Compare Business Bank Accounts

A good business account is the foundation for your business, regardless of its size. Remember that most accounts require applicants to be at least 18 years old.

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Cashplus logo

Monthly account fee

£0*

Free banking duration

-

Interest rate (AER)

0%

Overdraft available

Yes

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • Tailored to the needs of small businesses, freelancers and start-ups
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • No credit check required
  • Apply online; accounts typically opened within 5 minutes
  • UK call centre, online banking & mobile app
  • Overdraft on application
  • Integrates with major accountancy packages

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • Tailored to the needs of small businesses, freelancers and start-ups
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • No credit check required
  • Apply online; accounts typically opened within 5 minutes
  • UK call centre, online banking & mobile app
  • Overdraft on application
  • Integrates with major accountancy packages

*Annual account fee of £69. Free automated credits, first 3 automated debits are free then 99p each, cash withdrawals £2, cash deposits 0.3% at the Post Office.

ANNA Business Current Account logo

Monthly account fee

£0

Free banking duration

6 months

Interest rate (AER)

0%

Overdraft available

No

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • Tailored to the needs of small businesses, freelancers and start-ups
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • No credit check required
  • Apply online; accounts typically opened within 5 minutes
  • 24/7 UK based customer support via the ANNA app
  • 1% cashback on qualifying purchases
  • Free ANNA invoicing software
  • No overdraft facility
  • Integrates with Xero and QuickBooks accounting software

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • Tailored to the needs of small businesses, freelancers and start-ups
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • No credit check required
  • Apply online; accounts typically opened within 5 minutes
  • 24/7 UK based customer support via the ANNA app
  • 1% cashback on qualifying purchases
  • Free ANNA invoicing software
  • No overdraft facility
  • Integrates with Xero and QuickBooks accounting software

Four price plans ranging from £0 a month to £24.90 a month. Two free UK transfers and up to £100 free ATM withdrawals per month with the free plan. Unlimited UK transfers and up to £10,000 free ATM withdrawals per month with the £24.90 a month plan.

CardOneBanking logo

Monthly account fee

£12.50

Free banking duration

-

Interest rate (AER)

0%

Overdraft available

No

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Quick online application with most accounts opened in 3 hours
  • No credit check required
  • Online and phone banking
  • No overdraft facility
  • Maximum account balance £250,000

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Quick online application with most accounts opened in 3 hours
  • No credit check required
  • Online and phone banking
  • No overdraft facility
  • Maximum account balance £250,000

£55 application fee. Automated credits and debits 30p, cheque deposits 0.75% (minimum charge 50p), cash withdrawals £1.50, cash deposits 0.75% (minimum charge 50p).

Tide logo

Monthly account fee

£0

Free banking duration

-

Interest rate (AER)

0%

Overdraft available

No

Features

  • For limited companies and sole traders
  • Tailored to the needs of small businesses, freelancers and start-ups
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • Apply online; accounts typically opened within 5 minutes
  • Account comes with accounting and invoicing tools
  • No overdraft facility
  • Maximum account balance £25,000 for sole traders and £100,000 for limited companies
  • Integrates with Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent and KashFlow accounting software

Features

  • For limited companies and sole traders
  • Tailored to the needs of small businesses, freelancers and start-ups
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • Apply online; accounts typically opened within 5 minutes
  • Account comes with accounting and invoicing tools
  • No overdraft facility
  • Maximum account balance £25,000 for sole traders and £100,000 for limited companies
  • Integrates with Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent and KashFlow accounting software

Three price plans ranging from £0 a month to £49.99 a month. Automated credits and debits 20p with the free plan. Up to 150 free automated credits and debits with the £49.99 a month plan. Cash withdrawals £1, cash deposits £1 at the Post Office and 3.00% at Pay Point.

Starling Bank logo

Monthly account fee

£0

Free banking duration

-

Interest rate (AER)

0%

Overdraft available

Yes

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders with an existing Starling Bank personal account
  • Tailored to the needs of small businesses, freelancers and start-ups
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • Speedy application process; apply for an account in minutes
  • 24/7 support via in-app chat, email or phone (UK)
  • Overdraft on application. Up to £150,000 for limited companies and up to £10,000 for sole traders
  • Integrates with QuickBooks, Xero and FreeAgent accounting software

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders with an existing Starling Bank personal account
  • Tailored to the needs of small businesses, freelancers and start-ups
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • Speedy application process; apply for an account in minutes
  • 24/7 support via in-app chat, email or phone (UK)
  • Overdraft on application. Up to £150,000 for limited companies and up to £10,000 for sole traders
  • Integrates with QuickBooks, Xero and FreeAgent accounting software

Free automated credits and debits, cash withdrawals 50p on amounts up to £1000 and 0.3% thereafter, cash deposits £3.00 at the Post Office.

