Choosing the right bank account for your business is a decision that will likely impact you on a daily basis for years to come.

Whether you’re a start-up opening an account for the first time, or an established SME switching for a more competitive deal, we will help you compare 10 of the best bank account options available to UK businesses, and their e-money alternatives.

Our editors have selected what we feel are the best of the bunch when it comes to business bank accounts and to make things easier for you we’ve provided the key features and the pros and cons for each option.

The business accounts included below have been chosen by reviewing each provider’s products and services with our proprietary rating system, as well as taking the wider market user trends into consideration.

You can go straight to the overview section for our best business accounts by using the following navigation link: Best business bank accounts overview

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What are Business Bank Accounts and How do They Work?

Business bank accounts are specialised financial products designed for managing the money and transactions of businesses rather than individuals.

These accounts facilitate day-to-day operations, save funds, handle client money, and manage foreign currency transactions.

When talking about business bank accounts specifically, we typically refer to those offered by either traditional banks or challenger banks, both of which are regulated financial entities, but operate under different models.

However, businesses also have alternatives to traditional bank accounts called e-money accounts, available from electronic money institutions (EMIs).

Pros and Cons of having a Business Bank account

Pros:

  • Separates personal and business transactions
  • Builds a business credit rating
  • Easier tax reporting to HMRC
  • It makes the business look more professional
  • Financial protection for yourself and your business

Cons:

  • Business bank accounts generally come with higher fees than personal accounts
  • Having a second account means more admin
  • It may come with a minimum deposit requirement

How to Choose the Right Business Bank Account

Here are some of the things you may want to consider when choosing a bank account for your business:

  1. Fees and Charges: A few of the accounts on this page have no monthly fees, such as the ones offered by Tide and Starling Bank. Keep in mind that some accounts like HSBC Kinetic are only free for a period of time before a monthly charge is applied. Equally, some will charge for transactions, where others will not. Select the account that is aligned with what you are comfortable with on pricing.
  2. Interest Rates: High street banks like Cynergy Bank offer interest, but often with higher fees after the first year. Many challenger banks do not offer interest, so keep this in mind.
  3. Overdraft Facilities: High street banks typically offer overdrafts. Among challengers, only Cashplus Bank, Monzo, and Starling Bank provide them for qualifying businesses.
  4. Online Banking and Mobile App: Look for user-friendly platforms. Tide, Starling Bank, and Revolut offer comprehensive digital banking.
  5. Customer Service: Take the level of customer service into consideration. Some of the options such as Starling Bank, Revolut, ANNA Money and Monzo provide 24/7 support. However, some only offer this extensive support on specific channels like their app, so keep this in mind when selecting your account.
  6. Integration with Accounting Software: Check for compatibility with software like Xero, QuickBooks, and Sage. Tide, Starling, and Revolut integrate seamlessly, as do many of the others.
  7. Deposit Protection: Verify FSCS protection (up to £85,000). Available with traditional banks like HSBC and Metro Bank; and also with Tide, Starling Bank and Monzo. However, not all digital accounts offer this level of protection.

Additional Things to Consider Before Choosing

  1. Read the terms and conditions carefully: Before opening a business bank account, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the account, including any fees and charges that may apply.
  2. Consider any special requirements: If you have specific requirements for your business banking, such as foreign currency transactions, make sure the bank you choose offers the services you need.
  3. Compare the customer reviews: Look for a bank with a strong reputation and solid customer reviews. Read through the customers’ reviews to get a sense of their experiences.

The Best Business Accounts at a Glance

In a rush? If you don’t want to read the whole article here’s a quick glance at our picks of the best business bank accounts (and e-money alternatives).

If you are only interested in what the high-street banks have to offer take a look at our traditional high-street bank comparison table further down the page.

The table below includes our bespoke rating, monthly fees, transaction fees, and a couple of other important features to help get you started on your decision-making process about which really is the best for you.

ProviderGood ForMonthly FeeBank TransfersCard Purchases Our RatingCheck Eligibility
TideCost-effective SMEs and startups£020pFree4.5/5★Visit site
Starling BankSMEs wanting robust, digital banking with strong support£0FreeFree4.5/5★Visit site
Revolut BusinessInternational trade and multi-currency transactions£05 Free pm
(then 20p each)
Free4.1/5★Visit site
ANNA MoneyDigital-first startups and freelancers
£0
20pFree4/5★Visit site
HSBCSole traders and directors needing traditional and digital banking£0
(For 12m, then £6.50pm)
FreeFree4/5★Visit site
Cashplus BankSMEs needing simple, fee-free digital banking£0 3 Free pm
(then 30p each)
Free3.9/5★Visit site
MonzoSole traders needing online banking and cash management£0 FreeFree3.9/5★Visit site
Mettle by NatWestFee-free, digital banking for small businesses£0FreeFree3.9/5★Visit site
Metro BankHigher-balance businesses preferring traditional services£0
(for >£6,000 balance)
30 Free pm
(then 30p each)
30 Free pm
(then £30p each)
3.4/5★Visit site
Cynergy BankInterest-earning, digital banking with credit options£0
(for 12m, then £25pm)
FreeFree3.1/5★Visit site

The banking and e-money products included in the table above and on this page may be part of a range available from these providers. Other products are available. Always review the terms and conditions to ensure the product meets your needs before applying.

