Swoop COVID-19 Hotline|UK0203 868 0364|Apply for CBILS

Compare Free Business Bank Accounts

March 2021

Tired of being overcharged and underserved on your business bank account?


Depending on your businesses circumstances, you may be able to use a free business bank account. Ensure you’re getting the best deal with our quick and simple comparison tool.

For a personalised banking report, and access to tailored funding and savings opportunities for your business, simply register here.

Anna Money business account

Open an account in 10 minutes

Account Fee

FREE

Trust Pilot

4.4

Good for

  • Open an account in 10 mins
  • Creates, send & chase invoices
  • Calculates taxes & VAT
  • 24/7 help & support

Need to Know

  • No loans or overdrafts
  • Aimed at startups, small businesses & sole traders
  • No branches
  • No Apple pay, Google pay or Samsung pay
Revolut Free account

Open an account in 3.5 days

Account Fee

FREE

Account

Trust Pilot

4.5

Good for

  • Local accounts in GBP and EUR
  • Automate accounting with Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, Sage and more
  • Hold and exchange 28 currencies at the real (interbank) rate

Need to Know

  • No loans or overdrafts
  • No branches
Lloyds Bank Start up

Open an account in Within 4 weeks

Account Fee

FREE

for 12 months, then £7 per month

Service Quality Score

56%

Good for

  • Cardnet online payment management
  • Inter-Bank agency agreements
  • Bulk payment services
  • Free business guides

Need to Know

  • Lloyds Bank has temporarily stopped accepting applications from customers looking to switch their business.
  • Applications from customers who do not currently have a business account are being accepted.
Bank of Scotland Start up

Open an account in Within 4 weeks

Account Fee

FREE

for 12 months, then £7 per month

Service Quality Score

56%

Good for

  • Cardnet online payment management
  • Inter-Bank agency agreements
  • Bulk payment services
  • Free business guides

Need to Know

  • Bank of Scotland has temporarily stopped accepting applications from customers looking to switch their business.
  • Applications from customers who do not currently have a business account are being accepted.
Tide Business Current Account

Open an account in 1 Day

Account Fee

FREE

Trust Pilot

3.9

Good for

  • Card payments, UK and abroad: Free
  • Free tools for accounting and invoicing
  • Take a photo of receipts, Tide finds the matching transaction
  • Mobile app/online access

Need to Know

  • No overdraft facility but loans can be approved
  • Bank transfers (in or out) – 20p
Revolut Grow account

Open an account in 3.5 days

Account Fee

£25

Growth Account

Trust Pilot

4.5

Good for

  • Ecommerce: accept payments on your checkout page and with platform plugins
  • Exchange money with no hidden fees: hold money in 28 currencies
  • Create accounts and cards for each team member, client or office

Need to Know

  • No loans or overdrafts
  • No branches
First trust business current account

Open an account in 10 Days

Account Fee

£9

per quarter

Service Quality Score

45%

Good for

  • Overdraft and loans
  • Flexible internet banking

Need to Know

  • Can’t apply directly online, you must first speak with a Relationship Manager
Cashplus business account

Open an account in 4 minutes

Account Fee

First year FREE

Then £69 annually

Trust Pilot

3.3

Good for

  • Offers for Swoop customers:
  • Earn 1% cashback on qualifying card spend each month
  • Annual fee of £69 waived for the first year
  • Integrated to all leading accountancy packages
  • Instant online decision when opening a new account
  • No credit checks

Need to Know

  • Overdrafts only offered upon invitation
  • No branches (however, branch presence at the Post Office 11.5k branches)
CardOneMoney Business Account

Open an account in 4 hours

Account Fee

FREE for first 3 months then £12.50 per month

+ an application fee of £55

Trust Pilot

4.3

Good for

  • No credit checks
  • 24/7 Support and access to your account
  • Account Manager

Need to Know

  • No loans or overdrafts
  • Aimed at small businesses
Fair Everywhere business account

Open an account in 4 hours

Account Fee

£12.50 per month

+ an application fee of £55

Trust Pilot

3.2

Good for

  • Great currency rates
  • No credit checks
  • Make and receive payments all over the world

Need to Know

  • No loans or overdrafts
  • No branches
  • £55 application fee

The listings below are for information purposes only. These accounts are not currently open for applications.

ZBank of Scotland Switcher

Open an account in Not accepting accounts from switchers at this time

Account Fee

FREE

for 12 months, then £7 per month

Service Quality Score

50%

Good for

  • Cardnet online payment management
  • Bulk payment services
  • Free Business Guides

Need to Know

  • Bank of Scotland has temporarily stopped accepting applications from customers looking to switch their business.
  • Applications from customers who do not currently have a business account are being accepted.
ZLloyds Bank Switcher

Open an account in Not accepting accounts from switchers at this time

Account Fee

FREE

for 12 months, then £7

Service Quality Score

56%

Good for

  • Cardnet online payment management
  • Bulk Payment Services
  • Free Business Guides

Need to Know

  • Lloyds Bank has temporarily stopped accepting applications from customers looking to switch their business.
  • Applications from customers who do not currently have a business account are being accepted.
Danske small business bank account

Open an account in Not accepting accounts from switchers at this time.

Account Fee

£12.50

per month

Service Quality Score

63%

Good for

  • Dedicated business advisers in each local branch
  • Tools to help with business development

Need to Know

  • Due to Covid-19 account applications are not being accepted.
Bank of Ireland business current account

Open an account in 10 Days

Account Fee

£15 per quarter

Service Quality Score

50%

Good for

  • An additional current account, a savings account and a business credit card all in the one application
  • Online, mobile and telephone banking

Need to Know

  • Due to Covid-19 account applications are currently taking longer than usual to process.

