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Written by
Katy Ratican
15 Nov 2021
4 minutes

Compare business bank accounts for startups

A comparison of business bank accounts that are designed specifically for startups
Compare startup bank accounts

Startup bank accounts will be one of the first things you have to consider when launching your business. Choosing the right account is crucial for the financial health of your startup.

But it can get confusing since there are several startup bank accounts. To make it easy for you, here’s a comparison of all popular and top-rated business bank accounts for startups.

What to consider when looking for startup bank accounts

In case you’re wondering whether you need a small business account, the answer is yes. It will let you streamline your finances, ensure that your business is financially healthy, and enable you to file and pay taxes on time. So, what should you look for in a business bank account?

Ease of opening: It should be easy to open an account without the need for tedious paperwork.

Payments: You should be able to quickly pay and automate recurring payments with your startup bank account.

Features: Your account should have enhanced features such as integrated accounting and direct invoicing that will save you time and effort.

Fees: You should see whether they have a free banking period and beyond that, you should only have to pay for the services that you need.

Customer support: In case of a query, you should be able to easily get in touch with customer support, ideally based in the UK.

Access: Depending on your preference, you can choose between digital-native (transactions only through the app) banks and those that have physical branches.

The best startup bank accounts in the UK


With Starling, you can open an account in minutes without the need for any paperwork. But what should interest the self-employed and startups is that there are no monthly fees. You only have to pay for the transactions.

You can manage your account through the app and get customer support based in the UK. You’ll also be able to make deposits through Post Offices and get insights into your startup’s financial health.


If you want a startup bank account from a legacy bank, you can always consider Barclays. If you have no background in finance, the bank has business managers based in the UK who will guide you through everything from cash flow to planning and strategy.

While the first 12 months are free for startups and small businesses, you’ll have to pay per transaction from then on.


Another traditional bank with specialised offerings for startups is NatWest. If your startup has been trading for less than a year and if your projected annual turnover doesn’t exceed £1 million, you qualify for this account.

NatWest doesn’t charge startups any transaction fee for the first 18 months. The bank also offers insurance, business credit cards and loans, along with the accounting software, FreeAgent.

HSBC Kinetic

Like other legacy banks, HSBC has a business account aimed at sole traders and startups. The application process will only take a few minutes through the app.

You’ll easily be able to manage future payments, standing orders and direct debits and even have access to overdraft via the app. The bank doesn’t charge any maintenance fee for the first 12 months either.

Metro Bank

If your annual turnover is less than £2 million, Metro Bank has a specialised account for you. The biggest advantage is that you get a Local Business Manager who will offer you customised guidance for your startup.

You won’t have to pay any fees if you can manage a balance of £6000. The account also gives access to accounting software with digital receipt capture among other features.


If you’re looking for digital-only startup bank accounts in the UK, Tide should top your list. Like Starling, there are no monthly or annual fees. You’re only charged for your transactions.

You can also use your card at home and overseas for free. With exceptional user experience, if you’re a sole trader, freelancer or startup, this could be a great option for you.


Similar to Tide, Mettle too has a digital-native startup bank account. It’s free and enables you to easily send and receive payments within the UK. You can also make payments through Google Pay and Apple Pay.

You’ll also be able to generate and send invoices through the app. It also categorises all your business transactions, making it easy to file your taxes.

In short

Startups have different financial needs than established businesses. Therefore, it makes sense to choose from specialised startup bank accounts rather than general business accounts. No matter what category you operate in, one of these startup bank accounts should suit your needs.

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