For a startup, choosing the right business bank account is a hugely important decision. However, selecting the right account can be challenging with so many players in the market.

I’ll guide you through the best bank accounts tailored for startups based on my detailed analysis of the market, comparing each account head to head across a number of metrics.

The 7 Best Bank Accounts for Startups in 2024

Tide Business Bank Accounts

With a market share of 10%, Tide’s success continues to soar, with over 550,000 bank accounts signed up. Tide Business Account features include free banking, business expense cards, and registering a free limited company with new startup accounts. They prioritise fast account set-up, and their accounts are both FCA-regulated and with FSCS protection. Overall, their customer service is excellent, with a 4.2-star rating on Trustpilot.

We love how quickly Tide is adding features too. You can get super quick access to loans through Tide Finance now, they’ve added a business savings account, and they’ve launched a great accountancy software in 2023 also.

Read our in-depth Tide Account Review

Starling Business Account

Starling Bank claims 3% of the retail market share and 7% of SME lending. It was recently voted the top-ranked business current account provider by a large-scale survey carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Starling Business Account Features include free monthly accounts, 24/7 customer service, no charge when spending abroad, and the ability to deposit both cash and cheques via the Post Office. Starling maintains excellent online reviews, with an average 4..4 Star rating out of 31,000 Reviews on Trustpilot.

Read our in-depth Starling Account Review

Anna Business Bank Accounts

Anna is intended as a simple, convenient and efficient APP-first bank account for small businesses and freelancers. Anna Business Bank Account features include same-day set up, a Mastercard that can be used anywhere in the world, 24/7 Customer Service and Free UK transfers and ATM withdrawals with paid plans. It integrates with all common accounting software and includes handy tax return reminders in the APP.

Read our in-depth Anna Review

Cashplus Business Account

Cashplus Bank is a fully regulated UK bank that provides several features and benefits tailored to meet the needs of startups. Offering financial security through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the bank protects your deposits up to £85,000. The account setup process is uncomplicated, and the bank provides the convenience of managing your finances online or via a mobile app.

With two primary account types, Business Go and Business Extra, Cashplus offers the flexibility to meet various business needs. Another noteworthy aspect is its compatibility with major accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero. This integration makes financial tracking simpler. If you deal in cash transactions, the bank allows you to deposit cash at any UK Post Office. You can also issue up to 20 additional cards for your team, facilitating easier expense management.

The mobile application is intuitive, with features like 24/7 access, instant payment notifications, and the capability to attach digital receipts. Moreover, Cashplus offers value-added features like special offers from reputable brands and a tool to improve your credit score.

Additional considerations that reinforce Cashplus as a viable choice include their 15-plus years of operation and a customer base exceeding 1.6 million. The bank also has a great Trustpilot score of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

HSBC Kinetic Business Bank Accounts

HSBC’s Kinetic account is the bank’s entry to the APP-first digital account market and as such, comes with a streamlined APP, free banking for 12 months, accounting integrations with QuickBooks, Sage and, Xero and FSCS Protection. The account requires a soft credit check which won’t impact your credit score and allows for overdraft facilities, an HSBC Credit Card, and a savings account. HSBC’s online reviews let it down with a 1.4 aveage star rating out of 6,500 ratings. It ranked in the bottom three for business account customer service in a recent (August 2022) survey carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Read our in-depth Kinetic Account Review

Mettle Business Bank Accounts

Mettle’s philosophy is no fees or hidden costs, and for new businesses, it’s got a lot to commend it. Open an account quickly, with no fees, multiple integrations with accounting software, and no credit checks. Because the emphasis of the account is simplicity, you can’t pay in cheques, however, or use HSBC branches, despite HSBC owning it. You’ll also get no FSCS protection and no options for overdrafts, credit cards, or the ability to make international payments. It comes with a maximum account balance of £100,000 for limited companies and £50,000 for sole traders, and if you can live within the account limitations, the emphasis on ‘no fees’ makes this worth considering. Mettle reviews are generally great, with a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot based on 1800 reviews.