* Swoop’s service features a selection of providers from whom we receive commission.

For a personalised banking and saving report tailored to your business, simply register and securely integrate your bank account through our Open Banking technology.

What is free business banking?

Free business banking is simply business banking with no fees attached. In other words, if you open a free business bank account you won’t have to pay a monthly or annual fee and there will be no charge for setting up the account itself either.

The main advantage to choosing free business banking is that it will enable you to keep some of your overheads low, which can be particularly beneficial when you’re just starting out and building your business.

You’ll be legally required to open a business bank account if you’ve set up your business as a limited company in the UK and it’s registered with Companies House, so it may be worth looking for one with no fees. If you’re a sole trader, such as some freelancers and contractors, you won’t be obliged to open a business bank account but having one can make keeping your business and personal finances separate that much easier.

Are there still charges with a free business bank account?

Although your business bank account may not charge a monthly, annual or set-up fee, you may still have to pay for certain services. These can include:

  • Electronic payments: such as faster payments, bill payments, direct debits and standing orders
  • Cash payments: including deposits and withdrawals via a bank branch as well as transactions at a Post Office counter. If this is something you’ll be doing regularly, look for an account that offers the lowest fee
  • Cheque payments: you may have to pay for writing and depositing cheques
  • Additional payments: some accounts will charge for CHAPS payments and issuing a banker’s cheque
  • International payments: you may also be charged for sending money to an overseas account or for any purchases or cash withdrawals made using your card abroad
  • Overdrafts: some banks charge an overdraft set-up fee, as well as a daily fee, or you may be charged interest

Note that fees can vary depending on the business bank account you choose, and some won’t charge many fees at all, so it’s worth shopping around and comparing your options carefully.

You should also keep in mind that some business bank accounts have introductory offers that waive monthly or annual fees for 12 to 18 months. Once this period is over, you’ll have to pay a fee so if you’re considering one of these accounts, make sure you check in advance how much you’ll be charged.

Which is the best free business bank account?

The best free business bank account for you will depend on the type of business you run and how you plan to use the account. The quickest way to find the most suitable business account is to compare your options using our business bank account comparison tool. You’ll be able to select ‘free banking’ on the features tab to view all free business bank accounts from providers such as Anna and Revolut.

Anna’s free business bank account offers services such as invoice management which can help you to create and send invoices, and it automatically matches payments and invoices to help you organise your accounts. The account also offers:

  • Free ATM withdrawals up to £100 per month
  • Free UK transfers up to two per month
  • 1% cashback on purchases
  • Free direct debits

Meanwhile, Revolut’s free business bank account allows you to send and receive funds in more than 28 currencies at the real Interbank exchange rate. It also offers five free local transfers a month (after which you’ll be charged 20p per transfer), while international transfers are competitive at just £3 each and a 0.4% fee applies to all foreign exchanges.

You’ll also be able to link your account up with third-party software providers such as Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent and Sage.

Best UK business bank for customer service – 2020 survey

In August 2020 the BVA BDRC published the findings from its Business Banking Service Quality survey. Undertaken as part of a regulatory requirement and published at the request of the providers and the Competition and Markets Authority,  the study surveyed 16,800 SME bank account customers between July 2019 and June 2020. 

Each customer was asked how likely they would be to recommend to other SMEs –

  • Their provider?
  • Their provider’s online and mobile bank services?
  • Services in-branch and in business centres?
  • Their provider’s SME overdraft and loan services?
  • Their provider’s relationship/account management services?

The results show the proportion of customers of each provider, among those who took part in the survey, who said they were ‘extremely likely’ or ‘very likely’ to recommend each service. A detailed breakdown for each category can be seen in the table below.

Source: BVA BDRC

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ll usually be able to apply for a free business bank account if you’re a sole trader, private limited company, public limited partnership or limited liability partnership.

Many free business bank accounts are aimed towards smaller businesses and start-ups which means your business may need to have been trading for less than a year and/or have a turnover of less than a specified amount. Check the terms and conditions carefully so you know whether you’ll qualify.

Note, too, that you’re more likely to get accepted for a business bank account if you have a good credit rating and no history of defaults or arrears. A credit check will usually be carried out when you apply for a business bank account and if your credit score is poor, you’re more likely to be turned away.

Fortunately, some app-based providers, such as Anna, won’t require a credit check as part of the application process which can make them a good option if you have a poor credit history – although keep in mind you may not be offered an overdraft.

You can usually apply for a free business bank account online or via the provider’s app in as little as 15 minutes. The approval time will then depend on the business circumstances.

If you choose a digital bank, your free business bank account will usually be up and running within just a few days – in some cases your account can even be opened on the day you applied for it. If your account comes with a debit card, this should also be with you within around five working days.

Note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many high street banks are taking longer than usual to process business bank account applications, so you may find opening your account takes a matter of weeks. However, this will depend on the provider.

The quickest way to apply for a business bank account is online – simply compare your options using an online comparison tool and click through to the account you want to open. You’ll then be able to fill in your application form online.

Alternatively, you may be able to open your account over the telephone or in branch depending on which account you’ve chosen.

As part of the application process, you will need to provide proof of ID such as a passport or driving licence, along with proof of address such as a utility bill or bank statement. If you’re applying via a digital bank, you will be asked to upload photos of your ID and record a short selfie video for identification purposes.

You may also need to provide:

  • Your full business address and contact details
  • Estimated annual turnover
  • Details of your company’s registration at Companies House if you’re a limited company
  • Tax and VAT registration details

Once you’ve provided the required documents, your chosen provider will set up your account and you’ll be ready to go.

Don’t waste time – there are plenty of funding and saving
solutions to help your business grow

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive relevant industry updates, news, partner offers and more when you sign up.

We work with world class partners to help us support businesses with finance