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How to choose the best business current account

Every business can benefit from having a suitable business bank account. One of the most popular incentives offered by providers is an initial fee-free period, which can be especially enticing for start-ups.

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Santander Logo
Santander 123 Business Current Account
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
5.75%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.10%
Account Fee
£5.00 pm for 12 Months then £12.50 pm
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
Go To Provider's Site
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £0
Available To
Accountants
Businesses
Co-operatives
Estate Agents
Schools/Colleges
Scottish Solicitors
Social Enterprises
Solicitors
Trust Fund

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£500.00 - £25000.00
5.75% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.10%
0.10%

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
25.75% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Benefits

Account start-up incentive
Account switching incentive (other than cash)
Adviser offering financial services
Cashback on operating account
Loans - preferential terms
Savings - preferential terms
Bank of China (UK) Logo
Bank of China (UK) Business Account
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
£5.00 pm
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Not Available By Telephone Available Online Not Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £0
Available To
Businesses
Charities
Clubs
Embassies
Schools/Colleges

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
Negotiable
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£5000.00+
0.00%
0.00%

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
11.04% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Benefits

Adviser offering financial services
Bank of Scotland Logo
Bank of Scotland Business Banking Clients' Call Account
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.05%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Not Available By Mail Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £3000000
Available To
Accountants
Client Monies
Estate Agents
Financial Intermediaries
Scottish Solicitors
Solicitors

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£1.00 - £99999.99
0.05%
0.05%
£100000.00 - £5000000.00
0.10%
0.10%

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
25.59% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer £50.00

Benefits

Barclays Bank Logo
Barclays Bank Business Current Account - Mixed Payments Plan
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
£6.00 pm
Account Management
Available At Branch Not Available By Mail Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £5000000
Available To
Accountants
Associations
AVC Trustees
Businesses
Charities
Clubs
Co-operatives
Embassies
Estate Agents
Executors
Friendly Societies
Pension Fund Managers
Schools/Colleges
Scottish Solicitors
SIPP Trustees/Administrators
Social Enterprises
Solicitors
Trade Unions
Trust Fund

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£1000.00 - £5000.00
13.56% EAR
£5001.00 - £10000.00
12.25% EAR
£10001.00 - £15000.00
12.05% EAR
£15001.00 - £25000.00
10.03% EAR
£25001.00 +
Negotiable
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
33.83% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer £30.00

Benefits

Account start-up incentive
Adviser offering financial services
Loyalty Bonus to account holders
Satisfaction guarantee
Barclays Bank Logo
Barclays Bank Business Current Account - e-Payments Plan
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
£6.50 pm
Account Management
Available At Branch Not Available By Mail Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £5000000
Available To
Accountants
Associations
AVC Trustees
Businesses
Charities
Clubs
Co-operatives
Embassies
Estate Agents
Executors
Friendly Societies
Pension Fund Managers
Schools/Colleges
Scottish Solicitors
SIPP Trustees/Administrators
Social Enterprises
Solicitors
Trade Unions
Trust Fund

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£1000.00 - £5000.00
13.56% EAR
£5001.00 - £10000.00
12.25% EAR
£10001.00 - £15000.00
12.05% EAR
£15001.00 - £25000.00
10.03% EAR
£25001.00 +
Negotiable
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01+
0.00%
0.00%

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
33.83% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer £30.00

Benefits

Account start-up incentive
Adviser offering financial services
Loyalty Bonus to account holders
Satisfaction guarantee
Barclays Bank Logo
Barclays Bank Clients Premium Account
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.20%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Not Available By Mail Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £0
Available To
Accountants
Client Monies
Client Monies - Designated
Estate Agents
Executors
Financial Intermediaries
Scottish Solicitors
Solicitors
Trust Fund

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£1.00 - £99999.99
0.20%
0.20%
£100000.00 - £999999.99
0.30%
0.30%
£1000000.00+
0.40%
0.40%

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available

Benefits

Cater Allen Private Bank Logo
Cater Allen Private Bank Reserve Account
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Not Available At Branch Available By Mail Available By Telephone Available Online Not Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £0
Available To
Accountants
Associations
Businesses
Churches
Clubs
Co-operatives
Embassies
Estate Agents
Executors
Financial Intermediaries
Friendly Societies
Schools/Colleges
Scottish Solicitors
Social Enterprises
Solicitors
Trade Unions

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£0.01 - £99999.99
0.00%
0.00%
£100000.00 - £499999.99
0.10%
0.10%
£500000.00+
0.15%
0.15%

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
25.00% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Benefits

Clydesdale Bank Logo
Clydesdale Bank Professional Firms Client Account - General Clients Monies
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
£6.50 pm
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £0
Available To
Client Monies

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
32.62% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Benefits

Adviser offering financial services
Clydesdale Bank Logo
Clydesdale Bank Professional Firms Client Account - Designated Clients Funds
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
N/A
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £0
Available To
Client Monies - Designated

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
32.62% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Benefits

Adviser offering financial services
Cynergy Bank Logo
Cynergy Bank Business Current Account
Overdraft Rate (EAR)
0.00%
Interest Rate (AER)
0.00%
Account Fee
£15.00 pq
Account Management
Available At Branch Available By Mail Not Available By Telephone Available Online Available By Mobile
Incentives
Account opening incentive
Start up incentive
Switcher incentive
General Account Details
Arranged Overdraft
Credit Interest Rates
Unarranged Overdraft
Benefits

