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Published 28 May 2024
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Best Free Business Bank Accounts June 2024

Business account providers may offer free banking services. However, details can vary greatly between products and providers. Compare the top 10 free business accounts in the UK to find one that best suits your needs.

Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.

A free business bank account is exactly what it sounds like – a bank account for your business that doesn’t cost any money to open. 

They can be great if you are a new business looking for your first dedicated account or only need to make a small number of transactions a month. However, what goes into a free business bank account can vary greatly from provider to provider. This means it can be difficult to pick the right account for your business.

That is why we have ranked the top 10 free UK business bank accounts, based on what business owners say are the most important criteria when searching for an account. That includes easy account access, quick set-up and protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

We have only included providers that currently do not charge a monthly or annual fee. It does not include business bank accounts that offer a fee-free introductory period; require a special status, such as a charity account; or have minimum turnover or balance requirements.

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Editor’s Picks

Business Bank Accounts

Editor’s Pick

UK Card Purchase Fees

UK Bank Transfer Fees

Monthly Fee

 

Virgin Money M Account for Business
High street
Free
From free
Free

Revolut Business Account
International
Free
5 free per month
Free

Cashplus Bank Business Go Account
No credit checks
Free
3 free per month
Free

The Co-operative Bank Directplus Business Account
Choice
Free for 30 months
Free for 30 months
Free for 30 months

Important information about Editor’s Picks

The Editor’s Picks listed above are based on NerdWallet’s editorial team’s analysis of products reviewed by us and is not a whole of market view. The team evaluates which brands offer standout features that may be important to you.

Editor’s Picks exclude any assessment of a providers’ rates, fees or product suitability, which must always be a priority when considering any financial product. Always consider others in the market and obtain professional advice.

Editor’s Picks are our own opinions and don’t constitute advice, recommendation or suitability of your financial circumstances. They are editorially independent of any partnerships with NerdWallet.

Top 10 Best Free Business Bank Account Providers

This top 10 is from 23 business bank accounts that NerdWallet evaluated and reviewed. Others are available. Find out how we use ‘best’ and our guide to ratings.

4.8

Monzo

Monzo Lite Business Account

Monzo Lite Business Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    Free
  • Offer
    n/a

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Available to sole traders, or the director of a registered limited company by shares (Ltd)
  • Must be based in the UK
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

Ideal for anyone just starting out, Monzo Business makes it easy for you to set up a new account and start managing your money. 

Monzo offers a wide variety of business banking services, but you won’t have access to all of them unless you pay for its Pro account. 

For further details, read NerdWallet’s Monzo Business Account Review.

Monzo key features:

  • Quick set-up: After applying on the mobile app, most accounts are up and running on the same day. 
  • FSCS protection: Deposits of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
  • Low upgrade fee: If you want additional features, upgrading to Monzo’s premium account is cheaper than at many competitors.
Monthly feeFree
Transaction feesYes (cash deposits, plus ATM withdrawals outside EEA*)
Account managementOnline and via the mobile app
FSCS protectionYes
Average set-up timeSame day
Cash depositsYes (£1 at PayPoint and Post Office)
Cheque depositsYes (free by post)
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Accounts can be accessed online or via Monzo’s mobile app.
  • Your eligible deposits of up to £85,000 will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • You may be able to get access to online banking on the same day as you apply.
  • Monzo business accounts can be integrated with multiple leading brands of accounting software, and business customers can get a six-month free trial with Xero.

Cons:

  • It is not possible to manage the account over the phone or at a branch.
  • Business accounts are not available to charities or partnerships.
  • Cash deposits come with a fee of £1 at the Post Office and PayPoint. This may not be a huge amount of money, but it could have an impact on businesses that frequently need to deposit cash.

4.7

Virgin Money

Virgin Money M Account for Business

Virgin Money M Account for Business
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    From free
  • Offer
    3 months’ free QuickBooks or Xero

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Available for eligible businesses with up to £1m annual turnover
  • Must be based and operated in the UK (excluding Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland)
  • All owners, directors, senior managers and account signatories must be over 18 years old
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

Virgin Money has a free account for start ups and small businesses with an annual turnover of less than £1 million. 

