A free business bank account is specifically designed for new businesses or switchers who want to avoid paying a monthly charge. 

It is called a “free” account because you won’t be charged recurring fees or be required to maintain a minimum balance. This contrasts with traditional high-street business bank accounts, which often charge ongoing fees for transactions, deposits, and other services.

Some accounts are free for a certain period (6-30 months), while others are free for life. Explore the features below to decide if a free account is the right entry point for your new business.

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

the best free business bank accounts in 2023 illustration

The Best Free Business Bank Account: Our Verdict

Here’s our choice of the best banks which do not charge for their monthly bank account. Just because there is no monthly fee, however, does not mean it’s entirely free. Some of these charge for transfers, ATM withdrawals and cash deposits, so you’ll want to double-check that before signing.

AccountNo Monthly FeesInvoicingExpense TrackingCash DepositsFeaturesSign Up
Tide2 free expense cards are includedVisit Tide
RevolutXMulti-currency accountsVisit Revolut
StarlingXCurrent Account Switch ServiceVisit Starling
CashplusXXContactless MastercardVisit Cashplus
AnnaXTax return remindersVisit Anna
MonzoCard payments with StripeVisit Monzo
MettleXIn-App invoicingVisit Mettle
AllicaXXX4.33% AER* (variable) instant access Savings PotVisit Allica

Tide

The 8 Top Free Business Bank Accounts

Here are my detailed comparisons of seven free business bank account providers: Mettle, Monzo, Anna, Tide, Cashplus, Starling and Revolut. These accounts represent what I feel are the best currently available in the UK market, and can all be opened very quickly over the internet.

They are trustworthy, with well-designed APPS and solid Trustpilot reviews. How you choose will come down to specific features that appeal to you.

Tide: The Best Overall Free Small Business Account

Tide is a digital business bank account specifically designed for small businesses and freelancers and currently serving 10% of the SMB market. It offers free UK and international transfers, the ability to issue invoices and take card payments, and real-time expense tracking.

Clearly, on a mission to be the best challenger bank in the UK, Tide is continually evolving. They’ve recently launched a business savings account, plus their purchase of Funding Options means users can get very quick access to finance.

REASONS TO CHOOSE

  • No Fees to Join or monthly fee
  • Some of the best reviews of any bank
  • In-APP invoice creation
  • Easy Access to Finance
  • FSCS Protected
  • Fast Access to Finance
  • Register a limited company for free if you’re opening an account

REASONS TO AVOID

  • £1 to withdraw cash
  • £1 to deposit cash at Post Office, or 3% at Paypoint
  • No branches or cheque deposits

Eligibility Criteria

FeaturesAvailable
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes (with ClearBank)
Free UK transfers20p per transfer
Cash deposits3% of the total transaction value
Free ATM withdrawalsNo (£1 fee)
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersNo
Create and send invoicesYes

Anna: The best free Bank Account for Freelancers

Anna is an e-money service provider rather than a bank, with an offering aimed at startups and freelancers. Anna offers free UK and international transfers, a built in tax-APP, the ability to set up direct debits and standing orders, and access to a range of business tools and resources.

REASONS TO CHOOSE

  • No Fees to Join
  • Free invoicing software with automatic invoice reconciliation
  • 24/7 customer support

REASONS TO AVOID

  • £300 deposit limits (£1000 every 6 months)
  • £1 ATM withdrawals after 3 free per month
  • No branches, cheque deposits, overdrafts or loans

Eligibility Criteria

FeaturesAvailable
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionNo
Licensed bankNo
Free UK transfersYes (with paid plans, limits apply)
Cash depositsYes
Free ATM withdrawalsYes (with paid plans, limits apply)
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes (through a partner)
Create and send invoicesYes

Cashplus: the Best Free no Credit Check Bank Account

Cashplus offers fully regulated business bank accounts that are quick and simple to set up, providing FSCS protection for peace of mind. With a full UK banking licence, they are growing fast, signing up 60 per cent more customer accounts in 2023.

Their accounts are designed for freelancers, sole traders, SMEs, and growing businesses. Cashplus features include integration with accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks, and Sage, 24/7 online and app access, instant payment notifications, and the ability to deposit cash at any UK Post Office.

