Choosing the right bank account is an important decision for any business owner. The right account can significantly impact the financial health and management of your business.

Whether you run a limited company that needs a business bank account or you’re a sole trader wanting to separate your business and personal finances, this page will help you find the ideal account for your needs.

We have analysed dozens of bank accounts and carefully selected those that our editors consider the best for various business needs. So, let’s get to it…

Featured partners:

Do I even need a business bank account?

You need a business bank account if:

  • Your business is a limited company registered at Companies House.

You might not need a business bank account if:

  • You are a sole trader or working as a freelancer or contractor and not operating through a limited company.

Can I use My personal bank account for business use?

If you are a sole trader, you can use your personal bank account for business transactions. However, if your business is a limited company, you must open a separate business bank account.

Is it beneficial to use a business bank account if it’s not mandatory?

A business bank account may be beneficial if:

  • You prefer to keep personal and business finances separate.
  • You wish to give your business a more professional public image.
  • Your business has significant turnover and business expenses.

Even without a legal requirement, a business bank account can simplify invoicing, make invoices look more professional, help with payment tracking, expense recording, and tax filing. It also helps in building a credit profile for future financial needs like loans or credit cards

More information on this can be found here: Do I need a business bank account?

The 10 best business bank accounts:

We have provided a selection of the 10 best business bank accounts below. Take a closer look to see which best aligns with your business needs.

Tide: Free Business Account

More Information: Tide’s Free Business Account

Pros and Cons

Independent survey

In the category of Overall Service Quality, 74% of customers recommended Tide. The recommendation rate for Online and Mobile Banking increases slightly to 77%. However, the Relationship/Account Management category sees a lower recommendation rate, with only 66% of customers willing to recommend Tide in this area.[1]

Starling Bank: Business Current Account

More Information: Starling Bank’s Business Current Account

Pros and Cons

Independent survey

For Starling Bank, 83% of customers recommended their Overall Service Quality. The recommendation rate for Online and Mobile Banking is higher at 86%. In the category of Relationship/Account Management, 71% of customers would recommend the service.[1]

Revolut Business: Basic Account

More Information: Revolut Business’ Basic Account

Pros and Cons

ANNA Money: Pay As You Go Business Account

More Information: ANNA Money’s Pay As You Go Account

Pros and Cons

HSBC Kinetic Current Account

More Information: HSBC’s Kinetic Current Account

Pros and Cons:

Zempler Bank: Business Go Account

More Information: Zempler Bank’s Business Go Account

Pros and Cons

Monzo: Business Lite Account

More Information: Monzo’s Business Lite Account

Pros and Cons

Independent survey

For Monzo, 84% of customers recommended their Overall Service Quality. The recommendation rate for Online and Mobile Banking is higher at 88%. In the category of Relationship/Account Management, the recommendation stood at 78%.[1]

Mettle by NatWest: Business Bank Account

More Information: Mettle’s Business Bank Account

Pros and Cons

Metro Bank: Business Bank Account

More Information: Metro Bank‘s Business Bank Account

Pros and Cons

Independent survey

For Metro Bank, 65% of customers recommended their Overall Service Quality. The recommendation rate for Online and Mobile Banking is slightly higher at 67%. However, the recommendation rate for SME Overdraft and Loan Services was lower, with only 52% of customers recommending it. In the category of Relationship/Account Management, the recommendation rate was 65%.[1]

Cynergy Bank: Business Current Account

More Information: Cynergy Bank’s Business Current Account

Pros and Cons

What are business bank accounts?

A business bank account is a specific type of bank account designed to meet the needs of businesses, ranging from small enterprises to large corporations.

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

How do business bank accounts work?

These accounts facilitate daily operations, such as receiving client payments, paying suppliers, and managing payroll. They may also provide features like online and mobile banking, chequebooks, debit cards, and integration with accounting software to streamline financial reporting and tracking.

Business bank accounts can differ from personal accounts in several key aspects, including fee structures, transaction processing, and access to additional services like overdrafts and loans.

For example, accounts offered by banks such as Tide and Starling Bank might offer perks like zero monthly fees or low transaction costs to appeal to small businesses and startups.

Meanwhile, traditional banks may offer accounts with physical branch access and more comprehensive business services, catering to larger companies with more complex banking needs.

Overall, the functioning of business bank accounts centres on providing tailored banking solutions to support businesses’ diverse operational and financial needs, ensuring efficient financial management within the regulatory frameworks established by entities like the FCA and PRA.

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: Consider whether you want accounts with no monthly fees, and remember that some accounts have transaction fees.
  2. Interest rates: Some banks offer interest but may increase fees over time; others do not provide interest.
  3. Overdraft facilities: Check the availability and conditions of overdraft facilities, if required.
  4. Online banking and mobile app: Consider if banks with user-friendly digital banking platforms are preferred or if a more traditional banking setup (with branches) is required.
  5. Customer service: Evaluate customer support availability, particularly 24/7 service options, if required, and the communication channels offered.
  6. Integration with accounting software: Where required, confirm compatibility with popular accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.
  7. Deposit protection: If desired or required, verify if the provider offers FSCS protection up to £85,000. Note that not all account providers offer this.

