Score 8.5
Regulation FCA
Starling Bank business card
Score 8.5
Regulation FCA

What is Starling Business Banking?

Starling was the UK’s first online mobile bank. It was established in 2014 by well-known British banker Anne Boden. It is a digital financial services provider and has just passed the 1 million customer mark, with over £1 billion in deposits.

In 2018 Starling launched Its business banking product, and it’s a decent offering. Some highlights include multi-director accounts, instant invoice generation, 24/7 customer support and a very convenient way to deposit cheques.

The business account is ideal for small business owners, freelancers and limited companies. The best thing of all, the GBP products have zero monthly account-keeping fees.

Key Details

Founded
2014
Headquarters
UK
Users
500K+
Regulation
FCA
Based on 10,009 reviews
Starling Bank Key Details
Founded 2014
Headquarters UK
Users 500K+
Regulation FCA
Get started with Starling Bank

Starling Bank Pros & Cons

Pros
  • green-check-mark No monthly management fees
  • green-check-mark Insights on spending behaviour
  • green-check-mark Cheque deposits via the app
Cons
  • Only available to UK residents
  • 0.3% (minimum charge of £3) deposit fee

Starling Bank Banking Features

Starling business accounts are packed with features. The app offers instant payment notifications. It accepts cash and cheque deposits. The app integrates with many accounting programs. Link to the Marketplace via the API for deals with partners, and there is a paid-for-service offering valuable tools for businesses of all sizes.

Multi-currency Accounts

Accordeon button

Accounts are currently available in GBP, EUR & USD.

Payments

Accordeon button

Payments are best made by direct debits, standing orders, and faster payments. Purchases can be made online or in-store using the prepaid Mastercard. All of these options are without fees.

International currency transfers are charged at the exchange rate only. Right now, money can be transferred to 38 countries and in the following currencies:

EUR, USD, and, CHF, CZK, DKK, HKD, HUF, LEV, MXN, NZD, NOK, PLN, QAR, RON, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, ZAR.

Corporate Card

Accordeon button

A prepaid debit MasterCard is available with the Starling Business accounts. It can be used for purchases both online and in-store. It can also be used to withdraw cash from ATMs in the UK and across Europe.

Any person with access to the account will get a card in both the business name and their name.

Your Starling cards can also be linked to the following digital wallets: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay,Garmin Pay

Roles & Permissions

Accordeon button

The primary account holder is referred to as the Person of Significant Control (PSC). If a company has a number of directors who want access to the account, they can all become PSCs but need to be verified at the time of opening the account.

Currently, all users get full access to the account. There is no ability to set permission – yet.

Accounting Tools, Integrations & API

Accordeon button

Instantly link your accounts to Xero, QuickBooks, and FreeAgent.

Starling Marketplace links business to its customers via the API. New companies are onboarding with Starling Marketplace all the time. A few of them are:

  • Insurance: Churchill, Nimbla, So-sure
  • Savings and Investments: PensionBee, Wealthify
  • Security: CyberSmart
  • Lending: Growth Street, Loyalty and Receipts

Security

Accordeon button

Security is vital to Starling. To begin with, accounts must be verified with photo IDs. Starling will also ask you to create a short video at application time, to ensure it is really you. Pin codes must be used to log in, and biometric identification is also available if your smartphone supports it. You can enable 3D Secure, which involves a 2-step authentication process when making payments. Directors can enable and disable contactless or chip and pin payments, on a card-by-card basis.

Another security feature is the ability to switch on instant payment notifications inside the app. That way, you can immediately spot any suspicious transactions.

Starling also adopts location-based fraud protection, so if a transaction is done outside the recognised location, you’ll be instantly notified.

Account-holders’ funds are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), up to the value of £85,000.

Perks

Accordeon button

Starling offers 2 ‘paid for’ services, marketed as a part-time, built-in bookkeeper. These products are designed to benefit the admin side of your financial transactions:

The business toolkit is designed to assist companies with their bill payments, expense management, and invoicing. For those that are registered for VAT, you can record this on your transactions, then connect to HMRC, and digitally submit your VAT return.

The sole trader toolkit additionally estimates your self-employment tax so you can put money aside to pay tax bills.

Customer Support

Accordeon button

Unlike some of its competitors, Starling offers customer support 24/7. Contact can be made by phone, email, or directly from the app.

Utilising the live-chat feature is the most efficient way to contact them as your account details are instantly provided to the support consultant.

It also has a help section on its website with answers to many frequently asked questions, and this is updated regularly.

Additional Features Coming Soon

Accordeon button

Starling is currently working on allowing non-directors of the business to have access rights to the accounts. There will also be the option to set permission levels. This is now in beta testing mode.

For international currency transfers, Starling is working on including CAD and AUD as foreign market options

Plans & Pricing

Starling offers four business accounts. The first two are the Business Current Account for limited entities and the Sole Trader Account for single-person companies. Neither of these has a monthly fee.