Additional features include cashback on debit card purchases and the possibility of obtaining an overdraft. 

For further details, read NerdWallet’s Virgin Money Business Account Review.

Virgin Money key features:

  • Account perks: Benefits include cashback when using the business debit card, as well as potential discounts with selected retailers and merchants. 
  • FSCS protection: Deposits of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
  • Free banking for charities: Virgin Money’s account for charities offers free everyday banking for groups with turnover of less than £1 million per year.
Monthly feeFree
Transaction feesNo, for day-to-day banking. Yes, for other transactions
Account managementAt a branch, via the mobile app, online and over the phone
FSCS protectionYes
Average set-up time3 days
Cash depositsYes (90p per £100)
Cheque depositsYes (free via app)
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Virgin Money claims that over a third of customers are able to open its business account on the same day as their application.
  • Virgin Money also offers overdrafts and business loans.
  • Other benefits include 0.25% cashback on eligible debit card purchases and integration with multiple popular brands of accounting software. 
  • Eligible deposits of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Cons:

  • Although Virgin Money offers 24-hour self-service over the phone, it does not offer 24/7 customer support.
  • Virgin Money’s completely free M Account is only available for businesses with an annual turnover of less than £1 million.
  • Customer reviews of Virgin Money on Trustpilot are very low compared to some competitors, with the bank having a ’Poor’ rating of 2.0 (as of 24 May 2024).
  • Virgin Money has no branches in the South of England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

4.7

Starling Bank

Starling Bank Business Account

Starling Bank Business Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    Free
  • Offer
    n/a
Eligibility Criteria
  • Must be a Limited Company or LLP registered at Companies House. General partnerships or charities that aren’t registered as a Limited Company aren’t supported yet
  • All directors with access to the account must be UK residents
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

Sole traders, limited companies and limited liability partnerships can use Starling’s free business bank account.
The account has no fees for basic transactions, and Starling’s mobile apps have some of the highest review scores out there.
For further details, read NerdWallet’s Starling Account Review.

Starling key features:

  • Free transactions: Everyday transactions, such as direct debits and standing orders, will not cost you a penny.
  • FSCS protection: Deposits of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. 
Monthly fee£0
Transaction feesNo for Faster Payments, direct debits and standing orders, but fees may apply for other transactions
Account managementOnline and via the app
FSCS protectionYes
Average set-up timeOne day (90% same day)
Cash depositsYes (At the Post Office. Charged at whichever is higher out of 0.7% or £3)
Cheque depositsYes (free by via app or by post)
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • You can make Faster Payments, direct debits and standing orders for free.
  • Eligible deposits are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • The Starling app is one of the best reviewed in the banking market.
  • Starling offers 24/7 customer support through its app, over the phone and via email.

Cons:

  • Some account features are only available through the Business Toolkit, which costs £7 a month.
  • You cannot manage your account over the phone or at a branch.
  • Cash deposits at the Post Office carry a £3 minimum fee.

4.3

The Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank Directplus Business Account

The Co-operative Bank Directplus Business Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free for 30 months
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free for 30 months
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    Free for 30 months
  • Offer
    Free everyday business banking for first 30 months + free access to the Go Get Paid app

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Must be aged 18 or over
  • Must be a UK resident with a business address in the UK
  • Must be either a Sole trader or partnership, Limited liability partnership, Limited company
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

This is a bank that puts ethical and sustainable concerns at the forefront of its mission statement, so it might appeal if you share similar values. It also offers a range of free and paid accounts, so you may well find an account that is tailored to your needs.

Find out more from NerdWallet’s Co-Operative Bank account review.

The Co-operative Bank key features:

  • Range of accounts: The Co-op Bank’s choice of business accounts could suit a range of organisations, including small businesses and charities.
  • FSCS protection: Your eligible deposits, up to £85,000 across all of your accounts, are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • Additional features: Having a Co-op business account will allow you to apply for overdrafts, a charge card, a credit card, and a variable rate business loan.
  • Customer support options: Manage your account online, over the phone, via the app and at a branch.
Monthly feeFree
Transaction feesNo (standing orders, Faster Payments, direct debits). Yes for other transactions
Account managementOnline, over the phone, in a branch and via the mobile app
FSCS protectionYes
Average set-up time14 days
Cash depositsYes (£1.50 per £100)
Cheque depositsYes (£1.50 each)
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Eligible deposits of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • You can manage your business account online, over the phone, via the mobile app and in a branch.
  • You can apply for a business overdraft, credit card, charge card and loan.

