Best business bank accounts: What to consider

6 minute read

When you start researching business accounts, you’ll quickly find that there are a lot of different options to choose from - with many different providers offering business accounts with unique rates, fees, features, and functionality.

In addition to the big high street banks, modern businesses can also consider mobile banks and even other payment platforms and providers when searching for the best business bank accounts. One example is TransferWise, which offers business accounts that allow you to send, receive and spend multiple currencies. More on that later.

With so many options available, it's vital to do your research and compare business account if you want to find the best option for you. This article will look at the things to consider to get you started on your research, to help you find the best business account for you.

Which business account?

Which business account is right for you? Well, ultimately, there's no easy answer to that question. The right account for your business will depend on a lot of different things, and it's a decision that needs to be considered carefully, examining all of the options, evaluating the services you need, and making an informed decision based on multiple factors. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at some of the main high street banks you might consider for your business account:

  • HSBC - HSBC offers Start Up Business, Large Business, and Foreign Currency accounts.
  • Barclays - The three main types of business account from Barclays are the Start-up, Established, and Community.
  • Lloyds - Lloyds offers different business accounts based on the amount of turnover your company has.
  • Natwest - Natwest has many different types of business accounts including Start Up, Commercial, and Community.
  • Metrobank - Metrobank offers a simple selection of two business accounts: one for small businesses and the other for big ones.
  • RBS - The Royal Bank of Scotland follows the same structure as many other high street banks by providing Startup, Business, Community, and Commercial accounts.
  • Nationwide - Nationwide offers three account types for businesses: instant access accounts, notice accounts, and fixed term accounts.
  • Ulster Bank - Ulster Bank provides standard Business bank accounts, as well as accounts for start-ups and charities or groups, plus the option of a Foreign Currency account.
  • Halifax - Halifax doesn't actually provide any business banking services, but offers business accounts through its partners, Lloyds and Bank of Scotland.
  • Clydesdale - Clydesdale also provides a range of different business accounts to suit both small businesses and larger companies too.

*This list includes some examples of UK highstreet banks, and is not a full list of highstreet banks. The banks included on the list are not noted as they of higher ranking or notoriety than those not listed - they are intended to be indicative only. This list is in no particular order, and the order does not denote any ranking. Before choosing a business account, users should conduct their own research.

Get a free business account to receive money for free in multiple currencies with the real exchange rate

UK highstreet business bank accounts are not the only option out there, with many competitor providers offering alternative account options. Consider, for example the Transferwise for Business account.

International payments are cheaper with their free multi-currency account. You can pay invoices, buy inventory, and handle payroll with the real exchange rate in over 40 currencies — for 19x cheaper than PayPal. You can also receive money with zero fees. You’ll get your own local account details for the UK, Eurozone, Australia, New Zealand and the US. All for free in just a few minutes.

You’ll get access to great features such as batch payments, ability to automate payments with TransferWise API, and benefit from TransferWise’s integration with Xero.

The TransferWise multi-currency account is 8x cheaper than leading UK banks, - so why not check it out. It’s free to sign-up and is available for business, from freelancers, entrepreneurs, and sole traders to large or enterprise level businesses. Do business without borders today!

Open a free account in minutes and save with TransferWise!

Choosing a business bank account: Things to consider

When you're searching for the best business bank account, it's important to consider all of the factors to decide how relevant they are to the needs of your business. This will help you determine which account can provide you with the best service and value.

Here are some important things to consider, to get you started:

International Fees

It's becoming increasingly important for modern businesses to conduct their activities on an international level. Whether you're selling goods and services to customers in other countries or paying international supplies to meet the demands of your business, finding the best international bank account can be a key factor in contributing to the overall success of your company.

Despite the fact that business is becoming so international, a lot of banks don’t offer the best value service in this area. Many for example, will add a mark-up to the exchange rate so that you won’t get the rate that you would see on Google. You should always compare providers to make sure that you are not losing out on the exchange rate.

TransferWise only ever uses the real exchange rate for international transfers, so that you don’t have to pay more than you should.

Multi-currency account

Carrying on from the point above, as international business becomes increasingly relevant in the modern world, having a multi-currency account can offer a lot of key advantages to your business. These kinds of accounts make it easy to send and receive money from around the world, as well as holding money in different currencies too.

Providers like as TransferWise offer such multi-currency accounts. As the name implies, account holders can send and spend money in multiple currencies, around the world. Holders can also receive money from around the world for free in 5 currencies.

Mastercard debit card

Most modern business accounts will come with a debit card, but when you're doing business in other countries and travelling around, it's important to consider the costs of using that card abroad. Some cardholders will have to pay for every ATM withdrawal or purchase. The TransferWise debit Mastercard offers low conversion fees, no transaction fees, and free ATM withdrawals up to £200 every 30 days.

Easy Integrations

Managing a business is a complicated enough task already, without adding complex finances and confusing bank accounts into the equation. The best business bank accounts help to make your professional life easier, offering seamless services and easy integrations, letting you focus on the things that matter to your business, rather than wasting time figuring out complicated financial procedures. Again, the Transferwise for Business account offers seamless integrations with services like Xero, aimed to be as easy to use as possible.

Minimum balance

Some banks will actually have rules and limitations concerning the minimum balance in your account. It's vital to look at all the small print when analysing different business account options to see if there is a minimum balance you have to keep in the account at all times in order to keep it open. With TransferWise, there are no minimum balances to worry about.

Overall, there are clearly many different options and things to consider when trying to find the best business bank account. The right account for one business will be different to that of another, as each business has its own needs and ways of doing things. Those businesses that do a lot of work internationally, having to make payments and receive cash from other countries, can consider the free business banking services offered by TransferWise.

Sources used:

1.HSBC Business Banking
2.Barclays Business Banking
3.Lloyds Business Banking
4.Natwest Business Banking
5. MetroBank Business Banking
6.RBS Business Banking
7.Nationwide Business Banking
8.Ulster Bank Business Banking
9.Halifax Business Banking
10.Clyesdale Business Banking

Sources checked on 23-August 2019.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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