Passion and a great idea are not enough to determine whether a business succeeds or not. Money is one of the key drivers of a small business, and who handles your business bank account can play an important role.
We’ve reviewed all of the banks that provide banking services for small business owners, and have come up with a list of the best business checking accounts available in [I_YEAR].
If you are planning on starting a new business, use this list below to determine where to open your business account and who can be trusted to keep your business finances safe.
Here are the best business checking accounts that we review in this article:
- Axos Bank: Best Business Checking Accounts for Digital Startups
- Novo: Best Business Checking Accounts for Tech-Savvy Side Hustlers
- Bluevine: Best Business Checking Accounts for Making Your Money Make Money
- Relay: Best Business Checking Accounts for Fast-Growing Startups
- Northone: Best Business Checking Accounts for Responsive Bankers
- Found: Best Business Checking Accounts for Gig Economy Workers
- Nearside: Best Business Checking Accounts for Newbie Entrepreneurs
- Mercury: Best Business Checking Accounts for Tech Startup Partnerships
- Lending Club: Best Business Checking Accounts for Earning Interest & Cash Back
- Chase Business: Best Business Checking Account for Established Small Businesses
- NBKC Bank: Best Business Checking Account for Incoming Wire Transfers
- Navy Federal: Best Business Checking Account for Vetrepreneurs
Axos Bank is a pioneer in digital banking and one of the first banks to offer its products and services exclusively through online banking.
Axos Bank Features
Axos offers some pretty amazing benefits for your business checking account, and even has frequent promotional offers that will provide up to $200 when you open a new business account.
With no minimum initial requirements, no fees, and the fact that they refund ATM fees, this is a great option for the online checking accounts of companies that are just getting started.
Here are some of the features provided and industries served by Axos Bank:
Who Is Axos Bank For?
Axos Bank provides a substantial amount of financial services to companies in various industries. As an online and mobile banking-only bank, they don’t have to worry about the costs of brick-and-mortar locations, so they can allocate more money to servicing clients.
They are an online bank, however, so if you expect your business deposit accounts to be dealing with a lot of cash, this may not be the best option for you. While you can deposit cash at specific ATMs, that’s not ideal for cash-heavy businesses. Axos and other online banking firms are best for companies that deal in digital dollars, not cash deposits.
If you are a cash-strapped startup in search of your first clients without a lot of money to put in the bank right now, Axos may be the online bank for you.
Axos Bank Pricing
Without the worry of brick-and-mortar banks, Axos doesn’t have to gauge you on fees as many traditional banks do.
There are no minimum balance requirements, no transaction fees, and unlimited reimbursements for ATM fees, making Axos a pretty sweet deal.
They will even give new accounts $200, if you can catch one of their promotions. No new business should ever turn down free money!
Novo is not technically a bank. It’s a banking platform for startups and small business owners (all of its banking is done through Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; Member FDIC).
Novo focuses on moving your money through technology innovations, and as a result, their business banking accounts can integrate with a wide variety of tech and third-party apps, including:
They also have some pretty sweet offers that provide credits for a lot of things digital-native entrepreneurs may need. Here are some of their perks:
- $3,000 in Google Cloud credits
- 40% off the first 6 months of Quickbooks online
- Up to $20,000 in fee-free credit card transaction fees if you link with Stripe
Who Is Novo For?
If you read the tech stack integrations above and went cross-eyed, Novo is not for you. But if you are a digital-savvy entrepreneur, Novo may be the best place for you to open up a business checking account.
Novo has no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum deposit, no minimum balance requirements, and unlimited reimbursements for ATM fees (worldwide). This is an excellent option for movers, shakers, and side hustlers who don’t want fees to slow their online business checking account down.
Bluevine has been lending to small businesses for over a decade, but now they’re getting into the space of business bank accounts.
A Bluevine business checking account is not only free, but it’s also one of the only options on this list that will actually pay an APY on balances up to $100,000 in your bank business checking account (if you meet certain restrictions).
With no minimum balance requirements, unlimited transactions per month, and free online statements, this is a great small business checking account for entrepreneurs who want their money to work for them.
Who Is Bluevine For?
That sweet 1.5% APY on the Bluevine business checking account requires at least $2,500 in incoming ACH transfers per month to your account, as well as $500 in monthly spending.
Bluevine also charges $4.95 per cash deposit, so the sweet spot on this account is a small business that already has money coming in, but operates in digital payments rather than cold hard cash deposits.
