Free business bank accounts – Best options for May 2024

Last updated on 17 May 2024

Are you looking to set up a business bank account? Choosing a free business bank account in the UK can be an overwhelming process, as there’s a lot of choice out there.

With so many banks offering different options and benefits, how do you decide which one is best for you and your business? Read on to see the top options to consider for low-cost business banking.

Top 10 featured free and low-fee business bank accounts

Bank Account Details View offer
revolut Revolut Business

✓ Business Current Account
✓ Award-Winning Mobile App
✓ Quick & Easy Application Process

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
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Tide_o27adb-2 Tide Business Bank Account

✓ Free, Plus, or Pro Account
✓ iOS & Android Mobile App
✓ Upload & Auto-Match Receipts

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
icons-tide View Deal
card-one-money Card One Money

✓ No Credit Checks
✓ Simple Fees
✓ Up to 3.5% Cashback

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
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anna ANNA Money

✓ Apply in 10 minutes
✓ Bookkeeping & Payroll Tools
✓ User-Friendly Mobile App

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
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logo-co-op Co-Op Business Bank Account

✓ Business Current Account
✓ Online, App & High Street Banking
✓ Quick & Easy Application Process

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
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HSBC_ezmobp-2 HSBC Business Bank Account

✓ Business Current Account
✓ In-Branch, Online & App Banking
✓ FSCS Protected

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
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logo-metro-bank Metro Business Bank Account

✓ Business Current Account
✓ High Street Presence
✓ FSCS Protected

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
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Mettle_ohfoi5-2 Mettle Business Bank Account

✓ Business Bank Account
✓ Online & App
✓ Quick & Easy Application Process

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
icons-mettle View Deal
logo-monzo Monzo Business Bank Account

✓ Business Current Account
✓ Dedicated mobile app experience
✓ FSCS Protected

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
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virgin-money Virgin Money Business Banking

✓ Business M Account
✓ In-Store, Online & App Banking
✓ Insights & Forecasting Platform

Pricing • Trial period • Contact
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Video: Getting started with business bank accounts

19 best free business bank accounts UK

BankDuration of free useMonthly fee outside free offerOther transaction fees?
AirwallexForever£0Yes (exchange rates)
Allica BankForever£0Yes
ANNA MoneyDependent on turnover£14.90 – £49.50Yes (when income is above £500 per month)
Bank of Scotland12 months£0No
Barclays12 monthsUp to £8.50No
Cater Allen Private BankForever£0Yes (when exceeding 30 transactions per month)
Co-operative Bank30 months£7Yes (when balance falls below £1000)
CountingupForever£4.95 – £9.95Yes (when income is above £500 per month)
HSBC12 months£6.50+No
Lloyds12 months£0No
MettleForever£0No
NatWest18 months£0Yes (when turnover exceeds £1m)
RevolutForever£7 – £100No
Royal Bank of Scotland24 months£0Yes (when turnover exceeds £1m)
Starling BankForever£0Yes
TideForever£9.99 + VATYes
TSB25 months£5 – £40No
Ulster Bank18 months£8.00 per quarterNo
WiseForever£0Yes
Best free business bank accounts compared

Airwallex

Airwallex offers a perpetually free business bank account with no monthly fees, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to minimize banking costs. While there are no standard transaction fees, it’s important to note that fees may apply to currency exchanges. This could be an excellent choice for businesses that primarily operate domestically or are willing to manage their foreign exchange needs separately.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: £0, which means there are no costs for account maintenance
  • UK card purchase fee: 1.30% + £0.20 for UK cards when used for Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, and Google Pay
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: Airwallex does not specifically mention ATM withdrawal fees, but they do offer free company cards and employee cards (with the first 5 being free). Since Airwallex is tailored more towards international payments and currency management, ATM fees may not be as relevant to their service offering
  • Bank transfer fee: Local transfers are free, while SWIFT transfers cost between £10 to £20
  • Overdraft available: The information regarding overdraft facilities is not provided in the sources, suggesting that Airwallex may not offer traditional overdraft services as it focuses on global currency accounts and payments
  • High street branches available: Airwallex operates digitally and does not have traditional high street branches. Their services are accessed online, which suits businesses looking to manage international transactions and currency exchanges efficiently

Further information

Read our Airwallex review or visit the website.

