Benefits of a Starling Bank business account for contractors

As a contractor, what frustrates you about your high street business account? The little card machine you need to find every time you set up a new payee? The inconvenient opening hours of your local bank branch? The envelope stuffed through your letterbox confirming your request to go paperless? Not all banks have got it right yet.

Starling Bank is here to change all that. We offer digital business accounts with no monthly fees for a standard account. With the Starling app, you can set up new payees in minutes (no card reader required). Our customer service is 24/7, available through in-app live chat, on the phone or by email. And we don't send you paper statements. Instead, we give you the option to generate statements for the precise dates you need, which you can then email to whoever needs it, straight from your Starling app or through Online Banking.

Applying for a Starling business account is paperless and 100% digital, so there’s no need to step into a branch - all you need to do is download the Starling app and answer the on-screen questions about your business.

Speed and precision

Starling makes business banking straightforward and efficient. As part of a recent independent survey, Starling came out on top, with 89% of business customers saying that they would recommend us to a fellow contractor, business owner, sole trader or freelancer.

Many contractors with a Starling business account comment on how useful our instant notifications are. Whenever an invoice or direct debit is paid, we'll send you a notification to let you know. All direct debits can be seen in the app from one simple screen. And you can set up and edit standing orders, as well as setting up payees both through the app and through Online Banking.

Peace of mind

If your debit card is lost or stolen, you can lock it straight from the app. You can unlock it again if it turns up, or order a replacement. All Starling business accounts are covered up to £85,000 through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Starling has more than £7 billion on deposit for its 2.4 million accounts, which include more than 400,000 business accounts. We are trusted by a range of business types and sizes - the average balance we hold for business accounts is around £13,000.

Business admin made quick and easy

Most contractors and small business owners have enough on their mind without having to sort through six month's worth of receipts to calculate their outgoings on things like travel or equipment. That's why we automatically categorise spending and enable business customers to upload receipts through the app while on the go so there are no nasty admin burdens at the end of the year.

We also automatically categorise all outgoings, using the categories that HMRC specify for expenditure. For example, when your home office WiFi bill is paid, we'll automatically categorise this transaction as 'Phone & Internet'. Our monthly spending analytics makes it easy for you to understand your spending each month - this helps you track changes and manage your cash flow better.

With the Saving Spaces feature of a Starling business account, you can ring-fence money for any purpose you like, for example tax or building a new website. That way, you can organise your money and stop yourself from accidentally dipping into your savings for your next tax return or VAT submission. This also lets you keep funds aside for monthly bills and expenses, so you can better budget and manage your money.

Multi-currency accounts from one user-friendly app

If you work with clients overseas, you may need to regularly receive or send money in euros or US dollars. This is where Starling's business euro or USD account can help. Once you're up and running with a Starling business account, if you’re eligible you can apply for one or both of these additional accounts from the app by tapping 'Open a new account'.

The euro business account costs £2 per month. The USD business account costs £5 per month. Both enable you to send, receive and hold the foreign currency but you should check the website to ensure the account can support the kinds of payments you expect to send and receive. There are no monthly fees for Starling's standard business account, and you can send international payments to more than 35 countries in 20 currencies.


Open a multi-currency account in November 2021 and pay no monthly subscription fees until 1st March 2022.

After that, it’s just £2 a month for a euro account and £5 a month for a USD account.

You will not be charged if you close your account before the end of the three month promotional period. Please note sole traders cannot open a USD account, for the full eligibility criteria click here.

Banking and bookkeeping, all in one place

If you want to further simplify your business admin, Starling's Business Toolkit could help. The Toolkit includes the ability to create invoices, manage bills and submit VAT payments directly to HMRC. Invoices are automatically matched to incoming payments and any receipts uploaded through the Starling app can be downloaded in one click, ready to send to your accountant.

The Toolkit has been designed to keep your business admin to a minimum. It costs £7 per month, with a free trial available for the first month.

Starling also has a number of integrations available through the Starling Business Marketplace, where you can connect to third-party products and services. Starling offers real-time integrations with Xero, FreeAgent and QuickBooks, meaning that your banking data will be transferred across to the software automatically and instantly.

Everything that Starling does is designed to save contractors and small business owners  time, money and stress. Switching your bank account to Starling couldn't be easier with the Current Account Switching Service (CASS).

Within seven days, your payees, direct debits and balance will be moved across to Starling. All you have to do is make a request through the Starling app and we'll do the legwork. Starling is here to make banking simple.

Monday 18th Oct 2021
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Written by Charlotte Lorimer

Charlotte Lorimer is a freelance business writer and has been part of the Starling team since 2017.

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