Nutty

The best sole trader bank accounts (2024)

Edward Savage
Personal Finance Editor
Updated
May 19, 2024

In a nutshell

The best business account for sole traders is Revolut. It’s easy to use, and has a great range of features to help you manage your business finances – including receiving payments from customers via text message and email. It’s free to open an account too, so you can try it out first.

Running your business as a sole trader? Perhaps just starting out? Exciting times. You’ll want to keep your finances in order with a separate bank account, it avoids a lot of issues when it comes to things like reporting and tax.

The best option is to open a business account, not only will your business transactions be separate, but they can also have tools and features to save you time, and grow your business.

We’ll cover that all in more detail, but for now, here’s the best business accounts for sole traders:

Best business accounts for sole traders

Best account for sole traders

Revolut is our top pick for a business bank account – it’s low cost, easy to use, and is packed full of features.

Visit Revolut¹Visit Revolut¹
Offer icon

Try a paid plan free (1 month)

Trophy icon
Best overall
Revolut rated 5 stars

Revolut

Revolut is a modern business account designed to suit modern day businesses – unlike traditional banks that run on slow and outdated systems and processes.

Revolut have thought of everything, and the app is packed out with many helpful tools and features to help grow your business. And easy to use.

It’s pretty much perfect for every size of business, from a freelancer to large enterprises.

Learn more

Dropdown arrow icon

It’s also great for international businesses, and receiving payments in different currencies, such as customers based in Europe, paying in Euros. You can hold over 25 different currencies inside your Revolut business account – you can swap one currency for another in a couple of clicks, for a low exchange rate too!

You can also receive payments from customers in-person without needing a card machine, and online without needing other software, and even via text messages.

And, there’s loads of extra features you wouldn’t expect from other accounts, such as payroll and invoicing features, and team expense management.

It’s got pretty much everything you need, and more. Highly recommended.

Note: it’s not technically a bank, it’s an e-money account. Your money is still just as safe and secure.

Overall cost: low
Account cost:
free to £100 per month
Bank transfer cost:
free up to a limit
ATM withdrawal cost: free up to a limit
Multiple currencies:
25+
Debit card:
yes
Cash deposits:
no
Accounting integrations:
yes
Save or invest cash:
yes (and crypto)

Offer icon

Get £50 when you open an account

Trophy icon
Pay as you go
Tide Bank rated 5 stars

Tide Bank

Tide is a popular bank account in the UK, with over 500,000 customers. 

It’s a bit more basic than the other business bank accounts, but you can start with a free account and pay fees as you use it (e.g. payment per transaction).

The app itself is easy to use and has useful tools to create invoices and manage expenses.

Learn more

Dropdown arrow icon

However, you can’t use multiple currencies.

Tide will also help set up your new business and register your limited company if you sign up with them, and need help with the admin side. They can also help you get a business loan.

Overall cost: low
Account cost:
free to £49.99 (plus VAT) per month
Bank transfer cost:
20p per transfer (free on paid plans)
ATM withdrawal cost:
£1
Multiple currencies:
no
Debit card:
yes
Cash deposits:
yes (£2.50 or up to 3%)
Accounting integrations:
yes
Save or invest cash:
no

Offer icon
Trophy icon
Pay as you go
Anna Money rated 4 stars

Anna Money

ANNA is a business account with a few extras. If you’ve got a simple business, this might be the only account you’ll need to manage everything.

You’ll get tools to manage your business finances, such as creating and sending invoices (and they’ll send chasers automatically too), expense tracking and sorting your tax.

Learn more

Dropdown arrow icon

Love it, or hate it, the card even makes a Meow sound when you use it. Yes really!

Overall cost: low
Account cost:
free to £49.90 (plus VAT) per month
Bank transfer cost:
20p (free on paid plans)
ATM withdrawal cost:
£1 (free on paid plans)
Multiple currencies:
no
Debit card:
yes
Cash deposits:
no
Accounting integrations:
yes
Save or invest cash:
no

Best account for sole traders

Revolut is our top pick for a business bank account – it’s low cost, easy to use, and is packed full of features.

Visit Revolut¹Visit Revolut¹
Offer icon
Trophy icon
Free to open
Starling Bank rated 4 stars

Starling Bank

Starling is a popular option for lots of businesses. It’s a modern version of a traditional bank account – e.g. there’s a great app to use, and it links with accounting software.

It’s free to open an account and free to make payments, however for almost every other feature, such as creating invoices, you’ll need to open a paid plan (starting from £7 per month).

Learn more

Dropdown arrow icon

You can also open a Euros account (£2 per month), and a US Dollars account (£5 per month).

Although they don’t accept all businesses. So you might find it hard to open an account, depending on the type of your business.

