As a business owner, you may have found yourself in a position to invest your profits elsewhere outside your business. After all, this could bring you the benefit of diversification, thus lowering your financial risk exposure to your business.
We will explain what a business investment account is and what some of the best choices in this area are for UK business owners, including limited company owners. We will focus on essential factors such as regulation, selection of financial products, fees, access to different markets, customer support, and more. Let’s dig in!
What is a Business Investment Account?
A business investment account is a brokerage account that is opened in the name of a business, including limited companies. Limited companies are legal entities whose assets are protected from personal liability, including assets in the business investment account.
With a business investment account, you can trade financial products such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, and others, subject to availability at your chosen broker. However, keep in mind that any profits you make through this account will be subject to corporation tax.
These may vary from broker to broker, but business investment accounts usually come with higher minimum deposits, lower spreads/commissions, and more personalised customer support (compared to regular investment accounts offered to private individuals).
Best Business Investment Accounts in the UK
Interactive Brokers | Best Overall
Since being founded in 1978, Interactive Brokers has consistently been one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. Their business investment account offers access to 150 markets in 33 countries and 27 different trading currencies with no minimum deposit. Financial products available for trading include stocks, ETFs, CFDs, bonds, options, futures, currencies, mutual funds, and warrants.
eToro | Best for commission-free trading
Since being founded in 2007, eToro has amassed over 30 million users by offering commission-free stock and ETF trading. It also offers other financial products like CFDs and cryptocurrencies, as well as some innovative features such as pre-made portfolios and copying other traders’ positions. Their business account does have a $10,000 minimum deposit and only supports one currency (USD) for trading.
Disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.
Interactive Investor | Best for beginner investors
Being the 2nd biggest UK broker, Interactive Investors has become a common choice for beginner investors due to the simple interface and quick and easy account opening and deposit process. Financial products on offer include global stocks and ETFs, along with UK funds, bonds, guilts, and ready-made portfolios. Their business account is available only to limited companies and has a £30 monthly fee.
IG | Best for forex and CFD trading
Founded in 1974 and available globally, IG is one of the most reputable and regulated brokers. They have built a name for themselves by specialising in forex and CFD trading in their trading account, but they also offer stocks and ETFs through their share dealing account. Their corporate account offers 24-hour technical support and comprehensive educational materials on a user-friendly platform.
Saxo Bank | Best for advanced investors
This Danish broker offers access to over 120 market exchanges worldwide and over 71,000 financial products in 18 different currencies. Some financial products on offer include stocks, ETFs, options, forex options, commodities, futures, and more. Their corporate account is most suitable for advanced investors because of its relatively high fees and a high minimum deposit of £100,000.
|Broker||Minimum deposit (business account)||Monthly fee||Products||Supports GBP?|
|Interactive Brokers||£0||£0||Stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures, currencies, mutual funds, warrants, CFDs||Yes|
|eToro||$10,000||£0||Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, CFDs||No (USD only; deposited GBP will be converted to USD)|
|Interactive Investor||£0 (you need to have the amount necessary for the monthly fee)||£30||Stocks, ETFs, funds (only UK), bonds (only UK)||Yes|
|IG||£/$0 for bank transfer; $50/£250 for credit cards/PayPal||£0||Stocks, ETFs, CFDs, Forex (CFD & DMA)||Yes|
|Saxo Bank||£100,000||£0||Stocks, ETFs, options, futures, forex, commodities, bonds, funds.||Yes|
#1 Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Having been around since 1978, the Interactive Brokers’ major advantage is its reputation. It is regulated by top-tier regulators worldwide and is listed on the NASDAQ exchange (ticker: IBKR).
Other significant advantages of Interactive Brokers are its wide selection of financial products from over 150 markets, solid trade execution, and support for 24 currencies, all combined in one place – IBKR’s Universal Account. There are also 100+ currency pairs available for exchange.
As far as the fee structure goes, there are two distinct plans to choose from for UK business account investors – Tiered and Fixed. For some markets, there is a distinction in fees if you choose direct routing or smart routing trading execution, the latter being an algorithm seeking optimal trade execution price. Commission-free trading is available only for the selected list of non-transaction fee ETFs.
The fee structure, in general, is a bit complex, and it is a good idea to check the fee structure for the products you’re most interested in here.
Fractional shares are also available for any eligible U.S. or European stocks and ETFs.
