Freelancers, sole traders and contractors on Monzo – we’d love to chat!

Hey everyone,

We’ve been reading through some great threads from freelancers about the financial pains of running your own business. For example, here, here, here and here.

If you’re a sole trader, freelancer or contractor, we’d love to talk to you about how you manage your money and use Monzo!

Why we want to hear from you

There are 3.4 million “sole proprietorships” in the UK. That means freelancers, sole traders and contractors account for 60% of all businesses! A further 0.9 million limited companies only employ the owner, meaning 76% of all businesses are run by just one person. That’s a lot of people :open_mouth: !

At Monzo, we’re on a mission to take the hassle out of managing your money. Which means we’re always looking to learn more about the financial challenges all of our users are facing.

How to chat to us

If you’d like to share your experiences, please book a slot in our calendar and we’ll give you a call then :slight_smile: . We’ve popped in some 15 minute slots for this Friday (27/04) and early next week.

Looking forward to speaking!

Rich and Rosa


Happy to help, but none of those dates/times suit. Feel free to reach out via DM though :raised_hands:


Same as @HoddzDJ dates and time don’t suite me but happy to help on email or DM. I’ve recently started working as a freelance

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Is this about business accounts? I would be interested if so.

Some more context :stuck_out_tongue:


Is there anyway of making bank transfers marked as income as being self employed I get paid this way. Also selecting certain transfers excluded from income if you get funds transferred from friends and family?

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This is terribly, terribly exciting! :raised_hands:


I’m happy to help (8year+ contractor under own Ltd company: banking through CaterAllen, previously HSBC), but I’m booked today and tomorrow and there are no other slots free - feel free to drop me an email/DM if you would more data. My wife has just started her own freelancing (sole trader) and it currently planning on using her Monzo personal account whilst she gets started - again DM/email me if interested in getting in contact.

Have you done this?

Yep, there are slots for today and tomorrow (I’m busy until COB on Wednesday) and then no slots at all (I’ve checked until the end of June). Wife is hard of hearing and would prefer email/DM if you are interested in a just-starting-out-freelancer.


Thanks for the sign-ups and feedback so far, really looking forward to talking with you all!

We were planning to chat to sole proprietors first, although I’m happy to chat about business accounts too if you’ve got some big pain points to get off your chest :tired_face: ?

@SC95 I’ve added a few more slots (between 2 and 3pm on both Wednesday and Thursday).Ping me a DM if these don’t work for you and we can work out a time :blush:


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If Monzo is thinking about a business bank account, I recommend they take a good look at Tide, as opposed to Starling. The UI, categories and export in Tide are far ahead of Starling IMO, and Monzo could take some lessons on categories from it. I’ve used both and am currently giving Starling a go for a year but feeling like I want to move back to Tide for business accounts. Things Monzo would need to fix in order to be good for business banking (based on their current product):

  • Handling of multiple accounts, as most of their customers will also have a monzo personal account. Once you have one more, why not offer several business accounts?
  • Proper expenses categories for businesses - in practice this probably means custom categories, or at the very least it means adding about 20 categories for business (see Tide)
  • Export of all transactions easily for a financial year - you have this but it’d be lovely to see you ask for year end, then offer yearly statements as csv to make it really simple to export - a tiny feature but would make it clear you are focussed on business needs. This is much better than Starling at present.
  • Tie-ins with Xero etc - this would be in demand from day one (I don’t personally use, but lots of people do, particularly freelancers - see Starling boards)
  • Different colour of card so that it’s easily distinguished from your other card (this is a tiny but important point, see starling boards)

Good news for personal account users is that these features are also useful (and frequently asked for) for personal account use too.

You won’t have anything like this at launch, but my ideal business account would I think:

  • Offer several accounts which you can easily switch between (see Tide)
  • Offer multiple cards, which can be assigned to different staff members (see Tide)
  • Offer both a full feed of all transactions, and a feed per account so that we can easily monitor staff spending (nobody does this)
  • Offer proper categorisation of spending, just custom cats + remember which category was previously used works fine - (see Tide)
  • Export transactions for a full tax year at the end of the year as csv in a format usable by most accounting software (don’t see Starling their export is pretty broken)
  • Offer international payments (important for many businesses, though not for all - see Starling)
  • Integrate with accounting software like xero (see requests on Starling board)

Given lots of small businesses grow from one or two founders (which you could handle at present) to large companies (which you won’t handle initially), I think you do have to plan long term for that growth, and you will constantly be asked for the above if you open a business account, even if aimed at sole traders etc.

