Fastest business bank accounts

Last updated on 26 February 2024

It’s no surprise that managing the finances of a busy business can be a time-consuming and complex task. But when you’re looking to set up the fastest business bank account, it doesn’t have to be stressful.

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In partnership with Wallester

In fact, there are some accounts available today which offer quick and easy setup processes. We’ve done the hard work for you – in this article we’re bringing you our pick of the fastest UK business bank accounts to open so that you can get back to doing what matters: running your business!

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Wallester Business
✓ Virtual & Physical Cards
✓ No Setup Fees
✓ No Monthly Fees
Pricing Trial period Contact

Revolut Business
✓ Business Current Account
✓ Award-Winning Mobile App
✓ Quick & Easy Application Process
Pricing Trial period Contact

Tide Business Bank Accounts
✓ Free, Plus, or Pro Account
✓ iOS & Android Mobile App
✓ Upload & Auto-Match Receipts
Pricing Trial period Contact

Card One Money
✓ No Credit Checks
✓ Simple Fees
✓ Up to 3.5% Cashback
Pricing Trial period Contact

ANNA Money
✓ Apply in 10 minutes
✓ Bookkeeping & Payroll Tools
✓ User-Friendly Mobile App
Pricing Trial period Contact

Co-Op Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ Online, App & High Street Banking
✓ Quick & Easy Application Process
Pricing Trial period Contact

HSBC Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ In-Branch, Online & App Banking
✓ FSCS Protected
Pricing Trial period Contact

Metro Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ High Street Presence
✓ FSCS Protected
Pricing Trial period Contact

Mettle Business Banking
✓ Business Bank Account
✓ Online & App
✓ Quick & Easy Application Process
Pricing Trial period Contact

Monzo Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ Dedicated mobile app experience
✓ FSCS Protected
Pricing Trial period Contact

Virgin Money
✓ Business M Account
✓ In-Store, Online & App Banking
✓ Insights & Forecasting Platform
Pricing Trial period Contact
Video: Getting started with business bank accounts

Quickest and easiest business bank accounts to open in the UK

BankFree account option?Overdraft available?Speed
Acorn Account for BusinessNoYes24 hours
ANNA MoneyNoNoLess than 3 minutes
CountingupNoNo5 minutes
MettleYesNo“in minutes”
RevolutYesNo10 minutes – 1 day
Starling BankYesYesWithin 1 day
TideYesNo10 minutes – 2 days
Fast business bank accounts compared

Acorn Account for Business

Acorn Account for Business offers a straightforward business bank account catering primarily to small UK businesses. It’s known for its quick setup process, as it requires no credit checks, branch visits, or signatures.

Time required to open an account

The specific time frame for opening an Acorn Account for Business is not explicitly stated, but the process is generally quick and streamlined, focusing on accessibility for small businesses.

Details

The account comes with a £60 opening fee and a monthly fee of £12.50. Services such as SMS, telephone, and online banking are available, and you can also withdraw money via Barclays Bank and pay in via the Post Office.

However, the account is fairly basic in terms of functionality and does not offer unique features. Most transactions, including direct debits, standing orders, and ATM withdrawals, come with small fees.

It’s important to note that Acorn Account is not FSCS protected as it operates as a financial technologies company rather than a traditional bank.

This account might be especially suitable for those who need a ‘no credit check’ account and require only basic services.

Further information

Read our Acorn Account review or visit the website.

ANNA Money

ANNA Money offers a business account known as Absolutely No Nonsense Admin, tailored for sole traders and small limited companies. It’s an online-only e-money service, not a traditional bank, so funds held with ANNA are not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). However, customer funds are kept separate from ANNA’s own funds, in line with Electronic Money Regulations.

Time required to open an account

The account setup process is straightforward, typically taking less than 10 minutes. Eligibility requirements include being a UK resident and director of a Non-Limited or Limited Organisation, providing identification and business details.

Details

The account features include creating and sending invoices, real-time access for your accountant, integration with accounting software like Xero, tax reminders, free direct debits, and receipt scanning.

ANNA also offers a mobile app for account management, available 24/7, providing personalised spending reports, invoice services, and other administrative tools. Additionally, customers can earn up to 1% cashback on select purchases.

ANNA has three pricing tiers: ‘Pay as you go’ with no monthly fee, ‘Business’ at £14.90/month or £149 annually, and ‘Big Business’ at £49.90/month or £499 annually.

