Best Business

Compare Business Bank Accounts

Zempler Bank Business Banking
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • Bank Transfers
    30p
Compare Now
Allica Bank Business Banking
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • Bank Transfers
    Free
Compare Now
Revolut Business Banking
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • Bank Transfers
    20p
Compare Now
Airwallex Business Banking
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • Bank Transfers
    Free
Compare Now
ANNA Money Business Banking
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • Bank Transfers
    20p
Compare Now

40 Best Business Bank Accounts in 2024

Editorial Team
··

Choosing the right business bank account is essential for operating and growing your business in the UK. It is the best way to separate your business finances from your personal, offering spending insights, accounting features and much more.

Find the best business bank account that fits your needs from the UK's top high street and award-winning online challenger banks.

Tide Business Bank Accounts

  • Digital business accounts offering high interest & company formation for £9.99
  • Monthly fees range from £0 to £49.99, plus tax
  • Get a £50 voucher with code £50VOUCHER when you sign up (T&Cs apply)
  • Online-only accounts with 24/7 access with their app
  • Offer instant access savings add-on, earning a variable 4.33% AER
  • Deposit cash at PayPoint or Post Office branches
  • Automatically match, categorise & annotate digital receipts
  • Integrate with QuickBooks, Xero & other accounting software
  • FSCS-protected accounts are provided by ClearBank, covering deposits up to £85,000
  • Rated great on Trustpilot with 4.1 stars out of 5
Tide Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Tide review

Zempler Bank Business Accounts

  • Online business bank accounts with no credit checks, join over 650,000 businesses
  • Choose from their Business Go or Business Extra account for £0 or £9 per month
  • Go gets three free transfers a month & Extra gets 20, then 30p every transfer
  • Earn 0.5% cashback on all card spend with the Business Extra account
  • Sign up in minutes & manage your account in-app or online
  • Pay in cash at any of the UK’s 11,500 Post Offices branches for a minimum £3 fee
  • Comes with an integrated accounting tool that connects directly to your accounting software
  • Fully regulated online bank with FSCS protection up to £85,000
  • Average rating TrustScore with 3.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot
Zempler Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Zempler Bank review

Allica Bank Business Rewards Account

  • Digital business bank account that earns interest & cashback on spend
  • Only available to registered businesses that have been trading for over a year, have a minimum balance of £50k or a loan with Allica
  • No monthly fees & free bank transfers
  • Offers integrated savings pot with instant access & a variable rate of 4.33% AER
  • Plus up to 1.5% cashback rewards on card payments, once you spend over £10k in a month
  • 24/7 access with online & mobile banking & get a dedicated relationship manager
  • Sync with Xero or Sage accounting software to save time & automate tasks
  • Switch to Allica hassle-free with the Current Account Switch Service (CASS)
  • Regulated bank covered by the FSCS, protecting eligible deposits up to £85,000
  • Rated an excellent 4.4 out of 5 on Trustpilot
Allica Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Allica Bank review

ANNA Money Business Accounts

  • Three digital business accounts with prepaid cards & no credit checks
  • Monthly fees range from £0 to £49.90, plus VAT
  • Get free monthly transaction allowances & free transfers to other ANNA accounts
  • Manage the account 24/7 online or in-app
  • Get paid anywhere online with payment link & webpage
  • Earn 1% cashback on eligible card purchases
  • Built-in, automated invoicing & accounting tools
  • Register as a landlord, a business or an ecommerce business for free, when you open
  • No FSCS-protection on your money as ANNA are not a bank
  • Boast an excellent TrustScore of 4.6 stars
ANNA Money Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth ANNA Money review

Cynergy Bank Business Current Account

  • Online-only business bank account offering interest
  • Earn 2.50% AER variable on balances up to £25,000 & 0.25% AER variable on balances above
  • The £25 monthly fee is waived for 12 months for new to Cynergy Bank customers
  • Offer available to new customers for a limited time only & Cynergy reserve the right to withdraw at any time, T&Cs apply
  • Apply in as little as 15 minutes & manage completely online with 24/7 access
  • Access to Faster Payments, CHAPS, SWIFT, SEPA & FX, fees apply
  • Offer a business savings account with variable interest of 4.00% AER & easy access
  • FSCS protection up to £85,000, on eligible deposits
  • Average TrustScore on Trustpilot with a rating of 3.6 stars
Cynergy Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Cynergy Bank review

