How to create a business email (for free) – a step-by-step guide

Business emails are a great way to keep your customers are satisifed - but did you know you can get one for zero charge? Here's 5 simple steps to get set up with the best free provider.

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In today's remote world, customers want to be able to contact businesses quickly and easily to resolve any issues or queries they might have. This makes having an email an absolute necessity as a small business.

But you can't just have any old address. According to a Verisign UK survey, 78% of UK consumers trust a business email more if it comes from a company-branded email address. More trust results a in a higher email open rate, and a better ROI for your email campaigns.

So how do you go about getting one?

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.

To make things easier, we’ve even included a handy walkthrough video guide, in which we talks through all the key points in more detail.

1. Register a free domain name

The importance of email in business communication cannot be underestimated. Not only does email enable immediate response for customers, it is also an important aspect of your branding.

According to HubSpot,  4 out of 5 small business marketers said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing. In many ways, it is as much the virtual face of your website as a website – which a business email is often connected to.

Indeed, 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.

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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Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Best
Cost
Visit
4.6
4.5
4.5
4.1
4.0

Overall hosting provider

For shared and VPS hosting

For Up Time Performance

Energy efficiency

For customer service

£2.20 – £90

£2 – £410

£2.10 – £110

From £5.99 per month

£2.30 – £225

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).

BlueHost pricingNow you’re ready to choose 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.

BlueHost domain name

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.

Want to know more about choosing a custom domain name?

Check out or full guide on how to buy and register a domain name for more information.

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.

Bluehost actually 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.

Our expert comparison table is another good way for you to find the right email provider. It's designed to quickly match your to the best brand for your specific requirements, and is a great way to find a bespoke solution for your business.

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

Group email

Group email

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?
    You can access a business email through Gmail if you purchase a Google Workspace plan. Prices starts at £4.0 per user per month and also let you use your company's domain name.
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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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Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website.

Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Conde Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism.

Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.

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