Read our in-depth Mettle Review

Natwest Business

Natwest Business offers substantially more functionality than its APP-only Mettle account. You get access to the 960 UK branches, a dedicated account manager, the ability for traditional banking features such as overdrafts, credit cards and loans, and the ability for savings accounts. Despite its size and history, the Natwest business accounts don’t rate nearly as high as some others, however. Natwest receives an average of 1.4 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot, with a rating of ‘Bad’.

Read our in-depth Natwest business Account Review

What is a Startup Bank Account?

A startup bank account is a specific type of business bank account designed to meet the needs of new businesses, offering features like low fees, online banking, and support for financial management to help startups grow and manage their finances efficiently.

What Startups Should Look for in a Business Current Account

Take time to research each bank account before signing on the dotted line, read the reviews and ensure you choose a company with a reliable, trustworthy service that can support your business growth.

Monthly FeeTransfersOverdraftAccessTrustpilot Website
TideFree20pXApp/Online4.2Get Deal
Cashplus BusinessFreeFree✓ App/Online3.7Get Deal
HSBC Kinetic£6.50Free✓ App/Online1.9 
RevolutFreeFreeXApp/Online4.2Get Deal
AnnaFreeFreeXApp Only4.6Get Deal
NatwestFree35p✓ App/Online1.4 
Co-Operative £1020p✓ Branch, App/Online4.2
Royal Bank of ScotlandFree30p✓ Branch, App/Online1.3 
Virgin MoneyFreeFree✓ App/Online1.5 

Five things you might look for when choosing a bank account as a startup business are:

  1. Fees – Business bank accounts usually charge a monthly fee, which varies widely. Many also charge for each individual service like ATM withdrawals, deposits, cash advances and foreign currency services. Make sure you consider which of these your startup will use most often and find an account that offers the best deal.
  2. Look for introductory offers – Many banks offer introductory offers such as three months or even a year’s free banking. This initial period can be helpful to a new business just getting itself off the ground.
  3. Customer Services – What kind of customer service does each bank offer businesses? Is there a call centre, or are all enquiries routed via live chap in the app itself? What are the opening hours of the support centre, and what do reviewers say about the quality of the help received?
  4. Particular Requirements – Your startup’s requirements will differ from others, so what do you need to get the business off the ground? If it’s an overdraft, make sure you find an account that offers that. Is it integrated with accounting software, in-App invoicing, foreign currency services etc?
  5. Protection – Having your money protected is reassuring for any business. And for UK-authorised banks, the FCSC automatically compensate each eligible company depositor up to £85,000. But be warned, many business accounts operate under electronic or e-money licences instead and hence don’t qualify.

>>Read our main page on the best business bank accounts

9 Useful Startup Business Bank Account Features

  1. Well-designed mobile APP
  2. Good integration with your accounting software
  3. Invoice tracking
  4. Phone notifications
  5. 24/7 Customer Service
  6. Expenses management
  7. No monthly fee or free banking period
  8. Overdraft
  9. Reporting features

Costs & Fees Comparison amongst Startup Business Accounts

BankFreeRestrictionsMonthly Fee
TideForeverPer transaction FeesTide has a free account. Tide Plus comes with extra benefits at £9.99 + VAT
Starling BankForeverAlmost everything is free if you have less than 10 employees and <£1.7m turnover.No monthly fee. Some charges for paying in cash.
RevolutForeverFree account availableFree account, Paid accounts are £19 or £79 per month
CountingupForeverFree account available dependent on income being £500 per month.£4.95-£9.95
AnnaIncome DependentFree if monthly income is <£500.£4.90-£19.90
The Co-operative Bank30 monthsNo monthly charges if your balance stays above £1000.£7.00
TSB25 monthsFree for startups and switchers£5-£40
Royal Bank of Scotland24 monthsFree for startups and turnover <£1 million.No monthly fee. Transaction charges apply.
NatWest18 monthsFree for startups and turnover <£1 million.No monthly fee. Transaction charges apply.
Barclays12 monthsFree for startups (less than 12 months trading)Up to £8.50
HSBC12 months12 months free for new businesses and switchersFrom £6.50
Lloyds12 months12 months free for startups£7.00
Bank of Scotland12 monthsFree for startups £7.00

How Much do Startup Bank Accounts Cost?