You also get interest on your uninvested cash over £8,000 in proportion to the net asset value (NAV) of your account up until $100,000 (or GBP equivalent). Above that threshold, the interest rate you get is fixed. The rates also differ for different currencies, and you can see the full breakdown here.
The Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation (TWS) platform offers many advanced features, such as smart routing, watch lists, alerts and monitoring in real-time, advanced technical analysis tools, and more. One of the downsides of the platform is that the learning curve can be steep for beginners, even with the provided educational materials.
Their IBKR Global Trader mobile app is a much more suitable choice for beginners, offering a more intuitive interface and all the basic tools you need to start investing.
You can also choose the web-based app Client Portal or the IBKR Mobile app, which both offer more intermediate and advanced tools than IBKR Global Trader but are missing more advanced features from the desktop TWS platform.
The most important cons of Interactive Brokers are its complex fee structure and lengthier-than-average registration and fund deposit processes.
Overall, Interactive Brokers is a good choice for both beginner and advanced investors looking for a secure business investment account with access to various financial instruments at reasonable fees.
74% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
eToro at a glance
Being founded in 2007, regulated by top-tier financial institutions, and having over 30 million global users, eToro is a well-renowned broker. The platform is most known for its social trading feature Copy Trader, in which you can follow and copy other investors’ trades and portfolios in real-time, at no additional cost.
When investing by yourself, you can choose stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs (on stocks, ETFs, commodities, currencies, indices, and cryptocurrencies). Commission-free trading is available for stocks and ETFs, while you can find their CFD, crypto, and other fees here.
Opening a business investment account with eToro can be more complex than opening an individual account. Some of the most common FAQs, including company types that are not accepted, can be found here.
The minimum deposit is set at $10,000, and you need to transfer it from your business bank account within 30 calendar days of the application being approved, or you could risk your account being closed. Unfortunately, eToro only accepts USD, so if you deposit GBP or any other currency, the deposit will automatically convert to USD.
Currency conversion fees are 0.25% above the currency supplier rate during workdays and 0.50% on weekends for all eToro-approved currencies (GBP included).
The platform is intuitive and well-suited even for beginners and also offers trading with virtual funds through its demo account.
Another unique feature of eToro is an automated investing tool named Smart Portfolios. Most Smart Portfolios are created and managed by the eToro Investment Team.t Still, Partner Portfolios are created and managed by eToro’s partners, including asset managers, data research companies, and more.
The most important cons when using eToro are supporting only one currency for trading (USD), the relatively high minimum deposit for business accounts ($10,000), and having high spreads on certain products. Other cons include the lack of more advanced tools for experienced traders and some additional fees, such as a $5 withdrawal fee and a $10/month inactivity fee (after not logging in for over 12 months).
Overall, eToro is a good choice for most beginner business account investors looking for a simple, low-cost way to start investing.
#3 Interactive Investor
Interactive Investor at a glance
Interactive Investor is a UK broker with more than 400,000 users and over £59 billion in assets under management (2nd biggest in the UK). Its parent company is publicly listed and a part of the FTSE 100 index. The platform also has excellent customer reviews (4.7 stars on +23,000 reviews on Trustpilot).
Some of the benefits of their business account (available only to limited companies) include:
- Paying salaries in connection with pension contributions
- Flexibility in accessing certain asset classes
- The opportunity to claim back expenses, such as subscription fees against tax
The main con of the business account is the £30 monthly fee used to cover operational costs in maintaining services for company accounts and trust accounts. You can see all their fees in more detail here.
The trading platforms (web and mobile are available, but not desktop) are user-friendly and well-designed. There are 40,000+ UK and global stocks to choose from, as well as ETFs, funds (UK only), bonds, and gilts. However, some other financial products are missing, such as CFDs, forex, and options, as well as international (non-UK) funds and bonds.
If you don’t know where to begin, you can choose from their list of ready-made funds, such as:
- Quick-start Funds (6 low-cost funds for beginners);
- ii Super 60 (60 funds selected by experts);
- ii Ace 40 (a list of 40 ethical funds);
- Model portfolios (5 ready-made portfolios).
Account opening and funds deposit/withdrawal processes are all fast and easy.
A high monthly fee and additional trading fees are probably the biggest con of the platform, followed by the aforementioned limited product offer.
Overall, Interactive Investor is a good choice for beginner investors if you consider their fees acceptable. The platform makes it easy for any business owner to open a business investment account and start investing in the most popular financial products.
