Best Free Business Bank Accounts

Use CompareBanks to get the top no-cost business bank accounts, in this review.

Updated: April 14, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Rachel Wait

Edited By

Rachel Wait

 
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There are hundreds of small businesses in the UK, from those selling brownies and blankets to companies focussed on tech and employment. Whatever type of small business you have, and however it operates, a business back account is a good idea.

There are lots of benefits to having a business account and for startups and account switchers who would rather not incur monthly or annual fees, a free business bank account might be the answer. 

Because there are no ongoing monthly or annual charges, and no fees for opening the account, we refer to this account type as a “free” account.

However, there may be some charges attached to the account, such as if you go into an overdraft or miss a payment. Yet there are some accounts that won't apply any fees to everyday banking transactions, which can be a real bonus when you're just starting out, though this varies depending on the account.

While some accounts are free for a limited time (usually between six months and two years), others remain free indefinitely. Choosing a fee-free business account can be a great way to help your business cut costs and save money.

From the most well-known banks to alternatives, I'll review the best options for free business bank accounts in this guide.

My in depth analysis factors in functionality, features and any additional fees that might be incurred. I've also briefly explained the pros and cons of free business banks, how they work, and picked out some top options for you.

ServiceScoreRegister
1. Revolut Business★★★★★Click Here
2. Cashplus Bank★★★★★Click Here
3. Tide★★★★★Click Here
4. Metro Bank★★★★Click Here
5. Lloyds Bank★★★★Click Here
6. Royal Bank of Scotland★★★★Click Here
7. HSBC★★★★Click Here
8. TSB★★★★★Click Here
9. Co-operative Bank★★★★★Click Here
10. Mettle★★★★★Click Here

At a glance, pros and cons

This section gives you a quick summary of the pros and cons of no-cost business bank accounts. While every bank is different, and you'll always need to check the small print to find out what's included with an account, these are some of the general benefits and drawbacks.

Note: Some free business bank accounts might allow you to carry out a certain amount of transfers or payments each month free of charge, but you'll incur a fee if you exceed this limit. In some cases, these allowances can be higher (or even unlimited) if the account has a monthly fee. So if you're a larger business carrying out a lot of transactions, you might be better off choosing a paid-for account.

Pros

✔️ No required monthly subscription — a free business bank account is a great way to save money as there shouldn't be any ongoing fees. But keep in mind that certain services, such as an overdraft or credit card, may still incur fees on some accounts.

✔️ Helps with financial management — having a separate business account can be helpful to keep personal and business funds separate.

✔️ Credit building — a business current account can help you build a business credit score if you manage it responsibly

Cons

❌️ Limited period  — some business bank accounts only waive monthly and annual fees for a certain time period

❌️ Restrictions — it is also possible that the account's features and benefits will be limited compared to an account with a monthly fee

❌️ There might still be hidden charges — while the account may say it's free, you might still have to pay fees for certain transactions or free transactions might be capped to a set amount each month.

Best free business bank accounts — a buying guide

Before we look at the top picks, let's take a closer look at how free business bank accounts work.

What is a free business bank account?

Are free business bank accounts really free?

It's important to be aware that not all free business bank accounts work in the same way. In general though, a free business bank account means you won't be charged a monthly or annual fee for operating the account. But in some cases, this might only last a year or so and then a fee will kick in.

Some business bank accounts that don't charge a monthly fee will charge for certain banking transactions instead, such as cash withdrawals or payments sent abroad. Others might give you a free monthly allowance for certain transactions and if you exceed this, a fee will then be charged.

That's why it's so important to compare accounts carefully.

Related Individual Savings Accounts

Eligibility

As with all business bank accounts, it's crucial that you also check the eligibility requirements. Some free business bank accounts might only be available to startups, while others might require you to have been trading for at least a year. Some might also have minimum annual turnover requirements.

Which free business bank account is right for you?

This depends on how you run your business. If you only make a few day-to-day banking transactions each month, or you're a new business looking to keep overheads low, you probably want to look for an account that charges no monthly or annual fee. Fees for everyday banking transactions won't matter as much as you're not making many of them.

But if you're a more established business that carries out a large volume of business transactions each month, you could be better off with an account that charges lower transaction fees — or even none at all — even if you have to pay a monthly account fee in return.

Best free business bank accounts in 2024

Let's take a look at the top free business bank accounts. I've picked out some of the best accounts to choose from right now, but your best will depend on the type of business you run.

ServiceFree Trial PeriodCard Purchase FeesUK Bank Transfer Fees
1. Revolut Business AccountN/AFree5 no-fee local transfers, for transfers outside of this allowance, a £0.20 fee applies
2. Cashplus Bank Business AccountN/A3/month free, 30p after3/month free, 30p after
3. Tide Business AccountN/AFree20p per transfer
4. Metro Bank Business AccountN/A30 free per month, then £0.30 each (for daily balance £6,000 or more)30 free per month, then £0.30 each (for daily balance £6,000 or more)
5. Lloyds Bank Business Account12 monthsFreeFree (to or from another account in your name with the sort code starting 30 or 87)
6. Royal Bank of Scotland Business Account24 monthsFreeFree
7. HSBC Business Account12 monthsFreeFree
8. TSB Business Account30 monthsFreeFree
9. Co-operative Bank Business AccountN/AFreeFree
10. Mettle Business AccountN/AFreeFree

1. Revolut Business — Best overall no-monthly fee small business account

You might only recognise Revolut for its personal accounts that let you spend money overseas or its paid business accounts (if not, check out our Revolut review). As a quick refresher: Revolut markets itself as a 21st-century digital or “e-money” institution with over 25 million users.

