Sole trader banking

Set up a sole trader bank account

An award-winning account with no monthly fees.

Starling sole trader account interface

Plate spinning, juggling, putting out fires; it’s fair to say that life as a sole trader can be a bit of a balancing act.

So whether you’re self-employed or happily side-hustling, we’ve built an award-winning sole trader account to save you time and money while you run the show – and (here’s the best part) it’s free.

Apply for a free digital business account easily within the app and connect your accounting software or invest in a Sole Trader Toolkit to tackle the numbers directly from your bank account, on desktop or mobile.

To open an account as a sole trader, customers must meet certain eligibility checks, which include looking at credit data.

When applying for the account we will need evidence of trading activity, and the sole trader can’t engage in any of the prohibited activities set out in the sole trader current account terms.

Why it’s the best sole trader bank account

A free sole trader bank account, in minutes.

A straightforward account opening process which takes minutes. No fussy forms, no waiting around, no need to visit a branch (not that we have any). Get straight to business today with a simple in-app application and no monthly fees.

24/7 UK support.

Chat to our all-human, all-UK-based team via the app or on the phone. If you’re working, so are we.

No hidden fees.

No monthly account fees, no UK transfer fees, no bank ATM fees, and no fees abroad. Where we do have charges and fees, they are transparent and easy to understand. Find out more about charges and fees.

Award-winning banking

  • Instant payment alerts. Client payment? Networking lunch? Get real-time alerts as soon as money enters or leaves your account.

  • Capture receipts. Buried in receipts? There’s an easier way. Stay organised by capturing them in-app as you go.

  • Automate your expenses. We’ll automatically put your expenses into business categories to simplify your self-assessment tax return.

  • Connect to business tools. Link your account to other services, such as accounting software or insurance, through our Marketplace. Use Xero, QuickBooks or FreeAgent? No problem, connect for free.

  • Space to separate overheads. Business trips. Tax. A new laptop. Whatever’s coming up, keep it to one side in Saving Spaces.

  • Bills Manager. Get a clearer view of your money by paying Direct Debits and standing orders straight from a Saving Space.

  • Cash and cheque deposits. Deposit cash at the Post Office for a 0.7% fee (£3 minimum fee), and deposit cheques of £1,000 or less via the Starling app. When we said you wouldn’t miss branches, we meant it.

Apply now

Independent service quality survey results

Business current accounts

Published February 2024.

As part of a regulatory requirement, an independent survey was conducted to ask approximately 1200 customers of each of the 15 largest business current account providers if they would recommend their provider to other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The results represent the view of customers who took part in the survey.

View the full set of results.

The requirement to publish the Financial Conduct Authority Service Quality Information for business current accounts can be found here.

Supercharge your free sole trader account with the Business Toolkit

Need a bit more from your free sole trader account? Something that’s reliable, looks after your bookkeeping, totally invisible and only £7 a month?

Add on our Business Toolkit, it comes supercharged with the bells and whistles you need for bookkeeping and VAT. Send and manage invoices, record and submit VAT, and keep track of all your bills – all from your sole trader bank account. Get all the same features of our original sole trader account, but with extra tools and features to help make accounting simpler.

Sign up and get your first month for free, then just £7 a month.

Original free account


  • No monthly fees
  • Connect to QuickBooks, Xero or FreeAgent
  • 24/7 UK customer support
  • Instant notifications
  • Free UK bank transfers

Business Toolkit

Everything in the original free account, plus


  • Instant invoicing and automatching
  • Automated expenses and bookkeeping
  • MTD compliant VAT submissions
  • Tax estimation (sole traders only)
  • Bill upload and payment scheduling

How we measure up

It’s great to have options, so we’ve compared the sole trader and business accounts from a variety of high street banks and challengers so you can see how we stack up.

Compare accounts

What our customers say

Read more customer reviews...

Ready to switch to Starling?

We take the hassle out of switching banks. With just a few taps in the app, you can let us know you’re ready to make the move, and we’ll take it from there. Our switching service is simple, completed in seven working days and covered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee.

Find out how to switch

Apply for a Starling sole trader account today and enjoy app-based banking at its best.

Start your application

Sole trader accounts are subject to eligibility checks, which include looking at credit data and understanding the nature of your business.