Allica Bank

Allica Bank provides a business bank account that is free indefinitely. With no monthly fees, it’s designed for businesses seeking a long-term banking solution without the worry of costs creeping in. However, there may be charges for certain transactions, so businesses should review their typical transaction patterns to assess if this account meets their financial needs.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: There are no monthly fees for Allica Bank’s business current account
  • UK card purchase fee: Allica Bank offers 1.5% cashback on eligible card purchases, implying that there are no fees for card purchases but rather an incentive for using the card
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: ATM withdrawals are free, which is an excellent feature for businesses that require cash access
  • Bank transfer fee: Bank transfers are also free, allowing for easy management of money without incurring extra costs
  • Overdraft available: Overdrafts are only available to Allied Irish Bank (AIB) customers, so it may not be accessible to all Allica Bank account holders
  • High street branches available: Allica Bank does not support cash & cheque deposits as it is an online-only bank, and there are no branches for in-person banking services

Further information

Read our Allica Bank review or visit the website.

ANNA Money

ANNA Money‘s free business banking offer is contingent on the company’s turnover, with monthly fees ranging from £14.90 to £49.50 when certain income thresholds are exceeded. The account charges for transactions when the monthly income is above £500. This account may suit businesses with fluctuating incomes, as the fees are scaled to business performance.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: The account operates on a tiered fee structure based on your monthly income. If your monthly income is below £500, there is no charge. Between £500 and £2,000, the fee is £4.90 a month. For monthly income between £2,000 and £20,000, fees start at £9.90 per month, and over £20,000, the fee caps at £19.90 per month. Anna offers a free first month as a trial
  • UK card purchase fee: Card payments in any country appear to be free of charge
  • ATM withdrawal fee: Anna charges £1 per ATM withdrawal after the first three free withdrawals each month on their standard Business account
  • Bank transfer fee: Local transfers in and out are charged at 20p per transfer after the first 50 free transfers per month on the Business account. For the Pay as You Go account, each local transfer costs 20p
  • Overdraft availability: Anna does not provide overdraft facilities
  • High street branches available: As an online financial platform, Anna does not have physical branches. It is designed for freelancers and small businesses that are comfortable with managing their banking online

It’s important to note that Anna is not a bank but a financial service provider offering e-money services and business current accounts. Therefore, accounts with Anna do not benefit from Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection.

Further information

Read our ANNA Money review or visit the website.

Bank of Scotland

The Bank of Scotland provides a 12-month free business banking period, followed by a no monthly fee structure. There are no transaction fees noted, which may be particularly appealing for businesses looking for a straightforward, cost-effective banking solution after the initial free period.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: Traditionally, the Bank of Scotland offers a simple price plan for their Business Current Account, which caters to businesses with a turnover of less than £3 million. This account typically has no charge for electronic payments, including ATM withdrawals and debit card payments.
  • UK card purchase fee: Payments made by debit card typically do not incur a fee.
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: Cash withdrawals at ATMs are generally free of charge for businesses using the standard business account.
  • Bank transfer fee: The Bank of Scotland does not charge for electronic bank transfers, which includes local transfers.
  • Overdraft availability: The Bank of Scotland does offer arranged business overdrafts with their associated costs and interest rates that vary depending on the turnover of the business.
  • High street branches available: The Bank of Scotland does have a physical presence with high street branches where customers can conduct their banking in person.

Further information

Read our Bank of Scotland review or visit the website.

Barclays

Barclays offers 12 months of free business banking, with a subsequent monthly fee of up to £8.50. The lack of additional transaction fees makes it a straightforward option for businesses to manage their financial operations without worrying about extra costs for their regular transactions.

Key details

Barclays offers different types of business current accounts tailored to various business needs, including accounts for new startups, established businesses with a turnover of less than £400k, and larger businesses with a turnover between £400k and £6.5m. For new startups, Barclays provides free banking for the first 12 months. After this period, the accounts typically cost £8-£8.50 per month.