Overall cost: medium
Account cost:
free, or £7 per month
Bank transfer cost:
free
ATM withdrawal cost:
free (£300 per day limit)
Multiple currencies:
Euros and Dollars (extra fees)
Debit card:
yes
Cash deposits:
yes (£3 fee or 0.30%)
Accounting integrations:
yes
Save or invest cash:
no

Offer icon
Trophy icon
Free to open
Monzo rated 4 stars

Monzo

Monzo is becoming a popular bank in the UK, it’s a modern business bank account with an app that's easy to use.

You can open a free account where you can send and receive money for free, but for almost all of the other features, such as invoicing, and integrating (linking) with accounting software, you’ll need a paid plan (£5 per month).

Learn more

Dropdown arrow icon

Overall cost: medium
Account cost:
free or £5 per month
Bank transfer cost:
free
ATM withdrawal cost:
free up to a limit (£200 per month)
Multiple currencies:
no (can receive Euros)
Debit card:
yes
Cash deposits:
yes (£1 fee)
Accounting integrations:
yes
Save or invest cash:
yes

Best account for sole traders

Revolut is our top pick for a business bank account – it’s low cost, easy to use, and is packed full of features.

Visit Revolut¹Visit Revolut¹

Best business account for international payments

Offer icon
Trophy icon
Multiple currencies
Wise rated 5 stars

Wise

Wise business is the best option for multiple currencies. Send and receive money in over 40 different currencies, including Euros and US Dollars, all for a low cost (it’s the cheapest option).

You can even store multiple currencies in one account, meaning you don't have to keep swapping currencies and paying exchange fees.

Another great feature, is being able to save and invest your business money, so instead of your money sitting in your account doing nothing, you can invest it to grow more over time (with the help of experts) – adding a whole new revenue stream to your business – and still allowing you to spend it whenever you need to.

Learn more

Dropdown arrow icon

Overall cost: low
Account cost:
£45 set up fee
Bank transfer cost:
From 0.43% to send. Free to receive
ATM withdrawal cost:
free up to a limit (£200)
Multiple currencies:
40+
Debit card:
yes
Cash deposits:
no
Accounting integrations:
yes
Save or invest cash:
yes

Best account for sole traders

Revolut is our top pick for a business bank account – it’s low cost, easy to use, and is packed full of features.

Visit Revolut¹Visit Revolut¹

Our criteria for determining the best business account for sole traders

For sole traders, there’s lots of bank account options, as you can actually use your personal bank account, or a business account. Although you’ll likely run into lots of issues if you use your personal bank account, with lots of personal and business transactions going through it at the same time.

So, it’s sensible to use a business account – they can be low cost, and you’ll be able to use lots of business account features to save yourself time, so you can focus on growing your business, rather than handling lots of boring admin.

With that in mind, we’ve looked at modern business account options, these are online, where you can manage everything either from a phone app, or website. They’re easy to use, almost always lower cost than traditional banks, and have great features to manage your business finances.

The best sole trader bank accounts

The criteria we’ve used to find determine the best business bank accounts are:

  • Ease of use
  • Fees
  • Helpful features
  • Customer service

Our recommendations above are all ones we recommend to our friends and family (those who are sole traders), and we also use some of the business accounts here at Nuts About Money.

So, you can be sure, whichever one of our recommendations you use, you’ll be using one of the best options out there for sole traders, and businesses in general.

What’s the best business account for startups?

Running a startup as a sole trader can be really exciting. It can also be stressful too – and very time consuming. So, getting a business account to save time and admin can be a real lifesaver.

Business accounts can handle things like invoicing, and expense management, and have budgeting tools too. Plus, loads more features such as accounting integrations. As a startup, you’ll likely want everything all in one place.

The best business account for startups is Revolut¹. It’s got everything you need to run your business (money wise), and great tools to help grow your business too. You can even receive payments directly from customers in-person, over text message, or email. It’s free to open an account too.

Revolut – Best business accounts

What’s the best business account for small businesses?

If you’re running a small business as a sole trader (or even a limited company), your best options are pretty similar – a business account with all the features and tools to save you time, giving you more time to build your business. That’s tools such as invoices and expense management, and integrating with accounting software.

Limited company

The best small business bank account is Revolut¹. It’s easy to use, and has all the features you need to manage your business finances. There’s a free plan with no monthly fees too, so there's no harm checking it out.

If you’re depositing cash, check out Tide¹, it’s a bit more basic, but there’s no monthly fees.

Tide – Business account

What is the best free business account?

Saving money running a business, especially as a sole trader, can have a big impact on its future – and using a free business account can help.

Although, there’s no such thing as completely free when it comes to business banking. You’ll still have fees somewhere, whether that’s making transactions (sending and receiving money), or depositing or taking out cash from an ATM, or using features such as integrating with accounting software (more on that later).

