Monito.com
Menu

6 Best Online Business Bank Accounts for UK Small Businesses: Fees, Online Usability, and Features Compared in 2022

Aug 11, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

By waiving monthly fees and providing easy application, online banks in the UK have proved themselves as some of the leading and most sought-after small business bank account providers in the world.

As small business owners, freelancers, and their customers adopt more and more digital technology, it's no wonder that online banks are beginning to challenge the UK's traditional banks and are continuing to grow into 2022. So, you may be wondering which business bank account can best accelerate and strengthen your small business.

In this comparison guide, Monito will take you through the 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.

recommendation icon

Best Business Bank Accounts Online in the UK

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.

info icon

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 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.
info icon

Want 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 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 bank 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 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 — Best for Freelancers and Small Enterprises

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.

The Best Online UK Small Business Banks 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 2022 - 6 Categories

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

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Small Business Bank Accounts in the UK

Read More About the Top Online Business Bank Accounts and Fintechs

How to Set Up a Company in the UK in 2022
August 11, 2022 - by Jarrod Suda
Best UK Challenger Banks
September 5, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Best Free Bank Accounts UK
September 6, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Top 10 Online Small Business Checking Accounts in the US
September 7, 2022 - by Jarrod Suda
Starling Bank Review
February 8, 2022 - by Rachel Wait
Tide Review: Is it safe? How does it work? What are the rates?
August 11, 2022 - by Rachel Wait
Best Online Banks in the UK
August 18, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Revolut Business Review: Is it safe? How does it work? What are the rates?
September 6, 2022 - by Rachel Wait
Monese Review
September 30, 2021 - by Laurent Oberholzer
The Best Bank for Expats
September 7, 2022 - by François Briod
Wise Account Review
September 8, 2022 - by François Briod
UK Bank Account for Non-Residents
September 7, 2022 - by François Briod
Best Online Banks in Europe
September 7, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Best Online-Only Banks UK
September 6, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg
Best Online Banks in Germany in 2022
September 7, 2022 - by Byron Mühlberg

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

Monito.com

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Avenue de Montchoisi 35
1006 Lausanne
Switzerland

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.