The Euro Business Current and the Euro Sole Trader accounts are the additional two options. Both have a £2 per month handling fee.

Starling BusinessSole TraderEuro Account
Price per monthFreeFree£2 per month
Free payments in the UK
Free Direct Debits
Foreign transfersExchange rateExchange rateExchange rate
Free ATM withdrawals
SEPA payments
Xero, FreeAgent & Quickbooks tools
Payments with a link
Paid For Service£12 per month£7 per month
Starling Business
Price per month Free
Free payments in the UK green-check-mark
Free Direct Debits green-check-mark
Foreign transfers Exchange rate
Free ATM withdrawals green-check-mark
SEPA payments close-mark-black
Xero, FreeAgent & Quickbooks tools green-check-mark
Payments with a link green-check-mark
Paid For Service £12 per month
Sole Trader
Price per month Free
Free payments in the UK green-check-mark
Free Direct Debits green-check-mark
Foreign transfers Exchange rate
Free ATM withdrawals green-check-mark
SEPA payments close-mark-black
Xero, FreeAgent & Quickbooks tools green-check-mark
Payments with a link green-check-mark
Paid For Service £7 per month
Euro Account
Price per month £2 per month
Free payments in the UK green-check-mark
Free Direct Debits green-check-mark
Foreign transfers Exchange rate
Free ATM withdrawals green-check-mark
SEPA payments green-check-mark
Xero, FreeAgent & Quickbooks tools green-check-mark
Payments with a link green-check-mark
Paid For Service close-mark-black

Starling Bank fees

One of the benefits of having a Starling Business Bank account is how many services are free of charge. There is no monthly fee for a business current account. Nor are there any charges for payments, transfers, direct debits, or ATM withdrawals. Using the debit MasterCard in-store or online is also fee-free.

Additional Card Fees close-mark-black

€3/month

Depends on plan

Free Domestic Transfers green-check-mark green-check-mark green-check-mark
Free International Transfers close-mark-black close-mark-black green-check-mark
ATM Withdrawl Fees close-mark-black

2.5% fee

Depends on plan

Additional Card Fees
close-mark-black

€3/month

Depends on plan

Free Domestic Transfers
green-check-mark green-check-mark green-check-mark
Free International Transfers
close-mark-black close-mark-black green-check-mark
ATM Withdrawl Fees
close-mark-black

2.5% fee

Depends on plan

FAQ

Who can open a Starling Business business account?

Accordeon button Accordeon button

A starling business account is available to limited companies based in the UK. Sole traders will need to open a personal account first.

What countries can I open an account in?

Accordeon button Accordeon button

Currently, only UK residents can open a Starling business account.

What documents do I need to open a Starling Business Account?

Accordeon button Accordeon button

If you don’t already have a personal account with Starling you’ll need to provide one of the following:

  • Passport
  • EU/EEA ID card
  • UK Residence Card
  • UK photo driving licence (full or provisional)

How do I open a Starling Business bank account?

Accordeon button Accordeon button

An account can be opened within a few minutes via the Starling website or its app available on iOS or Android.

How can I access my account?

Accordeon button Accordeon button

The account can be accessed via the app or website. Debit MasterCards are available for purchases and cash withdrawals.

Is my money safe?

Accordeon button Accordeon button

Your deposits are protected by the FSCS up to £85,000.

User Reviews

5/5
label_img

We have a business account & I’m in the process of moving my personal account to Starling. The service is excellent & I love a bank that is actually in touch with businesses unlike other British banks! Challenger banks actually understand the requirements of a business.

By Wendy Ryder May, 2020
5/5
label_img

Recently moved to Starling Business Banking and all I can say I wish I had done it sooner. I am going to move my to personal banking with them. They have helped me through the this whole virus situation and made everything simple and stress free. The app is amazing and the features are superb. This is how banking should be 10/10

By Matt Allen May, 2020
5/5
label_img

So much better than “old” banks! I love it. I set up a business and personal account in a few minutes (it took a day for money laundering / due diligence checks etc). I could use my debit cards on apple pay even before the real cards had arrived in the post (nice packaging by the way) and the app is so intuitive

By Q1nny May, 2019

Our Verdict

For a business banking product in the UK, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than Starling. Its customers rate it 4.8/5 on Trustpilot. 1 million customers can’t be wrong. You’ll find some glowing testimonials on its website.

Right now, Starling looks more attractive than its competitors due to the fact that it doesn’t charge any monthly fees. By accepting cash deposits via the post office and cheque deposits via the app, this also sets them apart from some of the others.

The marketplace, offering linking services from partners, via the API, allows for seamless sharing of allowable data and is a valuable way to build a network of contacts.
The ability to have multi-director accounts, access to 24/7 customer service, and a business toolkit that can instantly generate invoices are all reasons this business bank offering is an account to have.