Compare Business Bank Accounts

Updated 6th November 2019

A good business account is the foundation for your business, regardless of its size. The rise of the ‘app-based bank’ is the most important recent market trend, but the so-called ‘legacy’ banks may still be a solid option for many business types. Remember that most UK business bank accounts require applicants to be at least 18 years old and resident in the UK.

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Cashplus logo

Monthly account fee

£0*

Free banking duration

None

Interest rate (AER)

0%

3 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 5.0/5

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%.

CardOneBanking logo

Monthly account fee

£12.50

Free banking duration

None

Interest rate (AER)

0%

0 reviews

Source: N/A

Score: /5

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

12 months*

Interest rate (AER)

0%

40 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 3.8/5

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

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

*12 months free banking when signing up through Business Reviewed. Automated credits and debits 20p (from non Tide accounts), cash withdrawals £1, cash deposits £1 at the Post Office and 3.00% at Pay Point.

Revolut logo

Monthly account fee

£0

Free banking duration

14 days

Interest rate (AER)

0%

0 reviews

Source: N/A

Score: /5

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • Account options available for freelancers and all business sizes including enterprises
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • Quick online application
  • Hold, receive and send money in 29 currencies
  • Issue free corporate cards to employees to spend abroad
  • No overdraft facility
  • Open API to automate payments and connect to platforms such as Zapier, Xero, Slack and Stripe

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • Account options available for freelancers and all business sizes including enterprises
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • Quick online application
  • Hold, receive and send money in 29 currencies
  • Issue free corporate cards to employees to spend abroad
  • No overdraft facility
  • Open API to automate payments and connect to platforms such as Zapier, Xero, Slack and Stripe

Flexible pricing plans available. Free automated credits and debits up to plan allowance then 20p per transaction thereafter, cash withdrawals 2.00%.

Acorn logo

Monthly account fee

£12.50

Free banking duration

None

Interest rate (AER)

0%

2 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 1.0/5

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).

Clydesdale Bank logo

Monthly account fee

£6.50

Free banking duration

25 months

Interest rate (AER)

0%

5 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 4.0/5

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Apply online
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Overdraft on application

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Apply online
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Overdraft on application

Automated credits and debits 30p, cheque deposits 70p, cash withdrawals and cash deposits 0.65%.

Yorkshire Bank logo

Monthly account fee

£6.50

Free banking duration

25 months

Interest rate (AER)

0%

16 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 2.4/5

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Apply online
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Overdraft on application

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Apply online
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Overdraft on application

Automated credits and debits 30p, cheque deposits 70p, cash withdrawals and cash deposits 0.65%.

Santander logo

Monthly account fee

£12.50

Free banking duration

None

Interest rate (AER)

0.1%

46 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 3.1/5

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • For businesses in their first year of trading and opening their first business current account with Santander
  • Up to £300 annual cashback based on annual credit turnover
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Overdraft on application
  • Become part of the 1/2/3 business world with access to preferential rates and offers

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • For businesses in their first year of trading and opening their first business current account with Santander
  • Up to £300 annual cashback based on annual credit turnover
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Overdraft on application
  • Become part of the 1/2/3 business world with access to preferential rates and offers

Reduced monthly fee of £5 for the first 18 months. Free automated credits, debits, cheque deposits and cash withdrawals, free cash deposits up to £1000 per month then 0.70% fee on amounts over £1000 (cash machine deposits free).

HSBC logo

Monthly account fee

£6.50

Free banking duration

18 months

Interest rate (AER)

0%

79 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 2.9/5

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Apply online
  • Online, phone and mobile banking
  • Business specialists available in branches across the UK
  • Overdraft on application

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £2,000,000
  • Apply online
  • Online, phone and mobile banking
  • Business specialists available in branches across the UK
  • Overdraft on application

Automated credits 19p, automated debits 23p, cheque deposits 40p, cash withdrawals 25p from ATM and 70p from branch counter, cash deposits 0.70%.

Barclays logo

Monthly account fee

£6

Free banking duration

12 months

Interest rate (AER)

0%

141 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 3.9/5

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • Apply online
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Overdraft on application

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships, sole traders and charities
  • No limit on annual turnover
  • Apply online
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Overdraft on application

Automated credits and debits 35p, cheque deposits 65p, cash withdrawals and cash deposits 0.90%.

Lloyds Bank logo

Monthly account fee

£6.50

Free banking duration

18 months

Interest rate (AER)

0%

83 reviews

Source: Smart Money People

Score: 2.6/5

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £3,000,000
  • Apply online
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Dedicated support from UK based business management team
  • Overdraft on application

Features

  • For limited companies, partnerships and sole traders
  • For companies with annual turnover up to £3,000,000
  • Apply online
  • Branch, online, phone and mobile banking
  • Dedicated support from UK based business management team
  • Overdraft on application

Free automated credits and debits, cheque deposits 65p, free ATM cash withdrawals, cash deposits and withdrawals from branch counter 1.00% on amounts up to £1500 per month then 0.80% fee on amounts over £1500.

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.