  • Monthly fee: After the initial 12-month fee-free period, the monthly account fee is £8 for the Mixed Payments Plan and £8.50 for the e-Payments Plan.
  • Bank transfers: Electronic transfers are free for the e-Payments Plan, while the Mixed Payments Plan charges 35p per transfer.
  • ATM withdrawals: Free on both plans.
  • Cash deposits: Charged at 90p per £100 for the Mixed Payments Plan and £1.50 per £100 for the e-Payments Plan.
  • Cheque deposits: 65p per cheque for the Mixed Payments Plan and £1.50 for the e-Payments Plan.

Barclays also provides business savings accounts, including an instant access account and a fixed-term account. The interest rates for these accounts vary and are available upon request.

Overdraft facilities are available to business account holders with variable interest rates and set-up fees depending on the overdraft limit.

It’s important to note that while Barclays offers a range of services and has a large high street presence, some users have reported less-than-stellar customer service in online reviews. However, Barclays is FSCS protected, ensuring that your money is secure up to certain limits.

Further information

Read our Barclays review or visit the website.

Cater Allen Private Bank

Cater Allen Private Bank promises a permanent free banking experience with no monthly fees, although fees are applicable when exceeding 30 transactions per month. This account could be ideal for businesses with lower transaction volumes seeking cost-effective banking.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: There are no monthly or annual account fees for Cater Allen’s business bank accounts
  • UK card purchase fee: The Reserve Account allows up to 30 free day-to-day transactions per month; after that, a fee of 75p per transaction applies
  • ATM withdrawal fee: Similar to card purchases, you can have up to 30 free ATM withdrawals each month; subsequent withdrawals are charged at 75p each
  • Bank transfer fee: You also get 30 free bank transfers each month, with a charge of 75p for each additional transfer
  • Overdraft availability: No overdraft facility is available with Cater Allen accounts
  • High street branches available: As Cater Allen is part of the Santander group, customers might expect to use Santander branches; however, this is not the case. Cater Allen operates separately and does not offer in-branch services for its accounts

The bank accounts cater to a range of currencies, which could be beneficial for businesses dealing with multiple currencies. They also offer interest on balances above £500,000 at a rate of 0.05% AER. It’s important to note that the accounts must be opened via a financial adviser or intermediary, unless you’re already a customer of Cater Allen or Santander UK.

For savings options, Cater Allen provides accounts like the Business Notice 35, which offers an interest rate of 2.85% AER on all balances, and the Fixed Term Deposit Account, with rates between 3.70% to 4.00% AER depending on the term, with a minimum deposit of £85,000 required.

If you’re considering opening an account with Cater Allen, be aware that there are no overdraft facilities available, and while there are no monthly fees, certain transactions may incur fees after the free monthly allowance has been exceeded. Also, while you can manage your account online or by phone, there is no mobile banking app provided.

Further information

Read our Cater Allen review or visit the website.

Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank provides a 30-month free banking window, followed by a £7 monthly fee when the balance falls below £1000. This tiered approach benefits businesses that maintain a minimum balance, offering them a longer free banking period.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: The Business Directplus account offers a free everyday banking period for the first 30 months. After this period, the account has a monthly fee of £7, which is waived if the average monthly balance is over £1,000
  • UK card purchase fee: Card purchases are free for the first 30 months on the Business Directplus account. After the introductory period, there is a fee of 70p per card purchase
  • ATM withdrawal fee: ATM withdrawals are free for the first 30 months on the Business Directplus account. Post the introductory offer, it’s likely that normal charges would apply, but the exact fee is not specified
  • Bank transfer fee: Bank transfers are free for the first 30 months with the Business Directplus account. After this period, a fee will apply, which is not specified in the sources
  • Overdraft availability: The Co-operative Bank offers business overdrafts up to £250,000, with interest rates variable and calculated using the Bank of England Base Rate. There’s a 1.5% overdraft arrangement fee with a minimum of £50. For the Business Directplus account, after the 30 months free banking period, overdrafts are available with interest rates and fees to be discussed upon application
  • High street branches available: The Co-operative Bank has a small branch network in major UK cities, offering in-person services alongside online and telephone banking

For savings accounts, The Co-operative Bank offers options such as Instant Access and Notice accounts, with variable interest rates and the flexibility to access funds with prior notice.

