Compare Sole Trader Bank Accounts

  • Sole traders can open a business bank account to keep personal and commercial finances separate
  • Many business bank account providers offer products to sole traders in all types of industry
  • Compare the latest deals, features and costs of sole trader business bank accounts

Choose your business current account options

24 products found
  • HSBC logo

    HSBC Kinetic Business Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £6.50*
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
    • Virgin Money logo

      Virgin Money M Account for Business

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App/Online
    • Virgin Money logo

      Virgin Money Business Current Account

      • Monthly Fee
        £6.50
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        Branch, app & online
    • See 1 more Virgin Money product
  • Mettle logo

    Mettle by NatWest

    • Monthly Fee
      Free
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
    • NatWest logo

      Natwest Start Ups Business Bank Account

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        35p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • NatWest logo

      Natwest Business Bank Account (Standard Tariff)

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        35p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • See 1 more NatWest product
    • Tide logo

      Tide Business Bank Account

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        20p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Tide logo

      Tide Plus Business Bank Account

      • Monthly Fee
        £9.99
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Tide logo

      Tide Cashback Business Bank Account

      • Monthly Fee
        £49.99
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • See 2 more Tide products
    • ANNA Money logo

      ANNA Money - Pay as you go

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        20p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • ANNA Money logo

      ANNA Money - Business

      • Monthly Fee
        £14.90
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • ANNA Money logo

      ANNA Money - Big Business

      • Monthly Fee
        £49.90
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • See 2 more ANNA Money products
  • The Co-operative Bank logo

    The Co-operative Bank Business Current Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £10*
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      Branch, App & Online
  • Cashplus logo

    Cashplus Business Bank Account

    • Monthly Fee
      Free
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      30p
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
  • Royal Bank of Scotland logo

    RBS Start Ups Business Bank Account

    • Monthly Fee
      Free
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      35p
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
  • Card One Money logo

    Card One Money Business Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £12.50*
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      30p
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
    • Countingup logo

      Countingup Business Account (Starter)

      • Monthly Fee
        £3
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        30p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • Countingup logo

      Countingup Business Account (Standard)

      • Monthly Fee
        £9
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        30p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • Countingup logo

      Countingup Business Account (Premium)

      • Monthly Fee
        £18
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        30p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • See 2 more Countingup products
  • Acorn logo

    Acorn Business Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £12.50
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      30p
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
  • Fair Everywhere logo

    Fair Everywhere Business Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £12.50
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      30p
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
    • Revolut logo

      Freelancer: Revolut Free

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Revolut logo

      Freelancer: Revolut Professional

      • Monthly Fee
        £7
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • See 1 more Revolut product
  • Lloyds Bank logo

    Lloyds Bank Business Banking Start Up Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £7*
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      Branch, App or Online

Our comparison service features a selection of providers from whom we receive commission. This table is initially ordered according to our commercial arrangements. Use the drop down menu at the top of the page to order by other criteria.

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Information written by Kristina Fox Last updated on 13 September 2022.

A sole trader bank account is a business account for sole traders. If you are a freelancer or self-employed – meaning you’re solely responsible for your business’s success, and haven’t set up a limited company for your work – then you’re a sole trader. And you could benefit from a sole trader bank account.

Many banking providers allow sole traders to open standard business bank accounts, which offer features such as:

  • bank transfers
  • cash deposits
  • overdraft facilities
  • accounting software integration
  • dedicated help and support

But some banks may also offer accounts specifically designed for sole traders, with helpful tools if you’re going it alone, including bookkeeping services and automatic invoice creation.

Certain accounts will also help you estimate the tax you will have to pay when you file your self-assessment return.

A sole trader bank account is a business account for sole traders. If you are a freelancer or self-employed – meaning you’re solely responsible for your business’s success, and haven’t set up a limited company for your work – then you’re a sole trader. And you could benefit from a sole trader bank account.

Many banking providers allow sole traders to open standard business bank accounts, which offer features such as:

  • bank transfers
  • cash deposits
  • overdraft facilities
  • accounting software integration
  • dedicated help and support

But some banks may also offer accounts specifically designed for sole traders, with helpful tools if you’re going it alone, including bookkeeping services and automatic invoice creation.

Certain accounts will also help you estimate the tax you will have to pay when you file your self-assessment return.

Do I need a business account as a sole trader?

No, but it may be advisable.

You do not need a business bank account as a sole trader – you are legally allowed to run your business finances through your personal account. This is because you, as a taxpayer, and your business, are considered the same legal entity.

» MORE: Can I use a personal account for business?

That said, you may want to consider opening a separate business bank account. Although HMRC treats your finances and your business’s finances as the same, your bank may not see it that way. Using your personal account for business purposes is often against the terms and conditions. Banks can ask for you to open a separate business account or close your personal account if they suspect that you are using it for business transactions.

What is more, it is easier to keep your business’s finances organised and easy to read – one of your obligations while self-employed – if you use separate accounts for your sole trader transactions and your personal finances.