Airwallex Business Account

  • Online global business account with local account details in 60 countries
  • No opening charge or any monthly fees for holding
  • Local transfers & Direct Debits from Global Accounts are free
  • Hold money in more than 20 different currencies & transfer to over 150 countries
  • With access to market-leading FX exchange rates, from 0.5% above interbank rates
  • Get 10% cashback on your first $1,000 of international transfers (T&Cs apply)
  • Integrate top financial tools like Xero & Netsuite for full visibility on your business spend
  • Not covered by the FSCS, but bound by safeguarding requirements to ensure deposits are protected at all times
  • Score a 3.6-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot
Airwallex Business BankingWebsite

Countingup Business Accounts

  • Account fees range from £3 to £18 per month, depending on monthly deposits
  • Available for small & self-employed businesses
  • All new customers get three months free to try
  • 24/7 online & mobile banking
  • Cash can be paid in at Post Office or PayPoint branches
  • Benefit from their built-in accounting and invoicing software or give your account access for free
  • Hassle-free payment notifications, receipt capture & transaction categorisation
  • Provide e-money accounts backed by Sage & ING Bank, deposits are not covered by the FSCS
  • Rated great on Trustpilot with a TrustScore of 4.2 stars
Countingup Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Countingup review

Revolut Business Accounts

  • Multi-currency business accounts with plans for freelancers & companies
  • Monthly fees range from £0 to £79, with one month free on paid plans
  • Access your money online whenever you need & wherever you are (internet connection required)
  • Hold & trade money in more than 20 currencies
  • Free monthly international payment allowance (terms and conditions apply)
  • Integrate & automate popular accounting tools
  • Earn interest on paid plans, from 2.25% to 3.51% AER variable
  • Revolut is not a bank, they are authorised by the FCA but not eligible for the FSCS
  • Users rate them great with 4.1 out of 5 stars
Revolut Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Revolut review

Card One Money Business Account

  • Online business account with 10 minute application & no credit checks
  • Opening charge of £55 & monthly fee of £12.50
  • Prepaid Mastercard with free UK purchases included
  • Online and mobile account with 24/7 access
  • Get text alerts when you're paid & when you pay someone
  • Responsive customer service team, averaging answering the phone in four seconds
  • Connect your favourite accountancy software, like Xero or Sage
  • Part of the Equals Group, regulated by the FCA but not covered by the FSCS
  • Excellent TrustScore of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot
Card One Money Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Card One Money review

Wise Business Account

  • International business accounts with low FX & money transfers fees
  • Costs £45 to open & then charges no monthly fees, just for transactions
  • Manage & open completely online with 24/7 access
  • Offer free prepaid business cards to help manage employee expenses
  • Hold, spend or receive in more than 50 currencies & make transfers to over 80 countries
  • Earn up to 4.66% variable on your money with Wise Interest, earn on USD & EUR too
  • Account integrates with popular accounting tools
  • Deposits not protected by the FSCS, regulated by the FSCS for e-money
  • Rated great with 4.3 stars by Trustpilot users
Wise Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Wise review

Starling Bank Business Current Account

  • Award-winning free business bank account with feature-rich paid add-ons
  • No monthly fees, you just pay for transactions
  • Cash deposits available at Post Office branches, deposit cheques in-app for free
  • 24/7 account management with Starling Bank app or on desktop
  • Connect with Xero, QuickBooks or FreeAgent for easy accounting
  • Large business overdrafts available, subject to eligibility
  • Fully regulated UK bank with FSCS protection & a TrustScore of 4.3 stars
  • Highly commended for Business Start-up Bank of the Year in the Business Moneyfacts Awards 2024
Starling Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Starling Bank review

Monzo Business Bank Accounts

  • Popular digital business bank accounts with integrated savings & more
  • Choice of a free account or paid account with more features for £5 a month
  • Available for both sole traders & limited companies
  • Manage & open accounts quickly online & by app with your phone
  • Save while you spend with an instant access savings pots, offering 1.6% AER
  • Integrate with popular accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks
  • Part of the Current Account Switching Scheme (CASS), helping you switch from your old bank hassle-free
  • Fully regulated challenger bank covered by the FSCS & authorised by the FCA
  • Rated great on Trustpilot with a TrustScore of 4.1 stars
Monzo Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Monzo review

