need to open an account today.

You can jump straight to the relevant section for you or read on for a comprehensive guide to the best bank accounts in the UK right now.

On this page: 


Guidelines on applying for a bank account

UK Finance has teamed up with UK banking providers to pull together some guidelines on what you need before you apply for a small business bank account.

These rules only apply to existing businesses that have a turnover of less than £6.5 million, have a clearly defined ownership structure and have all its owners operating in the UK.

In general, UK Finance recommends that you get the following bits of documentation ready in advance. Most business current account providers will be looking a few key pieces of information.

One document to prove your identity:

    • Your full and valid UK or foreign passport

    • Your national identity photocard

    • Your full UK paper driving licence

    • Your full UK or foreign photocard driving licence as issued by a member state of the EU or the EEA

One document to prove your address in the UK:

    • Your full UK driving licence;

    • Your full UK or foreign licence photocard driving licence as issued by a member state of the EU or EEU;

    • UK or foreign bank or credit-card statement (must be less than three months old and not printed from the internet);

    • UK mortgage statement (less than 12 months old and not printed from net);

    • Council tax bill, payment book or exemption certificate (must be less than 12 months old);

    • A letter or bill from a utility company (less than six months old, avoid mobile phone bill).

Business-wise, you’ll need:

    • Your Companies House registration number (if you have one)

    • Details about your business including turnover, tax information and other capital

    • Details of all company directors or partners, including name, date of birth, address and National Insurance number

You can move through this guide on UK Finance to make sure you meet the requirements.

Once you’ve collected your documents, it’s time to choose an account.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the favourites on the market, separated into:

– Best Free Business Bank Accounts
– Traditional Banks
– Digital Platforms

Best Free Business Bank Accounts

These providers are currently offering no-fee deals (either time-limited or unlimited).

Traditional banks

To give you an idea of what to expect, we’ve created a table of the best business bank accounts in the UK, detailing each provider’s key offerings for small businesses.

Best small business bank accounts 2024

BankEligibilityFree banking periodAccount fee thereafter
BarclaysSuitable for most businesses with a turnover of up to £6.5 million. Specific criteria for businesses in certain sectors e.g. agriculture, social housing12 months£8.50 a month
Co-operative Bank Business Direct PlusCustomers must be £1,000 in credit at all times to qualify for free banking (will be £7 otherwise)30 months£7 a month
Co-operative Bank Business Current AccountCustomers must be £1,000 in credit at all times to qualify for free banking (will be £10 otherwise)30 months£10 a month
Co-operative Bank FSB banking accountFor Federation of Small Businesses membersFreeN/A
HSBC KineticFor single-director limited companies or sole trader with turnover up to £2m12 months£6.50 a month
HSBC Small Business Banking AccountTurnover below £2m and your business does not wish to borrow more than £25,00012 months£8 a month
LloydsStart-Up and Small Business Account is aimed at businesses with estimated turnover of up to £3m12 months£8.50 a month
Metro BankBusinesses must have a turnover under £2 millionFree for account balances over £6,000£6 a month
NatWest Business Bank AccountBusinesses who have a turnover above £1m and have been trading for under or over a year or turnover below £1m and have been trading over a yearNo – standard tariff appliesN/A
NatWest Start-up AccountFor businesses with turnover of less than £1m18 monthsFree – charges apply
RBS Business accountFor businesses who have a turnover above £1m and have been trading for under or over a year or turnover below £1m and have been trading over a yearNo – standard tariff appliesN/A
RBS Start-up accountFor businesses with turnover of less than £1m24 monthsFree
Santander 1I2I3Trading for less than 12 months and business is opening first business account with SantanderDiscounted monthly fee of £5 for start-ups for 18 months and switchers for 12 months£12.50 a month
Santander Business Current AccountTrading for less than 12 months and business is opening first business account with Santander18 months£7.50 a month
TSBOpen to sole traders, partners and directors30 months£5 (waived if your average balance in the month is under £10,000)
Virgin Money Business Current AccountSuitable for businesses with turnover of less than £6.5m25 months£6.50 a month
Virgin Money M AccountFor businesses with an annual turnover less than £1 millionPermanentn/a
Source: SmallBusiness.co.uk



Barclays

Barclays offers start-up and normal business accounts.

You’ll get free banking for 12 months with the Start-up Business Account. Plus, get free invoicing and account software from FreshBooks, worth more than £260 per year, and a UK-based team of business managers to help you grow your business.

Accounts for more established businesses are available to those with a turnover of up to £400,000 or between £400,000 and £6.5 million.

There’s e-payment for those that receive electronic payments and make payments through online banking and debit cards, which costs £8.50 a month.