What a lot of people aren’t so aware of, though, is that you don’t actually need to pay anything to use the Revolut Business Basic account in particular. While it’s certainly not the most effective option on this list for larger companies, it’s still our favourite by far and absolutely does the job if you’re a freelancer, sole trader, or contractor.

If you fall into one of those categories we just mentioned, chances are you’re probably not making too many international transactions — so the £5 fee for international transfers might not be a big deal, not that it’s particularly expensive anyway compared to some of Revolut’s competitors. 

If you do deal with foreign currency a lot, though, you’ll be happy to know this account supports over 150 different currencies, meaning you don’t have to leave the Revolut app to manage your funds.

Let’s walk through some of its key features:

  • Free debit and virtual card
  • Multi-currency accounts
  • No monthly fees.
  • Use this account directly from the Revolut app. 

Revolut offers multi-currency accounts, making it ideal if you regularly do business abroad, and you can also send money overseas at low rates.

Again, don’t expect to be using this card if you’re running a major enterprise, limited liability firm, or other such entity — this is mainly designed for freelancers and contractors, and that’s generally reflected in the lack of additional features you’ll see with this card.

Not that it’s not perfectly sufficient still for the aforementioned sole proprietors; you’d just be better off with one of their paid subscription plans if you have multiple employees you need to cater for, or just larger requirements out of your business account in general.

Ultimately, this is just a simple tool for business professionals with relatively limited needs to send and receive money, pay bills, and manage other routine business tasks — all of which you’ll be able to do with practically zero hassle directly from their app. 

Just bear in mind that Revolut is technically only classed as a financial management platform, so there isn’t any FSCS protection like you’d normally expect with a UK licensed bank. 

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 — Top free business bank account for no monthly fees

The Cashplus business Go plan has no monthly fees, but you will still need to pay fees for certain transactions — this includes a card issuing fee of £9.95, and £2 for each ATM withdrawal (or £3 abroad). 

However, if you don't carry out many banking transactions each month, this could be the account for you.

It's quick and easy to open this account and you'll be able to manage your money and capture digital receipts directly in the app. You can also use card controls such as freezing and PIN retrieval.

You can learn more about our Cashplus business accounts in our linked review.

FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes, 3 free per month, 30p after
Free ATM withdrawalsNo (£2 each)
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

3. Tide — Well-reviewed free business bank account for online-only

Tide's corporate bank account doesn't charge a monthly or annual fee, but you will need to pay for certain banking transactions.

It's a straightforward account and Tide is a market leader in UK digital business banking. You can use the mobile app to access your finances and accounts with ease and keep track of your spending.

Transfers in and out of your account cost 20p each, while withdrawing money from ATMs will cost you £1. Post Office cash deposits cost £1, and PayPoint deposits are charged at 3%.

However, you can spend on your Tide card at home or abroad for free (withdrawals still cost £1 abroad) and transfers between Tide members are always free.

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

4. Metro Bank — Best free business bank account for up to £5k

If you're a business with an annual turnover of less than £2 million, you'll qualify for the Metro Business bank account. As long as you keep at least £6,000 in this account, no monthly account fee will apply. If you meet this requirement, you'll also get 30 free UK transactions each month.

If your account balance drops below £6,000, a monthly maintenance charge of £5 will be deducted from your funds.

The account also offers business accounting tools and you won't be charged fees for non-sterling transactions in most European countries.

Note that if you are a larger business (with a turnover of more than £2 million a year), you'll qualify for the Commercial Current Account which also has no monthly fee. This account also comes with a dedicated relationship manager.

FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes (conditions apply)
Free ATM withdrawalsYes (conditions apply)
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

5. Lloyds Bank — Popular free business bank account

Lloyds Bank provides new businesses with a free everyday business bank account. You'll need to be a sole trader, partner or company director over the age of 18 to qualify.

Note, however, that the account only waives the monthly fee for the first year. After that you'll pay £7 per month, as well as certain transaction charges. Electronic payments, cash withdrawals and card payments remain free.

You can also choose to apply for an overdraft of up to £5,000 (interest applies).

FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes (conditions apply)
Free ATM withdrawalsYes (conditions apply)
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

6. Royal Bank of Scotland — Top no-cost business bank account for startups

If you're a new business, open the RBS startup account and you won't need to worry about banking fees for the first 2 years.

There's no monthly account fee and no fees for everyday banking transactions either. After the first 2 years are up, you will need to pay 35p for each automated payment (including cash withdrawals), 70p per £100 for cash payments, and 70p per item for all manual payments.

