10 Best Small Business Bank Accounts in the UK

Starting or switching? Read our guide on the best business bank accounts.

Updated: July 7, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Rachel Wait

Edited By

Rachel Wait

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10 Best Small Business Bank Accounts in the UK

As any small business owner knows, keeping your costs down is essential. There will likely be many different services you'll need to pay for, and you'll want to make sure each one is as cost-effective as possible. Your business bank account is no exception.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to get a better deal, there are plenty of business accounts to choose from.

But how do you know which bank account best suits your business needs?

We’ve compared the best business bank accounts available in the UK. We have factored in all the important criteria when searching for a suitable business bank account.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Revolut Business★★★★★Learn more
2. Cashplus Bank★★★★★Learn more
3. Tide★★★★★Learn more
4. Starling Bank★★★★★Learn more
5. Soldo★★★★★Learn more
6. Monzo★★★★Learn more
7. Virgin Money★★★★Learn more
8. Santander★★★★Learn more
9. NatWest★★★★Learn more
10. HSBC★★★★★Learn more

Switching Business Bank Accounts

You may find that your existing business bank account is no longer right for your small business.

It could be that the monthly fees on the account were only waived for the first year and the fees you're now paying are too expensive.

Or maybe there simply aren't enough features on the account's app to help you manage your expanding business. In these instances, it’s possible to switch your business bank account to a bank that’s more beneficial.

The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) is a system that can help your business make the switch. There are a few caveats; your company must employ fewer than 50 employees, and your turnover cannot exceed £6.5 million. However, if you’re eligible, the service is straightforward.

With CASS, your account is guaranteed to be switched within seven working days. All of your direct debits and standing orders will also be transferred over. Any payments made to your old account will be directly transferred into your new one.

Businesses that use the CASS system are covered for any errors that may arise. So, if you incur any charges or interest because of a mistake with the switch, you will be reimbursed for the amount. It’s a really useful way for small businesses to take advantage of the many introductory offers that are available with banks.

10 Best Small Business Bank Accounts in 2024

Below, I've collated some information on the banks and accounts we think provide the best services for small businesses.

I've highlighted some of the pros and cons of each, as well as a brief description of why they appeal.

Provider
Free UK Transfers
Free ATM Withdrawals
Cash Deposits
1. Revolut Business
Yes, 5 free per month, £0.20 after
No (2% fee)
No
2. Cashplus Bank
Yes, 3 free per month, 30p after
No (£2 each)
Yes
3. Tide
No (20p per transfer)
No (£1)
Yes
4. Starling Bank
Yes
Yes
Subject to a £3 or 0.7% charge (whichever is higher)
5. Soldo
Yes, up to a certain limit
No, 1% ATM fee with a minimum of £2
No
6. Monzo
Yes
Yes
£1 per deposit
7. Virgin Money
Yes
Yes
Yes, £0.90 per £100
8. Santander
Yes
Yes
No charge for deposits up to £1,000 per month (then 70p per £100)
9. NatWest
Yes, after two years, £0.35 per item
Yes, after two years, £0.35 per item
Yes, after two years, £0.70 per £100
10. HSBC
Yes (for 12 months)
Yes (for 12 months)
Yes

1. Revolut Business — Editors Choice

Revolut has made its way to the top of the financial sector and offers a wide variety of services.

It's a solely online platform with a user-friendly app. There are more than 25 million people worldwide (available in the UK, EEA, Switzerland and Australia) using Revolut for their needs.

Revolut can work for businesses of any size. For small businesses, it provides a no-monthly fee account, but you might prefer to pay a monthly fee and take advantage of some of the additional features on offer.

It could also work for your business if you need to trade overseas, as it offers multi-currency business accounts and enables you to send money abroad at low rates.

