Best Business Current Accounts

Find the best business current accounts in this review by Compare Banks.

Updated: June 10, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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If you own a small company, whether it's just starting out or is well-established, you might need a business bank account; but how do the various banks stack up against one another?

Here, we take a look at some of the best business current accounts available and the features they offer.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Revolut Business★★★★★Learn more
2. Cashplus Bank★★★★★Learn more
3. Starling Bank★★★★★Learn more
4. The Co-operative Bank★★★★Learn more
5. HSBC★★★★Learn more
6. Mettle★★★★Learn more
7. Monzo★★★★Learn more
8. Santander★★★★★Learn more
9. NatWest★★★★★Learn more
10. Virgin Money★★★★★Learn more

At a Glance, Pros and Cons

This section summarises the pros and cons of top business current accounts for your SME:

Pros

✔️ Unique features — This includes the the provision of corporate debit or even credit cards to staff, accounting software and invoicing tools.

✔️ Helps with financial management — Keeping your business finances separate from your own makes it easy to distinguish between the two and file your tax return.

✔️ Business assistance — Some business bank accounts offer additional support and services to help you run your business efficiently.

✔️ Credit building – Opening a business current account can help you build a business credit score.

Cons

❌️ Fees — Some business current accounts are free, but most will charge some form of fee, whether that's a monthly fee or transaction charges.

❌️ More admin — Having a business bank account and a personal one means twice the banking admin.

❌️ No interest paid — Many business current accounts don't pay interest on balances.

Top business current accounts — Reviews

Let's take a look at the best business current accounts. Before signing up for a service, check to see whether it is covered by the FSCS.

1. Revolut Business — Leading business current accounts for global payments

Revolut is an online provider known for its international payment options. Revolut offers multi-currency accounts, making it ideal if you regularly do business abroad, and you can also send money overseas at low rates.

You can hold and exchange more than 25 currencies, and there's even an option for crypto exchange.

Depending on the scope of your operations and the features you need, you can choose from a variety of price tiers provided by Revolut Business, including a free option.

You'll need to manage your account via the Revolut app and you can easily integrate your account with accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks and Sage. You can also take advantage of Revolut's smart invoicing tools to make life a little easier.

There are two plan types with Cashplus:

Business Go: No monthly fees are associated with Business Go accounts, but transaction fees still apply.

Business Extra: For £9/month, Business Extra account holders have access to Business Creditbuilder to help improve their credit score. You'll also receive 0.5% cashback on all card spending.

The card that comes with the account can be managed through the app and you'll get instant notifications for payments and transfers. You can also apply for a business overdraft on the account, but interest will apply.

Plus, it's possible to sync your account with accounting software.

3. Starling Bank — Well-reviewed business current accounts with fast opening online

You can create a Starling Bank business account if you are a sole trader, limited liability partnership, or a limited company.

Starling is one of several “challenger banks” that provide an alternative to conventional banking. We have even highlighted this account as one of our top picks for internet banking for businesses.

Get the app on your mobile device. You'll need to submit a selfie video and a picture of an acceptable form of identification after filling out some basic information about yourself.

The application process for a business account with Starling includes a few fast credit checks, but it shouldn't take more than 10 minutes in total.

Your contactless Mastercard debit card will arrive in the post within three to five business days. But you can also use Google Pay or Apple Pay to make payments immediately. 

Electronic payments, domestic transfers, and withdrawals from ATMs in the UK and overseas are all free of charge. If you're a limited company or limited liability partnership, you can also apply for an overdraft of up to £50,000. Interest will apply.

A Business Toolkit may be added to your plan for an additional £7 per month to increase your company's efficiency. Invoice matching, email integration, and VAT tracking are all useful extras. You can also choose a business account in euros for £2 per month, and an account in US dollars for £5 a month.

Additionally, Xero, FreeAgent, and QuickBooks may all be integrated with your Starling Bank business account.

4. The Co-operative Bank — Top-rated business current accounts for customer service, available nationwide

Customer service and satisfaction are two areas in which The Co-operative Bank excels.