The Co-operative Bank

Business Directplus

The Co-operative Bank offers all the standard service you would expect from a high street bank, including branch and online support, a UK-based telephone support team, a relationship manager if eligible and a mobile app. But its big differentiator is its ethical business policy and carbon-neutral credentials.

Plus Business Directplus offers access to invoicing and payments app, Go Get Paid.

Best of all, new Business Directplus customers who keep their balance above £1,000 get 30 months of free banking with no monthly charge. If your balance falls below £1,000 at any point, you will be charged £7 a month.

Business Current Account

Business owners can benefit from no monthly account fee and support from business advisors with the Business Current Account. Its benefits also include free integration with accounting software and partnership service offerings, from insurance to HR tools.

FSB Account

The FSB account has absolutely no monthly service charge and is exclusively available to FSB members. It doesn’t have as many features as the others, but you can manage scheduled payments.


HSBC

HSBC has two options for sole traders and single directors of limited companies. 

HSBC Kinetic

The HSBC Kinetic app is available to sole traders and single director-shareholders. There is no monthly account fee for the first 12 months.

This award-winning smartphone app-based business account is available for either Android or iPhone users.

Features

    • Debit card

    • Discounted broadband

    • Make payments of up to £25,000 per day in-app

    • Automatically categorised transactions to help monitor spending

    • Set up and manage Direct Debits, standing orders and future payments

    • Access via mobile or desktop

    • Scan and deposit cheques safely in the app

    • Credit card and savings account (subject to eligibility and application)

    • Cashflow and spending insights that could help you manage your money better

    • Apply for up to £30,000 overdraft in-app

HSBC Small Business Banking Account

A more traditional small business bank account from HSBC, aimed at sole traders and limited companies with turnover of under £6.5 million and looking to borrow up to £25,000.

Features

    • Free banking for 12 months

    • Visa debit card

    • Loans from £1,000 to £25,000

    • Overdraft

    • Visa commercial card – no annual fee for the first year

    • Access to secure digital banking including the ability to scan and deposit your cheques via the Business Banking Mobile app

    • Banking 24/7 online

    • Syncs with Sage accounting software

    • UK-based telephone support

    • International payments for over 60 currencies

At £8 a month once the initial 12-month free banking period expires, the HSBC Small Business Banking Account costs £1.50 more than its sister HSBC Kinetic account for smartphone users. Our view is that if you’re happy using an Android or iPhone, it makes sense to embrace mobile banking. 


Lloyds

Lloyds’ Start-Up and Small Business Account is aimed at small businesses with estimated turnover of up to £3m. Start-up or small business customers get 12 months of day-to-day banking for free whether you’re switching or opening a new account. It has free electronic payments and simple pricing structures. The monthly fee is £8.50 once the free banking period ends.

Lloyds also offers its Business Finance Assistant online accountancy package free for three months for new customers.


Metro Bank

As well as bank accounts for larger businesses, Metro Bank has a specialist account for start-ups and SMEs which have a turnover of up to £2 million.

If your balance stays above £6,000 for the whole month, Metro Bank will waive your monthly account maintenance fee. Otherwise, it’s £6 for that month. If you stay over £6,000 you get 30 fee-free UK transactions for a month with 30p per transaction in excess of that. Accounts that go below £6,000 will pay 30p per UK transaction.

In addition, customers can benefit from:

    • Stores that are open seven days a week

    • Business accounting tools

    • UK-based contact centres


NatWest

Start-up Business Account

The Start-up Business Account is available for businesses that have been trading for less than a year and have a turnover of less than £1 million.

The account offers the usual smartphone app and online banking but what sets Start-up Business Account apart is the free business support NatWest offers fledgling businesses, either through its Business Builder digital tool or its NatWest Accelerator programmes targeting start-ups in today’s high-growth (digital), climate, fintech and purpose-led sectors.

Plus NatWest Start-up Business Account bundles free FreeAgent accountant software subscription for all business customers. 

There are no transaction fees for the first year and a half, with standard transaction fees after that. There is no monthly charge at all for a Start-up Business Account.

Like HSBC, NatWest has a mobile-first banking app, Mettle (see below). It has no monthly fees and no minimum transaction fee. It’ll be suitable for you if you’re a sole trader or a limited company with up to two owners.

Business Bank Account

NatWest Business Bank Account offers all the features of the Start-up Account plus a dedicated relationship manager to be your point of contact. It is targeted towards businesses that are turning over £1 million a year and those turning over less than that but have been in operation for over a year.

Again, there is no monthly fee but standard transaction charges do apply. 