ANNA’s customer service is notable for its 24/7 availability and quick response times, with a commitment to refund the monthly fee if they don’t respond within 10 minutes.

The app is highly rated for its user-friendly interface and integrated expense and invoice services.

One of the downsides is that it charges for transactions in foreign currency, making it less suitable for businesses with significant overseas transactions.

Further information

Read our ANNA Money review or visit the website.

Countingup

Countingup offers a digital-based business current account integrated with an accounting package, tailored for small businesses, freelancers, and sole traders. It’s not a bank but operates through an e-money institution authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Time required to open an account

Opening a Countingup account is quick, with an emphasis on simplicity for freelancers and small businesses, often completed within a few minutes to a few hours.

Key features of Countingup

  • Business current account with the ability to send/receive money transfers, make payments, and set up direct debits.
  • Contactless Mastercard prepaid card.
  • Mobile app with automated bookkeeping, invoicing, expense capture, tax calculations, profit and loss insights, and the ability to share data with accountants.
  • No overdrafts or credit facilities.
  • Eligibility includes being a sole trader or registered business, a UK resident, and over 18 years old.

Pricing tiers

  1. Starter: For incoming funds up to £750 per month, costing £3.
  2. Standard: For incoming funds between £750 and £7,500 per month, costing £9.
  3. Premium: For incoming funds over £7,500 per month, costing £18.

Additional fees

  • Bank transfers: 30p each.
  • ATM withdrawals: £1 each.
  • Cash deposits: £1 at Post Offices, 3% at PayPoints.
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 3%.

Pros

  • Easy application process.
  • Free 3-month trial period.
  • Built-in accounting tools.
  • Good customer reviews on platforms like Trustpilot.

Cons

  • App-only with no desktop access.
  • Extra charges for basic transactions.
  • No savings accounts, overdrafts, or business finance and loans available.
  • Accounts not protected by the FSCS.

Countingup is highly rated on Trustpilot and is appreciated for its low monthly fees and smart accounting features. However, it’s noted that extra charges apply for basic transactions and some find other online accounts more user-friendly.

Further information

Read our Countingup review or visit the website.

Mettle

Mettle, part of NatWest Group, offers a business bank account designed for sole traders and limited companies with up to two owners. It stands out for its no-fee structure, meaning there are no monthly fees or transaction charges.

However, there are some limitations, such as the inability to make or receive international payments and the lack of overdrafts, credit cards, or loans.

Time required to open an account

The account opening process for Mettle is efficient and can be completed within a few hours, primarily managed through a mobile app.

Key features of Mettle

  • Free business banking with no monthly fees or transaction charges.
  • Access to FreeAgent accounting software, provided you make at least one transaction a month from your Mettle account.
  • Capability to create, send, and manage invoices directly from the app.
  • Automated categorisation of transactions and digital receipt capture for efficient bookkeeping.
  • Eligibility for Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection up to £85,000.
  • Availability of FreeAgent integration along with other accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.
  • Convenient features like freezing/unfreezing your card and setting aside money in ‘money pots’ for future outgoings.
  • No fees for card usage abroad, with transactions using Mastercard’s exchange rates.

Mettle’s account limits are £50,000 for sole traders and £100,000 for limited companies. The account is managed primarily through its mobile app, with no option for in-branch or telephone banking. Customer support is accessible via in-app chat, email, and phone.

Mettle is particularly well-suited for sole traders and small businesses, especially those at the onset of their business journey. The app is highly rated for its user-friendliness and effective customer service, making it a strong contender among digital business bank accounts.

It’s important to note that while Mettle offers key banking features, it may not be suitable for businesses requiring international payments or higher account limits. Also, only one director can access the account in the case of limited companies with two owners.

Further information

Read our Mettle review or visit the website.

Revolut

Revolut offers a comprehensive business account suitable for freelancers, sole traders, and companies, with a focus on global and digital functionality.

Time required to open an account

Revolut offers a swift account setup for businesses, which can be completed within the same day, focusing on a seamless digital process.

Key features of the Revolut Business Account

  • Multi-currency accounts: Revolut stands out for its ability to hold, exchange, and transfer money in multiple currencies, making it an excellent choice for businesses operating internationally.
  • Expense management and reporting: The account offers advanced features for managing expenses, issuing employee cards, setting spending limits, and detailed transaction reporting.
  • Invoicing and billing: You can create and send invoices directly from the platform and integrate with popular payment gateways like Stripe or PayPal.
  • No FSCS protection: Although Revolut is authorised as an electronic money institution in the UK, its customers’ funds are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), but are safeguarded in ring-fenced accounts at licensed UK banks.
  • Digital interface: The primary mode of managing the Revolut business account is through its online banking platform or mobile app, both of which are designed for ease of use and quick navigation.

