If you’ve had financial challenges, it’s still possible to build a new foundation with a business bank account that won’t consider your credit score during the application process.
I’ll compare the benefits of each account that doesn’t require a credit check so you can make the best decision.
Can you get a business bank account with bad credit?
It is possible to get a business account in 2023, even with an imperfect credit rating. Many challenger banks are flexible when it comes to credit scores and some even specialize in serving businesses with poor credit ratings.
Typically, these institutions will perform only a “soft credit check” during the application process, which is more like a background check or pre-approval process. With lower operating costs, challenger banks are able to take a different approach to risk management from high street banks. Also, most no-credit accounts don’t offer things like an overdraft.
It’s important to note that even with challenger banks, there are still some requirements that businesses must meet to qualify for an account. For example, you’ll need to provide proof of business registration and ownership and identification documents.
Pros and Cons of a No Credit Check Business Bank Account
- No impact on credit score
- Quick and easy application process as there is no need for credit checks or financial statements.
- Access to business banking services for those that may not otherwise be eligible
- Creditbuilder options with some accounts
- Limited services and features
- Some no-credit-check business accounts may have higher fees
- No access to credit
- Limited acceptance
How to Choose the Right Account with No Credit Check for Your Business?
Our advice is to assess the specific functionality your business needs from the account first; these may include an overdraft, in-app invoicing, integration with common accounting platforms, foreign currency transactions, and the ability to deposit cash. Some more straightforward challenger accounts don’t include all these, so write a requirements checklist before signing up.
|Feature||Cashplus||Tide||Card One Money||Counting Up||Acorn||Anna|
|Free Account Option||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|ATM withdrawal fees||£2||£1||£1.50||£1||£1.50||£1|
|Free UK Transfers||Yes (with limits)||20p||No||30p||No||Yes (with paid plans, limits apply)|
|In-App Cheque Scanning||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|Trustpilot Review Score||4.0/5||4.3/5||4.5/5||4.4||1.7||4.7|
|Overdraft||Yes (with fee)||No||No||No||No||No|
|Accounting Software Integration||Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent||Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent||Wave, Xero, Sage, Freeagent||Offers own version||No||Offers own version|
Once you’ve isolated a few accounts that meet your requirements, comparing third-party reviews from platforms like Trustpilot will indicate how existing customers feel the bank handles customer service.
Here is some of the functionality you may wish to consider:
- Low fees: Look for an account with low or no monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, transfer or transaction fees.
- Essential banking services such as deposit, withdrawal, and in-app cheque scanning.
- Convenient ATM locations: Consider the availability of ATMs in the locations you will frequent to avoid additional fees.
- Cash Deposits – Some challenger accounts do not allow cash deposits at all.
- Customer service: Research the customer service of the account provider to ensure that you will have access to assistance if you have any questions or problems.
- Security features: Check if the account provider has security features, such as fraud detection and protection, to keep your business’s funds secure.
- Acceptance: Research the acceptance rate of the debit card offered to ensure that the account will be accepted in the places you conduct business.
- Transparency in terms and conditions: Carefully review the terms and conditions of the account to ensure that you fully understand any potential fees or limitations.
- Overdraft facility – This is rarely offered with a no-credit account, though one provider, Cashplus, does so after a certain period has elapsed and if you meet their criteria.
- Accounting Software Integration – Some providers, such as Anna offer their own accounting platform as part of the account, while others integrate with software such as Xero and Freeagent. If you have a preference, ensure the account allows for it.
What are the Top Business Accounts With No-Credit Checks?
Cashplus is a fully regulated bank whose don’t require a credit check on their business accounts. They specialise in fast-set up, minimal-fuss banking via a well-designed APP. Their fees are reasonable, with no charge on their entry-level account and just £9 on their Business Extra tariff. They also have a clever option called ‘Business Creditbuilder’ whereby they essentially lend you money that you then pay back via pre-arranged payments. Over time this builds your credit score for the future, which means you could move on to another bank account if you feel you need expanded functionality.
» MORE Read our full article on Cashplus Business Bank Account Review
Tide are another strong choice for those with bad credit. They don’t run credit checks but simply verify identity via a third-party service. Tide is an award-winning challenger bank used by over 400,000 businesses, or 7% of the market. Their focus is the ease of use, no monthly fees, easy invoice creation and good integration with major accountancy platforms.
» MORE Read our full article on Tide Business Bank Accounts
Card One Money
Card One Money is a challenger APP-style bank, although officially, it’s an Authorised Payment Institution as opposed to a regulated bank. The USPs of Card One Money are a quick application, no credit checks, and positive online reviews. There is an application fee of £55. Expect an account charge of £12.50 per month, too.
