The best UK business bank account

Bank cards on a keyboard

The best bank account for your business depends on what you want from your bank. A self-employed freelancer, a local retailer and a business that trades internationally will have very different requirements.

Here’s our quick guide to some of the best business accounts available, including both high street banks and new online ‘challengers’.

Best for start-ups and small businesses

Starling | Free | App-based account tops customer satisfaction ratings | Go to website

Best high street account

NatWest | No monthly maintenance charge | Keen pricing and free accounting software | Go to website

Best for international businesses

Revolut | Typically £25 per month | Strong multi-currency and international payments services | Go to website

Find out more about:

It’s worth being clear about exactly what you are looking for, and what the different account providers are offering, before you make your final choice of bank account. You should also check for up-to-date information – services and pricing can change.

Barclays

Free invoicing tool could be attractive, particularly for sole traders who spend a lot of time out and about.

Key features:

  • 800 UK branches
  • free invoicing tool in app to send, track and reconcile invoice payments
  • phone access to business managers, plus specialist international and high-growth advisers

Pricing:

  • £8-£8.50 monthly account maintenance fee
  • free electronic payments with e-Payments plan
  • free banking for first 12 months for start-ups

Visit the Barclays website.

Cashplus Bank

An interesting range of tools and easy application make this an attractive package, particularly for applicants with poor credit records, but the pricing structure will not suit businesses with a high volume of low-value transactions.

Key features:

  • online only (but cash deposits available through Post Office)
  • near-instant online account opening with no credit check
  • range of useful accounting integrations, expense management tools and payment insights

Pricing:

  • £69 per year
  • three free electronic payments per month

Visit the Cashplus website.

HSBC

If you like the idea of the digital-first approach offered by challenger banks, but would be more comfortable with a high street name, HSBC’s Kinetic account might be right for you.

Key features:

  • 500 UK branches
  • app-based Kinetic account for sole traders and single owner-director companies, small business account for companies with turnover up to £2 million
  • spending and cash flow analysis tools in app
  • international payments not available in Kinetic app

Pricing:

  • £8 monthly account maintenance fee
  • free online payments
  • free banking for first 12 months

Visit the HSBC website.

Lloyds

The UK’s biggest branch network might make this a convenient high street choice for your business, and a good option for businesses (such as law firms) that need to hold client funds.

Key features:

  • 1,600 UK branches
  • relatively simple set-up for client fund accounts
  • optional Business Finance Assistant accounting software helps simplify accounting and tax returns

Pricing:

  • £7 monthly account maintenance fee
  • free electronic payments
  • free banking for first 12 months
  • Business Finance Assistant free for three months, then £5 per month

Visit the Lloyds website.

Monzo

A relative newcomer to business banking, challenger Monzo has a devoted fan club for its personal banking app.

Key features:

  • mobile and web app only; cash deposits via PayPoint, cheques by post
  • can separate balance into different ‘pots’
  • invoicing, accounting links and multi-user access with Pro account
  • fee-free international spending

Pricing:

  • free Lite offering or £5 per month for Pro account
  • additional charges for cash deposits, and for cash withdrawals over £200 per month

Visit the Monzo website.

NatWest

Good value from a high street bank, with no monthly maintenance fee and free FreeAgent accounting software.

Best high street account:

NatWest | No monthly maintenance charge | Keen pricing and free accounting software | Go to website

Key features:

  • 750 UK branches
  • free access to FreeAgent accounting software for business account holders
  • optional HR support tools (free and priced options)
  • also offers free Mettle mobile account for one/two person businesses (no credit or international payments)

Pricing:

  • free banking for first 18 months for start-ups
  • no monthly maintenance charge; per transaction charges for payments, with higher charges for manual payments and percentage charge for cash

Visit the NatWest website.

Revolut

Quality offering for businesses that want a multi-currency international solution, and the potential to grow with your business.

Best for international businesses

Revolut | Typically £25 per month | Strong multi-currency and international payments services | Go to website

Key features:

  • range of options and pricing structures to suit different transaction volumes
  • competitive foreign exchange, multi-currency accounts and international payments
  • company cards plus growing range of additional services
  • online only – need separate account for any cash deposits or withdrawals

Pricing:

  • typically £25 per month or £7 per month for freelancer account
  • free and higher-cost options also available
  • additional charges for transactions over account plan limit

Visit the Revolut website.

Santander

Identifying the best account option for your business can be difficult, but the standard small business account with a flat monthly fee could suit many smaller businesses.

Key features:

  • 450 UK branches
  • different account options depending on number of owners/directors and transaction volumes
  • alternative 1|2|3 business current account carries higher monthly fee but cashback based on payments credited to account

Pricing:

  • free banking for first 18 months for start-ups
  • small business account with £7.50 monthly maintenance fee but no additional charges for most standard transactions (including cash deposits up to £1,000)
  • alternative accounts with different pricing structures

Visit the Santander website.

Starling

Free banking and high levels of customer satisfaction make this a winner for smaller businesses.

Best for start-ups and small businesses

Starling | Free | App-based account tops customer satisfaction ratings | Go to website

Key features:

  • good range of standard features included in free account
  • table-topping customer satisfaction
  • online only, but cash transactions available at Post Office

Pricing:

  • free business account
  • £7 monthly for optional business invoicing / tax toolkit
  • £2 per month for euro account, £5 per month for US dollar account
  • charges for cash transactions

Visit the Starling website.

Tide

Good all-round offering for start-ups and smaller businesses, with company registration thrown in as a free extra.

Key features:

  • quick, free company incorporation with business account for start-ups
  • expenses management and invoice tracking features
  • mobile and desktop access

Pricing:

  • free, £10 per month ‘plus’ and £50 per month ‘cashback’ plans
  • additional charges for payments above plan limits
  • cashback plan offers 0.5% cashback on card payments made

Visit the Tide website.

Find out more about the different business bank accounts on offer:

Browse topics: Banking

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