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7 Best Online Business Bank Accounts for UK Small Businesses: Fees, Online Usability, and Features Compared in 2024

Feb 27, 2023
Advertiser disclosure

As a small business owner or sole trader, you may be looking for a digital-friendly business bank that offers essential domestic transfers, debit and credit cards, and 24/7 access at low cost. Some of the best UK neobanks and high-street banks even offer this all for free.

You might also be interested in additional features that will help accelerate and strengthen your UK small business:

  • invoicing and accounting integrations;
  • affordable and easily-accessible overdraft;
  • cash-flow management & budgeting;
  • multi-currency accounts to pay and get paid in foreign currency.

🆕 We've partnered with Nerdwallet UK to help you compare UK's best business bank accounts and benefit from exclusive sign-up deals with Nerdwallet's partners. This includes free accounting software licenses or 12-18 months of fee-free banking. Read more about Nerdwallet's editors top tips when picking the best small business bank in the UK.

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Best Online Business Accounts in the UK | In partnership with Nerdwallet

  • Mettle by NatWest — Traditional business banking with a fresh interface
  • HSBC Kinetic — Highly-rated mobile banking with overdraft for sole traders
  • Starling Bank — An all-around current account with powerful paid add-ons
  • Revolut Business — Track team spending, budget analytics and great FX
  • Tide — Automate budgets, spend, and tax reporting
  • Wise Business — Make international payments at the real exchange rate

Key Facts About UK Business Banking

👨‍⚖️ Regulatory body

FCA

🏆 Best business bank
💸 Average monthly fee

£0.00

🔎 No. of business accounts compared

7

📶 Size (customers)
  1. Revolut Business (500,000)
  2. Starling Bank (460,000)
  3. Wise Business (350,000)
📶 Size (revenue)
  1. Revolut (£250 million)
  2. Starling Bank (£188 million)
  3. Payoneer (£110 million)

Are Online Business Bank Accounts Right for My Small Business?

A business bank account is a checking account used to receive payments from customers, send payments to partners, and conduct other business-related transactions such as paying taxes. With a business bank account, your small business will also be able to gain quicker access to business credit cards or loans that you might need for your business. Business accounts can also use ring-fenced accounts to separate your money from the bank's portfolio, keeping your funds safe.

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Who Needs To Open a Business Bank Account?

In the United Kingdom, anyone who is registered with the HMRC and Companies House as a limited company is legally required to open a business bank account. Business owners may not use personal checking or savings accounts to conduct business-related finances.

However, sole traders and freelancers can use their personal bank accounts for their work because their status defines them as personally liable for any losses they incur. Many sole traders and freelancers still opt to open business bank accounts in order to separate their personal expenses from business expenses as well as to remain professional when transacting with customers and business partners.

What Is the Difference Between Paid and Free Business Bank Accounts in the UK?

When running your small business, the last thing you want is a standard monthly fee that provides no worthwhile value to you or your team. Paid business bank accounts, which are often offered by high-street banks in the UK, will charge for the following services:

  • A flat monthly account maintenance fee;
  • Transaction fees for payments;
  • CHAPs payments;
  • Foreign currency transactions;
  • Withdrawing cash.

Online banks and other digital-only platforms are innovative alternatives that usually waive monthly fees altogether. Plus, many offer these listed services and countless others for free or have free introductory offers. The main drawback to free business bank accounts offered by challenger banks is that they may not offer loans or business-related insurance products.

For day-to-day banking activities, such as sending payments, filing receipts, or accounting for taxes, Monito recommends online banks because they use financial technology to automate these tedious processes.

Gilles Lambert on Unsplash Mobile smartphone touchscreen

How Do I Choose the Best Small Business Bank Account?

Many variables go into choosing a business bank account, and the ones you choose to focus on will depend on the kind of business you run. You may run on tight monthly margins or you may need extra tax help. While there is no one-size-fits-all option, some criteria to consider when choosing your UK online business bank account include:

  • Account Fees: Online banks will often offer tiers of paid services that waive other fees. Is the monthly membership worth the waived fees?
  • Digital-Only Access: If you need to deposit cash or cheques, then digital banking may turn out to be inconvenient for you.
  • Business Support: Many online banks are integrated with other finance and accounting apps, which automate your transactions and make your life a whole lot easier.
  • Overdraft: If you need to occasionally take on small amounts of debt, then an overdraft may be useful. Not all banks offer it, but those who do will often charge overdraft fees.
  • Credit Interest: If you have excess cash, then some banks will let you earn interest while your money sits in your business account.

