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Tide business account: at a glance
Tide business accounts can help sole traders and limited companies to manage their finances online. Offering a potentially quick set-up and a range of features, Tide allows you to make payments, send invoices, and check your expenses from your smartphone.
Currently, Tide offers a business account with no monthly fee, as well as three paid options: Tide Plus, Tide Pro and Tide Cashback. These come with a variety of features, depending on your chosen plan.
Find out more about Tide business accounts, including their pros, cons and key features, with our review.
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Tide business account pros & cons
- A business account with no monthly fee is available.
- You can access the account digitally via a mobile app and on the Tide website.
- Accounts provided by ClearBank are eligible for protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
- Currently, it is not possible to deposit cheques into a Tide account.
- Tide has no physical branches you can visit.
- Business partnerships and charities cannot open a Tide account.
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.
Tide business account key features
- Tide is a digital business account provider regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); its accounts provided by ClearBank may be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
- E-money accounts (for some existing customers) from Tide are not protected by FSCS
- Tide offers business accounts with and without a monthly fee, plus possible transaction fees
- Small business financing such as business loans may be available through Tide
Tide business account full review
Tide is a business banking service that was founded in 2015. It is a digital fintech platform that aims to make opening and managing a business account faster and more user-friendly compared to traditional banks, with its use of mobile technology.
With more than 450,000 customers at the time of writing, Tide offers business accounts to sole traders, freelancers and limited companies. There is a range of business accounts available, including a free account and more advanced paid accounts, which allow businesses to upgrade as and when they need to.
We’ve gathered everything you might want to know about Tide’s business accounts below.
|Monthly fee||Free (Free plan)|
£9.99 + VAT (Plus plan)
£18.99 + VAT (Pro plan)£49.99 + VAT (Cashback plan)
|Transaction fees||20p per transfer|
Plus plan includes 20 free transactions per month
Pro plan includes unlimited free transactions
Cashback plan includes 150 free transactions per month
|Account management||Via the mobile app (iOS and Android)|
Online via the Tide website
|FSCS protection||Yes (with accounts provided by ClearBank)|
|Potential for same day set up||Yes|
|Cash deposits||Yes (at the Post Office and at PayPoints)|
|Access to other banking services||Yes (through Open Banking integration)|
|Integration with accounting software and tools||Yes|
|Customer service||Via the mobile app (iOS and Android)|
Telephone (for paid accounts)
|Multiple user access||No – read access only|
|Trustpilot rating||4.3 out of 5 (as of 27 February 2023)|
* Existing customers with a Tide International Currency Account (no longer available) are able to make international payments.
Tide business account features
The following sections provide some key information about the main features of Tide business accounts.
Business account fees
The most important factor for business owners when searching for a business account is the monthly cost, according to half of those surveyed by NerdWallet who chose it as one of their top three criteria. Tide has tiered account pricing, depending on the account features you want.
- It offers a free business account with no monthly fee that offers features such as scheduled payments, accounting software integration, and the ability to create and send invoices for free.
- Tide Plus (£9.99 + VAT per month) and Tide Pro (£18.99 + VAT per month) include all the features of the Free account, plus priority in-app support, customer support over the phone, a 24/7 legal helpline, support with trademarking, and exclusive member perks.
The Plus plan currently includes one free expenses card, while the Pro plan comes with two. The amount of free transfers per month also varies: the Plus plan has 20 free transfers each month, while the Pro plan comes with unlimited transfers included in the monthly fee.
Tide Cashback includes all of the above features, plus a dedicated team of account managers and 0.5% cashback on purchases made with your Tide debit card. Free transfer limits and expenses cards may vary.
Below, we have gathered more information on the specific pricing of each type of account.
Tide offers four pricing plans for its business accounts.
- Free: This account does not have a monthly fee, though transaction fees do apply.
- Plus: This account costs £9.99 + VAT each month, and comes with 20 free transfers per month and one expense card included. Other transaction fees may apply.
- Pro: This account has a monthly fee of £18.99 + VAT, and comes with unlimited free transfers plus two expense cards. Other transaction fees may apply.
- Cashback: This account costs £49.99 + VAT per month. It includes 150 free transfers a month, plus three expense cards. Fees for other transactions may apply.
Day-to-day business transaction charges
There are fees for certain transactions with a Tide business account, outside of any allowances included with your chosen plan.
The table below details some common activities and the costs involved outside of any monthly plan allowance.
|Transfers between Tide accounts||Free|
|Transfers to/from a non-Tide account||20p|
|ATM cash withdrawals||£1|
|Card payments in the UK or abroad||Free|
|Replacing a card||Free|
|Cash deposits at the Post Office||0.5% of the deposit value (minimum £2.50)|
|Cash deposits at a PayPoint||3% of the deposit value|
|Expense card (for team members to use)||£5 per card, per month|
Easy account access
According to NerdWallet’s survey of business owners, easy account access is the second most important criteria when searching for a business account.
