When you start your own company for the first time, one of the first tasks will be to open a business bank account. You can do this shortly after you have formed your company.

I have a first timer’s guide to contracting in the UK which gives a full overview of what to consider when you start out. I would also recommend you choose a good accountant from the outset and have a read of my contractor tips.

Your company is a legal entity in its own right, and as such, you cannot use your personal bank account to do business banking.

Opening a business bank account for the first time   

When you open a business bank account for the first time, your company will need to be in place. Once it is, and you have the company documents, you can then apply for a new business account.

Firstly, if you choose the bank that you currently bank with on a personal basis, the process is likely to be much more straightforward. What’s more, it will be processed much quicker in most cases when you compare this to opening a business account with a bank that you have not banked with before.

Nowadays, you can also apply online, which may be easier than trying to make and attend an appointment at the bank.

Finally, most banks will, at the outset, offer the first twelve months free for business banking. Some now even offer twenty-four months free. Once your free period is up, there is normally a charge each month of around £6.

Are you looking to consider a change in your company bank?   

Interest rates are and have been low for several years now. It may be wise to check a site that can compare the latest deals site, such as When you make a comparison, it will allow you to see which banks offer the best deals at the current time in terms of free business banking and interest rates. When you have this info, you can consider opening a business bank account with one of the best providers.


A different choice to the traditional high street banks comes in the form of Tide –a rapidly growing business bank. Since the year of launch, 1 in 12 new accounts is now with Tide.

Important to note, there are no monthly or annual fees -this is free banking.

You can open an account within 5 minutes, and you will receive:

  • A UK business bank account number and sort code.  
  • Free contactless Mastercard.  
  • Mobile and internet banking.  
  • Tide is very online accounting friendly, and a plus point is that it works well with FreeAgent.  

Please note, Starling Bank are now a new top choice for UK small businesses and contractors.

Final thoughts

The above gives a good overview of business banking. If you are starting up for the first time, it is much easier to go with the bank that you bank with personally. However, you can use one of the sites that compare deals too to see where your bank stands here.

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on


Published On: March 24th, 2021 / Categories: First timer guide, Other Guides, Starting Up Your Own Company / Tags: /

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