As a small business banking can be expensive and difficult to find the right account for you and it is probably low on your priorities list.
Finding a free business bank account is a great way to keep your costs down and if you don’t mind switching accounts you can continue to receive free banking by moving accounts every 18-24 months.
This guide gives you the details for the best deals for free business bank accounts from the leading banks through to the lesser known providers.
Featured: Starling Bank
Starling Bank’s free business banking features:
- No monthly fee
- No interest is payable on positive balances
- 15% EAR on overdrafts
- No separate fee for overdrafts
- Free to send money via Faster Payments, Direct Debits and Standing Orders
- Deposit up to £1,000 in cash at the Post Office for just £3
- No charge for withdrawing £ Sterling from ATMs in the UK
- No charge for withdrawing cash in foreign currency outside the UK (currency exchange rates apply)
- £20 fee for certifying documents relating to your Account
- No fee for debit card payments
Starling Bank offers a huge range of features for a free, no fee business account. And unlike many other accounts listed here their account remains free so long as your business has fewer than 10 employees and less than £1.7m in annual turnover. Moreover, unlike some of the accounts listed below they are a fully regulated bank which means that all eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS up to £85,000.
The table below gives a quick comparison of the top UK free business bank account providers.
|Company||No of months free for new businesses*|
|Starling Bank||No monthly fee as long as you have your account|
|Lloyds Bank||18 months new businesses only|
|Metro Bank||Permanently no account maintenance fee as long as balance stays over £5,000|
|Bank of Scotland||6 months new customers or 18 months for start-up businesses|
|Yorkshire Bank||25 months|
|Cooperative Bank||30 months|
|Clydesdale Bank||25 months|
|Tide||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
|Coconut||Start plan is free and grow plan is £5/month|
|Counting Up||Starter plan is free for businesses with under £750/month in revenue|
|Santander||18 months (start-ups only)|
|Revolut Business||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
|Cumberland Building Society||12 months|
|Monzo||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
|Amaiz||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
|Monese||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
|TransferWise||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
|Holvi||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
|Mettle||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
|Triodos Bank||Permanently no account maintenance fee|
* The prices included here come from each company’s website and were accurate at the time of writing (August 2020) but may have since changed. Also, please keep in mind these may not be apples to apples comparisons as each provider charges different fees for different transactions. This guide should be used as a starting off point for more research on your part.
Below we profile each company’s plans and features in a bit more detail.
1. Lloyds Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Lloyds Bank’s free business bank account.
- 18 months free business day-to-day banking for new business start-ups
- Free electronic payments
- Free cheques and cash withdrawals/deposits
- Simple pricing
- Dedicated support from the UK-based business management team
- Additional financial support including loans, hire purchase, overdrafts, invoice finance and credit cards
- Mobile business banking app
- Guides to support businesses
- Access to financial and digital tools
- Eligible for sole traders, partners or company directors
Lloyds Bank is part of one of the largest banking providers in the UK, Lloyds Banking Group, and the group is formed of Bank of Scotland, Halifax, TSB, and Scottish Widows.
Lloyds Bank offers a free introductory day-to-day business account offer to new business startups. To be eligible the person opening the account needs to be a sole trader, partner or company director.
Once the free banking period ends you will be placed on their standard business current account tariff which still offers free electronic payments, cash withdraws from a cash machine and paying by debit card. Monthly account maintenance fee is £6.50 after the free period.
2. Metro Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Metro Bank’s free business bank account.
- If the daily balance is over £5,000 there is no monthly account fee
- Over £5,000 balance gives you 50 free transactions per month
- No charges for transactions in many European countries
- Stores are open 7 days a week
- No appointments necessary in branch
- Local Business Manager
- 24/7 Customer Support team
- Flexible banking over the phone, online and in store
- Mobile app
Metro Bank offers a different style of banking for businesses that do not operate 9 to 5 as they are open 7 days a week not just online or over the phone but in store as well where appointments are not needed.
To take advantage of Metro Bank’s free banking offer you will need to keep your daily balance over £5,000 for every day in the month. If your balance goes below £5,000 the standard monthly fee of £5 will be applied to the account for that month. With this offer, you will also benefit from the first 50 transactions free although some transactions such as international payments, CHAPS payments and an Auditor’s Certificate of Balance are chargeable.
3. Bank of Scotland
Some of the features and benefits of Bank of Scotland’s free business bank account.