General Account Details

Min Turnover £0
Max Turnover £0
Available To
Accountants
Associations
AVC Trustees
Businesses
Charities
Clubs
Co-operatives
Embassies
Estate Agents
Executors
Financial Intermediaries
Friendly Societies
Pension Fund Managers
Schools/Colleges
Scottish Solicitors
SIPP Trustees/Administrators
Social Enterprises
Solicitors
Trade Unions
Trust Fund

Arranged Overdraft

Arranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
Negotiable
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Credit Interest Rates

Balance
Gross Rate %
AER %
£10.00+
0.00%
0.00%

Unarranged Overdraft

Unarranged Overdraft Available
Overdraft Rate
£0.01 +
25.95% EAR
Usage Fee N/A
Fee Free Overdraft Buffer N/A

Benefits

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Choosing a business current account guide

nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Published: 07/03/2019

At a glance

  • There are several different types of business bank account you can open. Consider which account best suits your individual circumstances before signing up.
  • A business account is not necessary for all types of business – sole traders could well manage with just using their existing bank account.
  • Nearly all business bank accounts will come with fees – both a monthly standard charge as well as additional costs for things like depositing cheques or cash.

Looking for a bank account to help grow your business? We’ll explain what to look for in a business account, as well as some of the benefits and drawbacks to be aware of.

How to choose a business current account

Every business can benefit from having a suitable business bank account, but it can be difficult to know which one is best for your situation. While we have an in-depth guide on how to choose the best business bank account, here we’ll suggest a few key considerations to help you decipher the best options for you. Note that while certain businesses such as sole traders would be able to use their personal current account for business transactions (unless you have large volumes of money flowing in and out, which your provider might not appreciate), this could make filing your business taxes much more complicated. Indeed, anyone who runs a business can benefit from working with a provider who understands what is required, with many offering services to help business customers make the most of their finances.

The main consideration when choosing an account, as with all financial products, will be cost. If you’ve already done a little research, you will have noticed that business banking providers tend to charge monthly fees. One of the most popular incentives offered by providers is an initial fee-free period, which can be especially enticing for start-ups.

Remember, however, that costs go beyond account fees. There are the costs of overdrafts and transfers to consider, as well as the amount of interest you can get (if any) by banking with a certain provider. And, if you are in a business that frequently deals with cash or cheques, you’ll want a provider with physical branches nearby so you don’t lose too much in time and fuel costs. If you’re a digital-oriented business on the other hand, you’ll want to know the provider offers a comprehensive online banking service.

Eligibility

Before you get too excited about selecting your business bank, you’ll want to make sure you are eligible. While providers will have different criteria, eligibility will generally depend on what kind of company you are (charities will often require a different type of account), your maximum annual turnover and the owners’ UK residency status, among other factors.

Given these varying eligibility criteria, it’s important to compare business bank accounts to find the one that is both suitable and open to your business. For instance, some accounts are specifically for start-ups, while if you’re a smaller business, you may want to look for a small business bank account provider who understands your specific needs.

What do I need to open a business bank account?

Depending on what provider you choose, there will likely be different opening requirements, but generally, when you open a business current account, consider the following documentation:

  • You’ll need to provide personal ID, usually one form of address ID such as a utility bill, and one piece of identification that proves you are who you say you are such as a passport or driving licence.
  • Depending on your business structure you may need to provide a partnership agreement, certificate of incorporation, trust deed or constitution (for clubs, charities, etc.).
  • If you’re a new start-up you’ll have to show your business plans and cashflow forecasts, and you may also have to show your personal bank statements for a set period. Businesses already running will have to provide two or three years’ audited accounts.
  • If you’re an existing business switching over, you’ll likely need to show bank statements from your existing business current account.

Assuming you’ve brought all the required documentation, opening a business account shouldn’t take much longer than a personal current account. Likewise, switching to a better business bank account should be pretty straightforward. Small businesses, charities and trusts can use the Current Account Switching Service, which guarantees accounts can be switched in seven days. Once the new provider approves your application, they should take care of the rest, and if they are part of the Current Account Switch Guarantee your new account should be ready to go in seven working days.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • They come with features that personal bank accounts do not have, such as the option for employees to have a company debit card, special overdrafts and the ability to receive customers’ payments via debit or credit card.
  • It is much easier than using your personal account for tax return purposes (if that is an option).
  • You should be able to pay in much more compared to a personal account, though keep an eye on the maximum allowed turnover, and the provider should be able to manage a much larger volume of money flowing in and out of the account.
  • Providers should be knowledgeable about how businesses work and therefore able to help with much more than the basics.
  • While some free business bank accounts are available, most will come with an annual or monthly fee.
  • Beware that some business accounts charge high fees for overdrafts and other usages.
  • Not many offer a decent rate of interest on the money you keep in the account.

Moneyfacts tip

Moneyfacts tip nigel woollsey

Once the introductory fee-free banking period has ended, you might want to consider switching to a different deal, depending on the provider’s charges.

What next?

If you’re still not sure what account to choose, why not have a look at our business banking guide.

Looking for a business savings account instead? We can help you compare the best savings accounts and the best fixed rate bonds for businesses, as well as charity and club savings accounts and client accounts.

man looking at laptop and holding phone

At a glance

  • There are several different types of business bank account you can open. Consider which account best suits your individual circumstances before signing up.
  • A business account is not necessary for all types of business – sole traders could well manage with just using their existing bank account.
  • Nearly all business bank accounts will come with fees – both a monthly standard charge as well as additional costs for things like depositing cheques or cash.

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