Acorn logo

Monthly account fee

£12.50

Free banking duration

-

Interest rate (AER)

0%

Overdraft available

No

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Quick online application with most accounts opened within 24 hours.
  • No credit check required
  • Online and phone banking
  • No overdraft facility
  • Maximum account balance £250,000

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Quick online application with most accounts opened within 24 hours.
  • No credit check required
  • Online and phone banking
  • No overdraft facility
  • Maximum account balance £250,000

Account set up fee £65. Automated credits and debits 30p, cheque deposits 0.75% (minimum charge 50p), cash withdrawals £1.50, cash deposits 0.75% (minimum charge 50p).

Our guide to business bank accounts


A business bank account is one of the most important priorities for any small business, whether you’re operating as a sole trader or incorporating a company or partnership.


But all too often, new entrepreneurs don’t take the time to make sure the bank account they’re choosing is right for them, or that they’re getting the best deal. Indeed, many new business owners simply open an account with the bank they use for their personal banking - and, while that may be easy in the short term, it can come back to bite you further down the line.


There is now a wide variety of choice in the business banking market. The rise of ‘app-based banking’ is the most important recent trend, but the so-called ‘legacy’ banks may still be a solid option for many business types. It’s important that small business owners understand the business bank accounts on offer, and that they are confident that the option they choose is right for them.

Opening a business bank account

Opening a business bank account used to be a lengthy process involving reams of paperwork, business plans, credit histories, and more. That has now changed, and today it is possible to apply online for an account with most High Street banks – although this can still take between five and ten working days, especially if you don’t have an existing personal account with that institution.


With the emergence of the ‘challenger banks’ in recent years, most of which are operated through a smartphone app, it’s possible to open an account in as little as 5 minutes. This is because most of these app-based providers do not require a credit check to be performed.


Business bank account fees

In the UK we’re used to what is essentially free ‘unlimited’ personal banking - that is, we can generally conduct as many basic transactions as we like without incurring a fee.


Business banking is not free, however, and the cost of an account can vary significantly. Some providers offer a free banking period of between 3 and 24 months, during which some or all of their services are offered without charge. After this, though, the costs can add up.


The way in which fees are structured is different from bank to bank. Most banks charge a monthly account fee but you can find accounts with no monthly charge. Some banks charge for specific services; for example, some apply a cost for automated credit and debits, while at others these are free. It’s important that you consider how you anticipate using your banking service, and that you make a rough estimate of the charges as the total cost can be very different depending on the bank you choose and the way you use it.

Other considerations

It’s important to understand that not all accounts are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Under the FSCS, balances of up to £85,000 are protected in the event of the account provider going bankrupt. FSCS cover is standard on all accounts offered by full licensed banks. However, many of the newer app-based banking providers do not hold full banking licenses and, as such, do not come with FSCS protection. While these providers are required to hold client money in a segregated account with a fully licensed bank, your money is not protected should the licensed bank itself go under.

You should also make sure that you understand maximum transaction and balance limits, which apply to most banks. These limits can be quite low, especially at some of the new app-based banks, and if you exceed them then payments will generally be returned. It’s important that you check the limits before making a choice, remembering that what’s right for you now may not be sufficient as your business grows further down the line.


You should also think about the methods of payment you’re accepting. If you need to deposit cheques, a mobile-based bank is likely not for you as they generally do not accept them. Similarly, many of these banks do not offer overdrafts. If you are a business that requires these services then some of these accounts will not be suitable for you.

Getting support

Finally, it’s important to understand your options for interacting with your bank. Most of the new app-based options only offer online ‘live chat’ services, and these can be unreliable. The legacy banks generally still offer telephone or in-branch support, but it’s worth checking both the cost to call the phone line and, of course, the location of your nearest branch - especially in the middle of the ongoing wave of branch closures.