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Starling Bank business account: at a glance
Starling was founded in 2014 by Anne Boden as one of the new digital banking providers, which were created to compete with long-standing high-street banks. These are typically called challenger banks.
With a free account on offer, as well as the option to pay for further features (such as invoicing and currency accounts), Starling Bank can accommodate a range of business types and sizes.
Find out more about Starling Bank’s business account, including the benefits and features that might suit you.
Learn more about how we bring you our review.
Starling Bank business account pros & cons
- Starling’s standard business account has no monthly fee.
- This account can be accessed on the bank’s website and via a mobile app.
- Deposits up to £85,000 may be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
- You cannot bank in a branch or over the phone with Starling Bank.
- There is a 0.7% fee (minimum £3) to deposit cash at the Post Office.
These pros and cons are based on a survey of UK business owners on what they found important when selecting a range of business products, conducted by NerdWallet in December 2022.
Starling Bank business account key features
- Starling Bank is a digital bank regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- It’s a UK-authorised bank, so deposits up to £85,000 may be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
- This business account has no monthly fee and no transaction fees (except for cash deposits)
- Business loans and overdrafts may be available from this provider
Starling Bank business account full review
Starling Bank, one of Britain’s first digital-only banks, is a fully-fledged UK-regulated bank dedicated to mobile and online banking. It initially offered just personal accounts before venturing into business banking in 2018.
Starling Bank offers business accounts to limited companies, limited liability partnerships and sole traders, with the potential for same-day account opening.
We’ve gathered everything you might want to know about Starling Bank’s business account below.
|Transaction fees||No (except for cash deposits)|
|Account management||Via mobile app|
|Potential for same day set up||Yes|
|Access to other banking services||Yes|
|Integration with accounting software and tools||Yes|
|Customer service||Via mobile app|
Over the phone
|Multiple user access||Yes (for directors only)|
|Trustpilot rating||4.3 out of 5 (as of 1 March 2023)|
Starling Bank business account features
The following sections provide some important information about the key features of Starling Bank business accounts.
Business account fees
Most important for business owners when researching a business account, according to NerdWallet’s survey, is the monthly cost. With Starling Bank, the overall cost depends on what you choose to add onto your business account.
- A Starling business bank account is free. However, there are paid add-ons that offer more features. In addition, business customers must pay to deposit cash at the Post Office.
- Starling Bank offers two multi-currency accounts – in euros or dollars – for a monthly fee of £2 and £5 respectively. However, these accounts are only available to existing customers, who have already opened a standard business account.
There is also the option of a ‘Business toolkit’, offering additional banking features.
Starling business account
A standard Starling Bank business account has no monthly fee, and charges transaction fees only for cash deposits at the Post Office. These deposits come with a fee of 0.7% of the deposit value (minimum £3 charge).
The other features in the below list are included as standard with the free Starling business account:
- A mobile app, so you can bank on the go.
- Mastercard debit card with a £10,000 daily spending limit.
- Multi-director access to the account (for limited companies). All directors who are registered on Companies House and have been verified by Starling can access the business account, but not third parties – for example, your accountant or other team members.
- Freeze, unlock or cancel your card through the app.
- Free UK bank transfers (£250,000 limit per transaction).
- International transfers to 36 countries, for a fee.
- Free ATM withdrawals, with up to six withdrawals per day with a £300 daily limit.
- Deposit cash at the Post Office for a 0.7% fee (£3 minimum).
- Deposit cheques up to £1,000 through the app – total daily limits apply. Cheques over £1,000 can be sent and deposited via post.
- Upload and store digital receipts.
- Categorise spending.
- Schedule payments, direct debits and standing orders.
- Payment notifications and reminders.
- ‘Saving Spaces’ to help you work towards saving goals, such as tax payments or a large purchase.
- Integration with accounting software programmes including Xero, QuickBooks and Free Agent.
- Integration with other third party tools and services, such as payment platforms Zettle and SumUp.
- 24/7 support via phone, app, email
- No fees for using your card abroad (although you may face local fees, for example ATM costs and other charges).
Euro and US dollar accounts
In addition to its standard business account, Starling Bank also offers a Euro business account and a US dollar business account. However, you’ll need to open a standard Starling Bank business account before you can open a currency account.
These multi-currency accounts allow businesses to hold, send and receive payments in either euros or dollars, to make it easier to convert your money. You can also transfer pounds from your standard business account and exchange them for either euros or dollars.
If you regularly conduct business in Europe or the USA, these accounts may make it simpler and cheaper to make payments and manage your finances in the different currencies.
The Euro business account costs £2 a month and the US dollar account costs £5 a month. Only limited companies can open a US dollar account.
Starling offers a ‘Business toolkit’ as an add-on to its standard business account. This kit costs £7 per month and includes extra features such as:
- Instant invoicing: Create and send invoices from its online banking platform, and match received payments with invoices to keep track of your income.
- Automated expenses: Automatically sort expenses transactions into categories and put aside a chosen amount for taxes.
