Compare small business bank accounts

July 2021

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


Ensure your 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.

Barclays Start-up business account

Account fee

Free for 12 months, then £6

Opening time

Within 3 weeks

Bank transfers

From £0.35

Invoicing

done

Overdrafts

done
star

12 months FREE banking

Anna Money business account

Account fee

Free

Opening time

10 mins

Bank transfers

Free

Invoicing

done

Overdrafts

close

Calculates taxes & VAT for you automatically

GoSolo business bank account

Account fee

Free

Opening time

10 mins

Bank transfers

£0.20

Invoicing

done

Overdrafts

close

New Limited company registration

Revolut Free account

Account fee

Free

Opening time

3.5 days

Bank transfers

£0.20

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

close
star

Hold and exchange 28 currencies at the real (interbank) rate

Cashplus business bank account

Account fee

No monthly or annual fees, just an initial £9.95 card fee

Opening time

4 mins

Bank transfers

First 3 free and then £0.99

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

done
star

Integrated with all accounting packages

Tide Business Current Account

Account fee

Free

Opening time

1 day

Bank transfers

£0.20

Invoicing

done

Overdrafts

close
star

Free tools for accounting and invoicing

Lloyds Bank Start up

Account fee

FREE for 12 months, then £7 per month

Opening time

Within 4 weeks

Bank transfers

Free

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

done
star

Interbank Agency Agreements

Bank of Scotland Start up

Account fee

FREE for 12 months, then £7 per month

Opening time

Within 4 weeks

Bank transfers

Free

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

done
star

Interbank Agency Agreements

Revolut Grow account

Account fee

£25 per month

Opening time

3.5 days

Bank transfers

First 100 free then £0.20

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

close
star

Ecommerce: accept payments on your checkout page and with platform plugins

Barclays Switcher business account

Account Fee

From £6

Opening time

Within 3 weeks

Bank transfers

From £0.35

Invoicing

done

Overdrafts

done
star

Multiple tariffs to suit your business

CardOneMoney Business Account

Account fee

FREE for first 3 months then £12.50 per month + an application fee of £55

Opening time

4 hours

Bank transfers

£0.30

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

close
star

No credit checks

Fair Everywhere business account

Account fee

£12.50 + £55 application fee

Opening time

1 day

Bank transfers

£0.30

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

close
star

Great currency rates

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

ZBank of Scotland Switcher

Account fee

Free for 12 months then £7 after

Opening time

Lloyds Bank has temporarily stopped accepting applications from customers looking to switch their business.

Bank transfers

£0

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

done
star

Interbank Agency Agreements

ZLloyds Bank Switcher

Account fee

Free for 12 months then £7 after

Opening time

Bank of Scotland has temporarily stopped accepting applications from customers looking to switch their business.

Bank transfers

£0

Invoicing

close

Overdrafts

done
star

Interbank Agency Agreements

* 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.

Rachel Wait

Written by

Rachel Wait

Rachel has been writing about finance and consumer affairs for over a decade, helping people to get to grips with their finances and cut through the jargon. She’s written for a range of websites and national newspapers including MoneySuperMarket, Money to the Masses, Forbes UK, and Mail on Sunday. Rachel has covered almost every financial topic, from car insurance and credit cards, to business bank accounts and mortgages.

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

Sign up to our Swoop news

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