Both the Community Directplus and the Business Current Account come with perks including access to Assurant's legal, technical, and human resources services as well as merchant payment processing via Fiserv.

The Business Directplus account offers the full suite of services you'd expect from a traditional bricks-and-mortar bank, including in-person and remote assistance, a helpline staffed by Brits, and a mobile banking app.

But what really sets it apart is its commitment to ethical business practices and its status as a carbon-neutral company.

In addition, Business Directplus customers get access to free accounting integration and if, you maintain a balance above £1,000, there will be no monthly account fee for 30 months. You will be charged £7 each month if your account balance drops below £1,000.

The Business Current Account is designed for startups as well as established businesses and also charges no monthly fee.

HSBC's Kinetic business account is suitable for sole traders and single director shareholder businesses. Most accounts are up and running within 48 hours.

For the first 12 months, no monthly account fee will be charged and you can also apply for an overdraft on the account. After the first year, a monthly fee of £6.50 applies.

You can make daily app-based payments of up to £25,000, with transactions automatically classified to make it easier to keep tabs on your finances. Direct Debits, standing orders, and future payments may be set up and managed from any device, anywhere.

Alternatively, HSBC offers a small business banking account for sole traders, private limited companies and partnerships and this also has no monthly account fee for 12 months. After this it costs £8 a month.

Then there's the Business Banking Account for small and medium sized enterprises who need the support of a dedicated Relationship Manager and specialist teams. Again, there's no monthly fee for 12 months, then you'll pay £10 a month.

6. Mettle — Digital-only business current accounts

Mettle is a division of NatWest but operates separately. This means you cannot contact NatWest for help with your Mettle account.

Either a sole trader or a limited liability company with no more than two owners may apply, provided that their total assets are less than £100,000 (or £50,000 in the case of sole traders).

One of the best features of the account is the ability to make and send professional-looking invoices from your mobile device.

When your payment has been processed, you will get a notification. The payment must be matched with the correct invoice, but this is your responsibility.

Expense data can be exported, receipts added to transactions, and recurring payments managed all through the app. In addition to syncing with FreeAgent, Xero, or QuickBooks, you can also export your data as a comma-delimited text file (CSV) to use with any other accounting software.

7. Monzo — Trusted UK business current accounts for accounting

Monzo is the most recent digital bank to provide business banking services

If you are a sole trader or a limited liability company (LLC), you are eligible to open an account with Monzo. Limited corporations may have several users.

To open a business account with Monzo, you must first open a personal account and both accounts can be managed through the app.

Monzo is compatible with popular accounting software including Xero, FreeAgent, and QuickBooks. Monzo Business Pro customers who are new to Xero can receive six months of cloud accounting software for free (offer available until 31 March 2024).

Customers can also use the Tax Pots function to automatically deduct a certain amount from their business income and save it for their tax bill. They can also get alerts each time their payment is processed.

There are two degrees of pricing: Lite has no monthly fee but limited features, while Pro costs £5 per month and adds features like integrated accounting and Tax Pots.

8. Santander — Well-rated business current accounts

You can choose between three different types of business bank accounts with Santander. However, only existing customers can currently apply.

The standard business account offers 18 months of free business banking for startups (£7.50 a month after that) and you can also apply for an overdraft on the account. This is a pretty straightforward bank account with no surprising features.

The 123 Business account, on the other hand, pays cashback of either 1%, 2%, or 3%, depending on how much annual credit turnover you have.

You'll get 1% cashback on sales of up to £200,000 (or £100 annually), 2% cashback on sales of £200,000+ (or £200 annually), and 3% cashback on sales of £300,000+.

If your business is in its first year of trading, you'll get a reduced monthly account fee of £5 for 18 months, rising to £12.50 after this.

Finally, there's a Treasurer's account that offers free day-to-day banking for clubs, societies and charities.

9. NatWest — Top business current accounts for startups

In order to qualify for the Start-up Business Account, a company must have been in operation for less than a year and generate less than £1 million in annual turnover.