Going with Bluevine will mean keeping your business checking account online, but that also comes with a lot of great perks like low or no fees. Bluevine has no minimum deposit requirement, no overdraft fee, no monthly maintenance fee, no ATM fees at their locations nationwide, and pays the highest APR of all of the online banking services that we reviewed.
Relay is another service that provides online business checking accounts to small business owners and entrepreneurs alike.
One of the most unique aspects of this small business checking account is your ability to set up sub-accounts and even multiple accounts. For example, if you have your business checking accounts or business savings accounts, you can use a sub-account to set profits aside to pay bills first.
There are also options to receive standardized vendor data and auto-categorization for all card purchases. Relay’s business checking features make it easy to separate and organize revenue to keep it steadily flowing.
Who Is Relay For?
Relay is like a business account with an operations app mindset. Not only does it allow you to set up multiple sub-accounts, but you can even invite team members and assign them permissions within your business bank accounts. This is great for a fast-growing startup bringing in new clients and team members, with a need to delegate tasks.
Relay is another online bank that saves on brick-and-mortar fees and can pass those savings along to you. With no ATM fees within the Allpoint ATM network, you keep more of the money needed in your business checking account.
Northone is a rapidly-growing online bank that over 320k American businesses now trust with their business bank accounts.
Northone provides on-call customer support and tailor made tools to ensure your small business checking accounts have everything they need to prosper. Northone even offers budgeting tools within your personal and business accounts, which allows you to set aside money automatically for taxes, bills, or whatever your small business needs.
Who Is Northone For?
The Northone founders spent a lot of time in focus groups with small business owners to discover their biggest pain points when dealing with traditional banks, like Bank of America or Chase Business complete banking.
One of the biggest responses they got was that big banks don’t listen and make things complicated. If you have a lot of needs and want a responsive bank, or you enjoy task delegation and multi-tasking within your banking app, Northone may be for you.
Northone does have a small business checking account monthly fee ($10), but that’s it. They don’t charge for ACH transfers and allow you to pay invoices or send/receive transfers directly from your phone, which can be extremely helpful and efficient. Free in-network ATM fees means that $10 fee is just about all you will spend for Northone mobile banking.
Found is an online banking platform and tax app designed for freelancers and self-employed people.
Found is a fee-free business bank account that integrates with a multitude of apps that your small business may use often. It also has in-app tools that can help with bookkeeping, tax planning, and invoices.
The one major downside: there is no way to deposit cash, not even checks. To get money into a Found account, it either has to come from a separate business bank account or other digital inflows.
Who Is Found For?
Because Found has so many integrations and allows your small business to handle all of its mobile banking and financial needs in one place, this is a great business bank account for gig economy workers or independent contractors working on a side hustle.
Found is one of the few online banking services companies that does have a monthly fee, but $10 isn’t much considering you won’t be paying any other fees.
But keep in mind that you will have no way to deposit checks directly into your Found account. For that, you’ll either have to have a separate business bank account or other ways for money to flow in.
Nearside may be the only bank built exclusively for business owners, helping with everything from opening a business to managing personal and business finances.
Most startups need to have their company formed before they open an account, but Nearside Sprout LLC offers services that assist with forming your company, legal issues, and more. They also provide startup resources and, of course, advice for setting up your personal and business accounts.
Who Is Nearside For?
If you are a newbie in the world of starting your own business, Nearside does an excellent job of walking you through every step of the process. Depending on what state you are forming your company in, the process can be downright confusing. Nearside steps in to help first-time (or even veteran) entrepreneurs through every step of starting and running their small businesses.
No overdraft fees, no monthly maintenance fees, and no account minimum balance requirements make Nearside a great choice for startups. The first months (or years) of a new business can be exceedingly difficult, and Nearside understands that better than traditional banks.
The only downside is that Nearside does not offer business savings accounts, they only have a business checking account option.
Mercury is another fee-free online banking option and an excellent option for tech startups.
This is another account for the tech-savvy, considering the large suite of integrations:
- Amazon (no mention of whether they offer a merchant payment processing provider)
- Ability to advertise your company promotions through the Mercury home page
You can use all 55,000 Allpoint ATMs for free and will pay no ATM fees for any machine from Mercury (although you may receive 3rd party fees). Plus, your company can get both a physical and virtual debit card with a Mercury account.
Who Is Mercury For?
Because they don’t offer accounts for sole proprietorships, Mercury is only for incorporations (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp), or partnerships.