NatWest Business Bank Accounts

  • Accounts available for sole traders & new or small businesses
  • Get 24 months free banking when you switch or open a startup account
  • Then no monthly fee, just pay for transactions
  • 24/7 mobile banking with their award-winning app
  • Get free access to FreeAgent accounting software
  • Arrange an overdraft, apply for a credit card, business charge card or savings
  • Switch in seven days with the CASS guarantee
  • Leading UK bank eligible for FSCS protection, up to £85,000
  • Awarded Business Start-up Bank of the Year & highly commended for Best Service from a Business Bank in the Business Moneyfacts Awards 2024
NatWest Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth NatWest review

Virgin Money Business Current Accounts

  • Monthly account fee of £6.50 with 30p bank transfers
  • Accounts for new, small and larger businesses
  • 25 months free banking offered to all new businesses & switchers
  • Switch your account in seven days
  • 24/7 mobile banking with their award-winning app
  • Earn up to 0.35% cashback on all eligible debit card transactions
  • Get Xero or Quickbooks free for three months when you open an account
  • Regulated bank benefiting from FSCS protection on eligible deposits
  • Highly commended for Best Business Current Account Provider in the Business Moneyfacts Awards 2024
Virgin Money Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Virgin Money review

HSBC Business Current Accounts

  • Monthly management fee from £6.50 with Kinetic account
  • Accounts for new, small & large businesses
  • 12 months free banking for new & switching businesses
  • Part of the Current Account Switch service
  • Access with online & mobile banking
  • Experienced UK-based support team
  • HSBC choose the right price plan for you
  • Access to finance products & business overdrafts
  • Leading UK bank, providing accounts with FSCS protection
HSBC Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth HSBC review

Mettle Business Bank Account

  • Completely free business bank account with no transaction fees
  • Available to sole traders & limited companies, with up to two directors
  • 24/7 account management with their app
  • Create & send invoices easily within the Mettle app
  • Contactless Mastercard with free purchases & advanced control features
  • Free access to FreeAgent accounting software, or sync others
  • Earn variable interest up to 1.46% AER with savings pots
  • Created & backed by NatWest with FSCS cover on eligible deposits
  • Excellent TrustScore of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot
Mettle Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Mettle review

Metro Bank Business Bank Accounts

  • Monthly account fee of £6 for businesses with less than £2 million turnover
  • Fee is waived for balances of more than £6k, with 30 free transactions for the month too
  • Accounts available for small & large businesses
  • 24/7 online & mobile banking
  • Debit cards and credit cards are available
  • No charge for card purchases across Europe
  • Highly rated bank for customer service
  • Seven day Current Account Switch guarantee
  • Arranged overdraft & more available
  • Authorised by the FCA & offer FSCS-protected bank accounts
Metro Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Metro Bank review

Santander Business Current Accounts

  • Monthly account fee from £7.50
  • New businesses & switchers bank for free or for £5 for for 12 to 18 months, depending on account
  • 24/7 online & mobile banking
  • Friendly UK-based customer support team
  • Receive up to £300 cashback per year
  • Switch your account in seven days
  • Savings & business finance available
  • Fully regulated UK bank covered by the FSCS
  • Awarded Best Business Current Account Provider & Business Bank of the Year in the Business Moneyfacts Awards 21 years in a row
Santander Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Santander review

Lloyds Bank Business Bank Accounts

  • Monthly account fees from £7, new businesses pay no fees for 12 months
  • Accounts available for new & small or larger businesses
  • Manage your account 24/7 online
  • Choose from their electronic payments or mixed-transaction tariffs
  • Experienced UK-based support team
  • Seven day Current Account Switch guarantee
  • Extra financial support with access to overdrafts & more
  • Popular bank in the UK, covering your business money up to £85,000
  • Awarded Best Service from a Business Bank & highly commended for Business Bank of the Year in the Business Moneyfacts Awards 2024
Lloyds Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Lloyds Bank review

Barclays Business Bank Accounts

  • Management fees from £8 per month
  • Accounts for new businesses & SMEs
  • 12 months free banking for new businesses
  • 24/7 online & mobile banking
  • Electronic & mixed-payment price plans are available
  • Friendly UK customer support available Monday to Friday
  • Part of the Current Account Switch Service
  • Business finance & savings accounts available
  • Leading UK bank with eligible deposits covered by the FSCS
Barclays Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Barclays review