ProsCons
✔️ Choose the account that fits your needs.❌️ If you need to work with cash, you may require a separate account as this account is online only.
✔️ Multi-currency account options.❌️ No FSCS protection.
✔️ Allows the potential to grow with your business.
✔️ Full range of service options.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankNo
FCA regulatedRegistered for selected Electronic Money services, including Money Laundering Regulation
FSCS protectionNo
Free UK transfersYes, 5 free per month, 0.20p after
Free ATM withdrawalsNo (2% fee)
Cash depositsNo
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

2. Cashplus Bank — Popular UK Business Bank Account

A Cashplus Bank business account could be ideal if your business has poor credit as you won't have to undergo a credit check when you apply.

In addition to not running a credit check, the ease of opening a Cashplus account means you can be up and running the same day.

There are two different accounts to choose from, one of which has no monthly fee. However, this account charges fees for certain banking transactions, such as cash withdrawals.

If you opt for the Extra account which has a £9 monthly fee, you can also select the credit builder feature to help your business improve its credit score.

You can also integrate your account with accounting software (this applies to both account types).

Finally, use the Cashplus mobile app or online dashboard to organise and manage your company accounts.

ProsCons
✔️ No maintenance costs associated with the Cashplus business account.❌️ Cashplus business accounts cannot be used to cash checks.
✔️ Cashplus provides web-based and mobile app (iOS and Android) access to accounts.❌️ Unfortunately, Cashplus doesn't allow you to make any overseas transfers.
✔️ Accounts are protected by the FSCS.❌️ Cashplus doesn't have any brick-and-mortar locations.
✔️ Quick to open an account.
✔️ Overdraft and credit options are available to Cashplus business clients.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankNo
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionNo
Free UK transfersNo, 20p per transfer
Free ATM withdrawalsYes, domestically
Cash depositsNo
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareNo
International transfers
Yes, with fees

3. Tide — Best Business Bank Account for Startups

Tide is one of the ‘challenger’ banks to have entered the market in recent years. Its ethos is certainly appealing; simple business banking with powerful features.

Tide accepts freelancers, sole traders and limited companies.

The features on offer are fairly straightforward; a mobile app gives you access to your finances, and accounts can be opened online with minimum fuss.

Although there are no monthly account fees, there is a 20p charge for every bank transfer and £1 fee for cash withdrawals. These fees are small but can mount up if you use them regularly. Your transactions are automatically categorised and sent through to your accounting software, which can be incredibly useful.

Sadly, Tide doesn’t offer overdrafts to businesses. This can be a deal-breaker for some. Similarly, support options are limited. Although you can speak to them on the phone, you have to first email them first in order to make contact.

ProsCons
✔️ No account fees.❌️ Lack of physical branches.
✔️ Simple interface that’s easy to use.❌️ Fees charged on transfers and ATM withdrawals.
✔️ Instant credit and access to free purchases with Tide Mastercard.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankNo
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersNo (20p per transfer)
Free ATM withdrawalsNo (£1)
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersNo

Read More: Tide Business Review

4. Starling Bank — Award-Winning Business Bank Account

Starling Bank's business account is a free account, making it one of the top choices for small businesses. It's suitable for sole traders, limited companies and limited liability partnerships, as well as companies with multiple directors.

The account integrates with accounting software and offers automated business spending categorisation and receipt capture.

The only downside is that you'll need to pay a fee if you want to access the business toolkit feature. This lets you create and send invoices and helps with your tax return.

Starling Bank is based in the UK and it offers 24/7 customer support.

ProsCons
✔️ No monthly fees.❌️ There are associated fees for special toolkits.
✔️ High-quality service.
✔️ Access to a business toolkit.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Cash depositsSubject to a £3 or 0.7% charge (whichever is higher)
Create and send invoicesRequires Toolkit (£7/Month)
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

5. Soldo — Prepaid Business Account

Soldo is a type of management platform that helps companies of all sizes keep track of their spending. It's not a bank account but you can use Soldo as a supplement to your existing business banking digital account.