It’s important to note that the information available suggests that while digital transactions are free, cash and cheque transactions attract a fee, along with specialist services. Also, the bank is known for its ethical banking policy and is the only high street bank with an ethical policy shaped by customer opinions.

Further information

Read our Co-operative Bank review or visit the website.

Countingup

Countingup‘s business bank account is free forever with monthly fees ranging from £4.95 to £9.95 when the income is above £500 per month. This account may cater to businesses that are just starting out or those with lower income levels, as the fees kick in at a relatively low-income threshold.

Countingup offers a business banking service that integrates a current account with accounting software, making it a suitable option for sole traders, limited companies, and their accountants. The service is managed entirely through the Countingup app, where you can handle direct debits, standing orders, and card management. However, they don’t offer savings accounts or overdrafts as part of their banking services.

Key details

The pricing for Countingup’s business account is tiered based on the monthly deposits into the account. They offer a three-month free trial, after which the fees are as follows:

  • £3/month for total monthly deposits of £0 – £750
  • £9/month for total monthly deposits between £750 – £7,500
  • £18/month for total monthly deposits over £7,500

Additional transaction fees apply after the free trial:

  • Free account transfers allowance of three per month; thereafter, each transfer costs £0.20
  • ATM cash withdrawals cost £1
  • Cash payments at the Post Office cost £1
  • Cash payments at PayPoint are charged 3%
  • Foreign currency transaction fee is 3%

Countingup is well-regarded for its convenience and ease of use, with positive reviews on Trustpilot highlighting the simplicity of managing accounts via the app. It’s important to note that customer support is primarily provided through the app or via email, with service available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Further information

Read our Countingup review or visit the website.

HSBC

HSBC offers a 12-month free business banking period, after which a monthly fee of £6.50 or more applies. There are no additional transaction fees, which could simplify financial planning for businesses after the initial free year.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: HSBC offers an introductory period of 12 months of free banking for new customers. After this period, the monthly account maintenance fee is £6.50 for small business accounts
  • UK card purchase fee: During the initial 12-month free banking period, debit card payments are free. Information regarding fees after the introductory period is not specified in the sources
  • ATM withdrawal fee: ATM withdrawals are free during the first 12 months. After this period, for business accounts, there is a charge of 0.25 GBP per withdrawal plus 0.6% of the withdrawal value
  • Bank transfer fee: Electronic transfers to HSBC accounts are free. However, sending CHAPS payments can cost between 17 GBP to 40 GBP depending on how you arrange it
  • Overdraft availability: HSBC provides arranged overdraft options for businesses, subject to status and application. The specific terms, including fees and interest rates, depend on individual business requirements and HSBC’s assessment
  • High street branches available: HSBC has a wide network of branches across the UK. Customers can bank in branch or in over 11,500 Post Offices®, offering convenience for businesses that require physical banking services

HSBC’s business accounts are suitable for a range of entities, including sole traders, private limited companies, partnerships, and charitable organisations. They offer a variety of services like international payments, foreign currency accounts, business loans, and specialist financing solutions. The bank is known for its extensive global presence and comprehensive range of financial products and services.

Further information

Read our HSBC review or visit the website.

Lloyds

Lloyds provides a 12-month free banking service, with no monthly fees thereafter. This straightforward offer is beneficial for businesses looking for a simple and cost-effective banking solution without having to worry about transaction fees.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: For smaller businesses, Lloyds charges a monthly fee of £7, which includes free electronic payments. For larger businesses, the monthly fee ranges between £15-£20, depending on the chosen tariff (Business Extra Tariff or Electronic Business Tariff)
  • UK card purchase fee: The specific fee for UK card purchases is not explicitly detailed. However, smaller businesses enjoy free electronic payments as part of their monthly fee
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: Lloyds Bank does not charge for ATM withdrawals
  • Bank transfer fee: Electronic transfers are generally included in the monthly account fee for smaller businesses. For larger businesses on certain tariffs, additional charges for services may apply
  • Overdraft availability: Lloyds offers business overdrafts with varying terms. For overdrafts with a limit of £500-£5,000, there is a monthly fee of £12. Interest is charged at 11.52% per year over the Bank of England Rate for overdrafts up to £25,000, with an annual fee of 1.99% (minimum £120). Larger overdrafts are also available, with rates and fees discussed upon application
  • High street branches available: Lloyds Bank has a network of branches across the UK, providing convenient access for businesses requiring in-person banking services