Pros and cons of 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

The best business bank accounts at a glance

Here’s a quick reminder of our picks for the best business bank accounts (and e-money alternatives).

ProviderBest ForMonthly FeeBank TransfersCard Purchases Our RatingCheck Eligibility
TideStartups and overall business use.£020pFree4.5/5★Visit site
Starling BankSMEs needing safe digital banking and good customer support.£0FreeFree4.5/5★Visit site
Revolut BusinessTech-savvy people, international trade and multi-currency needs.£05 Free pm
(then 20p each)
Free4.1/5★Visit site
ANNA MoneyFreelancers and micro businesses.
£0
20pFree4/5★Visit site
HSBCSole traders and single directors wanting a more traditional banking experience.£0
(For 12m, then £6.50pm)
FreeFree4/5★Visit site
Zempler BankImmediate access to account information at application, giving startups a valuable head start.£0 3 Free pm
(then 30p each)
Free4/5★Visit site
MonzoDigital-first, fully regulated alternative to Starling Bank.£0 FreeFree3.9/5★Visit site
Mettle by NatWestFully-fee-free and mobile-based banking for micro businesses.£0FreeFree3.9/5★Visit site
Metro BankCombined traditional and digital banking focuses with account balances over £6,000.£0
(for >£6,000 balance)
30 Free pm
(then 30p each)
30 Free pm
(then £30p each)
3.4/5★Visit site
Cynergy BankRegulated digital banking that earns interest and also offers credit facilities.£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 guided Our best picks?

Interested in the high-street banks?

If you prefer a traditional high-street bank over challenger banks or e-money alternatives, then this side-by-side comparison table is tailored for you.

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?

Business accounts available in the market typically fall into the following categories:

  • Current accounts: Essential for daily operations like deposits, withdrawals, and making payments. They often include chequebooks, debit cards, and comprehensive online banking features.
  • Savings accounts: Best for earning interest on surplus funds, offering higher interest rates than current accounts but with more limited access.
  • Merchant accounts: Necessary for businesses accepting card payments, these accounts temporarily process and hold transaction funds.
  • Foreign currency accounts: These are useful for businesses trading internationally, helping manage multi-currency transactions and reducing exchange rate risks.
  • Fixed deposit accounts: Ideal for setting aside funds for a fixed period to earn better interest rates, though early withdrawals may incur penalties.
  • Client accounts: Crucial for professions like solicitors or estate agents to handle client funds separately, ensuring regulatory compliance and client money protection.
  • E-money institution accounts: Provide digital-first banking options, which are not covered by the FSCS but are required to safeguard customer funds.

Who is eligible for a business bank account?

Eligibility for a business bank account varies by provider, but typically, applicants must meet certain basic criteria. Generally, the applicant must be at least 18 years old, have a UK residential address, and be the director of an active UK company registered at Companies House, or a sole trader/freelancer registered with HMRC.

Some banks may also have specific requirements related to the business’ operation within the UK, and they often exclude charities, trusts, and high-risk industries. Additionally, certain banks may require the business to not be a holding company, dissolved, or in liquidation. Each bank will have its own set of eligibility requirements which need to be met to open a business bank account.

Steps 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 required

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.

Is there a limit to how many business bank accounts I can open?

You can have multiple bank accounts for your business, with no official limit on the number of accounts. However, if you want to open several accounts with the same bank or account provider, be aware that they may impose a limit at their discretion.

Are there alternatives to business bank accounts?

Alternative business banking options, such as e-money accounts and payment service providers (PSPs) can offer benefits like lower fees, enhanced tech integration, and flexible transactions.

The following options may not offer the same level of protection provided by traditional bank accounts. However, they can be used as alternatives to traditional bank accounts depending on your business’ specific circumstances and requirements:

1. E-money accounts: Non-bank financial institutions offer e-money accounts for electronic funds handling, often without traditional banking services and credit lines like loans.

2. Payment service providers (PSPs): PSPs, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square, handle online payment processing and temporarily hold funds.

What are the Best Business Bank Accounts?

Bottom line: So which accounts are the best of the bunch?

The best bank account for your business will be dictated by your needs and the needs of your business itself.

However, our top 3 choices that cover most requirements are:

  1. Tide’s Free account: Best for all needs and general business use.
  2. Starling Bank’s business bank account: Superb all-rounder with exceptional customer care.
  3. Revolut Business’ Basic account: Great for all digitally-minded individuals and also for international use.

All three of our top accounts lack branch access. If you require in-branch services, consider choosing one of the leading high-street banks in the table further up the page.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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?

What is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?

What is the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)?

What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Do all business current account providers offer 24/7 customer support?

References

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

[2] UK Neobank User and Trend Statistics