Some types of UK business require a dedicated business bank account. For some companies it might be easy to find an account, but those can come with high costs. In this guide, we will be looking at various UK banks and international banks for UK companies.
So, if you want to find the cheapest or the best business bank account for your new UK company, then you have come to the right place. If you have been denied by British banks, then we might also have a solution for you. So keep reading until the end for the solution.
To open a UK business bank account, you need to follow these steps:
- Incorporation of the company (free with Tide)
- Select a bank on our list below
- Apply for the bank account
- Receive your bank account details
Easy UK business bank account in 2022
Most UK companies (depending on company type) must have a dedicated business account in the name of the company. If you are not sure if you need a business bank account, then scroll down and read the section where we explain when you need one.
Business accounts can go under various names, such as business current account or corporate bank account. There is not really any different between them. It is a traditional bank account, as you know it from your personal bank, but it is registered in the name of your company instead of your personal name. This is very important.
When it comes to business banking in the UK, there are many very good options. The preferred choice for UK companies is probably a local bank such as Tide. Technically they are not a bank, but they will provide you with a free business bank account (FSFC protected) through their partner ClearBank. The account can be opened online and has the following advantages:
- It is free (if you do not have a company yet, they will also give it to you for free)
- It is very fast (you are set in minutes)
- It is safe
Tide is more than just an account. There is much to say about them, but what is convenient is that they automatically categorize your transactions, makes expenses an easy thing, sync with accounting software (Xero, QuickBooks, Sage, and many others), and you can easily pay all of your invoices.
In terms of packages, the free tier starts at 0 GBP and you can upgrade to the PLUS package (9,99 GBP), PRO package (18,99 GBP), or CASHBACK (49,99 GBP). All of the tiers or packages come with a free MasterCard.
Another very good option is of course Revolut. They have been providing their services to UK companies for some years now, and it is entirely possible to get a free business bank account with them. The process is very fast, and they have many of the same advantages as Tide. However, if you intend to take credit card payments through your website, Revolut is probably a better option for you. They have a payment gateway, and it can be integrated in many major eCommerce systems such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and many others.
There are multiple plans available, ranging from 0 GBP per month to 100 GBP per month. If you need a custom plan for many transactions, they are also able to provide that.
If you do not need any fancy features, then Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is a very good option. They used to provide completely free business bank accounts, but they have changed their pricing. Now, you have to pay 45 GBP to open the account, but after that it is pretty much free to use. There are some things you have to pay for, but that applies to all free business bank accounts.
InterGiro is a new solution to companies looking for a good business bank account without paying too much. What makes them different is that they accept some types of businesses that the other options listed on this page do not. If you have been denied by some of the banks or providers mentioned in this guide, then try to apply for InterGiro.
Their pricing is really fair for the service they are providing. The prices range from 9 EUR to 49 EUR per month for a business account.
Cheap UK business bank account in 2022
There are many options when it comes to cheap business bank accounts for UK companies. If you do not need a local branch for customer service, then you can even find some free ones (or cheaper than the average price).
Some cheap options are:
- Tide (free account opening, 0 GBP monthly fee)
- Revolut (free account opening, 0 GBP monthly fee)
- Wise (45 GBP account opening, 0 GBP monthly fee)
- InterGiro (free account opening, 9 EUR monthly fee)
As you can see some of the banks require you to pay a monthly fee or a fee for opening the account. Luckily, there are multiple free options that you can use for your UK company.
It is completely possible to start out with the free options and then move on to the paid options when they become relevant for your business. You can also open multiple accounts if that helps you to do your business more effectively.
Free UK business bank account in 2022
As you have seen, it is possible to get a free UK business bank account. Some banks or providers are happy to open these accounts for free and hope that you will become a paying customer in the future. Nothing is really free, but if you keep under the account limits, you will not pay anything. Of course, you will have to pay for some things, as only the account itself is free and not all the services. The prices depend on what you are doing, and what bank you have.
Can I use my personal bank account instead?
Some company types must have their own business bank account. However, there are usually exceptions to this rule or law. For example, in the UK, sole traders do not need to have a business bank account (it is not required by law), but it is certainly a good idea – specially when you can get one for free.
Limited companies must have a business bank account as they are seperate legal entitites.
Your bank might also prohibit business transactions on a personal account, even if it is not prohibited by law.
Why do you need a bank account for your company?
In general, we can think of 3 major reasons:
- It is required by law
- It is beneficial to split your acitivites into business and personal accounts
- Your bank might be against you using a personal account for business transactions
What are the disadvantages of a non-UK bank account?
Some of the services mentioned in this guide are not necessaily from the UK. Therefore, there might be some limitations. In general, if you are only sending and receiving money, then there should not be any major disadvantages.
One disadvantage could be the fact that you in some cases get a non-UK IBAN number. This might raise some suspicion. However, most of these providers will give you an IBAN number with the GB prefix.
As UK companies can pay corporate that and presumably also VAT in many ways, it should not be a problem having a non-UK bank account for these payments. Source: Pay your Corporation Tax bill.
Why do business accounts cost money?
Sometimes you have to pay for a business account. In the UK, many companies do not have to pay for their business bank account – in the rest of Europe, it is not this way. Banks have expenses and these expenses must be covered by someone. This “someone” is usually companies, because they can deduct these expenses – private persons cannot.
What is the price of a UK company bank account?
There are several providers servicing the UK market. Pricing wise these are usually ranging from 0 GBP to 100 GBP per month depending on the plan or package you are opting for.