How to create a FREE business email address

A business email address is essential fort building trust for your brand, but can you really get one for free? We explain how far you can get without having to spend

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Robyn Summers-Emler Grow Online Editor

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If you want your business to look authentic and trustworthy, you're going to need to get a proper business email address – that means no @hotmail or @gmail handles that could put a potential customer off. But can you do this for free?

The answer is something of a “Yes, but…” and that's worth expanding on. While you technically can get a free business email address, with your brand name right there after the @ sign, you are going to have to spend at some stage on something else – most typically, purchasing the domain or paying for a hosting provider, who will then throw in the email address for free. It's a little like saying you can get a free napkin from Pret, provided you're willing to buy a sandwich first.

That said, thanks to some generous free trial periods – hosting providers often give you the first year for free, you can get quite a long way without having to spend anything.

So how do you go about getting a free email address? Below, we'll take you through how to create a business email for free in 5 easy steps. We'll explain every fiddly task including registering a domain name, choosing an email service provider, and setting up multiple users. We'll also give you recommendations to the best email hosting platforms. Based on our first-hand user testing, our favourite is Bluehost because of its wealthy range of features, generous storage allowance, and flexible pricing plans.

Should you spend on a business email address?

This guide will talk you through getting an email address for free – or at least, initially, thanks to the 12-month free domain hosting offered by brands such as Bluehost, and their frequent tie -in deals for getting an email address included.

But, sooner or later, you will need to get your wallet out. Domain hosting isn't free forever, and small monthly fees for an email account will kick in eventually.

You may still want to consider spending a small amount now to lock in your ideal business email address. Google Workspace will give you a professional business email with costs starting from just £5 per month. If you've used a personal Gmail account before, you'll find everything instantly familiar.

Take a look at our guide to creating a business email through Google Workspace if you'd like to know more.

1. Register a free domain name

Bluehost logo
Register a domain for your business email with Bluehost today

Bluehost is our top provider for domain and hosting services, and it offers great first term discounts for new customers.

Try Bluehost It only takes a minute.

One of the first steps when getting a business email is to register a domain name.

Your domain name is the address of your website, and forms the foundation of your business email. For that reason it should include your business name, or be as close to your business name as possible.

Based on our user testing, the easiest way to register a domain name is to use an internet domain registrar or web hosting company, such as Bluehost (our top-ranked hosting provider for small businesses), or InMotion hosting, our second best.

We've picked out our top-rated providers in the chart below:

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0 out of 0
Overall score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.6
Overall score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.5
Overall score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.5
Overall score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.1
Overall score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.0
Best

Overall hosting provider

Best

For shared and VPS hosting

Best

For Up Time Performance

Best

Energy efficiency

Best

For customer service

Cost

Starting from £2.33 per month

Cost

$9.49 $2.99/mo*

Cost

$11.95 per month

Cost

From £1.99 per month

Cost

$1.59 – 2.59 per month

Visit
Try Bluehost
Visit
Try InMotion
Visit
Try HostGator
Visit
Visit SiteGround
Visit
Try A2 Hosting
What is BlueHost?

BlueHost is our top hosting provider. That's because it has a huge range of features, generous storage allowances, and a wide range of pricing plans.

Read our full guide to find out more about why our expert researchers chose Bluehost as our number one hosting provider.

If you sign up for a hosting plan with either of the above hosting providers, you get a free domain name for the first year, with many web hosting companies offering free or discounted business email in the cost of their plans as well.

To get started, just select a hosting plan. You can choose either shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting (check out our guide on website hosting for more information).

Now you’re ready to choose and register your domain name. If you choose one that’s already been taken, the registrar will show you alternatives that are closely related (i.e with different spellings or extensions). If it’s available, congratulations – you’ve taken the first successful step towards setting up your business email.

Next, you’ll have to fill in all your personal and payment information in order to create your account.

If you choose BlueHost's cheapest paid-for plan, BlueHost Sharing, you'll pay a total of £44 per month. This is excluding any optional paid extras such as domain privacy + protection, which prevents your personal contact information from being publicly available, and SiteLock Security.

We’d recommend privacy + protection if you want to avoid being harassed, or don't want to risk your domain being transferred. You can decide whether or not you want any of the other optional extras at a later date.

2. Choose an email provider

This may be decided for you. Many hosting providers work with an email partner, which will allow you to access free or discounted email services through your hosting plan.

One of your options will be to use Google Workspace, which in effect gives you all the look and feel of a personal Gmail account, but with the professional touch of your own business domain after the @ sign, plus extra features for business users including more storage and the ability to host more people on work video calls.