REASONS TO CHOOSE

  • No Fees to Join
  • No Credit Check Required
  • FSCS Regulated, with FCA Protection
  • Create invoices
  • UK phone support

REASONS TO AVOID

  • £9.95 to issue your contactless Mastercard
  • £2 per ATM Use
  • No branches or cheque deposits
  • 0.5% fee for cash deposits

Eligibility Criteria

FeaturesAvailable
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Licensed bankYes
Free UK transfersYes (with limits)
Cash depositsYes (0.5% fee)
Free ATM withdrawalsNo (fees apply)
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersInbound only
Create and send invoicesNo

Revolut: the best Free Bank Account for Businesses Operating Internationally

If you’re looking for a free banking solution that supports growth and global operations, Revolut Business is an excellent choice.

With support for over 25 currencies and the ability to handle payments in more than 100 countries, Revolut Business is ideal for businesses operating internationally. The platform provides tools for instant payments to suppliers and employees, easy acceptance of payments worldwide, and fast access to funds. Features such as smart company debit cards, automated expense management, and in-depth analytics help businesses gain control over their spending. Additionally, Revolut Business integrates seamlessly with popular accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.

REASONS TO CHOOSE

  • No Fees to Join
  • Great for international currencies and transfers
  • Crypto-friendly
  • Expense Cards
  • Accounting Integrations
  • Contactless payments with an iPhone
  • Smart Invoicing

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Best features come with paid accounts
  • 2% charge to withdraw cash
  • No branches or cheque deposits

Eligibility Criteria

FeaturesAvailable
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionNo
Licensed bankNo
Free UK transfersYes (with limits)
Cash depositsNo
Free ATM withdrawalsNo (2% fee)
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes
Create and send invoicesNo

Starling: Best for Overdraft

Starling Bank offers a great free business account that stands out for several reasons, making it an excellent choice for limited companies, limited liability partnerships, and sole traders, including startups.

REASONS TO CHOOSE

  • No Fees: The account comes with no monthly or transaction fees, and ATM withdrawals are free both in the UK and abroad.
  • Easy Deposits: Cheques can be deposited for free via the app or Freepost.
  • Multiple Director Access: This feature allows for seamless management by business teams, although it lacks third-party access for roles like accountants.
  • Savings Option: A Business Fixed Saver account offering 2.50% AER for a year encourages savings.
  • Awards and Recognition: It has been recognized as the Best Business Banking Provider, reflecting its high customer satisfaction.
  • Financial Security: Being a fully licensed bank, deposits up to £85,000 are protected by the FSCS, offering peace of mind.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Cash Deposit Fee: Businesses that frequently deposit cash might find the 0.7% fee at the Post Office a drawback.
  • No Third-Party Access: The lack of support for third-party access might be inconvenient for businesses that rely on external accountants or financial managers.

Eligibility Criteria

FeaturesAvailable
FCA RegulatedYes
FSCS ProtectionYes
Licensed BankYes
Free UK TransfersYes
Cash DepositsYes
Free ATM WithdrawalsYes
Free Accounting Software IntegrationYes
International TransfersYes
In-App InvoicingNo
Monthly Fee
£0
Bank Transfers
Free
Card Purchases
Free
Overdraft
  • Fully regulated and FSCS protected
  • Euro and Dollar accounts
  • Fast account set-up
Access
App & Online
See Deal
More info
Why Choose Starling?
  • 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
But be aware that
  • There isn’t any overdraft facility
  • There are no branches
  • Starling charges for paying in money
  • You can’t earn interest
  • Depositing cash comes with a fee

Eligibility Criteria

All directors with access to the account must be UK residents. The business must not be a holding company, dissolved, in liquidation or engage in any activities set out in our terms and conditionsEvidence of your trading activities so we understand that your business does what you say it does. We can’t accept Companies House documents for this. Credit Checks May Apply

Mettle: A Completely Free ‘No Fees’ Business Account

Mettle is a free digital business bank account offered by NatWest. The emphasis is on ‘completely free’, meaning they won’t charge you for anything that is offered. In terms of it’s ‘free’ offering, it’s the only account on this list which really is 100% free, but that comes with significant limitations, such as the inability to make or receive international payments.

REASONS TO CHOOSE

  • No Fees to Join
  • The account is Completely Free
  • In-App invoicing
  • Pay in cash at the Post Office or a PayPoint

REASONS TO AVOID

  • The prepaid debit Mastercard which isn’t quite as widely accepted as a normal debit card.
  • No branch banking
  • No overdrafts or loans
  • It’s not possible to pay cheques into a Mettle account
  • You cannot make or receive international payments

Eligibility Criteria

FeaturesAvailable
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionNo
Licensed BankNo
Free UK transfersYes
Cash depositsYes
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Free Accounting SoftwareYes
International transfersNo
In APP InvoicingYes

Monzo: Best Free Account for Switching

Monzo is a fully licensed and regulated digital bank with a competitive offering. The Monzo business account is free to open and use and offers free UK and international transfers, the ability to issue invoices and take card payments, and real-time expense tracking. They won the 2022 Best Business Banking Provider at the British Bank Awards 2022.