- Free day-to-day business banking for new customers for 6 months
- Free day-to-day business banking for new business start-ups for 18 months
- Easy switching process that will complete in 7 working days using the Current Account Switching Service
- Simple pricing
- No charge for electronic payments after the free banking period ends
- Business support available in branches, over the phone and online
- Support for new start-up businesses and small businesses to help them grow
- Flexible banking available in branch, online and over the phone
- Mobile banking and text alerts
Royal Bank of Scotland offers free day-to-day business banking to new customers switching to them for 6 months and new start-up businesses for 18 months. This includes most transactions. After the free banking period ends the account maintenance fee is £6.50, but you still get free electronic payments, cash withdraws from a cash machine and paying by direct debit.
Their business bank account has a simple pricing structure and an online calculator to help you work out what the account will cost you once the free period ends.
Royal Bank of Scotland also offers a range of other financial support for businesses such as loans, hire purchase, overdrafts, invoice factoring and charge cards.
4. Yorkshire Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Yorkshire Bank’s free business bank account.
- Free day-to-day business banking for 25 months when you switch to them
- Free day-to-day business banking for 25 months for new start-ups
- Basic account management for everyday business banking needs
- Optional agreed overdraft
- Supportive bank who wants to help its customers to grow
- 24/7 access to your bank account online
- Mobile app to manage your account whilst anywhere
- Current Account Switch Guarantee
Yorkshire Bank’s free day-to-day business banking offer is available to businesses who are wanting to switch their current account or to new business start-ups. To be eligible you must have a turnover below £2 million per year. New businesses must have been operating for less than 12 months.
Most transactions are free but there are a few that are still chargeable which include international payments and CHAPS payments, and there are some limits on cash withdrawal and deposits.
At the end of the free banking period, customers are moved on to the business banking tariff which charges a monthly account charge of £5 per month. All transactions occur a charge between 30p-£1.30.
Some of the features and benefits of HSBC’s free business bank account.
- Free day-to-day business banking for 12 months for new customers
- Free day-to-day business banking for 18 months for new business start-ups
- After the free period, you will get 12 months fixed banking with no transaction fees
- Choice of two business current accounts after the 12 months fixed period
- Best Tariff Promise to review accounts annually to ensure you have the best tariff
- Access to finance and borrowing to fund expansion or improve cash flow
- Access to your account in branch, telephone, internet and mobile banking
- Access to deposit cash or make withdraws at Post Office branches
- Access to their online Knowledge Centre for support
- Access to Business Specialists in branches across the UK
HSBC offers both new customers and new business start-ups a free day-to-day business banking period that lasts 12 months for new customers and 18 months for new business start-ups. All customers at the end of the free banking period are switched to their fixed price tariff which gives 12 months free transactions (excludes cash deposits over £3,000 per month) with a monthly account fee of £5.50. After this period, you will be switched to one of their two current accounts.
The Electronic Banking Tariff is most suited to business who predominantly do business electronically. The Small Business Tariff is most suited to those that have more cash-based transactions. Every year HSBC will conduct an account review to check that you are on their best account tariff.
Some of the features and benefits of TSB’s free business bank account.
- 18 months free day-to-day business banking for new customers and business start-ups
- Start-ups will get support from a relationship manager
- Switchers will receive dedicated support to take the hassle out of switching
- Choice of tariff to suit your business
- Guaranteed smooth switch with the Current Account Switch Guarantee
- Internet banking offering 24/7 account management
- Access to Faster Payments
- Export statements into your finance package
- Free text alerts services
- Relationship Manager available over the phone
TSB offers 18 months free day-to-day business banking to both new customers and new business start-ups as long as the account stays within the agreed limits and does not go overdraw without prior arrangement.
TSB participates in the Current Account Switch Guarantee which means that you should receive a smooth transfer between current account providers within 7 working days. They also offer a choice of business tariffs so that you can select the best tariff for your business.
TSB state that they are a local bank with 550 branches across the UK and that the money invested with them stays locally as they do not deal in investment banking, overseas speculation or corporate finance.
7. Cooperative Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Cooperative Bank’s free business bank account.
- Free day-to-day business banking for 30 months for new customers
- No monthly service charges for 30 months
- All automated credits and debits are free for 18 months
- Writing 30 cheques per month are free
- Manage your account online 24/7
- Telephone and postal banking
- Network of branches
- Access to your account through Post Office branches
- Overdraft facility and lending options
- Backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee
Cooperative Bank offers a free day-to-day business banking period to all new customers who operate within the rules of the account. To be eligible you must maintain a credit balance of a minimum of £1,000. The offer also limits certain transactions to a maximum of depositing 100 cheques per month, depositing £2,000 cash per month, and writing 30 cheques per month.
At the end of the free banking period, you will be transferred to their standard Business Directplus tariff which charges £5 per month account maintenance fee.
