Do I really need a business account?

I’m a sole trader, currently using my Monzo account for bank transfers from customers, and managing my money with pots. (I really like using Monzo BTW.)

Nobody accesses my account but me. I received an email explaining some chages, and it said I mustn’t use the current account for business purposes. Can anyone tell me why the need for change?

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I believe it’s always been like that. Monzo have a separate business specific account product for business use.

Welcome to the Community first of all! :wave:

Current accounts have always been for personal use, rather than business, but it hasn’t always been widely known among our customers. This email was sent so that everyone is better informed, and now that we’re able to offer more people business accounts it seemed like a good time for the update :briefcase:

If you’re receiving payments from customers, then it sounds like this is business use, so we’d definitely urge you to join the waitlist (if you haven’t done already!) - https://monzo.com/business/

If you’ve any specific questions, fire away, or drop the in-app support team a message :blush:

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It’s totally at the discretion of the bank. It seems that Monzo has changed its T&Cs sometime between contract terms v1.7 on 28th March 2019 and v1.9 on 23rd January 2020. V1.8, whilst linked, is peculiarly unavailable on the Monzo website.

According to Monzo T&Cs they don’t want people using the personal account for business purposes. They don’t define what they mean by business or whether that includes sole traders.

Bear in mind that, as a sole trader, there is no actual requirement to even have a separate account from your own, but I’d suggest having a dedicated account will likely make your life easier in accounting terms.

Monzo is desperate to monetise since it has received an awful lot of investment but isn’t making a profit, so it stands to reason that they’d direct sole traders to use the business account (and pay for the privilege). Other banks may allow you to use personal current accounts for non-Ltd Co. Business use, ie sole trader.

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I’m curious here. Are there any regulatory requirements against using a personal account for business purposes or is this something Monzo has decided to split?

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As a sole trader, you’re not legally required to have a business bank account.

You can use your personal bank account for all business transactions. This is because as a sole trader, your personal and business income is treated as one and the same by HMRC for tax purposes.

This decision appears to be how Monzo allows the personal account to be used.

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This is the reason for Monzo’s change of approach:

They explicitly state:

Monzo has the plan for 3 main revenue streams this year … Business Banking

and then, rather disingenuously, say

…we don’t want to take advantage and make profit on day-to-day customers.

Which is exactly what they’re doing to sole traders.

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It’s a bit crap that Monzo has said anything prior to them actually launching business accounts to the mass? Surely they’d say something after they’ve launched them so people can do something about it.

It’s always been the case, just not explicitly said in the terms and conditions but it is said in the app help section

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Prior to there being a business account offering, I don’t understand how it can always have been the case if the terms and conditions aren’t explicit on the point? :thinking:

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Yes but if they can’t provide a helpful solution why bother at all? If people are using their accounts for businesses and Monzo tell them they can’t then they will go elsewhere and ultimately lose Monzo money?

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Yes, if they can’t get a monzo business account they’ll need to go elsewhere

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No one can though as it’s not available?

I find this a peculiar stance from a FinTech that wants to be the bank of the future.

Instead, they’re adopting a traditional, conservative, legacy banking approach. Whilst the untrendy FinTech plods on, quietly innovating.

For anyone wanting a separate business account, as a sole trader, Starling Bank currently offers a fee-free offering for customers. Apart from Tide (I think?), it’s the only free business account.

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I’m not sure at what rate but they are adding people all the time

And I’m not sure what types of businesses they support now, the help pages seems very out of date

There’s a wide choice in business accounts to pick from out there

In what way are Starling innovating? Must be very quiet because I’ve not seen nor heard a peep about their innovations. Perhaps I’ll check their forum for det…oh.

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So it’s a peculiar stance that Monzo say you can’t use a personal account for business accounts but quietly innovative that Staling won’t let you do this either?

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That’s not what I said at all. You’re conflating different things to make your point. Please don’t deliberately misquote me. Thanks.

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All personal accounts that I’ve come across in the UK specifically say you can’t use them for business. The fact that as a sole trader your business and other income is treated the same for tax purposes isn’t relevant. As a sole trader you are running a business and what an account can be used for is at the discretion of the bank.

The same is generally true for personal credit cards (i.e. business use is not allowed), the only exceptions to this are Amex cards as their T&Cs don’t mention business use at all, and when I last asked Amex the answer I got was that it wasn’t against the T&Cs. They didn’t encourage it either though as they have business products.

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So what did you mean as it’s not clear