Many banks provide startup businesses with free banking for initial periods that can range up to 30 months. After this free period ends, businesses typically incur an account management fee and charges for specific services like transfers, withdrawals, and deposits. Some banks, like Tide and Starling, offer accounts that are free forever, but may include fees for certain transactions.

 Eligibility Criteria for Startup Business Accounts

To open a startup business account, you’ll typically need to be at least 18 years old and living in the UK or with a business registered here. Banks will accept sole traders, partnerships, and limited companies.

Required documentation often includes personal identification for the account holders, proof of business operations such as invoices or contracts for sole traders, and registration documents for partnerships and limited companies.

How to Open a Startup Business Bank Account

Opening a startup business bank account can be a straightforward process, but it varies depending on the type of account you choose. Some accounts designed for startups are essentially regular business accounts without any special prerequisites, making them accessible to a wide range of businesses. However, certain high street banks, such as Natwest, offer specialized entry-level accounts specifically tailored for startups. These specialist accounts come with their own set of requirements.

To be eligible for a start-up business account like the one offered by Natwest, your business needs to have been in operation for less than one year and have a turnover of less than £1m. This type of account is aimed at providing early-stage businesses with the financial tools they need to grow. Eligibility extends to customers who are over 18 years old and have the legal right to be self-employed in the UK, ensuring that the account holders are duly authorized to conduct business.

How to Choose the Right Startup Account?

For startups, it’s worth considering a bank account that’s affordable, easy to use, and integrates digital tools that simplify financial management. In this context, challenger banks such as Tide, Starling, and Anna stand out for offering accounts specifically designed with startups in mind, providing features that are more appealing than those typically found at traditional high-street banks.

Challenger banks cater to the needs of modern businesses by focusing on ease of use, minimal fees, and innovative financial solutions that can save time and money. These banks are often fully digital, meaning you can open an account, manage your finances, and access customer service all from an app or online platform, without the need to visit a branch. This digital-first approach is particularly beneficial for startups, where agility and efficiency are key.

When choosing a startup business account, consider the following:

  • Digital Integration: Look for accounts that offer seamless integration with accounting software and other financial management tools. This connectivity can simplify bookkeeping, tax preparation, and financial planning.
  • Fees and Charges: Compare the fee structures of different accounts. Challenger banks often have lower fees for basic banking services, which can help reduce overhead costs for your startup.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Consider whether the account will grow with your business. As your startup expands, you may need additional services. Check if these can be easily added to your account.
  • Customer Support: Even in the digital age, having access to responsive and helpful customer support is important. Look for banks that offer support tailored to the needs of businesses, with various channels for assistance, including chat, email, and phone.
  • Security: Ensure that the bank offers robust security measures to protect your business’s financial information. This includes two-factor authentication, encryption, and regular security audits.
  • Business Loan and Credit Options: One area where few startup accounts compete well with the high street accounts is access to loans. Tide, Starling and Cashplus all have loan options, plus Starling and Cashplus offer overdrafts for eligible customers.

How Long Does it Take to Open a New Business Bank Account?

The time to open a business account can vary, ranging from under 5 minutes for digital and challenger banks, where you can receive an account number almost immediately, to several days or weeks for traditional banks, depending on their application process and documentation requirements.

Startup Bank Account FAQs

What do Documents Need to Open a Startup Business Account?

How Long will it Take to Open my New Business Account?

How Much do New Business Bank Accounts Cost?

Is my money safe in a startup business account?

Can I switch my business account to another bank later?