Cons:

  • The Co-operative Bank says that it can take, on average, 14 days to open an account.
  • 24/7 customer service is not available.
  • There are no branches in Northern Ireland.

4.2

Allica Bank

Allica Bank Business Rewards Account

Allica Bank Business Rewards Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    From free
  • Offer
    Up to 1.5% cashback

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • For UK-based businesses only
  • Must have been trading for at least 12 months
  • Must have a minimum balance of £50k or be an existing Allica loan product customer
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

Allica Bank’s Business Rewards Account aims to cater for established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This account offers customers a chance to earn interest on savings and take advantage of other rewards features, all while paying no monthly fees.

For more details, read NerdWallet’s Allica Bank Business Account review.

Allica Bank key features:

  • Instant access savings pot: Customers earn 4.33% AER on their business savings with Allica.
  • Cashback: Account holders can earn up to 1.5% cashback on eligible debit card purchases.
  • FSCS protection: Eligible deposits up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Monthly feeFree
Transaction feesNo
Account managementOnline and via the mobile app
FSCS protectionYes
Average set-up timeThree to five days
Cash depositsNo
Cheque depositsNo
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Allica customers don’t incur  transaction fees for UK-based transactions, except for outgoing CHAPS payments. 
  • Local relationship managers are on hand to help customers in England, Scotland and Wales.
  •   Allica’s instant access savings pot allows customers to earn interest with 4.33% AER.
  • Customers can receive cashback of up to 1.5% on eligible purchases if they use the Business Rewards Account debit card.

Cons:

  • There is no way to deposit cash or cheques.
  • Allica Bank doesn’t offer 24/7 customer support.
  • You cannot manage your account over the phone or in a branch.

4.1

Mettle

Mettle Business Bank Account

Mettle Business Bank Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    Free
  • Offer
    FreeAgent Included

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • For sole traders or limited companies with up to two owners
  • Maximum balance of £1million
  • You’ll need an iOS or Android device to open and manage the account
  • For UK-based companies with owners who are UK residents and pay tax in the UK only
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

Mettle’s offering is specifically designed for self-employed workers and limited companies with up to two owners. Its account lets customers bank with no monthly fees or transaction charges, while the app is one of the best around.

For more details, read NerdWallet’s Mettle Business Account review.

Mettle key features:

  • Top app: Mettle’s business banking app is very strongly reviewed.
  • Eligibility: Mettle accounts are limited to UK-based sole traders or limited companies with up to two owners.
  • Deposits protected by FSCS: Eligible deposits are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Monthly feeFree
Transaction feesNo
Account managementOnline and via the mobile app
FSCS protectionYes
Average set-up timeWithin 72 hours (excluding weekends)
Cash depositsYes (via Post Office or PayPoint)
Cheque depositsNo
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • With zero monthly fees or transaction charges, Mettle offers totally free banking.
  • Customers have given Mettle’s business banking app very positive reviews.
  • Customers can make cash deposits at the Post Office (and also at PayPoint for e-accounts).
  • Mettle customer support is available to customers through the app or email and over the phone every day of the week.
  • Eligible deposits are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Cons:

  • Mettle does not offer branch access.
  • Customers cannot deposit cheques.
  • International payments are not possible for Mettle customers. 
  • Borrowing options like business overdrafts, credit cards or loans are not available.
  • Partnerships or charities cannot get a Mettle account.

4.1

RBS

RBS Start Up Business Account

RBS Start Up Business Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free for 24 months
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    Free for 24 months
  • Offer
    24 months free banking

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying

Eligibility Criteria
  • Available to eligible customers over 18, who have the right to be self employed in the UK
  • This ‘Startup business account’ is available for businesses that have been trading for less than 1 year and have a projected or existing annual turnover of less than £1m
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

All three of the accounts offered by RBS only charge customers for what they use, meaning there is no fixed monthly fee. Customers who go for the RBS Start-Up Account will not have to pay transaction fees for two years . 

