How to Open a Starling Business Account in the UK

Paola Faben Oliveira

Starling bank offers businesses in the UK digital accounts which can be opened in GBP, EUR and USD, to make it easier to receive, hold and manage business payments. With a business account from Starling you can get a linked debit card, plus extras like batch payments and accounting integrations to cut down on business admin.

This guide covers all you need to know about how to open a Starling business account to hold pounds, euros and dollars - and we’ll also introduce the Wise Business multi-currency account as an alternative option which can hold, exchange, send and spend 50+ currencies.

💡Learn more about Wise Business

📝 Table of contents:

Starling business account - overview

Starling bank¹ has been around since 2014, and holds a full UK banking licence. With Starling, business customers, including sole proprietors, can open accounts to manage their money online and in the Starling app, with relatively few fees to pay.

Once you have a GBP business account from Starling, you can also open a Starling euro account, and a Starling USD account. Account holders can also access the Starling business toolkit² and bulk payment features for an additional fee. The Starling business toolkit offers time saving tools that can help businesses manage bills, invoices, tax, VAT and more.

If your business has a global footprint, it’s good to know Starling can also offer international business payments to 35+ countries³. Fees vary slightly, but usually include a 0.4% currency exchange fee if you have to convert from one currency to another, and a transfer fee of around 5.5 GBP per payment⁴.

💡 Learn more about international payment fees from Starling bank here

Let’s start with an overview of some of the key fees and features from the Starling business account options available for small business owners and sole traders - we’ll move into the details of Starling business account requirements in just a moment.

Key highlights from Starling business account

💷 GBP account⁵No fee
💵 USD account⁶£5 per month
💶 EUR account⁷£2 per month
💼 Business toolkit fee£7 per month
💸 Bulk payments fee£7 per month
🏧 UK ATM chargeNo fee
🔗 Accounting integrations⁸Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent
🔎 Credit check details⁹Soft credit check is performed when opening an account, which does not impact your credit score

Starling business account eligibility

To open a Starling business account you’ll need to meet Starling’s eligibility requirements, and provide adequate paperwork to get yourself and your business verified. In general, the Starling business account eligibility requirements are:

  • You’ll need to have a UK registered limited company or LLC
  • All persons of significant control need to be natural personal and UK residents (no corporate partners)
  • All directors with access to the account must be UK residents
  • Your business must be in a supported sector - some company types can’t open Starling business accounts

If you don't have a company registered in the UK yet you can check Wise Business company formation tool, where you can create a limited company in the UK and open a Wise Business multi-currency account in one go.

To register your Starling business account you’ll need to provide documents about yourself and your business for verification, including¹⁰:

  • Your personal ID and proof of address
  • Information and documents about your business

The exact business information and documentation needed will vary depending on the type of legal entity you hold, and the work you do. Examples may include a trade registration document, signed contracts or bank account statements showing your business activity.

Starling business account limits

Starling business clients have account limits which may vary depending on whether you hold a business or sole trader account. Limits apply on card use and transfers. If you hit a limit on your Starling account, you’ll be notified, and can reach out to the customer service team to get further advice.

Here are the Starling business card limits for spending and withdrawals¹¹:

  • ATM limits - 300 GBP per card, per day, in up to 6 withdrawals
  • Card spending limits - 10,000 GBP per card, per day

There are also limits to the value of transfers you can make from your Starling business accounts. Here’s a rundown of the key limits you should know about.

  • GBP payments - 1 million GBP limit for Faster payments¹²
  • EUR payments - 250,000 GBP limit ¹³
  • USD payments - 25,000 USD daily limit for outgoing payments by ACH, 1 million USD incoming payment limit ¹⁴
  • Overseas payments - 10,000 GBP limit for business account holders - sole traders may have different limits which are available by contacting customer service¹⁵

For all payments, additional limits may apply based on the transfer type, and high value transactions may require extra verification checks. If Starling needs any more information or paperwork you’ll be informed at the time you process your transfer.