Lloyds Bank’s accounts are designed to cater to a range of business needs, offering a blend of digital and traditional banking services. The bank is known for its extensive history and presence in the UK banking sector.

Further information

Read our Lloyds Bank review or visit the website.

Mettle

Mettle offers a free business bank account without any time limit or monthly fees. This could be particularly attractive to start-ups and small businesses looking to manage their finances without incurring ongoing costs.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: Mettle’s business bank account is completely free, meaning there are no monthly account charges or transaction fees
  • UK card purchase fees: There are no fees for UK card purchases, making transactions straightforward and cost-effective for businesses
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: ATM withdrawals are free, adding to the cost-effectiveness of the account for businesses that require regular access to cash
  • Bank transfer fee: UK bank transfer fees are also free, which can be especially beneficial for businesses that handle a large volume of transactions
  • Overdraft availability: Mettle does not currently offer business overdrafts or other forms of business lending such as credit cards or loans
  • High street branches available: Mettle operates as an online-only platform without physical branches. This means that all account management is done digitally, either online or through their highly-rated app. It’s also worth noting that, as Mettle is part of NatWest, customers cannot use NatWest, RBS, or Ulster Bank branches for their Mettle business account

While Mettle offers several benefits such as no fees, easy digital account management, and cash deposits at Post Office and PayPoint locations, there are some limitations. For instance, Mettle accounts do not support cheque deposits or international payments, and they’re not currently protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). However, customer funds are safeguarded in separate client accounts as per FCA requirements.

Further information

Read our Mettle review or visit the website.

NatWest

NatWest delivers an 18-month free banking service for businesses, followed by no monthly fees. However, transaction fees apply when the turnover exceeds £1 million, suggesting this account is suited to small to medium-sized businesses.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: NatWest provides 18 months of free banking for new businesses, after which there are no monthly account fees. You just pay for the transactions you make
  • UK card purchase fee: For the first 18 months, there are no fees for card purchases. After this period, card purchases are charged at 35p per transaction
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: ATM withdrawals are free during the first 18 months. After this introductory period, a fee of 35p is charged per withdrawal
  • Bank transfer fee: Bank transfers are free for the first 18 months. Post this period, each bank transfer is charged at 35p
  • Overdraft availability: NatWest offers business overdrafts from £500 to £50,000 for businesses with a turnover of less than £2 million. Interest fees range from 11.73% to 11.62%, with arrangement fees starting from £50 up to £375. Larger overdrafts are available for businesses with higher turnover or those with access to a Relationship Manager
  • High street branches available: NatWest, being one of the big four high street banks, has an extensive branch network across the UK, providing convenient access for in-person banking services.

Additionally, NatWest offers savings accounts like the Business Reserve, Liquidity Manager Notice Account, and Treasury Reserve, with various features and interest rates depending on the account type and balance.

It’s important to note that while NatWest’s mobile app is highly rated, some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with aspects of their service, particularly regarding customer support and account management.

Further information

Read our NatWest review or visit the website.

