Starling or Tide Business Account

I’m looking to move my business account from HSBC, the last straw came today when they said I had to come into branch to close a business savings account. It’s small freelance business, so it will also be great not have to pay the £5.50 monthly account fee too.

I’m looking at Starling and Tide, leaning towards Starling although they don’t have Freeagent bank feeds at the moment, but they promise it’s coming.

Is there anything else I should consider? And what are your experiences with Starling Business or Tide?


I’m a bit out of touch with the industry - when I was running a business it was pre-challenger bank and I used Natwest - I experienced the same frustrations as you.

You may find these articles useful in your search, but bear in mind that Monzo are also working on business banking, so it may be worth your while to hold off for a little bit!

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I have both Starling and Tide, I don’t use the Tide one, I just the use the Starling business account, the only think it was lacking was cash deposits, now they have added that, Tide has no benefit for a normal business account. The Starling account is also fairly new, so lacks less integrations with other things than Tide does at the moment, but that is bound to change. Tide has better customer service, although Starling is fine for general issues, just not so good for more complex ones when it comes to business accounts.

Thanks, after a little bit more reading, I think I’m going to go with Starling.



Tide is awful. Faster Payments aren’t fast, no FSCS protection, API is meh. Also no Apple Pay on Tide as far as I know.

If you need FreeAgent support for Starling you can use my horrible code (:joy:) as a stop-gap for now.


Show stopper! Just downloaded the app to apply and it says I have to have a personal account to open a business account as a sole trader. Now to decide if it’s worth opening a personal account, how many bank accounts does one person need!

As a sole trader shouldn’t you just be able to use your personal account for everything? Or do you explicitly want them separate?

You can always go with Starling for the business side and Monzo for your “real” personal account.

Always kept things seperate it gets messy otherwise and my accountant would hate me.


I believe this is the case with most banks. It was the reason I used Natwest for my business banking previously. It worked well in that they were separate accounts with separate cards, but both showed on my online banking.

As above, if you don’t need a specific business bank account as a sole trader, what’s to stop you opening a regular current account with any supplier you fancy?

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Otherwise if you want to go #FullStarling it isn’t a bad idea either. Their product is solid. Support isn’t as good as Monzo but still better than legacy banks.

Also you don’t actually have to use the personal Starling account if you don’t want to. You can just leave it there. Could be a good option to have as a backup in case your main personal account has an issue or if you need Starling’s loans/overdrafts (which are cheaper than Monzo for high amounts).

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Wash your mouth out @anon23935806 !

Noooooo! I’m planning on going #fullmonzo in the new year!

How many Monzo accounts can I have? :grinning:

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Go for Monzo and use a personal Starling account for your business (since as a sole trader you don’t need a specific “business” account).

Only one Monzo account per person at the moment.

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Actually, that’s not a bad idea. Can you do that? Is there anything stopping me from using a Starling Account for a business account?

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Is there anything stopping me from using a Starling Account for a business account?

As a sole trader you don’t need an account marked explicitly for business, so I believe you can. In my case when I was doing some freelancing as a sole-trader (not through my limited company) I just used my personal Monzo account.

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I had a Tide business account, and had no issues with the account opening process, quick and simple.
I opened a Starling business account, as I preferred their operations (I didn’t like the idea of faster payments not being fast, see above post!), and… I’m still getting messages from Starling saying “Please explain your business, provide contract or invoice, etc”. I have sent my business explanation about six times, and stated just as many times that it is a new business and we don’t have any invoices or contracts yet. I keep getting the same copy/paste response, “Please explain your business and provide a document”. The next time I get it, I will just respond with “Close all of my accounts, your customer service is appalling”.

On a side note, the moment Monzo offer business accounts, my business will switch over. Everything must be consolidated to Monzo! :smiley:


I would advise double checking with your accountant. Keeping them happy is always key :wink:


I’ve just come across Coconut, who seem to specialise in small businesses and freelancers and have extra tax tools. May be worth a look.

Note: I know absolutely nothing about them.


I have both. Starling was harder to open I found. They didn’t actually follow their own rules which after complaining they apologised & sent the usual socks & chocolate.
Tide charges on transactions where as a lot of Starlings are free.
On balance given app & charged I’d say Starling is better.
When Monzo has business accounts I may well merge them into this but that will depend on their business model & pricing structure.

It’s good and I’ve invested in them but I wouldn’t say they’re ready for prime time just yet. At the moment they’re a glorified prepaid card. No FSCS protection, no Apple Pay, Faster Payments aren’t fast either, no integration with third-party accounting software (no API to build your own integration either) and as far as I know tax filing isn’t automated yet.

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