- Tax and VAT estimations: Save a portion of your income for your tax bill using Starling’s self-assessment and VAT calculations.
- Bills management: Upload your bills and schedule payments to providers.
Customers can get a one-month free trial of the Business toolkit before signing up for £7 a month.
Easy account access
The ability to access an account easily was the second most important factor for business owners researching business accounts, according to our survey.
It’s possible to access Starling Bank’s business accounts through internet banking or via the provider’s mobile app. There is no way to manage a business account in person, as Starling does not have branches, nor is it possible to manage the account over the phone.
A quarter of the business owners we surveyed felt that quick account set-up was an important factor when comparing business accounts. Starling Bank may be able to open your account on the same day you apply, so it could be a good option for your business if you’re looking to get an account fast.
If your application is approved, you may get access to internet banking immediately so you can begin to use your account. Your debit card will then be sent to you in the following days.
When looking for a business account, business owners feel that protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is important – it was ranked third in NerdWallet’s survey.
Starling Bank’s business accounts, as with accounts from all UK-authorised banks, have FSCS protection for deposits up to £85,000. This means that if Starling were to fail, you would automatically receive compensation for the money in your account, up to this limit.
If you are a sole trader with a personal and business account with Starling, you will only be protected up to a total of £85,000 across both accounts. This is because the limit applies per person, per bank.
If you run a limited company and you have a personal and business account with Starling, the limit applies separately to each of your accounts. This is because the limited company is a separate legal entity to you, and therefore has its own limit.
Mobile phone app
Mobile money management is important to business owners searching for a business account, according to NerdWallet’s survey – having a mobile phone app is ranked fourth.
Starling Bank’s business account offering is app-based, though there is also access to the account via the provider’s website. The app is available on iOS and Android devices, and can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can contact Starling Bank’s customer service team in the following ways:
- By telephone on 0207 930 4450
- By live chat on the mobile app
- By email using [email protected]
Starling Bank offers 24/7 support for its business banking customers across all of the channels above, which may be helpful if you want to contact the provider outside standard working days and hours.
However, our survey of business owners found that 24/7 customer service and support was not particularly important when choosing a business account, ranking joint ninth alongside international banking facilities.
Many customers have left positive reviews and ratings for Starling Bank. It’s worth noting that these may be from personal customers as well as business customers, across the provider’s range of products.
- Trustpilot: 4.3 stars out of 5 from over 33,600 reviews
- Google Play: 4.5 stars out of 5 from over 97,000 reviews
- Apple App Store: 4.9 stars out of 5 from over 390,000 reviews
This information is correct as of 1 March 2023.
Starling Bank business account eligibility
To be eligible to open a business account with Starling Bank, you must:
- be a sole trader, run a limited company or community interest company, or be part of a limited liability partnership
- be a Person of Significant Control (PSC) in the business (not applicable to sole traders)
- be registered at Companies House (not applicable to sole traders)
There are a number of prohibited industries that Starling Bank will not accept, such as consumer credit, virtual currencies, weaponry, gambling, fossil fuels. A full list can be found in the terms and conditions on Starling’s website.
How to choose a Starling Bank business account
You may want to ask yourself the following questions when deciding whether to open a Starling Bank business account or when comparing accounts from other providers:
- Are you looking to pay a monthly fee or pay per transaction?
- Would you like to manage your account online, via an app, at a branch or over the phone?
- Do you prefer to bank digitally or would you like to be able to go to a branch?
- Are you willing for you and your business to undergo a credit check as part of your business banking application?
- Do you want protection for your deposits through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?
How to apply for a Starling Bank business account
To apply for a Starling Bank business account, you must follow these steps:
- Apply online.
- Submit proof of ID and address.
- Wait for approval.
You can apply for a Starling Bank business account on the Starling website or via the provider’s mobile app. You’ll need to have your smartphone with you.
According to Starling, the online application form can take 10 minutes. It’s worth having all the required documents and information with you when you apply to make the process smoother.
Submit proof of your identity and address
As part of the application process, you will need to provide evidence of your identity, such as a passport or UK driving licence.
You may also need to give the bank proof of your address. This could be a document, such as your driving licence (if not already used as proof of ID), a bank statement or utility bill dated within the last three months, or a tenancy agreement.
Businesses may also have to submit proof of business, which can include signed agreements or contracts, bank statements, industry body memberships or property leases.
Wait for approval
Once you’ve applied, Starling will verify the information and documents you have provided. As part of the setting-up process, Starling will carry out a soft credit check. This won’t affect your credit score.
If you’re approved, your account may be opened the same day. Once your account is open, you will be able to carry out banking transactions through internet banking straight away, and your debit card should follow within a few days.
At NerdWallet Ltd UK we base our reviews on the results of surveys we conduct to understand what key product features are important to those who use them, and align them to the product we review.
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 it is likely there are others available that we have not reviewed. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability of your financial circumstances.
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