What are the Best Business Bank Accounts in 2024?

What Guided Our Best Picks?

A Deeper Dive: Our Picks of the Best Business Bank Accounts

Tide: Free Business Account

Why We Picked the Free Business Account from Tide

Pros and Cons

Independent Survey

The table below shows information from a survey that asked customers if they would recommend Tide’s services and products to other SMEs across specific categories.[1]

Categories for Tide% of Customers Who’d Recommend
Overall Service Quality74%
Online and Mobile Banking77%
Relationship/Account Management66%

Starling Bank: Business Current Account

Why We Picked the Business Current Account from Starling Bank

Pros and Cons

Independent Survey

The table below presents information from an independent survey that queried customers on their likelihood of recommending Starling Bank’s services and products to other SMEs across specific categories.[1]

Categories for Starling Bank% of Customers Who’d Recommend
Overall Service Quality83%
Online and Mobile Banking86%
Relationship/Account Management71%

Revolut Business: Basic Account

Why We Picked the Basic Account from Revolut Business

Pros and Cons

ANNA Money: Pay As You Go Business Account

Why We Picked the Pay As You Go Account from ANNA Money

Pros and Cons

HSBC Kinetic Current Account

Why We Picked the HSBC Kinetic Current Account

Pros and Cons:

Cashplus Bank: Business Go Account

Why We Picked the Business Go Account from Cashplus Bank

Pros and Cons

Monzo: Business Lite Account

Why We Picked the Business Lite Account from Monzo

Pros and Cons

Independent Survey

The table below displays results from a survey inquiring whether customers would recommend Monzo’s services and products to other SMEs in various specific categories.[1]

Categories for Monzo% of Customers Who’d Recommend
Overall Service Quality84%
Online and Mobile Banking88%
Relationship/Account Management78%

Mettle by NatWest: Business Bank Account

Why We Picked the Business Bank Account from Mettle by NatWest

Pros and Cons

Metro Bank: Business Bank Account

Why We Picked the Business Bank Account from Metro Bank

Pros and Cons

Independent Survey

The table below presents information from a survey that asked customers on whether they’d recommend Metro Bank’s services and products to other SMEs for specific categories.[1]

Categories for Metro Bank% of Customers Who’d Recommend
Overall Service Quality65%
Online and Mobile Banking67%
SME Overdraft and Loan Services52%
Relationship/Account Management65%

Cynergy Bank: Business Current Account

Why We Picked the Business Current Account from Cynergy Bank

Pros and Cons

Alternative Comparison of Features for Our Best Accounts

Below, we have put together a bespoke side-by-side feature comparison table that includes all the brands from our best business bank account list.

Please use this table to compare the different features offered by each brand to help you make a more informed decision for your business.

FeatureTideRevolut BusinessANNA MoneyCashplus BankMonzoHSBCMetro BankStarling BankMettleCynergy Bank
Account AccessApp & OnlineApp & OnlineApp OnlyApp & OnlineApp & OnlineApp & Online, Branch, Email, & PhoneIn-Branch, App & OnlineApp & OnlineApp & OnlineOnline & In-Branch
Accounting & Invoice Software Integrations
Available Customer Service 24/7 Support (for paid plans) 24/7 Support 24/7 Support Mon-Fri: 08:00 – 16:0024/7 support Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm & Saturdays from 8am to 2pmMon – Fri: 08:00 – 20:0024/7 Support Mon–Fri: 08:00 – 20:00 | Weekends/Bank Holidays: 09:00 – 17:00Mon-Fri: 09:15 – 17:15
Trustpilot Reviews4.1/54.2/54.6/53.6/53.9/54/52/54.3/54.6/53.5/5
Setup EaseSame-day Same-daySame-daySame-day3 days < 2 Days2 daysSame-day1 daySame-day
FSCS Protection

Interested in the High-Street Banks?

If you prefer a traditional high-street bank over challenger banks or e-money alternatives for your business, this section is tailored for you.

We’ve compiled the essential information into a table, making it easy for you to quickly decide which of the four major high-street banks might be the best fit for your business.