For more details, see NerdWallet’s RBS business account review.

RBS key features:

  • Fee-free period: Customers do not need to pay transaction fees for the first 24 months after opening a Start-Up account.
  • Borrowing: RBS offers business overdrafts, credit cards and loans.
  • Extras: Free access to FreeAgent accounting software and a dedicated relationship manager are among the perks of an RBS account.
  • FSCS protection: Eligible deposits up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Monthly feefree
Transaction feesNo, for the first 24 months. Yes, once the opening offer has elapsed.
Account managementOnline, via an app, in a branch and over the phone
FSCS protectionYes
Set-up timeOne day
Cash depositsYes (70p per £100, plus 70p per item outside free period)
Cheque depositsYes (70p per item outside free period)
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Customers who go for the  Start-Up Account enjoy a fee-free period for the first 24 months.
  • Speedy account opening means that 85% of RBS business customers have their account open within one day of application.
  • Eligible deposits of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • Accounts can be managed in a branch, over the phone, online and via the app.

Cons:

  • Businesses outside Scotland may be steered towards opening accounts with NatWest or Ulster Bank, depending on where in the UK they are based. 
  • Businesses that have been trading for over a year, or those with turnover exceeding £1 million, cannot apply for a Start-Up Account.
  • Following the end of fee-free introductory periods, all transactions carry a cost.

4.0

NatWest

NatWest Start Up Business Account

NatWest Start Up Business Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free for 24 months
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    Free for 24 months
  • Offer
    24 months free banking

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Available to eligible customers over 18, who have the right to be self employed in the UK
  • This ‘Startup business account’ is available for businesses that have been trading for less than 1 year and have a projected or existing annual turnover of less than £1m
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

NatWest offers three different accounts for business customers. These are an account for start ups, an account for more established businesses, and a community account for charities and societies. For sole traders and small businesses searching for a free mobile business account, there is also NatWest’s Mettle app.

For more details, see NerdWallet’s NatWest business account review.

NatWest key features:

  • Fact-to-face support: Customers across England and Wales can head to branches for customer service in person.
  • Customer support: Support can be accessed in several ways 24/7.
  • FSCS protection: Eligible deposits up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Monthly feeFree
Transaction feesYes, after 24-month introductory offer
Account managementOnline, over the phone, in a branch or Post Office and via the mobile app
FSCS protectionYes
Average set-up timeOne day
Cash depositsYes (70p per £100, plus 70p per item outside free period)
Cheque depositsYes (70p per item outside free period)
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Accounts can be accessed online, via a mobile app, in a branch or Post Office or over the phone.
  • NatWest’s digital assistant can be accessed 24/7 for basic banking queries.
  • Eligible deposits up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • Accounts come with free access to integrated accounting software from FreeAgent.

Cons:

  • There are no NatWest branches in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • NatWest’s start-up account is only available to businesses that have been trading for less than a year and have a turnover of less than £1 million.
  • NatWest business accounts charge for every transaction following initial promotional periods.

3.8

Cashplus

Cashplus Bank Business Go Account

Cashplus Bank Business Go Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    3 free per month
  • Offer
    n/a

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

The Cashplus business account may appeal to customers with bad credit, as there is no credit check when you apply for this account. Additionally, its paid-for Business Extra account, which costs £9 per month, can bolster your credit score using the Business Creditbuilder feature.

For more details, check out NerdWallet’s Cashplus Business Account review.