Switching your account to Cooperative Bank is simple as they have signed up to the Current Account Switch Guarantee service which will guarantee that your account switches over within 7 working days.
8. Clydesdale Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Clydesdale Bank’s free business bank account.
- 25 months free day-to-day banking for new customers
- 25 months free day-to-day banking for new business start-ups
- Free automated transactions including direct debits
- Free cash deposits and withdraws up to £250,000 per year
- Internet banking services
- Mobile app
- Optional agreed overdraft
- Borrowing facility available up to £250,000
- Automatically switch to their business banking tariff at the end of the free period
- Member of the Current Account Switching Service and backed by their guarantee
Clydesdale Bank’s free day-to-day banking offer for 25 months means that you will not be charged an account fee or service charge which includes direct debits, automated transactions, cash deposits and withdrawals up to £250,000. It does, however, exclude international payments and CHAPS payments.
To be eligible for this 25 months free banking offer your business needs to have an annual turnover below £2 million. New business start-ups need to have been trading for less than 12 months
Clydesdale Bank has designed their business current account for small businesses who need basic account management to meet their everyday business banking needs. The account offers the full services of a current account with an optional agreed overdraft facility.
Some of the features and benefits of Tide’s free business bank account.
- No monthly or annual account fee
- Membership bank service
- Free card usage home or abroad
- Free money transfers to other Tide members
- Use Post Office branches for transactions (charges apply)
- Make deposits at PayPoint (charges apply)
- Mobile banking app
- Simple pricing with low transaction costs
- Simplified banking to minimise time spent banking
- Designed with small businesses in mind
Tide’s business bank account is different to other business bank accounts in the market as it does not charge a monthly or annual account charge or subscription, its bank account is free, but they charge for some transactions. They operate a simple pricing structure and keep their charges low as they do not have the branches and multiple levels of management to pay for.
Free transactions include card usage at home or abroad, and free transfers to other Tide members.
Tide charge for sending and receiving money from non-Tide accounts at 20p per transaction. Cash withdrawals at cash machines at £1 per withdrawal. Cash deposits at Post Offices are charged at £1 per transaction and at PayPoints at 3%.
Some of the features and benefits of Mettle’s free business bank account.
- Free account for sole traders and limited companies with up to two owners
- App based account management
- Easy to open
- Send and receive payments
- Lock and unlock your card
- Create and send invoices from your phone
- Matches incoming payments
- Lets you know when you have been paid
- Add receipts to transactions
- In-app support
Mettle is an app-based business banking provider designed for sole traders and limited companies with up to two owners. To be eligible you need a balance of under £50,000 for sole traders and £100,000 for limited companies. You also need an iPhone or Android device.
Mettle’s bank account is free with transparent pricing and no hidden fees. It is easy to open online, safe and secure and part of the NatWest. The app allows you to send and receive payments, create and send invoices, matches incoming payments to invoices, alerts you to payments, add receipts to transactions, lock and unlock your card and in-app support.
Coconut’s free business banking features:
- Free UK current account
- Only offers two plans: start which is free and grow which is £5/month
- Free automated bookkeping
- Free receipt capture
- Instant notifications
- Ability to easily share and export banking data
- Free tax estimate
- Ability to invoice from the app (limit of 3 per month on free plan)
- Free replacement cards on grow plan (£4 per card on start plan)
- No currency exchange fee on grow plan (2% on start plan)
Coconut is geared to smaller businesses and freelancers who need an all-in-one banking package. They offer not only a free current account but also tax, accounting and bookkeeping features as well.
Just be aware that Coconut is not a bank and doesn’t have a banking licence, which means that money deposited with them isn’t reinvested or lent out. Deposits held with Coconut fall under the Electronic Money Regulations 2017. This means that any funds that are held with them are stored in a segregated, safe-guarded, ring-fenced account with Barclays Bank.
ANNA’s free business banking features:
- First 3 months free (Or 6 months via NerdWallet)
- Plans are just £11 after the free period is over
- No transaction fees
- No fees for cash withdrawals
- Same-day set up
- Can chase outstanding invoices
- 24/7 UK-based support
- Ability to freeze your ANNA Mastercard® in the app
- Personalised reports
- Smart invoicing
ANNA stands for Absolutely No Nonsense Admin. This means you can have your free account set-up quickly, sometimes in as little as 10 minutes (assuming you have all your documentation ready). However, be aware that ANNA is a business current account and digital admin assistant, not a bank.