You can access your Tide business account on the provider’s app, or via the Tide website (though you may still need your mobile phone to hand when logging in online).
Tide is a digital-only business banking provider. It has no high-street branches, so it might not suit your business if you would prefer to speak to someone face-to-face to manage your account.
A quarter of business owners feel that being able to set up an account quickly is important when looking for a business account, according to our survey. Tide claims to open most accounts on the same day as application, so it could be an option if you want a business account fast.
If your application is approved, you could receive your sort code and account number within minutes, enabling you to start using the account.
The third most important criteria for business accounts, according to business owners from our NerdWallet survey, is that deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Tide offers two types of business accounts. Its business bank accounts, provided by ClearBank to new customers, are covered by the FSCS. Up to £85,000 worth of deposits are protected and would be reimbursed to you automatically if ClearBank were to fail.
Its existing e-money accounts are not protected by FSCS. However, as an electronic money institution (EMI), Tide must protect customers’ money deposited in e-money accounts through a process called ‘safeguarding’. Tide does this by keeping the money in a separate account from its own funds; the money cannot be invested or lent to customers.
Existing customers with e-money accounts will be contacted by Tide about moving their accounts to ClearBank bank accounts.
Mobile phone app
The ability to manage a business account via a mobile app is important for business owners, who ranked this feature fourth most important overall in NerdWallet’s survey.
Business owners who wish to manage their money on the go can do so with a Tide business account. Tide accounts are accessible via a mobile app, available on Apple and Android devices.
You can contact Tide’s customer service team in the following ways:
- By telephone, if you have a paid account: 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)
- Via live chat on the app: All customers can access 24/7 support in-app, with priority support for paid plans
- Email Tide: [email protected]
Tide has received generally positive reviews on different review sites.
- Trustpilot: 4.4 out of 5 rating, based on over 14,000 reviews
- Apple App Store: 4.8 out of 5 rating, based on over 64,600 reviews
- Google Play: 3.5 out of 5, based on over 15,600 reviews.
This information is correct as of 27 February 2023.
Tide business account eligibility
To be eligible to open a Tide business account, you must:
- be at least 18 years old
- have a valid UK phone number
- own an Apple or Android device
If you’re a sole trader or freelancer, you’ll need to prove you have a UK residential address. If you run a limited company, it must be registered with Companies House and you need to be a director to apply.
There are a number of industries that Tide does not support, including but not limited to:
- adult entertainment
You can find out more information about prohibited industries on Tide’s website.
What’s more, Tide currently will not open business accounts for charities or business partnerships.
How to choose a Tide business account
There are a number of questions that you could ask yourself when looking at a Tide business account or when comparing other providers:
- Are you looking to pay a monthly fee or pay per transaction?
- How would you prefer to manage your account (for example, online, via an app, in a branch)?
- Do you want to bank online or would you like the option of face-to-face banking in a branch?
- Are you willing for you and your business to undergo a credit check as part of your business banking application?
- Are you looking for protection for your deposits under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?
How to apply for a Tide business account
You can open a Tide business account online. When you apply, you’ll need to download the Tide app on your smartphone.
To apply for a Tide business account, you need to:
- Apply via the app.
- Provide business and personal details.
- Submit proof of ID.
- Wait for approval.
Apply via the app
You can apply for a Tide business account via its app, available on iOS or Android.
It’s also possible to apply on the Tide website, though you will need to have your mobile phone to hand so you can verify your identity.
Provide business and personal details
In your application, you’ll need to provide Tide with details, such as your name, address, and contact information, as well as information about your business, including what it does and any shareholders it has.
You’ll need to tell Tide whether you’re a sole trader or run a limited company. If you run a company, you must be one of its directors to be eligible to apply.
Sometimes you may be asked to provide proof of address or proof of business, in which case you would need to send Tide any of the supporting documents it requires. These could be council tax or utility bills to prove your address, and a website or social media profiles to prove your business.
Submit proof of ID
Tide will want to see some ID when you open an account, such as your passport or driving licence, and it will ask you to send a selfie to prove your identity.
Wait for approval
Tide won’t conduct any hard credit checks when you apply to open an account. However, it will run checks on your identity which will appear on your credit file but won’t affect your credit score.
If all goes to plan, Tide aims to help businesses open an account in minutes – though it may take longer if your business is more complex. You should receive your payment cards in two to four working days.
If you plan to open a business account and register your business as a limited company with Companies House, Tide can facilitate this. You can register through Tide and it will pay the £12 incorporation fee.
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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