As well as access to the Entrepreneur Accelerator programmes and complimentary FreeAgent accounting software, you can apply to join Bankline through the Business Bank Account, a one-stop-shop dashboard which gives you an overview of activity with sign-ons for multiple users, giving you a real-time overview of your bookkeeping – ideal for businesses with a higher volume of transactions.


RBS

Start-up Bank Account

RBS’s Start-up Bank Account mirrors its sister bank NatWest’s start-up bank account, except that it offers two years’ worth of free banking without transaction charges rather than 18 months.

Business Account

Aimed at businesses that have either been trading for under or over one year and have a £1 million annual turnover or those who have been trading for over a year with a turnover of less than £1 million. The RBS Business Account again mirrors sister bank NatWest’s Business Bank Account, offering 24/7 online, telephone and mobile app banking, no minimum monthly charge, plus a dedicated relationship manager.

Again, there is free accounting software from FreeAgent, access to the Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme, and multiple account management through Bankline.


Santander

With Santander you’ve got a couple of options on the current account front.

Business Current Account

Please note that this account is only being offered to existing Santander customers at present – this is under ongoing review

This one’s open to you if you’ve been trading for less than 12 months and your business is opening its first business current account with Santander.

It comes with an arranged overdraft on an unsecured basis from £500 up to £25,000. To qualify you must have a good credit history and not have been declared bankrupt or have had an IVA within the past six years. On top of that, you must not have been a disqualified director of a failed business within the same time period.

After the first 18 months the account costs £7.50 a month with a cash deposit monthly limit of £1,000 and 70p per £100 deposited in excess of this monthly limit.

You can also nominate colleagues to have access to your account to help you manage the business finance.

There’s no minimum or maximum opening deposit or maximum balance to get started.

1|2|3 Business Current Account

Please note that this account is only being offered to existing Santander customers at present – this is under ongoing review

The main draw of the 1|2|3 Business Current Account is the cashback, which you can receive up to £300 in per year.

Other than that, it’s much the same as the Business Current Account.

Whether you’re on the start-up or the switcher offer, you’ll be paying £5 a month in fees. After your first 18 months (12 months for switchers) you’ll be put on the £12.50 account which also has a £1,000 monthly deposit limit and 70p per £1000 in excess of that limit.


TSB

TSB’s Business Plus account has 30 months of free business banking for sole traders, partners and directors – as long as you stay within agreed limits and don’t go overdrawn. It doesn’t matter if you’re switching or are opening a brand-new bank account.

After that you’ll be paying £5 a month which will be waived if your average balance over that month is under £10,000.

If you prefer to bank in-branch, there are a network of TSB branches around the UK where you can do your banking.

TSB Business Plus also comes with business advice and support through Enterprise Nation for 12 months.


Virgin Money

M Account for Business

Designed for businesses with an annual turnover less than £1 million, the M Account for Business has no monthly fee as well as free day-to-day online banking.

M Account for Business customers get cashback for their business whenever they use their debit card, will earn 0.25 per cent cashback with no cap.

The M Account for Business comes with an optional 12-month overdraft called Planned Borrowing with a £1,000 borrowing limit.

The account also comes with the free M-Track dashboard for business insights and forecasting.

Business Current Account

The Virgin Money Business Current Account is designed for businesses with turnover of up to £6.5 million. It offers 25 months of free day-to-day banking, after which the monthly charge is £6.50.

In addition to all the standard online banking tools for monitoring your account, you can earn 0.35 per cent cashback on direct debit transactions (up to an annual cap of £500 per calendar year per debit card), discounts on business purchases, and more discounts when you use your debit card at selected merchants. The account can also be integrated with accounting software such as Sage, QuickBooks and Xero.

A cash limit of £250,000 per year applies.


Digital platforms

Of course, a small handful of digital banking platforms have appeared in recent years. Here’s a quick breakdown of their headline features.

Best digital banking platforms 2024

BankFeaturesPricing
ANNASmart invoicing, automatically chase outstanding paymentsPay-as-you-go tariff means you just pay per transaction such as 20p per transaction moving money in or out: otherwise, its Business package is £14.90 per month + VAT, which bundles £35 worth of free activity and then adds charges per transaction
CardOneMoneyFor companies with turnover of less than £2m. Text alerts confirming when money is in and to confirm that bills have been paid

£12.50 a month plus a £55 application fee
CashplusAdd up to 20 additional business expense cards for your employees to use

