For many years getting a business account in the UK has neither been an easy nor a fast 🐌 process.
So it is good news for businesses everywhere that the process of getting a business bank account is now a lot easier recently, with a range of new app-based ‘challenger’ banking services available to freelancers and businesses in the UK.
Even better news is that the new generation of app-based business bank accounts often come with awesome features like instant payment notifications ⚡ and expense tracking that are a step ahead of traditional business banking apps.
We take a look at the best app-based banking services in the UK, including a quick comparison table and reviews.
Quick Compare Business Accounts
|Revolut||£6.99 – £25+||✅||More|
|Coconut||£0 – £5||–||More|
Tide is a UK based banking service for small businesses.
With Tide you can open an account in just a few minutes and start accepting payments.
There are no monthly or annual fees to open an account.
Starling offer business accounts with no monthly fees, for businesses and sole traders in the UK.
Pricing is simple, there are no fees on rejected payments, and if your interest charges are less than 10p in a given month they will be waived.
The Starling business bank account can be integrated with Xero and you can deposit cash at the Post Office if needed.
Revolut offer a range of business accounts, from their freelancer account at £6.99 per month to business accounts starting at £25 per month.
With Revolut you can trade money from one currency to another, spend and transfer money without any fees at live market rates.
The leading feature for Revolut business accounts is the ability to send large international wire transfers without fees at interbank rates – up to £1 million of funds per month with the ‘Professional’ account.
Monese offer a two in one Monese Business and Monese Plus personal account.
Separate your business and personal finances with free debit cards, and manage both accounts from the same app.
Monese offer instant payment notifications and international transfers though be careful to keep an eye on fees, you may find you save money using Revolut for currency exchanges and transfers.
The TransferWise for Business borderless account service has no monthly fees and includes a free debit Mastercard.
With TransferWise you can hold and manage over 40 currencies, as well as send and collect payments with low fees to/from over 50 different countries.
If you are traveling or working internationally and will be receiving lots of non-GBP transactions this account could be perfect.
Soldo is a business focused spending management platform that includes prepaid Mastercards.
Track and assign transactions and expenses into categories, add notes and capture receipts all via the app.
Connect to Xero, QuickBooks or Sage to integrate Soldo direct into your bookkeeping workflow.
Anna is a UK based business banking current account and prepaid Mastercard service.
If you are a registered company or sole trader in the UK you can set up an account in as little as 10 minutes and get a debit card sent out the same day.
You can use Anna to send out sales or purchase invoices and the system will automatically chase them up until they are paid.
UK ATM withdrawals are free and there are no transaction fees.
Coconut is a banking service for freelancers, self-employed people and small businesses that is designed to make accounting and tax easier.
The free plan includes a UK current account, expense tracking and tax estimation.
For £5 a month you get tax reports, unlimited invoices and free replacement cards.
Features To Look For
We take a look at some of the most important features to look for in an app-based business account.
If you handle even a moderate amount of transactions every month, it will save a huge amount of time if you have an integration with your accountancy software, such as Xero or Quickbooks.
Quick Account Setup
Many of the highstreet banks can take weeks to process a business bank account application. With newer app-based business banking services you can often sign up in just minutes and get verified within a few days.
Debit / Credit Card for Spending & ATM
Getting access to a debit/credit card allows you to make online and offline purchases and can be essential to running a business.
You may also need to get additional cards for other employees or departments and track those expenses in the app.
Sending & Receiving International Payments
If your business has international customers or suppliers you may need to send or receive international payments and foreign currencies.
You may have this function covered already by another app or service – if not you may be interested to know that some business banking apps now have expense tracking capabilities.
Sole Trader Business Bank Accounts
Sole traders are not required by law to have a business bank account, so in theory you can make use of a personal bank account if the terms and conditions of the bank allow it.
However you might find it is better to keep your finances separate and easier in the long-run to make use of a business account.
Most small business bank accounts are available to sole traders, though if you want to make use of the new features available with app-based business banking services check out the quick compare table at the top of this page.
The Tide Sole Trader account is specially designed for Sole traders, has no monthly fees, and only takes minutes to set up – click here to read our Tide review.
Limited Company Business Bank Accounts
It is the law in the UK that if you are running a limited company you need a business account to keep your personal finances separate.
All the services listed above are designed for business users.
Tide offer a Registered Business account for limited company owners in the UK with quick signup and low fees.
Starling also offer a business bank account suitable for limited company owners.