Cashplus key features:

  • Credit and overdraft facilities: An account offers the chance to apply for a business overdraft, a business credit card, and a business cash advance.
  • Business Creditbuilder: If you open an account, you can upgrade to boost your credit score with the Cashplus Business Creditbuilder.
  • No maintenance fee: There is no monthly charge for having this account.
  • FSCS protection: Cashplus is a fully-licensed bank, so your eligible deposits of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Monthly feeFree
Transaction feesYes (payments outside free allowance, ATM withdrawals, cash deposits)
Account managementOnline via the mobile app, and over the phone
FSCS protectionYes
Average set-up timeSame day
Cash depositsYes (0.5% fee, minimum £3 via the Post Office)
Cheque depositsNo
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Cashplus offers a business bank account with no monthly fees.
  • Accounts can be accessed online and through Cashplus’s mobile app, on iOS and Android.
  • Cashplus business accounts are FSCS protected.
  • Cashplus claims that 99.90% of its customers open an account on the same day as their application.
  • Cashplus business customers can potentially access overdraft and credit facilities.

Cons:

  • You cannot cash cheques with a Cashplus business account.
  • You cannot send international payments through your Cashplus account.
  • Cashplus doesn’t have any branches.
  • Cashplus does not have 24/7 customer service.

3.7

Tide

Tide Business Account – Free

Tide Business Account – Free
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    20p
  • Offer
    £50 Voucher when you open a Tide Business Bank account

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • For registered business account: you must be registered with UK Companies House as a director of that company or partnership
  • For sole trader account: you must be a UK based sole trader/freelancer
  • For all accounts: you must be aged 18+, have a valid UK phone number and address, and hold compatible device registered to a UK App or Google Play store
NERDWALLET'S REVIEW SUMMARY

Tide offers a lot of variety in its business accounts, which include Free, Plus, Pro and Cashback options. Tide’s Free account gives customers access to accounting software integration, free invoicing a free company card and much more. In addition, its quick set-up times and well-reviewed app make Tide a potentially attractive option.

For more details, read NerdWallet’s Tide Business Account Review.

Tide Key features: 

  • Protected: Eligible deposits of up to £85,000 in new Tide accounts are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • All-hours customer support: Tide customers can enjoy 24/7 access to customer services.
  • Business lending: Tide offers business lending options, including a government-backed loan for start ups, as well as a business creditbuilder feature to help with future borrowing. 
Monthly feeFree
Transaction feesYes
Account managementOnline and via app
FSCS ProtectionYes (for new accounts)
Average set-up timeSame day
Cash depositsYes (via Post Office for £2.50 each up to £500, or 0.5% on amounts over £500. Via PayPoint for 3% of deposit amount)
Cheque depositsNo
Pros and cons

Pros:

  • You can access the account digitally via a well-reviewed mobile app and on the Tide website.
  • New accounts opened with Tide are eligible for protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • You can contact Tide’s customer support team 24/7 support.
  • Tide’s speedy account opening process means more than half of applicants manage to get their account up and running in just 10 minutes.

Cons:

  • E-money accounts (for some existing customers) from Tide are not protected by the FSCS.
  • There is no way for Tide account-holders to deposit cheques into their account.
  • Tide’s Free plan charges for everyday transactions like incoming and outgoing transfers, as well as ATM withdrawals.

This top 10 only contains business account providers reviewed by NerdWallet UK.

The pros and cons featured with each brand are chosen by us based on a combination of our expert, research-based opinions and an exclusive survey of UK business owners and decision-makers. The survey identified the business product features that people felt were most important. There are other pros and cons that should be taken into account before considering a financial product. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.

Nerdwallet Survey: December 2022

Top 10 Best Free Business Bank Accounts: Summary

This selection of brands has been reviewed and evaluated by Nerdwallet, but others are available in the UK market. Find out what we mean when we say ‘best’, why we are comfortable using it, and an in-depth explanation of Nerdwallet UK’s review methodology.

ProviderStar rating
Monzo
Virgin Money
Starling
The Co-operative Bank
Allica Bank
Mettle
RBS
NatWest
Cashplus
Tide

We have only included providers that currently do not charge a monthly or annual fee. It does not include business bank accounts that offer a fee-free introductory period; require a special status, such as a charity account; or have minimum turnover or balance requirements.

Important Information: Our Reviews, Star Ratings and Editor’s Picks do not consider the product provider’s lending rates and therefore do not reflect how much it costs to borrow from the reviewed brand. Always compare rates from other providers when considering any type of borrowing.

What is the difference between free and paid for business accounts?

