I’ll never forget first starting as a freelancer and scrolling through all the offers that a lot of the main banks that we’re all used to were putting out. For example, the HSBC business bank account I first opted for was free for a year and a half, and then the fees slowly started to pile on.
Aside from that, and more importantly, the infrastructure just wasn’t there as a modern bank account. I had a nightmare cashing cheques, I needed a weird calculator every time I logged in, they spammed me with constant letters, and then when I inevitably lost my calculator I had to wait forever to get another one.
Also, I couldn’t pay anyone without that calculator thing… Anyway, you get the point. Working for yourself as fast-paced, and looking at freelance statistics, it’s clear to see that more and more people are opting for the self-employed path. Ultimately, you’re going to need a bank account that grows with you, and doesn’t try to rip you off when you’re first starting out and looking to keep prices down as much as possible.
In a word, no. I tried it, and things can very quickly get complicated if you’re trying to keep track of what ingoings and outgoing are business-related, and which are personal.
It can also be a bit of a nightmare having to separate everything when the tax man comes a knockin’. If you’re hiring an accountant, then it makes even more sense to have a separate account so that you can make things as efficient as possible for them too.
Move over ancient banking. These are the best bank accounts for freelancers and self-employed that won’t feel like you’re banking in the stone age.
My firm favourite and one you’ve already heard about before is Monzo. You can choose from a £5 per month option or go straight in for the free one, but either way, you’re getting a ton of value that you otherwise might not be getting from one of the more, ahem, retro banks.
If you’re going for the free version you still get to make use of the incredible Monzo app, you get a business card, and can easily separate money between your personal and business account.
You can also take advantage of many of the same benefits that come with a Monzo personal account, for example, things like spending abroad with no fees and free bank transfers.
If you want to pay, then you also get the types of things that you’d be otherwise paying software like Xero or QuickBooks for, including:
I’d say it’s certainly worth giving the free version a spin if you’re wanting to test things out. Find out more at: https://monzo.com/i/business/
Starling is another favourite of mine, however as I also use Monzo with personal banking I’d say that Monzo has taken the edge. But don’t get me wrong, Starling is also incredible.
One of the best things about Starling is that it’s totally free, and they don’t slouch when it comes to providing you with help and support in relation to your account.
It also integrates with Xero and popular accounting software, and the cards themselves look VERY cool. Sleek and modern, just like the app. Boom!
You’re protected up to £85,000 with FSCS Protection, more than one director can have access to the same account, and you also don’t have to pay banking fees abroad. Perfect.
Mettle is a business bank account that I’m fairly new to, but it’s easily one of the best for startups and freelancers who are totally new to this world.
One of the best things is that it comes with an integrated invoicing feature as standard, so if you don’t want to pay for external software because you’re just starting out, then Mettle makes a lot of sense. The software is called FreeAgent, and it’s exactly what you need to get used to the world of invoicing…without having to pay for it!
Mettle is a part of Natwest so it’s not some random startup that are going to run away with your money. It’s safe, regulated, and completely set up for those of us ready to hit the ground running when it comes to building their freelancing empire.
Tide is another business bank account you may have already heard of, or may have even already tried.
It’s probably better if you’re looking to pay for it as there are a lot. of integration options, but you can also get the free version if you’re freelancing or just starting to grow your business.
Based on what you can get from ‘Plus’ card membership, let’s see what you’re actually paying for:
Another incredible account for the freelancing newbie is Revolut and their uber-modern-looking cards. They even have a dedicated freelance filter on their pricing page, so it’s clear that they know their target audience.
If you pay, you can get one of the sought-after metal cards. If you don’t, you still get:
All in all, you don’t have to pay a fortune anymore for banking when you’re just getting things going. It can be quite intimidating getting everything together, but choosing a card that doesn’t charge you a fortune each month is one of the best things you can do from the outset.
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