Would be happy to chat about this and would love to see a Monzo specific solution, as I like where you’re going with your personal banking. I’m probably what you’d class as a contractor with an ltd.


My needs are pretty simple - I’ve never had a business bank account because my freelance finances are straightforward, and banks tend to charge for business accounts. However, now I am married my (non-freelance) tax affairs are a little more complicated and so I have an accountant, rather than doing my self-assessment myself. It was be very convenient if I could simply present her with bank statements, invoices and receipts, rather than trying to separate my business spend from my personal finances. It would also mean I’m less likely to overlook expenses.

It would be cool to have a rule to help taxation, i.e. to automatically scrape a predefined percentage (e.g. 20 or 40%) of income payments into a savings pot, all ready for the taxman in January.

Edit: I realise this may not work so well if you have anything other than marginal expenses, and doesn’t take into account your personal allowance. I’d still rather over estimate my tax bill than under estimate it.

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I’m currently using Barclays Business banking for all our needs, but what I want to would be this list:

  • shared account between two of us in company
  • tax account for saving for taxes
  • euro account because we have some payments coming in in different currencies
  • default functionality: transferring funds, paying, statement
  • preferably integration with some of the accounting software (api) or at least reasonable exports (csv or similar)
  • if any money is reserved, we can check what it’s reserved for (in a lot of banks this functionality really annoys me)
  • business bank cards

Please ensure KISS protocol.

Hello. Yes we need to be able to keep personal salary and spend (HMRC Tax and NI “net” by employer) separate from our other business money and spend (HMRC Tax and NI “gross” to be actioned by us or accountant at end of year).

There is only one Monzo app. Keep it that way and give us the ability to flick between 2 accounts; Personal and Biz as stipulated above.
Give us a second nice vibrantly coloured Mastercard that makes us look cool when buying our prospect a coffee in Nero’s.
Charge us a “small” monthly fee for it so you can get out of the deficit. We would like to see this project succeed. We will help you get to the billion users you desire.
I am a Xero user. Can you iterate on possibly using Yodlee and hook a bank feed to accounting software. I should be making more of my customers happy, not downloading, saving and uploading CSV files for my accountant. I could be sitting in a coffee shop on a Sunday simply matching up transactions and invoices during the time it takes me to drink a coffee purchased with the business monzo bank card.

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To back up what @eziite and @kennygrant say…

  1. Needs to be a ‘joint’ account
  2. I suspect the ‘tax account’ could simply be one or more ‘pots’ “VAT” “Corporation Tax”
  3. Standard transfer & payment functionality
  4. Business card
  5. Must integrate with accounting software e.g. FreeAgent, Xero etc.

Don’t get sucked in to a black hole by people asking for the business bank account to offer ‘accounting’ features e.g. no real need to be able to label transactions in the account e.g. expenses/invoice payment/cost of sales etc. - these are features of accounting software.

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Good points here.

My business account (Ltd Co.) is with Lloyds, and I currently have two additional business savings accounts to keep my VAT and Corporation Tax separate and ready for tax time. Pots could easily replace this functionality, but would be great to somehow export CSVs for Pots, as well as the main account.

Accounting software integration is a must from day one - FreeAgent, Xero etc. This is literally what’s stopping me from using Starling Business at the moment.

Some new/custom categories couldn’t hurt, either.

Personally I don’t need a ‘joint account’, as it’s my company is just me, but I see that this could be useful.

Make any business account debit card visually different (also maybe use a different colour scheme in-app, like you do with regular joint accounts).

Free is good, but I’m not averse to paying for business banking, I think I pay Lloyds £6.50/month, which is pretty painless.

I’m thinking about moving from co op business banking to a sole trader at monzo , is it possible
Yet? I do need to keep my personal banking and work stuff separate, or the tax man gets angry

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No, Monzo only offer personal accounts. No indication if or when they will have anything else available

Try Starling?

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