The main difference between a ‘free’ and paid business account is that with the free version there are no monthly or annual fees for simply having an account open. After that, however, the differences between free and paid accounts can vary greatly from provider to provider.

Some free business accounts may have fewer features and perks than a paid account. Others will have the same features as their paid counterpart, but charge more to use certain day-to-day banking services, or have a lower monthly free allowance limit for banking transactions. Often, the difference between a free and paid business account will be a combination of the above. 

Because of this, free business bank accounts may be more suited to smaller organisations that need to make fewer day-to-day transactions, or which don’t need the full suite of banking options a larger business may require.

That is why it is important to know exactly what you want and need from your business bank account, free or otherwise. That way, you can select the account with the right configuration of features, perks and fees for your organisation.

Do free business bank accounts have any fees?

While free business bank accounts typically do not charge monthly or annual fees, there will likely be charges for certain transactions. This will differ depending on the provider, and account, in question.

For example, an account may offer a certain number of free bank transfers or payments that then come with a fee per transaction once you exceed your allowance. Or, one may offer unlimited free UK bank transfers, but charge for services such as cash deposits and international payments.

When choosing a free business bank account, knowing what types of transactions your organisation makes in an average month, and roughly how many, can help you pick the right option for your business.

Will my bank account stay free?

Some business accounts are only free for a limited period, before then charging a monthly or annual fee. These accounts have not been included in this review. Similarly, a banking provider could always change its pricing structure in the future and start charging a fee for a previously free account.

All of the free business bank accounts in NerdWallet’s top 10 on this page currently do not charge a monthly or annual fee, regardless of how long you have the account.

How to open a free business bank account

You can open a free business account online or, with some providers, over the phone or in person. This depends on whether you choose an online-only bank or a bank with physical branches.

When you apply for a business bank account, you will likely need to provide information:

» MORE: How to open a business bank account

How to choose the best free business bank account

As some free business bank accounts charge for certain services, by working out what features you will use most often you can find an account that matches the needs of your business and offers the best value. 

To choose a free business bank account for your organisation, you should consider if your business needs the following services and features, and how often you would use them.

Free Business Bank Account Methodology

NerdWallet evaluated and reviewed free business bank accounts from high street and digital-only banks. Collectively, these accounts represent the largest banks by assets and internet search traffic, along with notable or emerging players in the industry.

We considered more than 10 product features for each account, based on the criteria that matter most to users, scoring them on fees, accessibility and customer service, among other factors. This information was gathered from each financial institution’s website and company representatives. In addition, data is collected regularly and reviewed by our editorial team for consistency and accuracy.

Using the same data across all products and features, we were able to create star ratings presented on a scale of one to five stars, where a one-star score represents ‘poor’ and a five-star score represents ‘excellent’. Please read more on our business bank account methodology.

Frequently asked questions about free business bank accounts

Do free business bank accounts have any restrictions?

Whether your free business bank account will have any restricted features or services will depend on your banking provider.

Some free accounts share exactly the same features as paid accounts, but with different transaction fees and free allowances.

Others, meanwhile, can differ greatly from a provider’s paid account. For example, they may not allow you to have multiple users accessing the account, create and send invoices, or integrate with external accounting software.

You could also miss out on certain perks and benefits that come with paid accounts.


Are free business account funds FSCS protected?

Not always. If your business account is with a licensed bank, then your funds will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) should the bank go bust. What’s more, if your business is a separate legal entity, such as a limited company, then you could be eligible to receive up to £85,000 from your business account. 

However, if you are a sole trader there is no legal separation between your business and personal finances. This means, if you have a business and personal account with the same provider, you can only reclaim up to £85,000 through the FSCS in total for both accounts.

Some business account providers offer e-money accounts, which are similar to a bank account except they are not protected by the FSCS. However, providers should safeguard your money by keeping your funds separate from their own business funds. Check the terms and conditions of the provider to see what protection an account comes with. 

Can I use a personal account for my small business?

If you are a sole trader or a freelancer, you can use a personal account for your business finances, as long as it doesn’t break any terms and conditions. However, if your business is a separate legal entity – for example, a limited company or a limited partnership – you cannot use a personal account. You will need to open a separate business account instead.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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