In this comparison guide, Monito will take you through the seven best online business bank accounts that can help you automate your finances, scale your business, and free up your time to do what you love — develop your products and serve your customers.

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Need to Register a Company in the UK?

Read our in-depth guide on how to set up a company in the UK in two major steps. Our experts have researched and compiled business resources for your unique scenario.

Starling Bank — Best All-Around Free Online Business Account

Starling Bank is an award-winning company and a fully licensed bank in the UK that gives you up to £85,000 of coverage by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Its business bank account is incredibly comprehensive for a standard free account. With 24/7 human support, Starling Bank is a complete current account that we recommend highly to sole traders, small businesses, and limited companies in the UK.

Account name: Original Free Business Account

Account type: Current (UK bank details).

Total cost: £0 per month.

Noteworthy features: No UK transfer fees, no ATM withdrawal fees, cash and cheque deposit.

Availability: the UK.

More info: See our full Starling Bank review.

Revolut Business — Best for Team Management

Revolut is one of the leaders of the online financial services sector in the UK and around the world thanks to its low-cost multi-currency accounts, budget analytics software, and other innovative features. With over 12 million personal users, the London-based fintech is not only available in the UK and EU but across the world.

Now with Revolut Business, freelancers, sole traders, and small businesses alike can take advantage of everything Revolut has to offer — and more. Let's see how you can get paid globally, manage your team's expenses, and exchange currencies without hidden fees with Revolut Business.

Revolut Business

Account name: Standard

Account type: Current (UK and EU account details).

Total cost: £0 per month.

Noteworthy features: Forex futures rates, multi-currency balances.

Availability: EU/EEA, UK, Switzerland, the US.

More info: See our full Revolut Business review.

Wise Business — Best Business Bank Account for International Payments

Wise is a money transfer operator located in the UK and, according to our rankings, the best money transfer service on the market. In addition to offering some of the cheapest international transfers globally, Wise offers the low-cost Wise Business bank account and card that allows you to manage money in over 50 currencies and gives you local bank details in 8 currencies.

You’ll be able to collect money seamlessly, withdraw money from e-commerce stores in up to 10 currencies, and use your 8 bank details to create invoices. When you're ready, convert your revenue denominated in foreign currency into your local currency at industry-best rates that will save you thousands of pounds compared to traditional banks.

Account name: Wise Business

Account type: Electronic Money Account (held by Barclays in the UK, Wells Fargo in the US, DBS in Singapore, etc.).

Total cost: £0 per month.

Noteworthy features: International money transfers, multiple account details, multi-currency balances.

Availability: UK, EU/EEA, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.

More info: See our full Wise Business account review.

Tide — Best Online Business Bank Account for Invoicing

Tide is an online financial platform that offers business bank accounts dedicated to supporting small businesses and self-employed professionals such as freelancers, contractors, and consultants. Tide's app makes it easy for you to open an account in minutes.

What's more impressive is the administrative work that the app does for you, from automatically chasing unpaid invoices, to paying salaries, to reporting your taxes. Tide even allows startups and newcomers to use their address as a 'virtual office address' to ease the process of setting up your company in the UK.

Tide Bank

Account name: Free Business Account

Account type: Current (UK bank details).

Total cost: £0 per month.

Noteworthy features: Free invoicing, Credit options.

Availability: the UK.

More info: See our full Tide review.

Monzo Business — Basic for Freelancers

A fully regulated bank in the UK, Monzo is an online bank that offers business accounts for small businesses. Unlike other digital banks, Monzo offers 24/7 customer support in its free plan. While you will need to upgrade to its business plan for more administrative software, the free plan should give you everything you need to conduct day-to-day customer transactions.

Account name: Business Lite

Account type: Current (UK bank details).

Total cost: £0 per month.

Noteworthy features: Free award-winning 24/7 customer support, Card payments with Stripe.

Availability: the UK.

More info: See our full Monzo review.