REASONS TO CHOOSE

  • No Fees to Join
  • They can close your old account for you and move over your money
  • FCA Regulated, and carries FSCS Protection up to 85,000 per account.

REASONS TO AVOID

  • £300 deposit limits (£1000 every 6 months)
  • No accounting integrations unless you get the pro account
  • No overdrafts on the business account
  • Monzo accounts can’t receive international payments, except for euro transfers.
  • Business accounts are unavailable to charities and partnerships.

Eligibility Criteria

FeaturesAvailable
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Licensed bankYes
Free UK transfersYes
Cash deposits(£1 fee)
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes (with paid account)
International transfersOutbound only
Create and send invoicesYes (with paid account)

Allica: Best Free Account for Established Businesses

The Allica free business account, known as the Business Rewards Account, is designed for established businesses, offering a range of benefits without monthly fees. It is a ‘free’ account but it’s not for startups: it has a minimum turnover requirement of 500k p.a.

It provides a relationship manager for personalized service and features a 4.33% AER variable interest rate on its instant access Savings Pots, accurate as of 1st April 2024.

Account holders can earn up to 1.5% cashback on eligible card spending, with the opportunity to increase this rate to 1.5% after exceeding £10k in monthly spend. The account is supported by UK-based customer service and is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), protecting deposits up to £85,000.

REASONS TO CHOOSE

  • No monthly fees and free bank payments.
  • Dedicated relationship manager.
  • 1.50% cashback on card purchases.
  • Mobile app and desktop management.
  • Deposits covered by the FSCS.
  • Multiple director access and bank cards.
  • Savings pot on current account with 4.33% AER and instant access.
  • International transfers powered by Wise.

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Requires annual turnover of £500k or more.
  • Does not support cash and cheque deposits.
  • Overdrafts only available to AIB customers.
  • No physical branches.

Eligibility

FeaturesAvailable
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Licensed bankYes
Free UK transfersYes
Cash depositsNo
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Integration with accounting softwareNo
International transfersOutbound only, Wise fees apply
Create and send invoicesNo

What is a Free Business Bank Account?

A free business bank account is a type of bank account that does not charge monthly fees, transaction fees, or annual fees. These accounts are often offered by banks as a way to attract small business owners, startups, and entrepreneurs who are looking for cost-effective banking solutions.

Do Free Business Bank Accounts Have any Fees?

Yes, free business bank accounts may still have fees for certain transactions or services. While the basic account functions might be free, banks often charge for additional services such as wire transfers, exceeding a certain number of transactions, depositing more than a set amount of cash monthly, or using an overdraft facility. It’s important to read the account’s terms and conditions carefully to understand any potential fees.

Will my bank account stay free?

Some banks offer accounts that are free indefinitely, but others might have a fee-free initial period, after which charges apply. This introductory offer can last from a few months to a year or more, designed to attract new customers. After this period, you might be required to pay a monthly fee or meet certain conditions, like maintaining a minimum balance or meeting transaction volume requirements, to keep the account free.

Keep an eye on any communication from your bank, as they should notify you before any changes to your account’s fee structure take effect..

How to Choose a Free Bank Account for Your Business?

When selecting a free bank account for your business, understanding various features and protections is key. Here’s a clearer, more informative breakdown:

  • Protection: Traditional banks provide Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection, safeguarding your deposits up to £85,000 if the bank fails. Alternatively, e-money institutions offer different forms of security, which might not include FSCS coverage but still protect your money under separate safeguarding rules. Consider what level of protection suits your business needs.
  • UK Bank Transfers: Ensure the account supports seamless UK bank transfers, allowing you to send and receive payments efficiently without incurring additional costs.
  • Direct Debits and Standing Orders: These are essential for managing recurring payments. Check that the account offers these features at no extra charge.
  • Cash Deposits: If your business handles cash, understand the account’s policy on cash deposits, including any limits or fees.
  • Cheque Deposits: Though less common, cheques might still be a part of your business transactions. Look into how cheques can be deposited and if there are associated fees.
  • International Payments: For businesses dealing internationally, assess the account’s capabilities and fees for making and receiving payments from abroad.
  • Financing Options: Some accounts may offer access to overdrafts, business credit cards, or loans, which could be beneficial for growing your business. Review the terms and any costs associated with these services.
  • Invoicing Tools: Accounts that allow you to create and send invoices directly can save time and streamline your financial processes.
  • Multiple User Access: If you need several team members to access the account, check for multi-user capabilities and security measures.
  • Integration with Software: The ability to integrate your account with accounting software or other business applications can enhance efficiency and financial management.
  • Dedicated Account Manager: Having a specific contact at your bank can provide personalized advice and support, valuable for businesses with more complex needs or questions.

Choosing the right account involves evaluating these features against your business operations and financial practices to ensure the account supports your needs effectively and affordably.

What is the Difference Between Paid and Free Business Bank Accounts?

The key difference between paid and free business bank accounts lies in the range of features and services offered. Paid accounts often come with a monthly or annual fee but provide extensive benefits, including higher transaction limits, advanced cash management tools, and access to a dedicated account manager. They might also offer perks like discounted financial products.

Free accounts, while cost-effective, typically offer basic services like payments, online banking, and a debit card, but with more limited functionality, such as lower transaction limits and simpler cash management options. Customer support in free accounts may also be less comprehensive compared to the personalized assistance available with paid accounts.

How Do you Open a Free Business Bank Account?

To open a free business bank account in the UK, you will need to provide the following documents and information:

  1. Business identification: You must provide proof of your business’s identity, such as a copy of your business registration or a business tax identification number.
  2. Personal identification: You must provide proof of your identity, such as a passport or driver’s license.
  3. Business information: You will need to provide information about your business, such as your business name, contact information, and the nature of your business.
  4. Financial information: You may need to provide financial information about your business, such as your projected revenue or average monthly transactions.

Which Free Business Account Gets the Best Trustpilot Reviews?

Here is a comparison table of the customer reviews and ratings for Mettle, Monzo, Anna, Tide, Cashplus, and Revolut:

Other FeaturesReviewsRatings
MettlePositive reviews mention helpful customer support and a user-friendly app4.6 out of 5 stars
MonzoPositive reviews mention good customer support and a convenient mobile app3.9 out of 5 stars
AnnaPositive reviews mention excellent customer service and a user-friendly app4.6 out of 5 stars
TidePositive reviews mention easy account setup and good customer support4.2 out of 5 stars
CashplusPositive reviews mention convenient online account management and good customer support3.7 out of 5 stars
RevolutPositive reviews mention a convenient mobile app and good customer support4.2 out of 5 stars

8 Points to Consider When Researching Free Business Accounts

  1. Double check if the account is truly free: Some accounts may be advertised as free but have features that incur fees, such as a certain number of monthly transactions or minimum balance.
  2. Is all the functionality you need covered? Some free business bank accounts may not have monthly maintenance fees, but they may not offer specific features you need, such as the ability to deposit cash.
  3. Read the fine print carefully and understand the terms and conditions of the account; this will help you to identify any hidden fees or charges.

Free Business Bank Accounts: How to Make the Switch

Making the switch to a free business bank account is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the general steps you can take:

  1. Research and compare: Start by researching the different free business bank account options available to you. Compare the features, fees (if any), and customer support provided by each bank.
  2. Choose a new bank: Once you’ve identified a bank that meets your needs, you’ll need to open a new account with them. This may involve filling out an application online or in person at a local branch.
  3. Notify your current bank: Once you’ve opened a new account, it’s time to inform your current bank that you’ll be closing your old account. You can typically do this in person by visiting a branch, calling their customer service line, or sending a secure message through online banking.
  4. Transfer funds and transactions: Before you close your old account, make sure to transfer all of your funds and transactions to your new account. This may include direct debits, standing orders, and recurring payments.
  5. Close your old account: Once all of your funds and transactions have been transferred, you can close your old account. Make sure to double-check that all outstanding payments and transfers have been completed before doing so.
  6. Update your payment details: After you’ve switched to a new free business bank account, you’ll need to update any payment details associated with your old account. This may include changing payment information for suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders.

Free Business Account FAQ’s

Can I open a business bank account for free?

Are there any business bank accounts with no fees?

What documentation is required to open a free business bank account?

Are there any limitations to a free business bank account?

What is the best free business bank account in the UK?