Royal Bank of Scotland Business Bank Accounts

  • No monthly account fee, only pay for usage
  • Accounts available for new, small or established businesses
  • New businesses pay get free banking for the first 24 months
  • 24/7 online & mobile banking
  • Debit, credit & charge cards available
  • Part of the Current Account Switch Service
  • FreeAgent accounting software for no charge
  • Savings, overdrafts & business finance available
  • Accounts covered by the FSCS, protecting eligible deposits
  • Awarded Business Start-up Bank of the Year in the Business Moneyfacts Awards 2024
Royal Bank of Scotland Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Royal Bank of Scotland review

Bank of Scotland Business Bank Accounts

  • Monthly management fee from £7
  • 24/7 online & mobile banking
  • Accounts for new & small or larger businesses
  • 12 months free banking for new businesses
  • Choose from their electronic payments or mixed-transaction tariffs
  • Experienced UK-based support team
  • Part of the Current Account Switch Service
  • Inclusive access to suite of practical business guides
  • Arranged overdraft & more available
  • Enjoy FSCS protection on funds up to £85,000
Bank of Scotland Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Bank of Scotland review

TSB Business Plus Account

  • Monthly fee of £5 with free bank transfers
  • Account for businesses, even those just starting out
  • New & switching businesses receive 25 months free banking
  • Switch your account in seven days with the switch guarantee
  • Manage the account 24/7 online
  • Choose from their electronic payments or mixed-transaction tariffs
  • Experienced UK-based support team
  • Access to savings & finance products
  • Regulated bank authorised by the FCA & FSCS
TSB Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth TSB review

SumUp Business Account

  • Online account available for sole traders, freelancers & small businesses
  • Comes with no monthly fee & free bank transfers
  • Offers a whole host of ecommerce tools & integrations
  • Manage the account 24/7 with online & mobile banking
  • Friendly customer support available 24/7 via online chat, email or phone
  • Create & send customisable invoices with their built-in accounting tools
  • Open an online account in a matter of minutes
  • Easily accept payments with their integrated POS features
  • Regulated by the FCA as an e-money account, not covered by the FSCS
SumUp Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth SumUp review

Cater Allen Private Bank Reserve Account for Business

  • No monthly account fee, only pay for usage
  • Accounts available for small to large businesses, including sole traders
  • Bank online, on the phone or by post
  • 30 transactions at no cost per calendar month
  • Earn interest on balances over £500,000
  • Contactless debit card included, available in pounds, euros or US dollars
  • Switch your account in seven days
  • Access to business savings but no overdraft offered
  • Protected by the FSCS & part of the Santander group
Cater Allen Private Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Cater Allen Private Bank review

Handelsbanken Business Current Account

  • Maintenance & transaction fees vary for each business
  • Offers one current account but no savings solutions
  • Bank whenever with online & mobile banking
  • Direct line to an account manager & 24/7 support team
  • Best rated bank for account & relationship management
  • Multiple-currency accounts available
  • Part of the Current Account Switch Service
  • Access to business overdraft & other finance options
  • Get FSCS cover on your eligible business deposits
Handelsbanken Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Handelsbanken review

The Cumberland Business Current Accounts

  • Two options for businesses depending on preferred transaction type
  • Option A for businesses that work with cash & Option B for those that make more digital payments
  • Monthly account fee of £3 or £5, with 12 months free banking for all new businesses
  • Bank whenever with mobile & internet banking
  • Friendly UK-based customer support team
  • Integrates with leading UK accounting software, Xero
  • Switch your account in seven days
  • A range of savings products are available
  • Deposits protected up to £85,000
Cumberland Building Society Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Cumberland Building Society review

The Co-operative Bank Business Bank Accounts

  • Accounts for startups, small businesses & charities
  • All new customers get 30 months free, then £7 per month with free transfers
  • 24/7 mobile & online banking
  • Benefits for Federation of Small Business members with a dedicated current account
  • Community & customer focused bank with ethical values
  • Account fees are dependent on balance
  • Arranged overdraft & more available
  • Eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS
  • Awarded Best Charity Banking Provider in the Business Moneyfacts Awards nine years in a row
The Co-operative Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth The Co-operative Bank review

Unity Trust Bank Business Current Account

  • Accounts for like-minded businesses, charities & other non-profits
  • Monthly fee of £6 charged quarterly
  • Bank whenever with 24/7 online baking
  • Part of the Current Account Switch Service
  • Services available at NatWest, RBS, Ulster Bank or Post Office branches
  • No debit card is issued with their current accounts
  • Corporate credit card is available, subject to eligibility criteria
  • Fully regulated & FSCS-protected, on deposits up to £85,000
  • Highly commended for Best Charity Banking Provider in the Business Moneyfacts Awards 2024
Unity Trust Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Unity Trust Bank review