Pros

  • Global transactions: Ideal for businesses dealing with international clients or payments, with options for holding and exchanging up to 28 different currencies.
  • Flexible plans: Ranging from a basic free plan to more comprehensive plans for larger businesses, each with varying transaction limits and features.
  • Integrated financial management: Offers a unified platform for banking, expense management, and invoicing.

Cons

  • Limited physical banking: There’s no option for managing your account over the phone or in a branch.
  • No overdraft or credit facilities: Revolut business accounts do not offer overdrafts or credit options.
  • Cash and cheque limitations: You cannot deposit cash or cheques into your Revolut business account.

Plan details

For freelancers

  • Free Plan: Includes basic features with some limitations on free transactions.
  • Professional Plan (£7/month): Offers more free local and international payments, business API integrations, and spending oversight.
  • Ultimate Plan (£25/month): Further expands the transaction limits and includes additional benefits like a metal Visa card.

For companies

  • Grow Plan (£25/month): Suitable for growing businesses, offering a significant number of free local and international payments and business rewards.
  • Scale Plan (£100/month): Designed for larger businesses, with even higher transaction limits and multiple metal Visa cards.

Usage and suitability

  • Revolut’s business account is particularly beneficial for businesses that require international transaction capabilities.
  • The account is easily manageable online and is known for its user-friendly interface.
  • However, businesses that deal primarily in cash or need cheque facilities, or those looking for traditional banking services like overdrafts might find Revolut less suitable.

Revolut has been positively reviewed for its customer service and international features, but some users note limitations in transaction allowances in the free account and charge for all ATM withdrawals.

Further information

Read our Revolut review or visit the website.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank offers a business current account designed primarily for sole traders, limited companies, and LLPs. The account is managed through a mobile app, providing a digital-first banking experience.

Time required to open an account

Starling Bank provides a fast account opening experience, typically within 1 to 8 days, through their mobile app, catering to a range of business types.

Key features

  • No monthly fees: Starling’s business account comes with no monthly account fee, and no charges on electronic payments, domestic transfers, or ATM withdrawals both in the UK and abroad.
  • Debit card: Contactless Mastercard debit card is issued with the account.
  • 24/7 support: Customer support is available round the clock through the app, phone, or email.
  • Real-time notifications: Instant alerts for every transaction.
  • Expense management: Spending insights categorised by type, CSV exports, and integrations with accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, and FreeAgent.
  • Cash and cheque deposits: Cash can be deposited at Post Office branches with a fee, while cheques can be deposited free of charge using the app.

Additional services

  • Overdrafts: Available for both limited companies and sole traders with varying limits and interest rates.
  • Loans: Business loans are offered for limited companies with specific limits and interest rates.
  • International payments: Starling Bank supports international payments with the option to open Euro and US dollar accounts at additional monthly fees. However, the primary business account can only contain British pounds.
  • Business toolkit: Available as an add-on, this toolkit assists with invoicing, bill payments, and expense management.

Fees and charges

  • Cash deposits: Charged at 0.7% with a minimum of £3 per deposit at Post Offices.
  • Euro account: £2 per month.
  • USD account: £5 per month.
  • Business toolkit add-on: £7 per month.
  • International transfers: Charges apply based on the type of transaction and currency conversion.

Eligibility

  • Available to sole traders or limited companies with no more than two owners.
  • Applicants must be UK residents and have an Android or iOS device.

Starling Bank is known for its excellent customer service and user-friendly mobile app. It’s a strong choice for businesses looking for digital banking solutions, especially those that require integration with accounting software.

However, businesses that deal heavily in cash or international transactions may find some of the fees and limitations a consideration​​​​​​​​​​.

Further information

Read our Starling review or visit the website.

Tide

Tide, another digital-only banking platform, offers a business current account aimed at freelancers, sole traders, and small businesses.

Time required to open an account

Tide’s account opening is streamlined and efficient, usually completed within a few minutes to a few hours, with a digital-first approach to banking.