Payoneer — Best for E-Commerce Businesses

Payoneer is an American financial services company that provides customers with digital payment services, access to working capital, money transfers, and access to local bank details. Your three account numbers will support GBP, USD, EUR, and five others so that you can get paid like a local in those currencies. Because it so seamlessly integrates with some of the world’s leading marketplaces in so many currencies, we think that Payoneer is the ideal choice for any small business, freelancer, or company working in the borderless e-commerce market.

Account name: Payoneer

Account type: Current (Bank details for GBP, USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, SGD, JPY, and HKD).

Total cost: £0 to sign up.

Noteworthy features: Connects to thousands of marketplaces, Pay UK's VAT directly.

Availability: Global.

More info: See our full Payoneer Review.

Soldo — Best Online Spend Management for Start Ups

Soldo is a UK financial services company that provides customers with spend management features that work alongside your business bank account, instead of replacing it. Perhaps most ideal for startup founders is Soldo's ability to track your burn rate with its high-quality budgeting and accounting software. You'll be able to easily manage your staff's budgets with their Soldo MasterCards and keep their spending separate from your company's main funds. Soldo supports wallets in EUR, GBP and USD so you can manage your funds in those currencies too.

soldo logo business bank uk

Account name: Soldo

Account type: Linked to your main business bank account.

Total cost: £0 to sign up.

Noteworthy features: Create temporary virtual cards for specific budgets and budget team spending on petrol and other expenses.

Availability: Europe

The Best Online Small Business Bank Accounts in the UK Compared

To wrap things up, let's take a look at how the product, service, and fees of a few of the free online business bank accounts we explored compare to one another in the UK:

Starling Bank

Revolut Business

Wise Business

Tide

Monzo Business

Payoneer

Account Name

Current Account

Revolut Business Free

Wise Business IMT

Free Business Account

Monzo Lite

Payoneer Account

UK Bank Details Included

Free Debit Card

3D Secure

Overdraft

Free Multi-Director Access

Accepts Cheque

Invoicing Included

Integrated Accounting

Multi-Currency Accounts

3

2

10

1

1

8

UK Bank Transfer Fee

None

First 5 Free

From 0.35%

20p per transfer

None

2% + £1.50

Currency Transfer Fee

0.4%

0.4%

From 0.35%

N/A

N/A

0.5%

Int'l Card Transaction Fee

✘¹

✘²

1%

Deposit Protection

No. of Customers

2 million

16 million

10 million

730,000

5 million

5 million

Trustpilot

4.4/5 (22K Reviews)

4.4/5 (92K Reviews)

4.6/5 (140K Reviews)

4.1/5 (8K Reviews)

4.5/5 (1.8K Reviews)

4.4/5 (2.8K Reviews)

Customer Service

Email, phone, live chat

Email

Email

Email, in-app

Email, in-app

Email, resource center

Go to Starling BankGo to Revolut BusinessGo to Wise BusinessGo to TideGo to MonzoGo to Payoneer

Last updated: 01/02/2021
¹ 0.5% charged if above monthly allowance of £1,000.
² None if paid with local currency. Otherwise, 0.24–3.69% fee charged.

Best FREE Bank Accounts for UK Small Businesses in 2024

Watch our video on the United Kingdom's best free online bank accounts to help you pick the right bank for your business.

We've compiled a list of the best accounts for small businesses and divided them into the following categories, the best for managing teams, international payments, managing invoices, freelancers, and e-Commerce businesses, and the best overall business bank account.

Best Platform for Team Management — Revolut Business

Revolut Business — Track team spending with cards, budget analytics and great FX | Read our full review or go to their website.

Best Current Account — Starling Bank

Starling Bank — An all-around current account with powerful paid add-ons | Read our full review or go to their website.

Best for International Payments in the UK — Wise Business

Wise Business — Make international payments at the real exchange rate | Read our full review or go to their website.

Best for Invoicing — Tide

Tide — Automate your budgets, spending, and tax reporting | Read our full review or go to their website.

Best for Freelancers — Starling Bank

Starling Bank — An all-around current account with powerful paid add-ons | Read our full review or go to their website.

Best for E-commerce — Payoneer

Payoneer — Tap into global markets and withdraw in 8 different currencies | Read our full review or go to their website.

Best for Startups — Soldo

Soldo — Track your burn rate, budgets, and accounting in EUR, GBP, or USD. | Read our full review or go to their website.

FAQ About the Best Small Business Bank Accounts in the UK

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