Reliance Bank Business Current Account

  • Official bank of The Salvation Army with accounts for small or large business & charities
  • Monthly fee of £5, costing 25p for bank transfers
  • Six months of free everyday banking available on positive balances of £5,000 or more
  • 24/7 online access with internet banking available
  • Business debit card & chequebook included
  • Counter services available at NatWest & RBS branches
  • Switch your account in seven days
  • Access to overdraft facility & savings accounts
  • FSCS protection of up to £85,000
Reliance Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Reliance Bank review

Danske Bank Business Current Accounts

  • Choice of two tariffs, one that has benefits for digital businesses & the other a mixed-transaction tariff
  • Monthly fees range from £7 to £14, depending on business type
  • Accounts for small & large businesses
  • Managed 24/7 online & through their District app
  • Offer seven day Current Account Switch guarantee
  • Includes a free business Mastercard
  • Multiple savings accounts available
  • Protected by the FSCS for deposits under £85,000
Danske Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Danske Bank review

Allied Irish Bank (GB) Business Current Account

  • Accounts available for small or large businesses
  • Costs £10 each quarter plus transaction fees
  • 24/7 access with their internet banking service & mobile app
  • Business debit cards available, purchases are charged a 55p fee
  • Sector focused experts are available to help with your business
  • Benefits from the Current Account Switch guarantee
  • Features savings and borrowing products
  • A range of interest rates available
  • Currently 15 business centres across England & Scotland
  • Deposits are covered by the FSCS
Allied Irish Bank (GB) Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Allied Irish Bank (GB) review

OakNorth Bank Business Current Account

  • Online business bank account that earns high interest
  • Up to 3.85% AER variable, with easy access
  • Accounts for businesses with complex corporate structures or multiple SPVs
  • Sign up to the waiting list for exclusive early access
  • Earn Vault & accrued interest can be reached in one working day
  • Access to business loans - OakNorth have already lent over £10 million up & down the UK
  • Part of the FSCS, covering eligible deposits up to £85,000
  • Score an excellent 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot
OakNorth Bank Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth OakNorth Bank review

State Bank of India UK Business Current Account

  • Accounts are available for businesses of all types & sizes that are registered in the UK or Europe
  • Annual account fee of £80, with most transactions costing an additional 60p
  • Fees waived & 25 free transactions offered on balances of £10,000 or more
  • 24/7 online services, accessible by desktop or mobile app
  • Easy transfers between businesses within India and the UK
  • Help from specialist advisors
  • Arranged business overdraft available
  • Access to a range of business finance & savings
  • Deposits of up to £85,000 are covered by FSCS
State Bank of India Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth State Bank of India review

Monese Business Account

  • Mobile money business account for UK-registered companies
  • Monthly management fee of £9.95 with free UK bank transfers & card purchases
  • Cash deposits can be made at Post Office & PayPoint locations
  • Send money to more than 30 countries
  • Open an manage completely in-app, with no credit checks during applications
  • Save & separate money with savings pots
  • Offer 24/7 in-app support, available in 14 languages
  • Regulated by the FCA as an e-money account, not covered by the FSCS
  • Have an excellent Trustpilot score of 4.2 out of 5
Monese Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Monese review

Amaiz Business Accounts

  • Multiple accounts available from £0 to £99, plus VAT, per month
  • Plans for sole traders & limited companies
  • 24/7 mobile banking live support with their app
  • Free cash deposits at Post Office branches
  • Integrates with FreeAgent accounting software
  • Enjoy automated invoicing & receipt management
  • Set aside money in Jar accounts for your savings goals
  • Not a bank, authorised by the FCA as e-money with no FSCS-protection
  • TrustScore of 4.1 stars out of 5, on Trustpilot
Amaiz Business BankingWebsiteRead our in-depth Amaiz review

What is the best business bank account?