75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
IG at a glance
IG is a well-renowned broker, offering a wide choice and low commissions in primarily CFDs and forex trading. The IG Group (established in 1974) is one of the most valuable UK public companies (included in the FTSE 250 index), has over 300,000 clients worldwide, and covers over 17,000 markets in total. They are also one of the best-regulated brokers, largely due to being available internationally.
Their corporate account offers 24-hour technical support and comprehensive educational materials on a user-friendly platform. Inside it, you can opt-in for their trading or share dealing account (or both).
The share dealing account offers access to over 12,000 international stocks and ETFs, as well as professionally managed ETF portfolios (IG Smart Portfolios). US stocks are available for commission-free trading, but only if you had 3 or more trades in the previous month.
If you wish to do CFD and forex trading, you will have to use their trading account, which is more tailored to advanced investors.
Some of the features of the trading platform include:
- Weekend trading and extended hours trading;
- Fast execution times;
- Access to Meta Trader 4 (a leading forex trading application);
- Advanced tools: customisable screener, recommended news based on your account, etc.
They offer commission-free trading for most CFDs but charge their own spread on top of the market spread. The exception are stock CFDs, which are offered at the real market price without added spread, but there is a commission when both opening and closing a position.
Some notable additional fees include:
- Forex conversion fee of 0.5%;
- Overnight fees (depending on the product);
- £12 monthly inactivity fee if your CFD account (only) remains inactive for 24 consecutive months
- Custody fee for less than 3 quarterly trades on the share dealing account (£24).
Some of the biggest cons of using IG are the lack of bonds, mutual funds, and other financial products, as well as the aforementioned high overall fees for stock CFDs.
In a nutshell, IG is a broker that offers both stocks and ETFs investing and CFD and Forex trading in a user-friendly interface and with competitive fees. It is tailored to both beginner and advanced traders, depending on your account choice (trading or share dealing).
#5 Saxo Bank
Saxo Bank at a glance
Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank is one of the most reputable global brokers. They are known for their very wide choice of financial products (over 71,000), access to a large number of market exchanges (over 120), and a large number of base currencies (18).
Saxo Bank has, more than anything, been trying to appeal to professional investors. It has done so by offering advanced tools, such as its integration with the Trading View charting platform. The apps SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO have also been tailored to the professional user, both by the number of their features and their relative complexity.
Those are probably some reasons why Saxo Bank has one of the highest initial deposit requirements in the industry, coming in at £100,000 for their corporate account. Some of the benefits you will receive in return are a daily interest rate on your uninvested cash and 24/7 customer support from a dedicated relationship manager.
Three distinct account levels are available based on your total assets: Classic (£100,000 minimum), Platinum (£200,000 minimum), and VIP (£1,000,000 minimum), each with its fee structure.
Speaking of fees, they are one of the biggest cons of using Saxo Bank. For example, fees for trading UK stocks and ETFs start at £5 for VIP accounts and are £7 and £8 for Platinum and VIP account levels, respectively.
The fee structure is fairly complex, and there are also some additional fees to be aware of. Just to name a few of the most common ones:
- Custody fee for open stock, bond, and ETF/ETC positions: £7.95 (minimum);
- Currency conversion fees: between 0.3% and 1%.
- Platform fee: £50 quarterly if you only hold cash in your account
You can see the full fee structure in more detail on their website.
In a nutshell, Saxo Bank is tailored to professional investors because of its advanced tools, higher-than-average fees, and complex interface. Those are also reasons why it may not be suitable for beginner or even intermediate investors.
The Bottom Line
Many factors come into play when choosing a brokerage account for your business investment account. Some of the most important ones are:
- Broker’s reputation and security
- Choice of financial products
- Fee structure
- Platform accessibility
- Customer support
We have given our unbiased review of some of the brokers we find to be the best on the market for UK business owners when considering these factors. Hopefully, we have made your broker choice somewhat easier. Let us know what you think about the choice in the comments below!
Does Hargreaves Lansdown offer business investment accounts in the UK?
No, currently, Hargreaves Lansdown does not offer business share dealing accounts.
Does Vanguard offer business investment accounts in the UK?
No, Vanguard does not offer corporate accounts in the UK.
Does Trading 212 offer business investment accounts in the UK?
No, Trading 212 does not offer corporate accounts.
Does DEGIRO offer business investment accounts in the UK?
No, DEGIRO does not offer corporate accounts.
Does Freetrade offer business investment accounts?
No, Freetrade does not offer corporate accounts.