Open a Starling business account

If you already have a Starling personal account you’ll be able to add a business or sole trader account in the Starling app. Just log into your personal account and tap the menu button. You’ll see the option Open a new account and can tap this to register your business account.

If you’re new to Starling you’ll need to take a few more steps:

  1. Check you’re eligible for a Starling business account
  2. Gather the documents required based on your business type
  3. Download the Starling app and tap Open a new account
  4. Follow the prompts to enter your personal and business information
  5. Upload images of your documents for verification

To verify your Starling account you’ll be asked to provide some details and documents about your business. These vary widely based on the type of business entity you have and the sort of work you do. Documents needed could include:

  • Signed agreements or contracts showing the type of work you do
  • Bank statements showing your business income
  • Proof of membership to an industry body
  • Registration to a professional body
  • Proof of property ownership or a lease agreement

Once your account has been verified you can start to transact - you’ll get your physical debit card in the post in a day or two, and can use your virtual Starling card instantly.

How long does it take to open a Starling business account?

Applying for a Starling business account can be done from your phone and should only take about 10 minutes as long as you have all the required information and documentation. Starling reports its performance data for verification and the delivery time for debit cards¹⁶:

  • 86% of Starling business customers get their accounts verified on the same day they apply
  • 99% of Starling business customers get their accounts verified within 4 days of applying
  • On average, debit card delivery takes 2 days
  • 99% of Starling business customers get their debit cards within 5 days

Starling business account pros and cons

So, is the Starling business account a good idea? Ultimately, the best business account for you will depend on your personal preferences and requirements. However, here are a few important pros and cons to consider when choosing:

  • Starling GBP accounts have no monthly fee to pay
  • You can manage your money using just your phone
  • Facilities exist to pay in cash and cheques
  • Add in extra features like foreign currency accounts, for an additional fee
  • USD and EUR accounts have monthly charges
  • Starling business account limits can be fairly low for some transaction types
  • Transaction fees apply in some cases


Alternative to Starling Bank business account - Discover Wise Business

UK businesses looking for modern ways to manage their money have a good range of providers to pick from, including Starling and Revolut - and also Wise Business.

💡 Check out our head to head comparison between Wise Business and Starling Bank Business account

If you work with customers, contractors or staff internationally, Wise Business might be a good fit, with great features including:

  • Get full account features for a low, one time fee, with no ongoing charges
  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies with the mid-market rate and low fees from 0.41%¹⁷
  • Send payments to 160+ countries and get local account details to get paid fee free
  • Linked Wise debit cards for spending and withdrawals in 150+ countries
  • Accounting integrations and batch payment solutions, with no monthly fee
  • Add and manage user permissions so your team can also access the account as needed

Besides all that you can even earn a return on the money you hold in multiple currencies. With Wise Interest, you can get a 4.82% variable rate on your GBP balance held in your Wise Business multi-currency account.

Capital at risk. Current rates do not guarantee future growth.

Variable rate is based on 7 day performance as of 10 Aug 2023. This fund has returned an 0.93% annual average over the last 5 years, excluding Wise and fund manager fees. See full 5 year past performance of funds

Get started with
Wise Business 🚀

Ultimately, the right business account for you will depend a lot on how you like to work, and the sort of transactions you need to make. Starling has some handy features, including options to pay in cash at Post Office locations. However, Starling’s multi-currency features are somewhat limited compared to business accounts with more of an international focus, like the Wise Business account. Compare a few account providers, including Starling and Wise, to see which suits you best, based on the services, features and fees available.


  1. Starling business account
  2. Starling business toolkit
  3. Starling international payment fees
  4. Starling help - international payment
  5. Starling GBP business account fees
  6. Starling EUR business account fees
  7. Starling USD business account fees
  8. Starling accounting integrations
  9. Starling help - credit check
  10. Starling help - verification
  11. Starling help - ATM and card limits
  12. Starling help - GBP payment limits
  13. Starling help - EUR limits
  14. Starling help - USD limits
  15. Starling help - international limits
  16. Business account service information - Starling Bank
  17. Pricing/fees: Please seeTerms of Use for your region or visit WiseFees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

Sources last checked April 28, 2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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