Starling Bank is open for business, both for limited companies and sole traders. We’ve been voted Best Business Banking Provider at the Smart Money People Awards two years running. And there are no monthly fees for our app-based business accounts.
How do I open a Starling business account?
Business owners, freelancers and contractors can apply for a Starling business account by downloading the app onto their smartphone and following the onscreen instructions. The Starling app is available on the Apple Store, Google Play Store and Huawei Store.
To apply, you’ll need:
- A smartphone and signal
- Valid photo ID eg. passport or driving licence
- A selfie video to verify your identity
- A few minutes of your time (if you have documents which confirm the nature of your business at hand this will be easier). Examples could be an invoice, trade registration or letter from your accountant. Find out more
Then it’s over to our team to approve your details and open your account.
If you’re applying for a sole trader account you’ll need to have a personal current account at Starling.
For our business current account you’ll also need to be a limited liability partnership (LLP) or owner of a limited company, registered on Companies House.
I’m a sole trader, what else do I need to know?
Sole trader accounts are subject to eligibility checks, which include looking at credit data and understanding the nature of your business. The option to apply for a sole trader account in the Starling app will only be shown to customers that match our criteria, based on details provided for their personal current account. Unfortunately we cannot tell you if you will be eligible for a sole trader account before you open a personal account.
What’s the difference between a sole trader account and a limited company account?
Our sole trader account is for anyone who is self-employed or side hustling. Our limited company account is for owners of limited companies or people part of a limited liability partnership (LLP) registered on Companies House.
The features of the business accounts are very similar and neither have monthly fees.
What happens if my account application is accepted?
Once your account is open, we’ll send you a notification to your phone and you can add your new Starling card straight into your digital wallet, meaning that you can start using the account before your physical card pops through the post. Your navy debit card should take 3-5 working days to arrive once your account has been verified and opened.
If you already have a Starling account, you can apply for your new business account by tapping ‘Get another Starling account’ in the menu of your app.
Can more than one person access a Starling business account?
Yes. Starling business accounts are available to limited companies where multiple ‘persons with significant control’ (PSCs), who are also directors of the company, need access to the account.
A PSC is usually someone who owns 25% or more shares of a business and/or 25%+ of the voting rights.
For example, if you’re a married couple and are both directors, and you’re listed on Companies House as PSCs, you can both have access to the business account. One of you needs to apply for the account and the other will need to add a few details.
Once everything has been verified, you’ll both have access to the account through the Starling app and receive debit cards. Both of you will also receive real-time notifications whenever money moves in or out of the business account so you’ll always be kept in the loop.
Can I apply online for a business account?
No. To apply for a Starling account, you need to download the app and follow the instructions on your smartphone.
Once your account is open, you’ll have the option to bank either from your app or from your laptop, using Online Banking.
How will I know when my Starling business account is open?
When our team has processed your application for a Starling business account, we’ll send a real-time notification to your phone. We’ll also follow up with an email welcoming you to Starling.
Can I switch my business banking to Starling from another bank?
Yes. Once your new business account is open, you can switch to Starling by tapping the green plus symbol (+) next to your account balance and, depending on which mobile operating system your phone has, tapping ‘Move it all to Starling’ or ‘Switch to Starling’.
Starling is part of the Current Account Switching Scheme (CASS), meaning that your balance, direct debits, standing orders and list of payees will all be transferred from your previous bank account to your Starling account within seven days.
Those who want to apply for a Bounce Back Loan with Starling will need to have switched their business account to us before they register their interest for a loan.
Can I apply for a Starling loan or overdraft for my business?
We’ll update the borrowing section on our website as soon as we start accepting applications for non-CBILS or non-BBLS Starling business loans or overdrafts again.
Can I apply for a Bounce Back Loan?
Yes. Businesses who have activated their Starling debit card can register their interest for one Bounce Back Loan using the form on our website. Loans under £50,000 come under BBLS, loans above £50,000 come under CBILS.
Opening a Starling business or sole trader account does not guarantee that you will be approved for a loan under BBLS or any other lending scheme and there is no guarantee that everyone on the BBLS list will be invited to apply.
Demand for these loans is extremely high and, while we’re doing everything we can to support British business, it may be some weeks before you’re invited to apply for a loan. Being on our interest list does not prevent you from applying with another BBLS lender, so it may be worth joining other wait lists or applying to another lender.
Can I apply for a Bounce Back Loan with Starling if I’ve already applied for one somewhere else?
If you’ve applied for a loan with another lender and not heard back yet or been rejected, you can still register your interest with Starling. But if you’ve already received a Bounce Back Loan from Starling, or from another lender, we won’t be able to approve a second loan. Our systems are only set up to offer one Bounce Back Loan per person or group. That means if you run several businesses and have already had a Bounce Back Loan for one business, you won’t be eligible for a Bounce Back Loan for a second business.
Where can I find out more about Bounce Back Loans with Starling?
We’ve tried to answer as many questions as possible about Bounce Back Loans over on our FAQs page. We cover everything from eligibility to the repayment process.
What features are included in a Starling business account?
Our business accounts have been designed to make managing your money safe, simple and straightforward. That’s why we’ve included the following features:
- No monthly fees
- Protection up to £85,000 from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
- 24/7 customer support
- Ability to set up payees and make payments through the app or Online Banking
- Cash deposits through the Post Office
- Cheque deposits through the app
- Saving Spaces to help you set money aside for tax or new equipment
- Integrations with online accounting software (Xero, FreeAgent, QuickBooks and PayStream)
- Real-time notifications
- Ability to photograph receipts and attach them to transactions
- Automatic organisation of outgoings, according to HMRC categories
- Card controls to lock your card if lost or stolen
Are there additional features available for my business account?
Yes. Freelancers, self-employed and small businesses looking for help with bookkeeping can sign up to our Business Toolkit, which costs £7 per month. You can see the full list of Toolkit features on our website.
You’ll get all the features of our standard account, but with extra bells and whistles for accounting and VAT. The Toolkit is available exclusively on online banking
Can I hold an account in euros or dollars?
Yes. Starling customers with a verified limited company business account have the option to open a USD account, a EUR account or both. These multi-currency accounts enable you to hold, send and receive dollars or euros. Per account, the USD account costs £5 a month and the EUR account costs £2 a month.
To apply, go to the menu in your Starling limited company account and tap ‘Get another Starling account.’