FeatureHSBC Kinetic AccountLloyds Small Business AccountNatWest Business AccountBarclays Business Account
Monthly Fee£6.50 (Free for 12m)£8.50 (Free for 12m)£0 (Free)£8.50 (Free for 12m)
Bank TransfersFree£0.20 (100 outgoing transfers pm free)£0.35 (Free for 24 months)Free
Card PurchasesFreeFree£0.35 (Free for 24 months)Free
ATM Withdrawals0.60%£0.853% (minimum £3 withdrawal)Free (UK)
Account AccessOnline, App, In-branch, Email, PhoneOnline, Mobile App, in-Branch, PhoneOnline, Mobile App, In-Branch, PhoneOnline, Mobile App, In-branch, Phone
Setup EaseMost accounts are opened within 48hrsAverage setup time of 7 daysAverage of 8 daysAverage setup time of 10 days
FSCS ProtectionFSCS-protectedFSCS-protectedFSCS-protectedFSCS-protected
Credit LinesOverdrafts up to £30,000. Loans between £1,000 – £10,000. Credit card with 22% (representative) APR.Overdrafts up to £25,000+. Business Loans from £1,000 to £25,000. Credit Cards with 22.4% (representative) APR.Overdrafts up to £50,000. Credit cards with 24.3% (representative) APR. Loans of £1,000 to £50,000.Overdrafts up to £50,000. Credit cards with a representative APR from 27.5%. Loans from £1,000 to £100,000.
Customer ServiceMon to Fri, 8am to 8pm and Sat, 8am to 2pm24/7 customer support via App and Lloyds X account (formerly Twitter). Phone support is Mon – Fri 7am to 8pm and Sat 9am to 2pm.24/7 Human support over the phone and via X account (formerly Twitter)Phone support is Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm.
Trustpilot Reviews8,642 ratings with an average of 1.6/54,568 ratings with an average of 1.7/56,630 ratings with an average of 1.4/510,302 ratings with an average of 1.4/5

What are the Different Types of Business Accounts Available?

Most of the business accounts available in the market are likely to be categorised as one of the following account types:

  1. Current Accounts – Essential for daily business transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, and payments, sometimes accompanied by chequebooks, and often including debit cards, and robust online banking capabilities.
  2. Savings Accounts – Ideal for businesses looking to earn interest on their excess funds, with generally higher interest rates but can have slightly more restricted access compared to current accounts.
  3. Merchant Accounts – Necessary for businesses that accept debit and credit card payments, acting as intermediaries to process and temporarily hold funds from transactions.
  4. Foreign Currency Accounts – Beneficial for businesses involved in international trade, helping to manage transactions in multiple currencies and mitigate exchange rate volatility.
  5. Fixed Deposit Accounts – Suitable for businesses intending to set aside funds for a fixed period to earn higher interest rates, unlike savings accounts, there are typically penalties applicable for early withdrawal.
  6. Client Accounts – Specifically useful for professions like solicitors or estate agents to manage client funds separately from business funds, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and safeguarding client money.
  7. E-Money Institution Accounts – Offer digital-first banking solutions. Although not covered by traditional banking protections like the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), these accounts must still ensure customer funds are safeguarded.

How to Open a UK Business Bank Account

To open a UK business bank account, you will typically need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose a bank: Compare the features and fees to find the best fit for your business.
  2. Gather necessary documentation: You will need to provide information about your business, including your company registration number, proof of identity, and the nature of your business.
  3. Apply: Complete the application process, which may involve an in-person meeting or the submission of an online application.
  4. Wait for approval: Based on the average length of time it takes to get all of the accounts set up on this page, you can expect to wait anywhere between 15 minutes to 10 days before getting access to your new account.
  5. Fund your account: You will need to transfer funds into your new business bank account to start using it.

The Documents You’ll Need

Banks require specific documents to verify your business identity and legitimacy. Common documents include:

  • Proof of Identity: Driver’s license or passport.
  • Proof of Personal Address: Recent utility bill or council tax statement.
  • Proof of Business Address: Correspondence from HMRC or Companies House.
  • Company Registration: Companies House formation document.
  • Estimated Annual Turnover: Projected income and expenses.
  • Financial History: Some banks may ask for documents showing a clean credit history.

Our Commitment to Updating Our Banking Content

In the rapidly evolving world of business banking, staying updated is key.

Whilst we cannot always guarantee accuracy as the banking market is changing all the time, we do our utmost to make sure you get the very best business banking information on our platform.

This is why Business Expert is committed to regular reviews of our content and diligently sticking to our update schedules.

This helps to ensure that you always have access to the latest information on business bank accounts, fees, regulations, and technological advancements.

We value your input as it helps us serve you better. So please feel free join our community, either through our newsletter, or give us feedback via our contact page to share your experiences or suggestions.

Review Methodology and the Business Expert Rating System

FAQs

Do I Need a Business Bank Account?

How Long Does It Take to Open a Business Bank Account in the UK?

How Do I Switch My Business Bank Account? 

Can I open a Business Account with a Bad Credit History?

Which providers offer business savings accounts?

References

[1] Overview of the Business Banking Service Quality Survey in Great Britain