Revolut

Revolut presents a business banking account that is free forever with a variable monthly fee ranging from £7 to £100. The fee structure is not specified in relation to transaction types or thresholds, so businesses should inquire further to understand the potential costs.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: Revolut Business offers a free account option with no monthly fee. However, for more advanced features, there are paid plans available, such as the Grow Account at £25 per month and the Scale Account at £100 per month
  • UK card purchase fee: Card purchases are free across all Revolut Business accounts, which is beneficial for businesses that frequently use their card for transactions
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: There is a 2% fee on ATM withdrawals, which is consistent across all account types. This fee applies regardless of the account plan chosen
  • Bank transfer fee: The free account provides 5 free bank transfers per month, after which a fee of 20p per transfer is charged. The Grow and Scale accounts offer a higher number of free transfers per month before the 20p fee applies
  • Overdraft availability: Currently, Revolut Business does not offer overdraft facilities. This service is not available yet but is planned for future implementation
  • High street branches available: As a digital-only bank, Revolut does not have physical high street branches. All account management is conducted online or through their app, which is part of their modern, technology-driven approach to banking

Revolut Business accounts are suitable for companies engaged in international business, as they allow for the management and transfer of money in multiple currencies quickly.

While the free account offers basic features, the paid plans provide more comprehensive services, such as a larger number of free transactions.

It’s important to note that Revolut Business accounts are not FSCS protected, but they are regulated by the FCA.

Further information

Read our Revolut Business review or visit the website.

Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland offers a 24-month free banking period for businesses, with no monthly fees afterwards. This account may be particularly advantageous for businesses that anticipate growth, as transaction fees apply when turnover exceeds £1 million.

Key details

RBS Startup Account
  • For: Businesses trading for less than a year with a turnover of less than £1 million
  • Monthly fee: No fee for the first 24 months
  • UK card purchase fee: No charge for card purchases for the first 24 months
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: No specific fee information provided, but likely included in automated payments
  • Bank Transfer Fee: No fee for the first 24 months, then £0.35 per transaction after
  • Overdraft availability: Available subject to approval
  • High street branches available: RBS has a wide network of branches across the UK
RBS Business Account
  • For: Established businesses with a turnover of at least £1 million or businesses over a year old with a turnover below £1 million
  • Monthly fee: No minimum monthly charge; pay for what you use
  • UK card purchase fee: Included in automated payments, £0.35 per transaction after the first 24 months
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: Included in automated payments, £0.35 per transaction after the first 24 months
  • Bank transfer fee: £0.35 per transaction
  • Overdraft availability: Available, subject to status and criteria
  • High street branches available: Available across the UK
RBS Community Account
  • For: Charities, social enterprises, clubs, societies, and not-for-profits with annual credit turnover less than £100,000 or startup organisations earning above this level
  • Monthly fee: No fees for non-profits with less than £100k turnover or 24-month fee-free period for startups
  • UK card purchase fee: No specific fee information provided
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: Included in automated payments, no fee for 24 months, or for non-profits with less than £100k turnover
  • Bank transfer fee: £0 for 24 months, or for non-profits with less than £100k turnover; otherwise, £0.70 per £100
  • Overdraft availability: Not specifically mentioned
  • High street branches available: Available across the UK

For all RBS accounts, charges for unarranged borrowing, Bankline, international payments, and additional services are not part of the free banking offer.

After the free banking period, you’ll be automatically moved to the Standard Tariff. The fees for business banking at RBS are relatively straightforward and offer flexibility for different business needs.

However, it’s important to note that local transactions are quite affordable, but international payments might be more costly.

Further information

Read our RBS review or visit the website.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank extends a free business bank account for an indefinite period with no monthly fees. There are transaction fees to consider, which would be relevant for businesses that engage in frequent transactions.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: Starling Bank provides a business account with no monthly fee, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to minimize ongoing costs
  • UK card purchase fee: There are no fees for card purchases within the UK or abroad, which is beneficial for businesses that frequently use their card for transactions
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: ATM withdrawals are free, both in the UK and abroad. This feature adds to the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the account for businesses that require regular access to cash
  • Bank transfer fee: UK bank transfers are free, which can be particularly advantageous for businesses that handle a large volume of transactions
  • Overdraft availability: Starling offers business overdrafts with limits ranging from £1,000 to £50,000. The interest rates vary, with most customers getting a rate of 11.50% EAR. There’s also an arrangement fee charged at 1.75% of the agreed limit, with a minimum of £50
  • High street branches available: As a digital-only bank, Starling does not have physical high street branches. All account management is conducted online or through their highly-rated app, which is part of their modern, technology-driven approach to banking

Starling Bank also offers multi-currency accounts. You can open a euro account for a £2 monthly fee and a US dollar account for a £5 monthly fee. These accounts allow you to send and receive payments in the respective currencies, which can be beneficial for businesses engaged in international trade.