With most of our recommendations above, you can start with a free plan, and upgrade as and when you need. Overall, we recommend Revolut¹, it's got great features to save time to help grow your business, such as invoicing and expense management. And, transactions are free (up to a limit each month).

Revolut sole trader banking app

If you don’t want all the bells and whistles, and just the basics, but still with some great tools, such as invoicing, check out Tide¹, there’s a free account, but you’ll have to pay 20p per transaction (so if you make lots of transactions, probably give this one a miss).

Tide app – Expenses

What is a business bank account?

A business bank account is just like a bank account you’ve probably got yourself, called a personal bank account, except it’s for your business.

Business bank account

You can use it to separate all of your business finances from your own money, which is especially important if you’re running a limited company (registered the company with the Government), but even as a sole trader, it’s pretty important too – ideally, you wouldn’t want your business transactions to get confused with your personal transactions, and vise versa, it could cause a lot of issues when it comes to financial reports and paying the right amount of tax.

It's almost exactly the same as your personal account, you can send and receive payments, and set up regular payments (such as direct debits). You’ll also be able to get a debit card for yourself, and any of your team later down the line.

ANNA – sole trader app

Alongside that, you’ll also get features and tools to help you save time and grow your business (if you use a modern business account, such as the ones we recommend above). You’ll be able to produce invoices for customers, manage expenses and even things like link with accounting software, to build financial statements (such as a profit and loss account (how much your business makes each year)).

What is accounting software?

Accounting software can be a bit of a lifesaver for sole traders, and well, every business. You can manage your finances yourself, with financial reports all put together automatically, by linking with your business account. 

You’ll be able to produce profit and loss statements (how much your business has made), and a balance sheet (the value of the assets (things) in your business). Plus, lots more other reports – you can even build your own ones to provide an insight into different areas of your business.

Integrating with accounting software

Accounting software can even help with ‘payroll’, if you have staff later down the line (paying staff), and will connect to HMRC directly to file all the documents you need.

It’s pretty great, and a good idea when running a business. One of the best accounting software options is Xero.

Xero accounting software

How to open a business account

Long gone are the days where business accounts can take weeks to open. If you use a modern business account (such as our recommendations), you can open an account in a few minutes, and be up and running in no time at all, with everything running on a phone app (or website).

Once you’ve decided which account is the right one for you, sign up, and fill out a few details about yourself and your business. You’ll have to prove your identity too. All done online. And that’s it. Pretty simple right?

How to open a business bank account

Are business bank accounts safe?

Using a business account is very safe. All business account providers are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They’re the people who make sure financial firms are looking after you and your money (and business’s money).

Business account providers are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

When it comes to business accounts, some are from banks, and some can be from e-money providers. They’re not technically a bank, but effectively a business account is the same, just everything runs online (normally via a phone app).

With banks, you’ll be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). That’s where you are protected by up to £85,000 in compensation should the bank go out of business.

With banks, you’ll be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

With e-money account providers, you don’t have this. However your money is still safe and secure. Instead, it’s held separate from the e-money account provider’s money, in a completely separate bank account with a large international bank, such as Natwest, all in your business’s name, and can only be returned to your business (or you). If the e-money provider were to go out of business, your money would still exist and be returned to you. This is called safeguarding.

E-money business bank account

Let’s recap

We hope that’s made business bank accounts easier to understand if you’re a sole trader. And you’re able to make the right decision about picking a great bank account for your business.

Sole trader

It’s a good idea to first decide what features you might want from a business account, and then find an account to suit you. Do you think you’d need just the basics? Or maybe multiple currencies, such as Euros from customers abroad, or features to help you manage your budget, create invoices, or even accept payments directly from customers via text messages, emails or in person.

If you want the full works, including multiple currencies, and for no monthly fee, check out Revolut¹. They’ve got everything you need (and more), plus it’s super easy to use.

If you’re just looking for an account for international payments, check out Wise Business¹. It’s the cheapest account for foreign currencies, and there’s a huge range of  currencies. You can also save and invest your business money too (generating more income).

Currency conversion

If you’re just looking for the basics, check out Tide¹, Starling and Monzo. You can open a free account and send and receive money. You’ll need to upgrade for more features.

And that’s it for the best sole trader bank account. All that’s left is to grow your business with all the time saved! All the best.

Fact checked icon
This article has been fact checked.

This article was written, reviewed and fact checked by the expert team at Nuts About Money. You’re in safe hands. Learn more.

Best account for sole traders

Revolut is our top pick for a business bank account – it’s low cost, easy to use, and is packed full of features.

Visit Revolut¹Visit Revolut¹

Get news, tips and deals straight to your inbox

Sign up

Related articles