13. Counting Up
Counting Up’s free business banking features:
- Plans vary in price based on amount of incoming funds
- Free plan remains free so long as your monthly income is below £750
- Most expensive plan is only £4.95/month (once monthly income above £1,750)
- Bank account number & sort code
- Automated bookkeeping
- Invoicing from the app
- Profit and Loss report
- Receipt capture
- £1 per ATM withdrawal (all plans)
- 20p per bank transfer in or out
Counting Up is geared towards smaller businesses who want not just a current account but also help with accounting and bookkeeping. You never pay a fee if you’re monthly incoming funds stays below £750/month. Counting Up is not a bank, however, all customer funds are held securely in a segregated, ring-fenced Client Account at Barclays under the FCA’s Safeguarding Rules.
Some of the features and benefits of NatWest’s free business bank account.
- Free banking for new businesses for 18 months
- Free banking for charities and community organisations
- Some transaction charges may apply
- Free accounting software (FreeAgent)
- Online banking
- Mobile banking
- Allows you to manage invoices, expenses and your bank account in one place
- Simple account charges
- UK based phone lines that are open 24/7
- Dedicated Relationship Manager
NatWest is a UK based bank that offers online, over the phone and branch-based banking options. They offer free business banking on their current accounts if your business has been established for less than 12 months with a turnover below £1 million for 18 months. They also offer free banking to charities and community organisations with an annual turnover below £100,000. Charges may apply for some transaction types.
NatWest’s free business bank account also gives you free access to FreeAgent accounting software which you can keep as long as you bank with them. This allows you to better manage invoices, expenses and your bank account in one place.
Some of the features and benefits of Santander’s free business bank account.
- Free everyday banking for business start-ups
- Lasts for 18 months
- Online and mobile banking
- Access through Santander ATMs
- Can do transactions through Post Office branches
- Offers arranged overdrafts
- £500 ATM withdrawal allowance per day
- Offers text and email alerts
- Your business must be registered in the UK
- Suitable for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies
Santander is an international bank that offers a variety of business banking services which includes business bank accounts which are available free to business start-ups. Their business bank account is suitable for a variety of business types including sole traders, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, private limited companies and trusts that are registered in the UK.
Santander’s business bank accounts can be managed online and accessed either through their ATMs or through Post Office branches. Their business accounts can have an overdraft added to the account by pre-arrangement. The account features include £500 ATM withdrawal allowance each day and alerts that can be sent by text or email.
16. Revolut Business
Some of the features and benefits of Revolut Business’ free business bank account.
- Offers two types of free business bank accounts
- Company account
- Freelancer account
- Ability to change and cancel your account at any time
- Online or mobile app management
- Spend abroad with no hidden fees
- Smart company cards
- Hold and exchange 28 currencies
- Connects with leading accountancy packages
- Free team member access
Revolut Business is an online banking business that provides a global finance app. They operate in many countries and handle up to 150 local currency transactions and offer currency exchanges that are simple and transparent.
Revolut Business offers two free accounts – a company account that is registered in a business name and a freelancer account which is registered in an individual’s name. Both account types offer tiered services based on the account fee. With the free accounts, you can have free team member access (either 1 or 10 for free) and smart cards which are physical and virtual cards that you can use to track spend.
17. Cumberland Building Society
Some of the features and benefits of Cumberland Building Society’s free business bank account.
- Flexible banking provider
- Offers 12 months free banking
- Turnover must be below £250,000 per year to be eligible
- Online and mobile banking
- 34 local branches
- Offer two current account options
- Online banking calculator will help you choose the right account
- Compatible with Xero software
- Suitable for start-up businesses
- Available only to customers based in their banking region
Cumberland Building Society is designed as a building society that is run for the benefit of its customers. They offer a range of banking services which includes two types of business bank accounts that are free for the first 12 months for new customers if your annual turnover is below £250,000.
Cumberland Building Society’s business bank accounts offer two different types of charges to allow you to select the account that offers the most value at the end of the free period. They provide banking services online, on mobile app and through their 34 branches. Their accounts are also compatible with Xero software to help easy your finance administration.
Some of the features and benefits of Monzo’s free business bank account.
- Offers two levels of bank account
- One account is a Lite account that is permanently free
- Some fees apply
- Free instant bank transfers
- Easy to open from your mobile
- Online account management
- Can set up payment notifications
- Use the app for invoicing and digital receipts
- Integrates with Apple Pay and Google Pay
- 24/7 customer support
Monzo is an alternative to high street banks and is fully regulated in the UK. They offer two bank accounts to businesses, one is called Lite that is always free for sole traders and registered limited companies but some transaction fees apply.
Monzo’s Lite account offers basic functionality and you can upgrade to their Pro account for a small amount each month to get more features. The Lite account provides online account management with a simple set up that can be done on your mobile. It also features payment notifications, in-app invoicing and digital receipts, ability to pay with Apple Pay and Google Pay and 24/7 customer support.