Employees and supervisors can keep track of their spending with ease thanks to a user-friendly admin account and app.

You'll have the option of providing all employees with a prepaid card and you can then allocate funds to them.

You can control how much a worker or department may spend, put a cap on their card's total balance, and track their transactions in real-time.

Although Soldo is officially an electronic money account, it functions like a secondary service to your primary business account so that you don't have to switch banks in order to benefit from its spending management features.

There are three different pricing plans to choose from, depending on the features you require such as accounting integration and multi-currency options.

ProsCons
✔️ Integrates with your current bank account to better manage your finances.❌ You'll need a normal company account for all of your financial transactions since this is not a bank account.
✔️ Helps you monitor your own and your staff's spending habits.
✔️ Plans are available for a wide range of customers.
✔️ Allows you to easily import data from other sources.
✔️ Approved by the FCA and subject to its regulations.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankNo
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionNo
Free UK transfersYes, up to a certain limit
Free ATM withdrawalsNo, 1% ATM fee with a minimum of £2
Cash depositsNo
Create and send invoicesN/A
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes, 1% FX fee

Read More: Soldo Business Review

6. Monzo — Business Bank Account

Monzo is fairly new to the business banking industry. But it's easy to open an account online or via the app and you can choose from the free ‘Lite' plan or the ‘Pro' plan that costs £5 a month.

The Pro version of Monzo is far more affordable than some of its competitors. And it will give you access to accounting software, invoicing tools and tax pots to ensure you set enough aside for your tax bill.

The Lite plan is more basic, but you'll still be able to set money aside into savings pots and budget and categorise spending.

The downside is fees apply to cash deposits, so if you regularly need to add cash to your account, you might want to look elsewhere.

ProsCons
✔️ Choose from a Pro or Lite account.❌️ Cash deposits incur fees.
✔️ 24/7 customer support available.
✔️ Compatible with international payments.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Cash deposits£1 per deposit
Create and send invoicesRequires Pro version (£5/month)
Integration with accounting softwareRequires Pro version (£5/month)
International transfersYes, up to £1,000, 1% FX fee

Read More: Monzo Business Review

7. Virgin Money Business Current Account

Virgin Money business account is useful for smaller companies that have an annual turnover of less than £6.5 million. The 25 months of free banking gives firms a great start with their financials.

The account can be integrated with accounting software and you'll also be able to benefit from tools such as automated business spending categorisation and the M-Travel dashboard that enables you to manage all your business data in one place.

This can help you manage your cash flow and spot opportunities for growth. On top of this, you can earn cashback on debit card spending and apply for an overdraft if required.

ProsCons
✔️ Integrates with your current bank account to better manage your finances.❌ You'll need a normal company account for all of your financial transactions since this is not a bank account.
✔️ Helps you monitor your own and your staff's spending habits.
✔️ Plans are available for a wide range of customers.
✔️ Allows you to easily import data from other sources.
✔️ Approved by the FCA and subject to its regulations.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Cash depositsYes, £0.90 per £100
Create and send invoicesN/A
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes, fees over £10 per payment

8. Santander — Startup Business Current Account

If you’re just about to get started with your small business, this account from Santander business account is worth looking at.

As long as you're in your first year of trading and this is your first business bank account with Santander, you won't need to pay a monthly account fee for the first 18 months — it rises to £7.50 after that.

The account also offers an overdraft and you'll be able to receive text alerts to help you keep track of payments and other transactions.

ProsCons
✔️ 18 months of free banking.❌️ Limited availability/eligibility for established businesses.
✔️ Overdraft available.❌️ Fee applies after the first 18 months.
✔️ Free alerts are provided via mobile and email.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Cash depositsNo charge for deposits up to £1,000 per month (then 70p per £100)
Create and send invoicesN/A
Integration with accounting softwareN/A
International transfersYes, £25 per transaction

9. NatWest — Startup Bank Account

High-street banking veteran NatWest provides a seriously tempting offer for new startups. With two years of free banking, if you’ve set up your business within the last year, you get access to a range of features. You'll also need to have a turnover of less than £1 million.