But with all of their tech integrations, virtual debit card, and basic business checking account that allows you to assign multiple users and permissions, this is great for a growing tech company that needs to delegate financial duties, such as customer payments.
Also, the only way to get money into Mercury is through mobile check deposit or digital payments – no cash deposits.
There are no ATM fees, but you may get hit with a 3rd party fee with out-of-network machines. Aside from that, you have unlimited transactions and no monthly fees.
Lending Club is one of the best business checking accounts on our list, providing an APY on balances up to 100,000.
Lending Club Features
Lending Club offers a ton of cash-back features for certain types of spending. While they don’t offer a savings account, the ability to earn money on your money is top-notch.
An interest-bearing checking account for your small business is not to be taken lightly, and when you put cash-back deals and a well-known name like Lending Club with it, you have a winning formula for any small business.
Who Is Lending Club For?
Lending Club offers products beyond a checking account for small businesses. They provide business interest checking accounts (on balances up to $100,000), business savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs (Certificates of Deposit). Your account also comes with a complimentary debit card.
Lending Club also provides a variety of loan types, making this business checking account best for companies that are established and have some money in hand to begin earning interest, as well as the financial history to apply for loans if needed.
Lending Club Pricing
You will need a minimum deposit of $100 to open a Tailored Checking Account with Lending Club, and you need to maintain the minimum balance requirements of over $500 to keep your account fee-free.
This is why Lending Club is an excellent option if you already have some clients and money coming into your account. If you do meet those requirements, this business checking account provides some of the absolute best benefits for a small business.
Chase Business Complete Banking
Chase Bank is an American national bank headquartered in New York City and Chase Business Complete Banking is a sector of the company offering small business checking accounts.
Chase Business Complete Banking Features
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are often cautious and not big fans of traditional banks, and for good reason. Their requirements and risk tolerance are not well-suited for the startup world, and overdraft fees can wreak havoc on asset-rich, cash-poor companies.
If you are an established company that already has a clientele and money coming in, Chase Business Complete Banking is hard to beat based on wide access to their banks & ATMs, as well as the multitude of loans and financial products they can provide (if you meet their requirements).
Who Is Chase Business Complete Banking For
Chase Business Complete Banking is for companies who have moved beyond the startup phase and know that they will require banking loans or other services beyond merely a business checking account.
If you need business credit cards, debit cards that you can assign to multiple employees, loans, or even one place to keep your personal and business finances separate, Chase is the place for you.
Chase Business Complete Banking Pricing
Chase has a well-established footprint of ATMs and brick-and-mortar stores. This is great when you need physical access to a location for cash deposits or to meet with a banker.
But, all of those physical locations cost money. The Chase Business Complete Banking account for small businesses has $15 monthly maintenance fees that can be waived, but you must meet the following requirements for them to be waived:
- Minimum daily balance of $2,000
- Receive $2,000 in deposits from Quick Accepts transactions or other another eligible merchant payment processing provider
- Chase Ink business credit cards purchases of at least $2,000 per month
You should also keep in mind that Chase Business Complete Banking has a $34 fee for every overdraft, transaction fees after your first 20 transactions per month ($0.40 per transaction after that), and a fee for cash deposits ($2.50 per every $1,000 over $5,000 in a deposit cycle).
NBKC is a Kansas City-based bank that provides business banking services at its physical locations (4 located in Kansas and Missouri) and online.
NBKC Bank Features
NBKC is truly a fee-free business banking service that doesn’t even charge for incoming wire fees (something that most of the “fee-free” banks do). NBKC business bank accounts even come with a complimentary NBKC business debit card.
Like Lending Club, NBKC also offers products beyond merely a business checking account, such as a money market account (an interest-bearing checking account), CDs, business credit cards, and loans.
NBKC also offers a range of services for your personal finances, such as a personal checking account, home loans, health savings accounts, IRA, and personal loans.
Who Is NBKC Bank For?
Chase was a great account for an established business, and others on our list were great for brand-new startups. NBKC seems perfect for those small business owners who are right in the middle, and want a one-stop-shop to handle all of their money needs.
NBKC Bank Pricing
The fact that NBKC doesn’t even charge incoming wire fees is pretty substantial, especially if your business is the type that may utilize a lot of those.
The bank only offers $12 in rebates for ATM fees per month, but with most of our business finances being handled online these days (you want to keep your personal and business finances separate), hopefully, you don’t have to worry about that much.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union is a global credit union and the largest member credit union in the United States.