» MORE: Guide to self-employed bank accounts

How to set up a sole trader bank account

You can set up a sole trader bank account in the same way as a standard business bank account. As a sole trader, you will usually need the following documents:

  • photo ID – a passport or your driving licence, for example
  • proof of address – such as a utility bill or a recent bank statement
  • proof of business – documents that prove your business is trading, such as social media pages, invoices, or your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

» MORE: How do I open a business bank account in the UK?

Depending on the provider, your sole trader bank account may be opened on the same day that you apply. This is most common among challenger banks where you apply online or on a mobile app. If you’re accepted, you may receive your sort code and account number almost straight away.

On the other hand, traditional high street banks might take a little longer to open your sole trader bank account. But a high street bank might offer a better fit for your individual circumstances overall. It is a good idea to compare both types to help you find what works for your situation.

» MORE: What is a same day business bank account?

How to choose the best deal for my sole trader bank account

To get the best deal for your sole trader bank account, it’s worth shopping around. But before you look at everything on offer, you should pin down what you need from your business account.

You may want to ask yourself a few questions about how you bank, including:

  • Do you prefer banking in person? You may want to pick a high street bank with a branch nearby.
  • Do you like banking digitally? A challenger bank might offer the right solution for you.
  • How many transfers or cash deposits do you usually make each month? If you make lots of transactions or cash deposits, you’ll want to look for an account where these are free or available for a low fee.
  • Do you want extra features such as accounting software integration?
  • Will you need an overdraft in future? Not all banking providers offer these, so it is a good idea to check in case you want to use one in future.

You should consider how often you will use your account, and which types of transactions you are likely to make most.

If you are self-employed part-time – say you work on your business in the evenings – you may not make many transactions in a month. In this case, you might want to look for a business account which charges per transaction, so you only pay for the features you actually use.

On the other hand, if you’re self-employed full-time, you may want to look for an account which does not charge for transfers or deposits, especially if you take cash. A business bank account that includes all features under a flat monthly rate could be more suited to your needs.

Once you know what you want from your sole trader account, you can compare what different providers offer and choose the account that best fits your needs.

» MORE: Do I need a business bank account?

Sole Trader Business Bank Account FAQs

Do I need a separate bank account as a sole trader?

You do not legally need a business bank account as a sole trader, but you may want to consider opening a separate account regardless. Separating your business’s finances from your own can help you see your income and expenses more clearly, making things easier when it comes to submitting your self-assessment return.

Another reason to have a separate business bank account as a sole trader is to keep in line with your bank’s rules. Some banks prohibit you from using a personal account for your business, and they can close your account if you think you are doing so. To avoid this risk, you may want to open a separate account for your business transactions.

How much do sole trader business bank accounts cost?

The cost of a business bank account varies between providers, so it pays to do some research by comparing sole trader accounts before you decide which one to open – or whether to open one at all.

Some business bank accounts charge a monthly fee. Others will charge you for each transaction, including bank transfers, ATM withdrawals and cash deposits. It is important to work out the expected cost of different accounts to help decide which fee structure best suits you as a sole trader.

You may be asking yourself: does a free business bank account exist? It is true that some providers do not charge a monthly fee for having an account. However, the account might only be free for a limited promotional period, or may charge you for every transfer, withdrawal or cash deposit.

If you only work for yourself part-time and don’t make many transactions, you may find paying per transaction works out cheaper than paying a monthly fee. On the other hand, if you are a full-time sole trader who makes many cash deposits, choosing an account with a monthly fee could turn out to be the most cost-effective option.

In any case, it is a good idea to compare different accounts against your expected usage to help find the cheapest sole trader bank account for your needs.

» MORE: Common business bank account charges

What services do sole trader business bank accounts offer?

This depends on the type of sole trader business bank account you open. Make sure you check that the account you are interested in offers all the services you need.

Here are some of the services regularly offered by sole trader bank accounts:

  • cash deposits
  • ATM withdrawals
  • bank transfers
  • bill payment through direct debit
  • standing orders
  • accounting software
  • invoice tools
  • cheque facilities
  • debit cards
  • online payments

What are the alternatives to sole trader bank accounts?

As a sole trader, you are eligible for standard business bank accounts as well as those specifically designed for the self-employed. Considering these in your comparison may give you more options to choose from.

What is more, many banks offer specific business accounts for start-ups. To be eligible for a start-up account, your business will likely include the following criteria:

  • have a turnover of less than £1 million
  • be less than a year old

On the other hand, you may find that you can do without a separate business account. For example, if you want help with your self-assessment tax return, using standalone accounting software or hiring an accountant may be enough, without you needing to open a separate bank account.

What if I change how I trade?

As a sole trader, you are not obliged to have a separate business bank account, though it might help you manage your business’s finances.

However, if you decide to run your small business as a limited company rather than as a sole trader, you will have to change your business account to a limited company account to keep your personal finances separate from your business finances. You will also have to register your business with Companies House and HMRC.

» MORE: Should I register as a sole trader or a limited company?

About the author:

Kristina is a writer at NerdWallet. A recent graduate trading French for finance, she has experience creating content for student newspaper Cherwell and an edtech company. Read more

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