Should you sign up for a Starling business bank account? We’ll compare the pros and cons of this popular account, so you can make the best decision for your business.

Starling Business Account Review: My Verdict

Starling is a major UK challenger bank that has offered business accounts since 2018. Overall, I see this as one of the top UK challenger accounts, with a wealth of useful functionality for UK businesses.

I found the account set-up simple and streamlined, and the entire user experience of the website and app is well thought through.

The fee structure is competitive: you can make Faster Payments, direct debits and standing orders for free.

They are one of the very few challenger banks to offer an overdraft facility. You can apply from £1,000 up to £50,000, but this will require a personal guarantee, and they charge a 1.75% arrangement fee at acceptance & annually.

I have used their customer support on several occasions and found it responsive via app, over the phone and email.

Overall, there are a lot of positives about this account. However, it’s important to note you can’t manage your account by phone or in a branch, and paying in cash at the Post Office will cost you a minimum of £3 each time. This could be a drawback for businesses that handle a lot of cash or prefer talking to someone for help.

>>Compare against a range of other accounts in our best business bank accounts comparison

Key Features

Free access to multiple directors
Integration with Xero
Integration with QuickBooks
Integration with FreeAgent
Integration with other business services
Automated business spending categorisation
Receipt capture
All bills in one place
Connect other business accounts
Free UK current account from a regulated bank
Easy in-app application
FSCS Protection up to £85,000
Mobile and online banking
24/7 customer support
Free ATM withdrawals
No fees abroad
Card security controls
Saving Spaces
Free UK bank transfers
International payments
Apple, Google, Samsung and Garmin Pay
Managed scheduled payments
Instant payment notifications
Cash deposits at the Post Office
In-app and freepost cheque deposits

Pros and Cons


  • Fast account set-up
  • No monthly fees or fees overseas
  • Integrations with Quickbooks, Xero & FreeAgent
  • Fully regulated and FSCS protected
  • Phone and App based customer service 24/7
  • Pay Cash in via Post Office
  • Euro and Dollar accounts are available


  • No overdraft facility
  • No branches
  • Charge for paying in money
  • Can’t earn interest
  • depositing cash comes with a fee

About Starling Business Banking

Starling Bank was founded by Welsh tech entrepreneur Anne Boden, with the intention of bringing a ‘smarter, fairer and more human’ bank to the marketplace. Formerly COO of Allied Irish Banks, the bank launched its beta in March 2017. It’s been hugely successful with now over two million accounts, including more than 300,000 small business accounts. A new customer joins Starling every 39 seconds.

Rates and Fees

Account NameCharges
Account Application FeeFree
Account ChargesFree
Bank transfersFree
Overseas card transaction feesFree
FSCS protectedYes
ATM Use (UK)Free
Requires credit checkYes
Interest (AER)0% AER

Contact Number

You can contact Starling 24/7 via telephone, In-App or email.

Telephone – 0207 930 4450

International Payments with Starling

Sending and receiving money through Starling, whether within the UK or internationally, is designed to be straightforward and transparent, with fees and charges clearly communicated upfront. Here’s a detailed look at how international payments work with Starling.

Sending Money from Your Account

  • When sending money outside the UK, the applicable exchange rate and fees are presented on the International Payments page within the App or Online Banking before you confirm the payment. At the time of writing this is £5.50 for most SWIFT payments, plus a local network fee of between 0-90p.
  • It’s important to note that the recipient’s bank and any intermediary banks may impose additional charges, potentially reducing the amount received by your payee. These charges are beyond Starling’s control.
  • For CHAPS payments, Starling will charge you a fee of £20 per payment

Currency Transfers:

  • For transfers between accounts in different currencies (e.g., from a Business Current Account in GBP to an account in another currency), the exchange rate and fees displayed on the payment screen in the App or Online Banking at the time of the transaction apply.

Receiving Money into Your Account

From the UK:

  • Receiving GBP into your account is free of charge.

Receiving Money and Cash Withdrawal in Foreign Currency Outside the UK

  • Cash Withdrawals: Starling does not charge a fee for withdrawing cash in foreign currency outside the UK. However, the Mastercard exchange rates apply, and local ATM providers may charge their own fees.
  • Debit Card Payments in Foreign Currency:
    • No fee is charged by Starling for making payments in foreign currency.
    • If the payment is made in the local currency, Mastercard’s exchange rates apply.
    • If the payment is made in GBP, the merchant’s exchange rate and any applicable merchant fees apply.


To qualify for a Starling Business Account, there are specific criteria your business must meet, reflecting Starling’s commitment to compliance and risk management. Here’s a brief overview of the eligibility requirements:

  • Business Type: Your business should be a Limited Company or LLP registered at Companies House. Unfortunately, general partnerships or charities not registered as a Limited Company aren’t eligible yet.
  • Residency: All Persons of Significant Control (PSCs) and directors needing account access must be UK residents. Additionally, PSCs should be individuals, not companies.
  • Sole Traders: Sole traders are eligible, provided they aren’t in partnership with others concerning their business and do not manage their business through a separate legal entity.
  • Legal Status: Your business should not be a holding company, dissolved, in liquidation, or engaged in any prohibited activities.
  • Compliance Checks: You must pass Starling’s Anti Money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC), fraud, and credit checks.

Industries Not Supported

Starling does not support businesses involved in:

  • Significant cash transactions
  • Financial services like banking or credit
  • Holding client money (e.g., accountants, solicitors)
  • Defence/weapons, gambling/betting, unregistered charities
  • Trading in high-value items (antiques, art, precious metals/stones)
  • Adult entertainment, non-licensed drug distribution (including CBD)
  • Political parties, mining/commodities
  • Businesses with an overseas PSC or holding company structure

Cash Limits

Starling imposes limits on cash deposits to manage risk and comply with regulations:

  • Business Current Accounts: Up to £5,000 per day and £100,000 per calendar year.
  • Sole Trader Accounts: Up to £5,000 per day and £20,000 per calendar year.
  • A charge applies to all cash deposits, at £3 or 0.7% of the total deposit value (whichever is higher), with a minimum single transaction amount of £3.01.

Starling Business Bank Account Reviews and Ratings

Starling has generally excellent reviews and ratings. It won the Best British Bank award in the British Bank Awards for four consecutive years – 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Starting has over 30,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of ‘excellent’ and a 4.4-star average.

Smart Money People gives them a rating of 4.94/5, based on 4,986 reviews.

Starling is Which Magazines ‘Recommended Provider’ for Business accounts with a customer score of 85%.

Their motto is ‘free, uncomplicated and quick,’ which tells you a bit about their offering. There’s no account set-up fee, and they don’t charge for withdrawing or paying in money. The mobile APP is well-designed and intuitive, and the account is open to limited companies, and sole traders.

Compare Starling with Tide: Which is best?

Tide vs Starling: Which is best?

We have done a comparison between Starling and Tide for the bank accounts they offer.

Take a look at the two options and see which might be best for your business.

You can find this comparison by clicking here.