Take a look at our table below for more on Google Workspace's pricing plans:

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Business Starter

Business Standard

Business Plus

Enterprise

Cost

£5 per user, per month for a one-year commitment

Cost

£10 per user, per month for a one-year commitment

Cost

£15 per user, per month for a one-year commitment

Cost

Contact sales

Features
  • Custom and secure business email
  • 100-participant video meetings
  • 30GB storage per user
  • Security and management controls
Features
  • Custom and secure business email
  • 150-participant video meetings and recording
  • 2TB of storage per user
  • Security and management controls

 

Features
  • Ediscovery and retention
  • 500 participant video meetings and attendance tracking
  • 5TB storage per user
  • Advanced endpoint management

 

Features
  • S/MIME encryption
  • As much storage as needed
  • Advanced security, management and compliance controls
  • Noise cancellation and in-domain live streaming

Not sold on Gmail? Bluehost also offers one Microsoft 365 (Outlook) mailbox 30-day free trial with every hosting plan. One mailbox equates to one user. After the trial ends, you’ll have to upgrade to one of its three email plans, which all have reasonable starting prices:

  • Email Essentials – £3.67 per license per month
  • Business Plus – £7.34 per license per month
  • Business Pro – £11 per license per month

With HostGator, you can choose to add either Microsoft Outlook or Google Workspace (Gmail) at checkout for £4.32 per month. Choose whichever best suits your needs.

Both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 offer new advanced AI features for business users, too. Take a look at our guide to Google Duet vs Microsoft Copilot for more. 

3. Create your email address

Great stuff – you’ve registered your domain name with a respectable hosting provider, and you’ve chosen your email provider. Now you’re ready to create your very own business email address. 

All you have to do is:

  1. Log into your hosting account
  2. Click on the ‘Email’ section
  3. Click ‘Create’
  4. Fill in the appropriate box with the business email and extension you’ve decided on (e.g. henry@coolfunkybusiness.com – in Bluehost this is under ‘Username’, while in Hostgator, it’s under ‘Email’)
  5. Create a password using the password generator
  6. Select whether you want a maximum storage limit or unlimited storage (you get unlimited storage on all plans with HostGator, so you might as well use it)
  7. Click ‘Save’ or ‘Create Account’, and…
  8. Hey presto! You’ve just set up your first free business email account
  9. Check your email for a confirmation email

4. Access your new email account

Now you need to access your webmail to make sure you can send and receive emails.

You can pick any webmail application you like, just follow the instructions in the webmail section of your hosting provider. 

This is also where you approve which devices you want to be able to access your email from.

Should you use Gmail or Outlook?

This is a commonly-asked question when it comes to setting up a business email, and it has no definitive answer.

Some find Outlook harder to get to grips with, but say it offers more options to customise your email to your own needs. Gmail is generally considered to be the more streamlined experience for day-to-day use.

5. Set up multiple users

You can then repeat the above process to create more users (any personalised email address) using the same business email extension.

Once you upgrade to a paid plan, you’ll have pay for each additional user at the same rate as your plan.

For example, if you opt for Google Workspace’s Business Standard plan (£8.28 per user per month) and have three users, you’ll pay £24.84 per month.

Group email aliases – such as sales@coolfunkybusiness.com or info@coolfunkybusiness.com – don’t count as additional users and so are included in the cost of your plan.

Final thoughts

If you’re setting up a business website, we’d recommend setting up your business email through your hosting provider. It makes everything a lot easier, and means you can manage everything from one place.

There are other hosting providers to choose from, and other email services, but we think Bluehost and HostGator are great options for most small businesses. If you choose any Bluehost hosting plan, you can use Microsoft 365 and Outlook completely free for 30 days, with prices starting from £2.15 per month thereafter for five business emails.

HostGator's pricing plans start from £2.20 per month (billed annually) for either Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace.

What's the next step?

Your first business email is now sorted. So what's next?

Here's what else you need to consider to get your business properly up and running:

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What email is best for a business email?
    The best website hosting providers will give you access to a top free email service. Some of the best emails to use for businesses are Gmail, Verizon Email, and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Are business emails free?
    There are a few different website hosting providers and email platforms that allow you to set up a business email account completely for free if you purchase website hosting or server hosting plan. Our top choices are BlueHost and Inmotion Hosting.
  • Is Gmail free for business users?
    You can access a business email through Gmail if you purchase a Google Workspace plan. Prices starts at £5 per user per month and also let you use your company's domain name.
Bluehost logo
Set up a business email with Bluehost today

Bluehost is our top provider for domain and hosting services, and it offers great first term discounts for new customers.

Try Bluehost It only takes a minute.

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