Compare small business bank accounts

April 2021

Not getting the best deal on your current business bank account?


Ensure you’re SME or start up isn’t losing out 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 12 Days

Account Fee

£25 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 a small business bank account?

A small business bank account is simply a bank account aimed at start-ups and small businesses. It can provide a host of free tools and support to help you manage your business’s financial transactions, including helping you with tasks such as invoicing.

Do I even need a bank account for my small business?

If you’re a sole trader, such as some freelancers and contractors, there’s no legal obligation to open a business bank account – but doing so can make it much easier to juggle your business’s income and expenditure with your own.   

On the other hand, if you’ve set up your business as a limited company in the UK and it’s registered with Companies House you will legally be required to open a business bank account.

Small business bank accounts vs personal bank accounts explained

If you’re not legally obliged to open a business bank account, you might prefer to use your personal bank account for your small business banking needs. However, should you choose to do this, keep in mind that some banks may specify your personal current account should be for personal use only and could threaten to close your account if they see a large number of business-related transactions.

There are also several benefits to using a business account rather than a personal one:

  • It can be much easier to complete your tax return if you’ve kept business and personal income and expenses separate 
  • A business bank account can help you to build a credit rating for your business which will benefit you if you later need to apply for a business loan or credit card
  • A dedicated bank account can make your business appear more professional to clients who can make payments into an account under your business name, rather than your own name

What is required to open a small business bank account? 

To open a small business bank account, you’ll usually need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of ID: such as a passport or driving licence
  • Proof of address: such as a utility bill, recent bank statement or mortgage statement

Additionally, you may be asked to provide the following:

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

Best SME business bank for customer service in the UK – 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

Providing you manage your account sensibly, opening a business bank account can help you to build your business credit score and this can make it easier for you to get credit in the future. 

However, this also means that if you run into financial difficulty and are, for example, unable to pay back your overdraft, you could end up damaging your business credit score. What’s more, if you’re a sole trader, your personal credit score could also be affected if your business faces any financial problems. You should therefore talk to your bank as soon as possible if you have any financial concerns. 

Yes – although this will partly depend on the account and your credit score. Many business bank accounts will offer an overdraft providing you have good credit, with smaller businesses tending to be offered smaller overdraft facilities than larger, more established businesses. 

If having an overdraft is important to you, it’s worth comparing your options carefully to look for an account with the most generous overdraft facility and low fees. 

Note that if you have a poor credit score, you may not be offered an overdraft with your account.

Yes you can – many small business bank accounts won’t charge any monthly or annual fees at all, while others might waive fees for the first 12 to 18 months. Be sure to check what the fee will be after that period is over.

Although it can be more of a challenge to open a small business bank account with poor credit, it is certainly still possible.

When you apply for a small business bank account, a  number of app-based providers, such as Anna and Cashplus, won’t require a credit check as part of the application process and can therefore be worth considering if you have poor credit. However, many banks will indeed run a search on your credit history to check your creditworthiness and those with a poor credit score may be turned away.

Yes you can have two or more business bank accounts if you choose to. You may find this helps you to better manage your money or set aside funds for certain projects or business needs. You could choose to split your accounts  for day-to-day spending, online payments, one for providing staff with debit cards for spending, and so on.

As well as having its advantages, multiple bank accounts can make it harder for you to keep track of your finances. Some accounts also require a minimum balance to waive certain account fees which can be more difficult to monitor if you have more than one account.  

The right choice for you will depend on the type of business you run, your personal circumstances and how you plan to use the account. 

The quickest and easiest way to find the best small business bank account is to shop around using our business bank account comparison tool. This will enable you to select which bank account features are the most important to you, such as the number of branches, foreign exchange, overdrafts and so on.

Once you’ve researched your options and found the right account for you, simply click through to fill in the online application form. If you choose a digital, app-based provider, the whole process of opening your account can be completed quickly and easily online – you’ll usually be asked to upload photos of your ID and record a short selfie video for identification purposes.

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