Some of the features and benefits of Amaiz’s free business bank account.
- Offers two bank accounts
- One is free for an uncapped length of time
- Some charges apply
- Maximum monthly turnover limit of £4,000
- Easy and quick bank account
- Set up is hassle-free
- Invoicing and receipt management
- Live support through the app
- Contactless Mastercard
- Track transactions and receive notifications
- Secure and safe app
Amaiz is a banking provider that supports sole traders and small businesses with a range of banking services. They offer two types of business bank accounts and one of them is a free account which is available as long as your monthly turnover doesn’t exceed £4,000, but some fees can apply to some transactions.
Amaiz’s free bank account is easy and hassle-free to set up and manage and it offers support to help you streamline your admin processes as it enables you to send invoices and receive card payments. Their app allows you to access live support, track transactions and receive notifications.
Some of the features and benefits of Monese’s free business bank account.
- Offers three business bank accounts, one is free
- Dual currency account
- Contactless debit card
- Can set up direct debits and recurring payments
- Integrates with Apple Pay and Google Pay
- Free monthly ATM withdrawals up to £200
- Free transfers to other Monese accounts
- £2,000 free foreign currency card spend
- Can change your plan at any time
- Multilingual customer support
Monese is a mobile bank account provider who was one of the first providers of this kind. They offer three business bank accounts that offer different levels of accounts with the basic level being free with no account fee although some transactions may incur a charge.
Monese’s free account is called Simple and it offers a variety of features including offering a dual currency account, contactless debit card, ability to set up direct debits and recurring payments, and make payments through Apple Pay and Google Pay. They allow free transfers to other Monese accounts, monthly ATM cash withdrawals of £200 and £2,000 free foreign currency card spend.
Some of the features and benefits of TransferWise’s free business bank account.
- Business bank account with no monthly account fees
- Transaction fees apply
- You can open your account in minutes
- Charges a small conversion fee for foreign currencies
- Can hold over 50 currency balances and send to over 80 countries
- Receive five currencies without charges
- Free Mastercard debit card
- Free ATM cash withdrawals for £200 each month
- Offers cheaper currency exchange rates than PayPal
- Integrates with Xero to automate payments
TransferWise is an online business banking provider that specialises in offering business bank accounts that allow you to operate internationally. Their business bank account has no monthly account fees and charges for some transactions.
TransferWise’s business bank account caters for businesses of all sizes from freelancers to large businesses. The account offers cheaper currency exchange rates, free Mastercard, ATM withdrawal allowance, can hold over 50 currencies and receive five currencies without charges (GBP, Euro, USD, AUD & NZD). They enable integration between your account and Xero so you can make batch payments, automate payments and workflows, receive money with no transaction fee and download monthly statements.
Some of the features and benefits of Holvi’s free business bank account.
- Offers a Starter account with no monthly fee
- Also includes a Mastercard
- Can send three invoices per month
- Unlimited transfers
- Some charges apply including ATM withdrawals
- Unlimited account users
- Includes receipt capture
- Run and download invoice and expense report
- Easy and quick to set up
- Can upgrade to a paid plan for extra features
Holvi is a Finnish banking provider that specialises in providing digital banking services to entrepreneurs and freelancers. They have designed their banking service to be streamlined with an all-in-one service to reduce financial processes through their digital services. They offer two business bank accounts which include a Starter account which has no monthly fee.
Holvi’s Starter account comes with a MasterCard as standard and additional cards can be purchased. It also includes three free invoices per month, unlimited transfers, unlimited account users, receipt capture, and can run invoice and expense reports which can be downloaded. The account is easy and quick to set up online.
23. Triodos Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Triodos Bank’s free business bank account.
- Bank account with no monthly administration fees
- Some charges apply on transactions
- Socially conscious bank
- Designed for social ventures and charities
- Requires a minimum turnover of £5,000
- Can be managed online, over the phone or through the post
- Helps to manage day to day banking
- Allows payments from and to abroad
- Can set up Direct Debits and Standing Orders
- Debit and credit cards may not be available
Triodos Bank is a socially conscious bank offering ethical banking services to businesses and charities that fit with their ethos and they review your fit with them before accepting your application. They offer two types of accounts – social ventures and charities which have no monthly administration fee but do have transaction fees on some transactions.
Triodos Bank’s accounts help organisations to better manage their day to day banking through online management, over the phone and by post. Their account features include being able to set up Direct Debits and Standing Orders, make and receive payments from abroad, and you may be able to make over the counter deposits.
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