Skip to main content
Queens face on banknote
6 min read

The best free business bank accounts

When you’re focusing on growing a business the last thing you want from your business bank account is for it to be costing you more money than it needs to. Compare free deals from different business bank accounts to choose the best one for you.

What is the difference between paid and free business bank accounts?

What you’ll discover when you first start looking at business bank accounts is that there are so… many… variables! Most business bank accounts will have charges for different things like:

  • A flat monthly account fee
  • Transaction fees in/out (e-payments, cash payments, cheque payments)
  • CHAPs payments
  • Foreign currency transactions
  • Getting change

However, some business bank accounts won’t charge for some or all of these transactions and many have free introductory offers. You’ll need to work out what your business bank account will mainly be used for and then look for bank accounts with free or low charges for those things. For example, you might be better off paying for a higher flat monthly fee if the transaction charges are lower or free and you think that you’ll be making a lot of those transactions.

How to choose the best free bank account

When you review the offers, also check the criteria for opening the bank account and getting the deal. You’ll probably have to be a new customer, have been trading for less than a year and they’ll be a limit on turnover (likely to be at least £1 million).

Getting the best deal on your bank account is great but also bear in mind that it’s not just rates that you should be weighing up. What else do you want from your bank account? Consider what’s important to you and the business, like:

  • A good app
  • Card terminals for payments in person
  • Financial borrowing options – loans, overdrafts, credit cards
  • A Business Manager
  • 24-hour support
  • 24-hour online and telephone banking
  • Access to a nearby branch (with opening hours that suit you)
  • Business insurance

You should also check on the bank’s service quality score and where they’re ranked compared to other banks based on the latest report from the Competition and Markets Authority.

How to switch from your business bank account to a free business bank account

If you already have a business bank account but want to swap to a free account then this is possible (check the exact criteria of the new bank account and offer). Many people are reluctant to switch bank accounts because of the perceived hassle but these days banks are making it more attractive and much easier. They’ll let you choose the transfer date, doing it within seven days (if you want), arrange your payments to be switched and generally ensure a smooth transfer process. Your old bank will be obliged to pass on any payments that go into your old account by mistake for 13 months after the transfer.

Once you’ve chosen which bank you want to switch to you’ll need to tell them that you’d like to switch and apply for an account as normal.

Often all you’ll need to switch are:

  • Proof of name and address
  • The details of your old bank account with the account number, sort code and card number
  • The date you’d like to switch

Check with your new bank whether they will inform those who you make payments to about the switch or if you need to. Monitor your payments carefully to make sure everything is working correctly and don’t forget to update your bank details on your invoices.

The best business bank accounts with free introductory deals

These are the best business bank accounts if you’re a small to medium-sized business with free introductory offers.

Bank

Introductory offer

Monthly fees

E-Payment fees

Additional notes

Lloyd’s Business Current Account

18 months free business banking.

£6.50

Free

Simple pricing and access to lots of financial and digital tools and business guides.

Santander Start-Up Business Account  

Free day-to-day transactions for up to 18 months.  

Choose £7.50-£40 tariff after the free period.

Free within limits.

Monthly interest on in-credit at 0.10%. The app isn’t rated well.     

Natwest Start-Up Business Account

18 months free business banking.

After the free period minimum monthly charge of £5.

35p

Award-winning app. Free banking for charities and non-profits.

TSB Start-Up Business Banking

18 months free day-to-day banking.

Choose a tariff from £5 a month.

Free to 20p depending on tariff.

Free card payment reader and first £1,000 payments free. Also, access via Post Office.

HSBC Start-Up Business Account

18 months free business banking.

£5.50

23p (small business) or free e-banking.

Best Tariff Promise for businesses with turnover up to £2 million.

Barclays Start-Up Business Account

12 months free.

£6 (mixed) or £6.50 (e-payments).

35p (mixed) or free (e-payments).

Top rated online and mobile banking services for SMEs.

Coop Business Banking

18 months free business banking.

£10

10p-20p

Ethical bank. Also, access via Post Office.

Yorkshire Bank – Start-up Business Banking

25 months free.

£6.50

30p

Ranked 6th with 57% for overall service quality.

Clydesdale Bank – Start-up Business Banking

25 months free.

£6.50

30p

Ranked 15th with 51% for overall service quality.

Compare how long the offers last for and how much it will cost after. Consider whether it will be a better deal in the longer term to go with a bank account that doesn’t have such a strong introductory offer. Or if a good free introductory offer is more important to you in the period when you’re getting up and running (and if you are willing to switch accounts later).

Free business bank accounts

These business banks accounts have no monthly fees.

Bank

Monthly fees

E-Payment fees

Additional notes

Metro Bank Business Account

Free with a balance over £5,000. Otherwise £5.

30p each or 50 free transactions if balance over £5,000.

Branches open 7 days a week and dog-friendly.

Tide Business Account

Free

20p

Free card use abroad. Fast account set up.

Cashplus Business Account

Free

99p

£5.95 fee for a debit card.

Starling Bank

Free

Free

Mobile banking only. Fast to open an account.

The tables in this article give an overview of the main charges. Check each bank account for specifics on all details and charges and the most up to date information.

If you need more features or higher levels of assistance with your banking then you will have to look at the next level of business banking with these or other banks but they will come with more fees.

End of Article
Share this content

Register with Informi today:

  • Join over 20,000 like-minded business professionals
  • Create your own personalised account with curated reading lists and checklists
  • Access exclusive resources including business plans, templates, and tax calculators
  • Receive the latest business advice and insights from Informi
  • Join in the discussion through the comments section

or

I’ve been working through the how to start a business in 20 days ebook and so many of the things I’d done are now nicely tied together and some gaps now filled. I love the simplicity. Thank you.

Sarah Gosling – Gosling Charity Consulting