Here's what we think are the best business bank accounts and what for:

  • Best business bank accounts overall: Tide Business Bank Accounts · From £0
  • Best free business bank account: Starling Business Current Account · Free
  • Best for earning interest: Allica Business Rewards Account · Free
  • Best from a digital bank: Monzo Business Bank Accounts · From £0
  • Best from a high street bank: NatWest Business Bank Accounts · Free
  • Best for free company formation: Tide Business Bank Accounts · From £0
  • Best for bad credit scores: Zempler Business Bank Accounts · From £0
  • Best for accounting & taxes: Countingup Business Accounts · From £3
  • Best for international business: Airwallex Business Account · Free

What is a business bank account?

A business bank account is type a bank account specifically designed for business transactions. It allows business owners to keep their personal finances separate from their business for easier management.

Business bank accounts typically offer features such as online banking, payment processing, and financial tracking and reporting. They can also offer additional services such as access to lines of credit, loans, and other financial services.

How much do business bank accounts cost?

Most business bank accounts come with an account management fee which usually ranges from £0 to £12.50 per month. Some accounts even charge an application fee which can be in the region of £60.

In addition, most standard transactions, such as bank transfers or electronic payments (direct debits, faster payments, etc), have small fees usually in the region of a few pence to £1, while others offer them for free either forever or within given limits.

However, some banks and online accounts offer free bank accounts where you could save on the monthly fee, transaction fees or even both.

Do business current accounts earn interest?

Unlike business savings accounts, the majority of business current accounts will earn very low or no interest at all.

Though more recently there are some business accounts that offer variable interest on positive balances, these include:

  • Wise Business Account - 4.66% AER
  • Tide Business Bank Accounts - 4.33% AER
  • Allica Business Rewards Account - 4.33% AER
  • OakNorth Business Bank Account - 3.85% AER
  • Revolut Business Accounts - 2.25% - 3.51% AER (depending on plan)
  • Cynergy Business Current Account - 2.50% AER
  • Monzo Business Bank Account - 1.60% AER
  • Mettle Business Bank Account - 1.46% AER
  • Cater Allen Reserve Account - 0.05% AER (£500,000+)

Take a look at our business savings guide to see accounts with higher interest rates.

Do you need a business bank account?

It is a good idea for most businesses to have a dedicated business bank account as there are many benefits, but not all businesses are to required to.

If you are self-employed as a sole trader, freelancer, or contractor you do not legally need a separate bank account because your personal and business income can be taxed together, if you are not registered.

However, if you are set up as a limited company you do need a business bank account because your business is considered legally separate from you and is taxed differently.

Who can get a business bank account?

Most businesses can open a business bank account, so long as they are registered as a business entity.

The criteria can vary depending on the provider but in general to be eligible for a business account you must:

  • Be a sole trader, partnership or a limited company registered with Companies House
  • Be 18 or over
  • Be a UK resident with the right to work
  • Have a UK-based business

Some providers don't offer their business accounts to certain business types, such as charities, industries or activities, so always be sure to check their individual eligibility criteria before applying.

What you'll need to apply for a business bank account

Depending on your business structure the requirements may vary, but for most business bank accounts we recommend you provide and have ready one of each of the following:

Proof of identification:

  • A full and valid passport
  • A full or provisional driving licence (photocard or paper document)
  • A national identity photocard

Proof of address:

  • A full or provisional driving licence
  • A bank or credit card statement from the last three months
  • A mortgage statement from the last 12 months
  • A council tax bill or exemption letter from the last 12 months
  • A letter or utility bill from the last six months

Business information:

  • Companies House registration number, if your business is registered
  • Details of your businesses turnover, tax information, other capital and registered address (if applicable)
  • Details of company directors or significant persons, such as name, date of birth, address, National Insurance number and contact details

High street banks can be opened in-branch or online but some are currently taking longer than usual to process. If you have a personal account with the bank this can fast track the process and some banks may even require you to have an existing account with them.

Alternatively, digital banks and online accounts tend to have automated applications through an app or online, and can be considerably quicker for new applications.

How to switch business bank accounts

If you're unhappy with your current business bank account provider, or you prefer a different offering you can switch accounts with very little effort, all for free using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).

Before you switch you'll have to make sure your business is eligible: have less than 50 employees and turnover less than £6.5 million per year and that the account you want is offered by a participating bank.

Then, it's as simple as choosing a bank you'd like to move to, picking a switch date that works for you and then leaving it all to your new account provider to transfer all of your regular incoming and outgoings, remaining balance, possibly any overdrafts and all payee details.

The process takes roughly seven days and as mentioned before is completely free, guaranteed. Meaning if any charges do occur from interest or similar, once the switch has been completed, you'll be refunded.