» MORE Read our full article on Card One Money Business Bank Account
Counting up is an e-money account, but in terms of functionality, it isn’t that different to an actual bank. You can open an account without needing a credit check, it takes less than five minutes to sign up, and it’s free to use for the first three months with a £500 maximum monthly deposit. Counting Up also has excellent ratings on Trustpilot, meaning its users think a lot of it.
Acorn Business account is an e-money account which doesn’t need a credit check. You can withdraw money at Barclays money or pay via any Post Office. It’s a lean, fast, no-frills account with a £60 set-up fee and a £12.50 monthly charge. Like all e-money accounts, you won’t benefit from FSCS protection. Current online reviews for Acorn are mixed, with a low 2.5 average on Trustpilot.
» MORE Read our full article on Acorn Business Bank Account
Anna aims its account and startups, freelancers or small businesses. Their account doesn’t require a credit check and comes with Apple/Google pay compatibility, free direct debits, 1% cash back on certain purchases, and a well-designed APP. Anna also offers a tool they call ‘Fast Track for Credit’ with a £9 monthly charge. After three months of putting your business sales through the Anna account with this functionality, you get an offer credit of around 30% of your monthly sales income. Anna also won’t charge interest, late payment penalties or hidden fees.
» MORE Read our full article on Anna Business Bank Account
Which UK Banks Do Require a Credit Check for a Business Account?
The following banks do not make our list due to requiring a credit check. So, if you are looking for a bank account for your business that does not require a credit check in the application process, be sure to avoid these:
- Clydesdale Bank
- Cooperative Bank
- Danske Bank
- HSBC (including Kinetic)
- Lloyds Bank
- Metro Bank
- RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland)
- Virgin Money
6 Steps to Open a No Credit Check Account
- Research and compare different providers of no-credit-check business accounts to find the one that best fits your needs.
- Review the terms and conditions: Review the account’s terms and conditions and ensure you fully understand them before signing up.
- Gather required documentation: Collect the documentation required by the account provider, such as a government-issued ID, proof of business ownership, and proof of address.
- Complete the application: Fill out the account application, which will typically include personal and business information, and submit it to the provider.
- Verify your identity: Verify your identity by providing the required documentation and undergoing a verification process, which may include an in-person visit or video call.
- Fund the account: Once it is set up, fund it with the initial deposit or by linking it to an existing account.
Why Challenger Banks are More Likely to Take on Customers with a Bad Credit Score
Challenger banks, also known as digital or online banks, are often more flexible regarding imperfect credit. With lower overhead costs than traditional banks, they can offer competitive rates and greater flexibility. This is because they may use alternative data sources and algorithms to assess creditworthiness rather than relying solely on traditional credit scores. For example, they may consider a customer’s income, spending habits, and banking history.
That being said, it is essential to note that each challenger bank has its own lending policies and requirements. It is ultimately up to the individual bank to decide whether to lend to a customer with a bad credit score. It is always a good idea to review the terms and conditions of a lender before applying for a bank account to ensure that you understand the requirements and the potential risks and rewards.
Do Any Bad Credit Bank Accounts Allow for an Overdraft?
To our knowledge, Cashplus is the only no-credit-check business account allowing an overdraft. Not every account will be eligible. However, you will be informed after holding an account for at least three months. Cashplus will inform you of your overdraft’s interest rate, APR and credit limit when you’re invited to apply.
No-Credit Check Bank Account FAQs
Can you Open a Business Account with Bad Credit?
Several UK banks and e-money providers offer specific bad credit bank accounts.
What Bank can I Open with a low Credit Score?
Cash One Money, Tide, Acorn, Cashplus and Counting Up are all banks that will accept a low credit score.
How to Open a Business Bank Account with bad Credit?
To open a business bank account with bad credit, you’ll simply need an ID, limited company number, UK postal address and your articles of incorporation.
How Long Does it Take to Open a Business Bank Account With Bad Credit?
Many challenger banks specialising in bad credit claim it takes less than 10 minutes to set up a new account. Some will even offer virtual cards which you can use before the real ones arrive, too.
Do banks do credit checks when opening a business account?
Most banks will do a credit check as a standard part of their account set up process for a business account. Some, such as CashPlus, do not do a credit check but offer a slightly higher fee structure on the account to compensate for their higher risk.
Can you be denied a Business Bank Account?
You can certainly be denied a business bank account for either failing a credit check, another administrative requirement such as UK address, or perhaps because your business niche falls in one, e.g. gambling, which many providers consider high risk.
Will the banks require any more information from me because there is no credit check?
No. In fact, the application process should be simpler and faster on a no-credit-check check account.
Will the account cost more if they don’t do a credit check?
No credit check bank accounts are not necessarily more expensive than traditional bank accounts.