What sets the Start-up Business Account apart from others is the free mentoring NatWest provides to new businesses through its Business Builder digital tool and its NatWest Accelerator programmes. For the first two years, there are no transaction fees for the account either.

Also, businesses can get a free subscription to the accounting software FreeAgent by opening a NatWest Start-up Business Account. 

The NatWest Business Bank Account includes everything the Start-up Account does, plus you get a personal relationship manager. There's no monthly fee for the account, but transaction charges will apply.

In addition to free use of FreeAgent accounting software and participation in the Entrepreneur Accelerator programmes, businesses with a high volume of transactions can apply to join Bankline through the Business Bank Account, a centralised dashboard that provides an overview of activity with logins for multiple users.

10. Virgin Money — Competitive range of business current accounts

The M Account for Business has no monthly fees and provides free day-to-day online banking for firms with an annual turnover of less than £1 million. Customers with an M Account for Business can receive 0.25% cashback on all debit card purchases, with no limit.

Meanwhile, firms with annual sales of up to £6.5 million can open a Virgin Money Business Current Account. Everyday banking is free for the first 25 months, then £6.50 per month afterwards, plus you'll pay fees for transactions. You can get 0.35% cashback on card spending.

There's also the Business Choice Account for businesses with an annual turnover of over £6.5 million. Again, you can earn cashback on your debit card spending and you will get access to a range of digital tools and a team of business experts.

All accounts offer three months of free accountancy software with QuickBooks or Xero.

Top business current accounts — Buying Guide

Let's take a closer look at business current accounts. 

What is a business current account?

A business current account lets you segregate your firm's money from your own. They are offered to sole traders, general partnerships, and limited liability companies.

Business current accounts are similar to personal current accounts in that you can transfer funds into the account and withdraw cash using a debit card for in-store and online transactions. Many also offer an overdraft.

However, their pricing models are fundamentally different. Some business bank accounts will charge a monthly or annual fee, while others will charge for certain banking transactions. In some cases, you might pay a monthly fee and transaction fees.

Is it necessary to open a company bank account?

If you're a sole trader, you don't have to open a business account, but if you're a limited company, you are legally required to open one.

Even so, having a separate bank account for your company has several advantages. It can be much easier to keep track of company expenses and can reduce stress when you need to file your tax return. A business bank account can also make your company look more professional to clients and you'll often benefit from features such as accounting software and invoicing tools.

Who can open a business bank account?

In most cases, you will need to:

  • Be aged 18 or up.
  • Be a UK resident.
  • Have your business registered in the UK.

Be sure to examine each provider's eligibility requirements before applying for a business account, since some may not be available to particular organisations like charities, industries, or activities.

How to open a business current account

You can often open a business bank account online, but you might also be able to do so in a branch, over the phone or by post.

You will usually need to undergo a credit check and provide details about your business, including your Companies House registration if you have one.

You might also need to provide:

Proof of ID:

  • Your current UK or international passport
  • A valid photo driver's licence from the UK or another EU or EEA member country

Proof of address:

  • A bank statement
  • A mortgage statement from the UK (dated within the last 12 months and not printed online)
  • A utility bill

Information about your business:

  • If you have a Companies House number, please provide it.
  • Specifics about your company, such as annual revenue, tax filing status, and funding sources.
  • Director and partner information include full names, date of birth, addresses, and National Insurance numbers.

In general, be sure that the account is appropriate for your company structure. Some accounts, for instance, may only work with limited liability corporations, sole traders, or non-profit organisations.

Top business current accounts: The Verdict

You can segregate your firm's money from your own by using a business current account. 

All types of firms can make use of them, whether they are corporations, partnerships, or sole traders. They function similarly to individual bank accounts, but they will often charge monthly fees or transaction charges.

However, competition has increased since challenger banks came onto the scene, so it's well worth shopping around and comparing your options carefully.

Related Guides:

FAQs

Is it risky to use apps and accounts for business banking online?

How can I switch my business bank account?

Can a company with bad credit open a current account?

Can you use your company bank account to send money overseas?

Should I open a company checking account, or use my personal one?

How does an overdraft on a business bank account work?

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