Navy Federal Credit Union Features
Credit unions typically offer far greater products for their customers, because they are set up a little differently than traditional banks and you must qualify to be a member. Navy Federal Credit Union is no different, and if you qualify for their business checking account, it can be extremely beneficial.
You must either be a military veteran (any service, not just the Navy), be active duty military, or have a direct family member that is to open a Navy Federal Credit Union small business checking account. But if you meet those requirements, these accounts can truly help you succeed in your small business.
Who Is Navy Federal Credit Union For?
Many military veterans who have been leaving the service in the past decade have decided to become entrepreneurs, coining the phrase “Vetrepreneur”. The other major military credit union is USAA, but they don’t provide business checking accounts. NFCU is the one to go with if you meet those requirements to become a member.
Navy Federal Credit Union Pricing
Navy Federal Credit Union does have some physical locations, but most are located around military bases. Still, they don’t pass those fees along to customers, like Bank of America and Chase does.
These business checking accounts all offer an APY (at 0.01% it isn’t much, but at least it’s something). The basic business checking account is limited to 30 transactions per month, but a premium business advantage relationship banking account with NFCU gives you unlimited transactions, as well as a 0.45% APY on balances.
What Is the Difference Between a Business Checking Account And a Personal Checking Account?
There really is no difference in the way that a personal checking account and a business checking account operate. The main differences are in the benefits and perks that some banks provide for business accounts, given that they are likely to have a high volume of transactions.
What to Consider When Choosing a Business Checking Account
There are many different types of businesses out there, each with its own unique needs. This creates a world in which certain business checking accounts would be great for one business or entrepreneur, but not so great for another.
Here are some of the things that you should consider when looking for a new business checking account:
- Minimum Deposit: Do you have to deposit a certain amount to open an account?
- Transaction Limits: Does your business have a large number of small transactions or just a few large ones per month?
- Monthly Fees: Will this business checking account charge you a monthly fee, and if so, are there ways to waive those fees?
- Interest (APY): Does this business bank account pay interest and allow your money to make money for you?
- ATM Fees and Access: Do you expect to pull cash from an ATM often? If so, will you be hit with a lot of fees? Will they be reimbursed if you do?
- Cash Deposits: If you are in a cash-driven business, is there a limit or charge to make cash deposits?
How to Open a Business Checking Account?
Most banks will not allow you to open a business checking account until you have certain documents and paperwork already in hand. Nearside is the only one that we’ve ever heard of that will actually help you with the process of starting your company.
For all of the others, you should expect to need the following items to open a business checking account:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS or Social Security Number if you’re a sole proprietor
- Fictitious Name Certificate or Doing Business As (DBA) Certificate (if you are using a name other than the one the company was formed under)
- Business formation documents
- Organization documents, including your ownership agreements
- Business licenses
- Government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport
What Are Other Types of Business Bank Accounts?
We mentioned a few types of accounts other than business checking accounts above, so let’s briefly discuss what some of them are:
- Business Savings Account: Used for money that is not expected to be needed for day-to-day activities. These may or may not pay interest, but often do.
- Money Market Account: A different type of checking account that may pay interest.
- Certificates of Deposit (CDs): A savings account with a fixed term and typically, a fixed interest rate.
Who Has the Best Business Checking Account?
The “best” business checking account all depends on what type of business you are in, and what your situation is. Our review above outlines which accounts are best for a multitude of different businesses based on their situation and money flow.
What Type of Bank Account is Best for Small Businesses?
If you are in need of a loan, a traditional bank would likely be best for you. If you are a startup that is strapped for cash, the no-fee bank accounts listed above are great for your situation. If you work with a lot of wire transfers, those listed above that don’t charge incoming fees would be best for you.
Which Bank Does Not Charge for a Business Account?
Most of the banks listed above don’t charge for a business account, and even the ones that do have requirements that can waive those fees.
How to Close a Business Checking Account?
Whether your business goes bust or you are moving to a new banking institution, closing a bank account is simple. If you have money in the account, simply transfer it to your new bank and tell your current bank that you’d like to close your account. If your account has non-sufficient funds, you need to pay those off or the bank will send your account to collections (the same for business credit cards).
Whether you are a brand-new company or a serial entrepreneur, established business or bootstrapping startup, there are many different banking options available to you.
Those on the list above are reviewed and outlined as the “best” for a particular situation because there are so many variables involved. Still, cash is king for small business owners, so in our opinion, the accounts that pay you an APY while having no or low fees are the best.