For businesses looking for additional features, Starling’s Business Toolkit, available for a £7 monthly fee, offers enhanced bookkeeping and accounting tools, including the ability to create and track invoices, record VAT, and submit VAT returns through Making Tax Digital.

Starling Bank’s accounts are protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, ensuring a level of security for your funds.

Further information

Read our Starling Bank review or visit the website.

Tide

Tide promises a forever-free business banking account with a monthly fee of £9.99 plus VAT, and transaction fees apply. This account may be suitable for businesses that can justify the monthly cost through the benefits provided by the account’s features.

Key details

Free Account:
  • Monthly fee: £0.00
  • UK card purchase fee: Free
  • ATM withdrawal fee: £1
  • Bank transfer fee: 20p per transfer
  • Overdraft availability: Not available
  • High street branches: As a digital platform, Tide does not have physical branches. All banking is conducted online or via the app.
Plus Account:
  • Monthly fee: £9.99 + VAT
  • Includes one free expense card for your team, with 20 free transfers per month. ATM withdrawals are charged at £1
Pro Account:
  • Monthly fee: £18.99 + VAT
  • Offers two free expense cards and unlimited free transfers. ATM withdrawal fee remains at £1
Cashback Account:
  • Monthly fee: £49.99 + VAT
  • Comes with three free expense cards, unlimited free transfers, and additional perks such as 0.5% cashback on card spending

All accounts offer a range of digital banking features, including direct debits, invoicing, and accounting integrations like QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage. Cash deposits are accepted at Post Offices (0.5% fee, minimum £2.50) and PayPoint locations (3% fee).

Tide accounts are designed for a wide range of business customers, from sole traders to larger companies, and offer a convenient and flexible banking solution for those comfortable with managing their finances online.

Further information

Read our Tide review or visit the website.

TSB

TSB‘s business account comes with a 25-month free banking offer, with monthly fees ranging from £5 to £40 thereafter. This account is potentially beneficial for businesses looking for an extended free banking period before transitioning to a predictable fee structure.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: The account offers 30 months of free banking, after which a £5 monthly fee applies. This fee is waived if the average balance is £10,000 or more during a charging cycle
  • UK card purchase fee: Business debit card transactions, including card purchases and cash withdrawals, are free of charge
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: There are no charges for cash withdrawals using the Business Debit Card
  • Bank transfer fee: Electronic payments within the UK, including Direct Debits, Faster Payments, and standing orders, are free. However, CHAPS payments are charged at £30 per transfer
  • Overdraft availability: Information specific to overdraft facilities is not clearly outlined in the sources. You may need to contact TSB directly for details on overdraft availability and associated fees
  • High street branches available: TSB offers the convenience of managing your account through mobile, online, phone, and in-branch banking. You can deposit cash and cheques at the Post Office or any TSB branch

Additionally, the account comes with benefits such as a free Square Reader for contactless payments for the first £1,000 of sales and specialist support for business growth.

International transfer fees range from £15 to £28 per transaction for sending and £2 to £7 for receiving, with certain exceptions for payments in euros to qualifying EEA countries.

Further information

Read our TSB review or visit the website.

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank provides an 18-month free banking service, with an £8 quarterly fee afterwards. This could appeal to businesses looking for a low-maintenance banking option with modest fees on a less frequent billing cycle.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: Ulster Bank offers 18 months of free banking for new startups, with no transaction fees. After this period, the account costs £8 per quarter
  • UK card purchase fee: The specific details regarding the UK card purchase fee for Ulster Bank business accounts are not provided in the sources. However, it’s typical for banks to offer free card transactions, especially during any initial free banking periods
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: The sources do not specify the exact ATM cash withdrawal fees. Generally, such fees, if applicable, are detailed in the bank’s schedule of charges, which can be obtained from the bank directly
  • Bank transfer fee: Similar to ATM withdrawal fees, the specific details regarding bank transfer fees are not explicitly mentioned in the sources. Customers would need to check with Ulster Bank directly for the most accurate information
  • Overdraft availability: Business customers can apply for an arranged overdraft of up to £50k. Interest rates are variable and linked to the base rate or three-month LIBOR rate. An arrangement fee applies, varying based on the amount, starting at £50 for a £500 overdraft
  • High street branches available: Ulster Bank has a significant presence in Ireland with 146 branches in the Republic of Ireland and 90 in Northern Ireland. However, they do not have branches in England, Scotland, or Wales. The services are primarily geared towards businesses registered in Northern Ireland