Cashplus integrates with accounting software




Business Go: £0
Business Extra: £9
Countingup2-in-1 business account and accounting app. Automated bookkeeping, professional invoices and automated receipt scanning as key features along with tax calculated and filed for you
First three months free then: £3 a month if you deposit up to £750; £9 is you deposit £750-£750,000; £18 a month unlimited deposits
MettleCreate and send invoices directly from your smartphone, complete with company logo

Add receipts to transactions

Can connect with Xero, Freeagent and Quickbooks
Free to use and free to join
MonzoIntegrations with Xero, FreeAgent and QuickBooks; set aside a percentage of your earnings to put towards tax every time you’re paidLite: Free

Pro: £5
RevolutHold, exchange and transfer currencies with real exchange rate, issue free corporate cards to employees, integrate with accounting softwareCompanies pay between £0 – £100 a month, depending on the account (or they can speak to Revolut and get a bespoke deal)

Freelancers pay £7 a month or £60 a year for Revolut Pro
Starling BankNo monthly fees, categorised transactions, integration with Xero, FreeAgent and Quickbooks, overdraft facilityNo monthly fee

Can add a monthly £7 ‘business toolkit’ for extra functionality
TideNo fees on card payments in UK or abroad, Tide Mastercard, instant invoicing, integration with FreeAgent, Sage and XeroFree (£0)

Plus (£9.99)

Pro (£18.99)

Plus Cashback (£49.99)
AirwallexAccess a wealth of tools and integrations including Xero and Oracle, take payments from customers in their preferred currencyFree (£0). Small currency conversion fee applies
Wise for BusinessGet a Wise business debit card too where you can earn 0.5 per cent cashback on all eligible business debit card transactionsIt costs £45 to open an account and £3 for a Wise debit card. Other charges vary
SumUpYou can link your MasterCard with Apple Pay and Google Pay to make faster payments. With a SumUp card reader, you can also make a sale and access your money in one day

SumUp also has a built-in invoicing tool so you can send customised invoices from your phone or your computer. Share payment links with customers through text, WhatsApp, Instagram or another platform
Free (other charges apply)
Source: SmallBusiness.co.uk


ANNA

ANNA is open to any UK resident who is a director of a limited company and non-limited businesses that are structured as a partnership or sole trader.

It takes three minutes to set up and you’ll get a personal webpage with a link to put on your online profiles or send it to someone directly. You can also give your employees their own debit card with a spending limit and it’ll sort out their expenses automatically.

You can set up free direct debits as well as scheduled and recurring payments.

Aimed at creatives, start-ups and freelancers, ANNA can generate invoices, and chase payment when overdue.

ANNA has two packages aimed at sole traders and small businesses: it’s pay-as-you-go tariff means you just pay per transaction such as 20p per transaction moving money in or out: otherwise, its Business package is £14.90 per month + VAT with the first month free. See full prices here.


CardOneMoney

CardOneMoney (formerly CardOneBanking) is aimed at sole traders, limited companies or partnerships who have a turnover of up to £2 million.

Add prepaid corporate cards which will link to your business account. You can also export statements to a cloud accounting network.

Just be aware that this one isn’t covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which will protect your first £85,000 investment should the firm go bust.

It’s £12.50 a month with a £55 application fee.


Cashplus

Cashplus offers a good account if you already have a few members of staff on your payroll – you can add up to 20 additional business expense cards for your employees to use and download statements for each.

The card has two offerings:

Business Go: £0 a month with a £9.95 card issuing fee.
Business Extra: £9 a month, with 0.5 per cent cashback on your card spend and no card issuing fee.


Countingup

Countingup is a relatively new player in the mobile banking market.

Its business offering comes with automated bookkeeping, business insights, professional invoices and automated receipt scanning as key features along with tax calculated and filed for you.

Note that Countingup doesn’t have an IBAN for international payments but you can apply for one with their partner, CurrencyFair.

All accounting features appear in all of the accounts; these include receipt capture and tax estimate.

A three-month free trial is offered, then its pricing structure is as follow:

    • £3 a month if you deposit up to £750

    • £9 a month if you deposit between £750 and £7,500

    • £18 a month unlimited deposits

However, the self-employed can only keep up to £60,000 in their account, while limited company accounts are capped at £400,000. 


Mettle

Mettle is part of NatWest but is an independent arm. This means that you can’t ring NatWest and expect them to assist with your Mettle account.

You’ll be eligible if you’re a sole trader or a limited company with up to two owners, though you must have a balance of up to £1m in your main account.

One of the main highlights is that you can create and send invoices directly from your smartphone, complete with company logo. Notifications will let you know when you’ve been paid. You can auto-match payments to invoices and chase payments with automated reminders.

You can add also add receipts to transactions.

Other than that, you can sync your account with FreeAgent, Xero or QuickBooks.

