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Starling Bank Business Review

Since its inception in 2014 and subsequent acquisition of a UK banking license in 2016, Starling Bank has significantly impacted the UK banking sector. Its offerings for small and medium-sized enterprises have garnered considerable attention.

Although Starling Bank is best known for its personal banking services, it has also achieved notable success with its business current account in recent years. By 2022, out of 3 million accounts, 460,000 were business current accounts, so Starling are now a major player in both personal and business banking.

As a fully licensed UK bank, Starling ensures that customer deposits are secured up to a maximum of £85,000 per business under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Starling Bank has been recognized as the best British Business Bank Account in both 2019 and 2020. Let’s explore what makes them stand out in this Starling Bank business review.

Starling Bank Business Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Many useful features in their Business Toolkit
  • Basic account is free
  • Starling Bank focus 100% on their banking services
  • Integration with accounting packages
  • USD and EUR accounts available for small fee

Cons:

  • Business toolkit costs £7 per month
  • Few extras aside from Business Toolkit

What is Starling Business Bank?

Starling Bank is a fintech institution centered around a smartphone app, designed to provide straightforward and contemporary technological solutions that simplify banking with a clear cost structure.

The Starling Bank Business account is based on the same principles as their highly successful personal account, but it includes additional features designed to help businesses streamline their banking processes.

Starling Bank Business Features

  • Business Toolkit –£7 for useful business tools
  • USD and EUR accounts – for a small monthly fee
  • Easy to use smartphone app – bank on the go, 24/7.
  • Low fixed currency transfers – only 0.4% of amount transferred
  • Accounting software integration – Xero, Quickbooks, Freeagent and more
  • Tax Estimates – app estimates taxes due
  • Instant Invoices – send invoices directly from the app
  • Record and submit VAT – see a running total of the position
  • Instant Payment Notifications – get informed of any activity on your account immediately
  • Spaces – Spaces are ‘virtual piggy banks’ within your Starling Bank account
  • Categorised Spending Insights – analyse your spending via categories to allow you to manage your money
  • Free ATM Withdrawals – Starling Bank offer free ATM withdrawals in the UK and within Europe
  • Mastercard Debit Card – with full contactless functionality

Who is Starling Bank Business For?

Business banking can often be incredibly frustrating. Even in the 2020s, the processes and technology can seem outdated, more suited to the 19th than the 20th century. Many traditional banks use overly complicated and unreliable security systems, and their online platforms might require a lengthy tutorial just to navigate basic functions, highlighting their age.

In contrast, Starling Bank and other fintech challengers like Monzo, Revolut, and Tide benefit from starting with a clean slate. They’ve developed their systems recently, focusing on user experience and system efficiency, making them attractive options for those tired of traditional banking hurdles.

Starling Bank is a solid choice for those seeking a more modern approach to business banking. However, it might not be suitable for everyone. Businesses that handle a lot of cash might find it limiting, as Starling does not have physical branches and cash deposits must be made through the post office, which can incur costs. Additionally, larger businesses might prefer keeping substantial funds in traditional banks where issues can be addressed in person, something not possible with Starling. Whilst Starling Bank does not offer specific sole trader accounts, the Staling Bank. business account can work very well for sole traders.

Also, certain types of businesses, like those involved in adult entertainment or gambling, are prohibited from opening an account with Starling. It’s important to check their full list of excluded businesses to ensure compatibility.

Signup to Starling Business

Starling Bank Business Costs & Fees

Business banking generally incurs more costs than a personal bank account. The basic business bank account with Starling Bank is free. However, there are costs for certain add-ons and processes:

  • Business Toolkit – £7 per month
  • Euro Account – £2 per month
  • USD Account – £5 per month
  • Sending money within the UK via CHAPS – £20 per transaction
  • International Payments – 0.4% of the amount plus £5.50 fee for SWIFT payments
  • Cash Deposits via Post Office: up to £1000 – £3 charge. If over £1000, then 0.3% of the amount deposited.

Is Starling Bank Business Safe?

As a licensed bank, Starling is protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), ensuring that each business account is insured up to a maximum of £85,000 per financial institution. This level of insurance is equivalent to what you would expect with any traditional UK high street bank, offering security in the event the institution fails.

In 2021, Starling Bank received the highest score in a UK bank security assessment, highlighting its robust safety measures.

Starling Bank operates primarily through a smartphone app, which centralizes its security systems around mobile interaction. This approach eliminates the need for additional hardware devices for online banking or payments, simplifying the security process. The app enhances security by incorporating features like SMS or ID verification directly through the mobile interface, providing comprehensive and user-friendly security options for account holders.

Starling Bank Business Alternatives

Tide

Monzo

Wise

Starling Bank Business FAQ

IS STARLING A GOOD BANK FOR BUSINESS?

Starling supports nearly half a million sole traders and businesses with their banking needs. Known for its straightforward and competitively priced offerings, Starling Bank is certainly a viable choice for any UK business owner looking for efficient banking solutions.

CAN ANYONE OPEN A STARLING BUSINESS ACCOUNT?

To be eligible for a Starling Bank business account, you must be a sole trader, part of a UK limited company, or an LLC with an established trading history. Note that certain industries, such as gambling and adult entertainment, are not eligible for Starling business accounts.

WHICH BANK IS BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESS IN THE UK?

The UK offers a variety of banking options for businesses, ranging from traditional high street banks with extensive services to modern digital banks like Starling, Monzo, and Revolut, which also provide business accounts. For a detailed comparison of these options, refer to our article on the Best Business Bank Account to find the right fit for your needs.

Starling Bank Business Verdict

Since its inception, the Starling Bank business account has quickly garnered numerous awards, including titles such as ‘best business account in the UK’ and ‘safest bank in the UK’. This acclaim is well-deserved, thanks to their straightforward and transparent product that emphasizes essential banking functions needed by any business. While Starling Bank may not suit businesses that require the more complex services offered by traditional high street banks or those that deal heavily in cash, it is an excellent choice for many sole traders and companies seeking a modern, user-friendly banking solution for their operations. For these businesses, Starling Bank is certainly worth considering.

Signup to Starling Business

*Please note: This article may include affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps support our work and allows us to continue providing content like this.

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