Further information

Read our Ulster Bank review or visit the website.

Wise

Wise offers a perpetual free business bank account with no monthly fees, but transaction fees do apply. This account is likely suited to businesses looking for global payment solutions, given Wise’s reputation for facilitating international transactions.

Key details

  • Monthly fee: There is no monthly fee for maintaining a Wise business account. You only pay for the services you use
  • UK card purchase fee: Card purchases are free when made in the currency held in the account. This is particularly advantageous for businesses dealing with multiple currencies
  • ATM cash withdrawal fee: The first £200 worth of ATM withdrawals each month are free. Beyond that, a fee of 50p plus 1.75% of the transaction value is charged
  • Bank transfer fee: Wise charges a fee for money transfers, starting at 32p, although this can vary based on the currency involved. There’s also a small conversion fee for sending money in a different currency, and the fee depends on the amount being sent, the payment method, and the exchange rate
  • Overdraft availability: Wise does not currently offer an overdraft facility or other lending streams for its business accounts
  • High street branches available: Wise operates as an online-only platform and does not have high street branches. All account management is conducted digitally, either online or through their app

Wise is particularly suited for businesses that frequently engage in international transactions, as it allows for easy and cost-effective currency management and transfers. However, it’s important to note that

Wise is not a traditional bank and does not offer FSCS protection, but it is FCA regulated and safeguards customer funds in separate accounts.

Further information

Read our Wise review or visit the website.

No monthly fee versus per-transaction fees

When it comes to business bank accounts, you typically have the option of either opening an account with no monthly fee or one that charges a per-transaction fee.

The advantage of having a no monthly fee account is that you won’t have to worry about any ongoing fees and you can make as many transactions as you like without incurring additional charges. However, the downside is that these accounts don’t often come with additional features or benefits such as cashback rewards.

On the other hand, per-transaction fees can be more expensive in the long run but they also come with access to extra services and features. It is important to consider both options carefully before deciding which is best for your business.

Free business bank account for sole traders

If you are a sole trader looking to open a free business bank account, then you may want to consider opening an account with either Lloyds Bank or Barclays. Both offer no monthly fees and a range of features such as invoicing, money transfers and access to dedicated Business Managers.

These accounts also come with the added benefit of cashback rewards, with Lloyds Bank offering up to £80 per month and Barclays providing up to £150.

FAQ for best free business bank account in the UK

Which UK banks offers a free business account?

Several UK banks offer free business accounts, including Lloyds Bank, Barclays, HSBC, NatWest and Nationwide. Each of these banks offers different features and benefits for its customers.

For instance, Lloyds Bank offers up to £80 cashback every month as well as access to a dedicated Business Manager who can help you manage your finances.

Barclays also offers free business banking, as well as a range of other services such as invoicing and international payments.

HSBC is another popular choice for businesses, offering an array of services such as online banking and secure money transfers. NatWest provides up to £150 cashback every month, while Nationwide offers up to £500 cashback when you open a business account.

It is important to research the different banks available and compare their features and benefits before choosing the best option for your business. It is also advisable to read up on any terms and conditions associated with opening an account, as well as any fees or charges that may apply.

How to open a free business bank account?

To open a free business bank account, you will need to provide the bank with certain information about your business, such as its name and address. You may also be asked to show proof of ownership or partnership in the company, and provide a copy of your business license. Depending on the type of free business bank account you open, you may also need to show evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover the amount of money you plan to deposit.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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