Mettle is free to use and free to join.


Monzo

Monzo is the latest of the digital banking platforms to introduce business banking. Open an account if you’re a sole trader or the director of a registered limited company by shares (Ltd). Multi-user access is available for limited companies. Just be aware that you need to have a personal account with Monzo before you can apply for a business account.

Accounts aren’t available to some types of businesses but this may be reviewed in future.

To limit financial crime, you can pay in £5-£300 of cash in one go, and up to £1,000 every six months.

As for features, Monzo integrates with Xero, FreeAgent and QuickBooks. With Monzo Business Pro, new Xero users can get six months of the cloud accounting platform free on the Business Pro account. It also has a Pots feature, where you can set aside a percentage of your earnings to put towards tax every time you’re paid. What’s more, you can opt to be notified every time you get paid.

The pricing is on two tiers: Lite offers up the basics, but for additional features like integrated accounting and Pots you’ll need to go Pro at £5 a month.


Revolut

Revolut is a good shout for business owners who travel and trade overseas. Customers can hold, exchange and transfer over 25 currencies with the real exchange rate.

You can issue physical and virtual cards and track your employees spending in real time.

Revolut integrates with other platforms including Xero, Quickbooks, Sage, Shopify and WooCommerce.

In terms of accounts, you’ve got:

    • Basic (£0 a month)

    • Grow (from £19 a month)

    • Scale (from £79 a month)

    • Enterprise (bespoke – speak to Revolut)

Freelancers can have a Revolut Pro which is £7 a month or £60 a year.


Starling Bank

The Starling Bank business account is open to you if you’re a sole trader or the owner of a limited company, a limited liability partnership or if you’re part of a limited company with multiple owners.

There’s no monthly charge on the account and it comes with an overdraft. If you’re running a limited company, you can apply for an overdraft from £1,000 to £50,000. To boost your business’ functionality, you can add on a Business Toolkit for £7 a month. Extra tools include invoices and auto-matching, email integrations and VAT recorded on transactions. The other add-ons are a euro business account (£2 a month) and a US dollar account (£5 a month).

If you want to deposit cash, you can do so at Post Office branches across the country. It’ll set you back at least £3 per deposit and deposit limits vary.

What’s more, you can integrate your Starling Bank business account with Xero, FreeAgent and Quickbooks.


Tide

With Tide, you’ve got different account options.

The free Tide account gives you the ability to schedule payments along with access to Quickbooks, Xero, Sage and more. The Plus account (£9.99 a month plus VAT) includes one free expense card for your team with up to 20 free transfers per month. The Pro account (£18.99 a month plus VAT) includes two free expense cards for your team plus unlimited transfers. The Cashback account (£49.99 a month) has all of the features of the Free and Plus accounts along with 0.5 per cent cashback on your Tide card and a dedicated team of account managers.


Airwallex

Airwallex offers a business account with domestic and international business accounts, company cards and expense management – all in one place.

Its multi-currency account allows you to start collecting payments from your customers in their preferred currency so you can trade globally without the red tape.

The account is free and there are no set up costs, you just pay a small currency conversion fee.

Access a wealth of tools and integrations including Xero and QuickBooks, plus you can open an account in minutes online.


Wise for Business

Wise for Business (formerly TransferWise) allows you to pay international invoices, vendors and employees, at the real exchange rate, in over 70 countries. You’ll get a Wise business debit card too where you can earn 0.5 per cent cashback on all eligible business debit card transactions.

Give your accountants and team access to Wise and control their permissions, giving your employees an expense card too. Connect currency accounts to Xero and QuickBooks and pay up to 1,000 people with one click using batch payments.

It costs £45 to open an account and £3 for a Wise debit card. Other charges vary.


SumUp    

The payment processing firm, SumUp, has launched a business account offering. The account, geared at freelancers, sole traders and small businesses, is free but withdrawal fees apply after the third monthly withdrawal.

You can link your MasterCard with Apple Pay and Google Pay to make faster payments. With a SumUp card reader, you can also make a sale and access the money in one day, even on bank holidays and weekends.

SumUp also has a built-in invoicing tool so you can send customised invoices from your phone or your computer. Share payment links with customers through text, WhatsApp, Instagram or another platform.


Get a business bank account quote today – click here.


Important Information – Some of the products promoted are from our banking and affiliate partners from whom we receive compensation. While we aim to feature some of the best products available, we cannot review every product on the market.


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Lucy Wayment

Lucy is the former editor of Startups.co.uk and has been writing and working in the small business and entrepreneur space for over 12 years. She’s now Head of Content at Stubben Edge, where she writes...

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