Key features

  • No monthly fees: Tide’s core business account does not come with a monthly fee.
  • Digital-first experience: The account is managed through a mobile app or online.
  • Card payments: Free in the UK and abroad, but ATM withdrawals incur a fee.
  • Expense management: Offers features for tracking and categorising expenses.
  • Integrations: Compatible with accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.
  • Invoicing: Ability to create and send invoices directly from the app.

Additional services

  • Credit facilities: Tide offers credit options like overdrafts, loans, and credit cards through third-party providers.
  • International payments: Available, but with fees and limitations on currencies.

Fees and charges

  • ATM withdrawals: Charges apply for all ATM withdrawals.
  • International payments: Fees apply, and currency exchange rates are variable.

Eligibility

  • Tide accounts are open to a wide range of business types, including sole traders and limited companies.

Tide is praised for its straightforward and efficient digital banking experience, making it a suitable choice for businesses looking for simple and effective financial management tools.

However, the lack of physical banking options and charges for certain transactions, like ATM withdrawals, might be a downside for some businesses.

Further information

Read our Tide review or visit the website.

Instant business bank accounts

Are there any instant business bank accounts in the UK? While the proper answer is no, there are no strictly instant business bank accounts, there are several challenger banks and e-money fintech companies which allow you to open an account almost instantly, within around 10 minutes. These include Tide and ANNA Money.

FAQ for fastest and easiest business bank account opening

How long does it take to open a business bank account?

The amount of time it takes to open a business bank account varies depending on the provider and the type of account you are opening. Generally, however, it can take between 1-2 weeks for your application to be processed.

It may also take additional time if there is an onboarding process required or any documents that need to be reviewed or submitted. The best way to find out how long it will take to open an account is by speaking to the bank directly and asking them about their specific process.

It may also be possible to open a business bank account online in as little as a few minutes to 24 hours, depending on the provider you choose. This can be a good option for businesses that are in a rush and need to set up their account quickly.

Which UK banks allow you to open a business account the fastest?

The UK banking sector is highly competitive, and many banks offer a range of accounts designed to help businesses manage their finances. Many of these accounts can be opened quickly and without any complicated paperwork or processes.

For example, ANNA Money offers a Business Current Account which can be opened in just 10 minutes online. It provides access to financial services such as international payments, invoicing and mobile banking.

Starling Bank offers a Business Account which can be set up in minutes via its app. It is designed for businesses of all sizes, with low monthly fees and the ability to accept card payments online or in-store.

Mettle Bank also offers a business current account which can be opened with ID verification in around 15 minutes. It allows businesses to make payments and transfers, as well as access funds through an ATM card.

Finally, Tide has a business current account which can be opened online or via a branch visit in less than 10 minutes. It offers access to services such as flexible payment options.

What is the quickest way to open a business bank account?

The quickest way to open a business bank account is typically by going through an online process.

Many banks offer an online signup that only requires a few pieces of personal and business information, making it possible to open the account quickly and without much paperwork or hassle.
Additionally, some banks allow customers to open accounts on their mobile app with just a few clicks, making it even easier to open a business bank account quickly.

It is important to note that opening an online business bank account may require more verification processes than traditional in-person accounts, such as providing photo identification or proof of address. Be sure to read through all the requirements before signing up for an online business bank account.

What are the potential causes of delays when opening a new business bank account?

The potential causes of delays when opening a new business bank account can vary depending on the bank. Some common factors include not having all the necessary information or documents, mistakes in paperwork, and insufficient funds for an initial deposit.

Additionally, some banks may also require more stringent checks and identification processes due to anti-money laundering regulations.

Are challenger banks faster to approve new customers than high street banks?

Many challenger banks specialise in providing fast, digital-first services to their customers. As such, they may be able to process applications for new business bank accounts more quickly than traditional high street banks.

However, this does not necessarily mean that all challenger banks are faster to approve new customers – it is important to compare the different options available before selecting a bank.

How can I get prepared, in order to get my account opened more quickly?

If you want to get your business bank account opened more quickly, it is important to ensure that you have all the necessary information and documents ready for the application process.

This includes personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, as well as business-specific documents such as financial records and proof of identity.

Additionally, having an initial deposit amount ready may help to speed up the process.

Finally, researching different banks and their requirements in advance can ensure that you select the most suitable account to meet your business needs.

How to avoid approval delays when applying for a new business bank account?

When applying for a new business bank account, it is important to provide all the necessary information and documents requested in order to ensure a smooth application process. To avoid any delays with your application, make sure that you have collected all of the information needed before submitting your application.

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Reviewed by , Managing Director

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