The NatWest mobile app means you can bank on the go and receive instant payment notifications as well as categorise spending.

You also get access to round-the-clock banking through online and telephone services. Once your free trial is up, you’ll start to incur charges and fees which may mean it’s no longer a viable option.

ProsCons
✔️ Free banking for the first 2 years.❌️ Relatively small annual turnover allowance.
✔️ Highest-rated mobile app.
✔️ Online and telephone banking access 24/7
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes, after two years, £0.35 per item
Free ATM withdrawalsYes, after two years, £0.35 per item
Cash depositsYes, after two years, £0.70 per £100
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes, £23 per transaction in branch, £15 per transaction online

10. HSBC — Business Current Account for Startups/Switchers

HSBC offers business accounts for both startups and businesses switching their accounts and all offer free business banking for 12 months. After this point, you'll start paying a monthly fee.

You can also apply for an overdraft on the account if required and you'll have access to a range of funding solutions.

One aspect that can be very useful is access to both business specialists and HSBC’s Knowledge Centre, which can be an invaluable source of information to help your company grow.

ProsCons
✔️ 12 months’ free banking.❌️ Charges after free period.
✔️ Online applications available.
✔️ Yearly ‘best-tariff’ reviews.
FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes (for 12 months)
Free ATM withdrawalsYes (for 12 months)
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

What Makes a Good Business Bank Account?

The answer to this question isn’t a simple one. In truth, it depends a lot on the type of small business you have and the requirements you need from your account.

For many new entrepreneurs, the temptation can be to stick with your personal banking provider.

High-street banks can often offer some enticing incentives.

However, there are other options.

Challenger Banks

There has been a rise in ‘challenger’ banks or smaller companies looking to disrupt the market. They are often in a position to offer competitive rates in order to secure new customers. This increased competition is great for small business owners, as it gives them the freedom to choose an account that’s right for them.

Low Monthly Fees

With this freedom of choice in mind, there are a few key features that make a good business bank account. Perhaps the most important of these is the associated fees. Regardless of whether your business is just getting started or whether you’re already established, you want to be paying for as little as possible.

Some business bank accounts will charge a monthly fee, some will only charge for certain banking transactions and others will charge both. So you'll need to assess what works out to be the most cost-effective for your individual business.

Convenience

Another consideration should be convenience. Internet banking has been around for a while now, and mobile app access is becoming increasingly popular.

Some institutions offer a mobile-only approach, which means you can usually track business spend and categorise transactions on the go. But this type of account might not be right for you if you regularly need to pay cash or cheques into your account.

Business Loan Options

One final element that's worth considering is whether your chosen bank offers other financial products like business loans or an overdraft on the account. If you need a business loan or overdraft, you’ll want to ensure that you get the best rate possible.

Small Business Banking Top Tips

Now that we’ve covered some of the best business bank accounts available, it’s time to hand out some more advice.

Below, we’ve summarised some banking wisdom to help your business grow:

  • Consider overdrafts with care. If you need an overdraft on your business account, be sure to check how much interest you'll be charged for using it. Interest rates can be high so it's important to use your overdraft as a short-term option.
  • Be aware of credit checks. Most accounts, particularly from high street banks and those that have an overdraft, will require you to pass a simple credit check. Depending on your situation, this could prove problematic. Look for an account that doesn't require a credit check if this is an issue.
  • Check international payment fees. If you need to send money abroad on a regular basis, look for a bank account that lets you do this cheaply. Challenger banks will typically be cheaper than high street banks.
  • Gather all your documents. Before you apply for an account, whether it’s online or in-branch, ensure you have all the necessary documents relating to your business. You will need your own personal information and ID handy, as well as your company registration papers.

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