The account also offers access to FreeAgent, a digital accounting tool to help you with invoices and tax returns.

You can manage the account via the app, online or in branch.

FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes (for 2 years)
Free ATM withdrawalsYes (for 2 years)
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

7. HSBC — Popular UK free business bank account for startups

This is another great option for startups, only this time you'll only get free business banking for 12 months. After this point, a monthly fee of £8 kicks in.

After the first 12 months, you will also need to pay 1.50% of the value deposited for cash deposits at Post Office and HSBC branches, and 50p per cheque for cheque deposits. Cash withdrawals will also incur a fee.

In addition, you can apply for an overdraft on the account if you wish to.

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

8. TSB — Top free business bank account for 30 months

Switch to TSB and you can benefit from 30 months of free business banking. There's no monthly fee to worry about during this time, and no fees for paying money in or out of the account.

After the 30 months are up, a monthly fee of £5 applies and fees will also apply to certain transactions.

You'll have the option to add a business debit card to your account and you’ll be able to manage your account via the app 24/7. You can also deposit cash and cheques in TSB branches or at the Post Office.

What's more, the bank offers 12 months of free specialist business advice from Enterprise Nation.

FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes (for 30 months)
Free ATM withdrawalsYes (for 30 months)
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

9. Co-operative Bank — ESG free business bank account

Sole traders and single directors can open the Co-op business account and no monthly fee will be charged. Automated payments and cash withdrawals are also free of charge. However, fees will apply to cash and cheque deposits and foreign payments.

You can also integrate your account with accountancy software such as Quickbooks, Xero and Sage, and you'll have access to free support tools for your business.

The account can be managed online, over the phone and in branch and an overdraft is also available. The bank has been rated as the UK's best Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) high street bank.

FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersYes

10. Mettle — Top free business bank account for challenger banking

Mettle is a mobile banking service built for sole traders and partnerships with no more than two owners. To qualify, your business must be registered and trading in the UK and you must be a UK resident and aged 18 or over. You'll also need a balance limit of up to £1 million.

The account is free to use and offers customisable invoices. FreeAgent accounting software is automatically included with the account, but you can also sync it with other accounting software if preferred.

You will also be able to set up money pots and save for your tax bill. Plus the account offers FSCS protection as it's provided by NatWest.

FeaturesAvailable
Licensed bankYes
FCA regulatedYes
FSCS protectionYes
Free UK transfersYes
Free ATM withdrawalsYes
Cash depositsYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting softwareYes
International transfersNo

How to open a free business bank account

You can easily open a free bank account online, just as you would any other business bank account. During the application process, you will be asked to verify both personal and company information.

After you have done your research and decided on a free bank account, click through from the website and make your application. Some banks enable account opening in person, over the phone, or by post if you would rather not open your account online.

How do you get started with a bank account?

When opening an account, you might need to provide proof of ID (like a driver's licence or passport) and proof of address (a utility bill or council tax bill). Your full name, date of birth, and address history will also be required, and you may also be asked to provide financial information.

Don't forget that opening a free business bank account often involves a credit check, and if your score is low, you may not be approved.

Essential fees to look out for…

What features should I look for in a free business checking account?

Consider what features and services are most important to you before deciding whether a free business bank account is right for you. Then look at what fees are charged for which services to help you make your decision.

For example:

#1 Cash deposits

If you regularly need to make cash deposits, you could be better off opening a bank account with a bank that has a branch local to you. However, some accounts allow you to deposit cash via Post Office branches or PayPoints.

You should also find out whether there are any fees associated with depositing your money into a “free” business account. Some may charge a flat fee for each deposit, while others may charge a percentage of the amount deposited.

#2 Cheque deposits

The same applies if you need to regularly pay cheques into your account. Find out whether this is possible with your chosen account (it won't always be if it's a digital bank) and how much it will cost you.

#3 Transfers

Consider how many bank transfers you're likely to make each month as a business and find out how much you might be charged. As mentioned, if you need to make a lot of transfers each month, it might be better to look for an account that offers unlimited fee-free transfers but charges a monthly account fee in return.

#4 Currency exchanges 

If you need to regularly send money overseas, look for an account that lets you do this for a low rate. Similarly, if you need to go abroad on business, look for a bank account that offers a card with free-free foreign spending.

#5 Overdrafts

If you need an overdraft, be aware that the interest you'll be charged for using it will usually be high. It's therefore best to only use your overdraft for short-term borrowing.

Free business bank accounts for all sizes: The verdict

If you want a simple and inexpensive way to manage your money, a free business bank account may be what you are searching for. There are lots of free accounts to choose from, so never go with the first one you see and make sure you're comparing accounts and providers.

Before you apply it's also important to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements which may involve earning a certain amount each month. You may also want to look at some paid-for accounts to see what is included. If extras are included which you're using and paying seperately for, a paid-for account may provide better value for money.

Related guides:

FAQs

What do paid business accounts give you?

Can I use a personal bank account for my business?

Is it safe to use a free business bank account?

How long will the no-fee status of my business bank account last?

Does a free business bank account offer fewer services than a paid one?

Who qualifies for a fee-free business bank account?

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