What Startups Should Look for in a Business Current Account
Before committing to a bank account, it’s essential to conduct thorough research, peruse reviews, and select a reputable and trustworthy company that can aid in the expansion of your business. Don’t rush into signing on the dotted line; instead, take your time to make a well-informed decision.
Five things you might look for when choosing a bank account as a startup business are:
Fees –When searching for a business bank account, it’s crucial to take into account the varying monthly fees charged, which can differ significantly. Additionally, many accounts may charge fees for specific services such as ATM withdrawals, deposits, cash advances, and foreign currency services. To select the best account for your startup, it’s important to assess which of these services your business will use the most and search for an account that provides the most competitive deal.
Look for introductory offers –Numerous banks provide introductory offers that include free banking for a period, ranging from three months to a year. For new businesses that are just starting out, this initial period can be incredibly beneficial in helping them establish their operations without incurring additional expenses.
Customer Services –When choosing a business bank account, it’s crucial to evaluate the quality of customer service provided. This includes determining if the bank has a call center or if all inquiries are routed through live chat within the app. It’s also important to consider the opening hours of the support center and review feedback on the quality of assistance received from other users.
Particular Requirements –As each startup has unique requirements, it’s essential to identify what your business needs to get off the ground successfully. For example, if an overdraft is required, it’s important to search for an account that offers this service. Additionally, consider if the account is compatible with accounting software, in-app invoicing, foreign currency services, and other services that your business may require to operate efficiently.
Protection – Having your money protected is reassuring for any business. And for UK-authorised banks, the FCSC automatically compensate each eligible company depositor up to £85,000. But be warned, many business accounts operate under electronic or e-money licences instead and hence don’t qualify.
9 Useful Startup Business Bank Account Features
- Well-designed mobile APP
- good integration with your accounting software
- invoice tracking
- phone notifications
- 24/7 Customer Service
- expenses management
- no monthly fee or period
- Reporting features
6 Best Banks for Startups in 2023
Tide has rapidly gained popularity, boasting a 7% market share, with more than 100,000 bank accounts added in 2021 alone. The Tide Business Account offers a range of features including free banking, accounting software integrations, and the ability to register a limited company for free with new startup accounts. Additionally, their accounts are regulated by the FCA and are protected by FSCS. Tide prioritizes fast account setup, and their customer service has received high praise, reflected in their impressive 4.2-star rating on Trust pilot.
Starling Business Account
Starling Bank has captured 3% of the retail market share and 7% of SME lending, making it a top player in the banking industry. The bank has been voted as the leading business current account provider in a comprehensive survey conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The Starling Business Account is loaded with advantageous features such as free monthly accounts, 24/7 customer service, no foreign transaction fees, and the convenience of depositing cash and cheques through the Post Office. Starling is well-regarded online, with a stellar average rating of 4.4 stars from 31,000 Trustpilot reviews.
Anna is an efficient and easy-to-use mobile banking solution specifically designed for small businesses and freelancers. Its key features include a quick and hassle-free account setup process, a globally accepted Mastercard, round-the-clock customer service, and free UK transfers and ATM withdrawals with select plans. Anna also integrates seamlessly with popular accounting software and provides useful tax return reminders through its mobile app.
HSBC’s Kinetic account is the bank’s entry to the APP-first digital account market and as such, comes with a streamlined APP, free banking for 12 months, accounting integrations with QuickBooks, Sage and, Xero and FSCS Protection. The account requires a soft credit check which won’t impact your credit score and allows for overdraft facilities, an HSBC Credit Card, and a savings account. HSBC’s online reviews let it down with a 1.4 aveage star rating out of 6,500 ratings. It ranked in the bottom three for business account customer service in a recent (August 2022) survey carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Mettle is a no-fee, no-hidden-cost philosophy bank account that caters to new businesses. It offers a hassle-free account setup, multiple accounting software integrations, and no credit checks. However, the account is limited in terms of cheque payments and HSBC branch usage. Furthermore, it lacks FSCS protection and options for overdrafts, credit cards, and international payments. The account has a maximum balance of £100,000 for limited companies and £50,000 for sole traders. Nonetheless, the emphasis on ‘no fees’ makes it an attractive option for those who can work within its limitations. Mettle has received glowing reviews, with a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot based on 1800 reviews.
NatWest Business provides a comprehensive range of banking services, including access to its 960 branches, a dedicated account manager, and traditional features such as overdrafts, credit cards, loans, and savings accounts. However, its customer satisfaction ratings are not as high as some competitors. According to Trustpilot, NatWest Business has an average rating of 1.4 stars out of 5, indicating poor service quality.