The following banks and building societies are signed up to the service:

  • AIB (NI)
  • Allica Bank
  • Allied Irish Bank (GB)
  • Arbuthnot Latham & Co. Limited
  • Bank of Ireland UK
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • Barclays Private
  • C. Hoare & Co.
  • Card One Money
  • Chase
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • The Co-operative Bank
  • Coutts
  • Coventry Building Society
  • Cumberland Building Society
  • Danske Bank
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • Hampden & Co
  • Handelsbanken
  • HSBC CIIOM
  • HSBC Private Bank
  • HSBC UK Bank
  • Investec Bank
  • Isle of Man Bank
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Lloyds Private Bank
  • Metro Bank
  • Monzo
  • Nationwide
  • NatWest
  • NatWest International
  • Reliance Bank
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander
  • Smile
  • Starling Bank
  • Thinkmoney
  • Tide
  • Triodos Bank
  • TSB
  • Ulster Bank
  • Unity Trust Bank
  • Virgin Money
  • Weatherbys Bank
  • Yorkshire Bank

Types of business accounts

There are a few types of accounts available, that are regulated differently and offer different access options:

  • High-street bank accounts - fully licensed bank accounts offering a traditional banking experience with in-person, online and app access.
  • Digital bank accounts - offered by fully licensed online banks, also known as digital or 'challenger' banks, with online and app access only.
  • Online current accounts - offered by financial technology companies that are not banks, also known as electronic money (e-money) accounts, with online and app access only.

Common business banking features

A lot of banks offer the same features as standard, which in some cases are all you need to get started. But there are extra tools and services that could help with a lot of businesses processes that not all offer.

These are some of the standard features you'll get with your business bank account:

  • Bank transfers
  • Direct debits
  • Standing orders
  • Cash services
  • Cheque services
  • Debit cards
  • Online banking
  • Mobile banking
  • Accounting software integrations

While some business accounts will also offer:

  • Interest
  • Finance
  • Overdrafts
  • Credit cards
  • International payments
  • Invoicing software
  • Ecommerce tools
  • Company formation

Frequently asked questions

It's not uncommon to have questions when looking in to business banking, especially for the first time. These are some of the most relevant questions for business bank accounts:

A business is defined as small when there are less than 50 employees and annual turnover is less than £10 million.

A challenger bank is any bank that sets out to challenge Britain's Big Four banking groups: HSBC, Barclays, NatWest Group and Lloyds Banking Group. The main challenger banks at the moment are Starling Bank, Monzo, Zempler Bank (previously Cashplus), Virgin Money, Metro Bank, and TSB.

You could if you wanted to as a sole trader but its not recommended as it could get confusing as the business grows. If the business is registered as a limited company then no you wouldn't be able to use a personal bank account.

A range of business bank accounts are offered by the majority of high street banks, including: NatWest, Virgin Money, Metro Bank, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Santander, HSBC, TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland, and The Co-operative Bank.

An online-only business account is a type of account that has no branches and can only be accessed via an online banking portal or secure mobile app.

Electronic money, or e-money, accounts are similar to bank accounts in how they work but are offered as alternatives by Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs). E-money accounts are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) but don't offer protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Yes, fully licensed banks are insured by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects up to £85,000 if the bank goes bust. If your account is not with a licensed bank, then they will have safeguarding requirements to operate in the UK.

Yes, you can switch with the Current Account Switch Service - a free service that switches your current account from one participating bank to another, within seven working days.

However, the service is only available to businesses with an annual turnover of less than £6.5 million and fewer than 50 employees.

This can vary from under 10 minutes, with online banks, up to four or more weeks, with more traditional banks.

Yes, there are a number of business banking providers that don't charge monthly fees, some that charge no fees all together (within limits) and the majority of high street banks offer free banking periods to startups and switchers. Take a look at our free business banking guide for more.

Yes, there are a number of business bank accounts that don't require any form of credit checks to open, meaning you could still be able to get one even with a bad credit history.

You might be able to. A business overdraft is not a standard feature but some accounts have arranged overdrafts available, subject to eligibility criteria and approval.

Yes, you can claim business costs for bank account fees, business loan interest and any charges you may incur on credit cards and overdrafts.

Technically you can but it isn't recommended because it might make accounting processes much more difficult and many banks may not approve of it.

Yes, in theory you can have as many business bank accounts as you'd like, as long as the banks approve them.