Are you a small business owner looking to find a bank that offers a comprehensive list of services, convenience, and safety? Do you want a bank that offers a brick and mortar in-person option or are you fine with online? Are you looking for a high APY? Or, are you just totally overwhelmed with all of the choices and different options?
Regardless, having a business bank account is just a smart move. You’ll be able to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances and, as you’ll see below, you’ll have access to critical business tools like invoicing for your clients.
No matter where you’re at in your search for a bank to support your small business, read on and let’s see if I can find a bank that best fits your needs.
Overview of the Best Banks for Small Businesses
- Best for those who need to write paper checks: Bluevine
- Best for freelancers and those with side-hustles: Novo
- Best for freelancers looking for accounting tools: Lili
- Best for the in-person banking experience: Chase Business Complete Banking℠
- Best for those looking for a stellar online bank: Axos Basic Business Checking
- Best for more established businesses: LendingClub Bank
Bluevine has made a name for itself in the business banking world. With free business checking from Bluevine, you don’t need a minimum balance to start. Get unlimited transactions each month and online statements at no charge.
Keep more cash in your business’s coffers—you won’t be charged any fees for incoming wire transfers or insufficient funds. You’ll also receive two free checkbooks.
You can access your account at no charge at more than 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide. If your card is missing, you can lock the account in no time. And, when you need to deposit cash, you can visit GreenDot at more than 90,000 locations.
The mobile app provides a full range of features you’d get at a brick-and-mortar location, with the convenience of banking wherever you are. Check your balance, set up a transfer, and deposit checks with ease. Though Bluevine does not offer in-person service, you can get assistance from the support team via email or phone.
Bluevine also pays interest on your checking account. Currently, the APY is 2.00% on balances up to $250,000, which is significantly higher than the national average. To qualify for that interest rate you must meet one of the following monthly eligibility requirements:
- Spend $500 per month with their Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard®, which can be used everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
- Receive $2,500 per month in customer payments into their Bluevine Business Checking account via ACH, wire transfer, mobile check deposit, or directly from their merchant payment processing provider
Banking with Bluevine can help your small business grow. Its checking account and additional features are flexible, quick, and easy to use. Bluevine also offers financing options, and it provides expertise in small business funding.
» Read more here in our Bluevine review.
Novo was built with small business owners in mind. They offer a business checking account that comes with unique, easy-to-use features that are perfect for almost any business or freelancer.
Open your account whenever, wherever, in a matter of minutes with as little as $50. Novo won’t charge you a monthly fee.
Novo is an independent technology company geared toward freelancers and small business owners. When you start your own business, you’ll quickly find that using your personal bank account can get overwhelming. Novo can help you separate your business and personal finances for free.
- Fee-free banking
- Easy setup
- Convenient online banking
- Business accounts only
- Electronic checks only
- No cash deposits
The company prides itself on not surprising customers with any hidden fees. ACH transfers, funds wired to your account from the U.S. or abroad, and ATM use all have zero fees attached. Novo does charge a $27 fee if you have an overdraft on the account.
Novo’s made for banking on-the-go. Convenient features include TouchID app login, the ability to deposit checks by snapping a photo, and transferring funds with the touch of a finger. Novo offers stress-free integration with existing software like Quickbooks and Slack to pull your small business together.
While Novo was built for efficiency and simplicity, the company does have a top-notch customer support staff to assist you during regular business hours. You’ll get a real person—not a bot—and an answer to your question in less than an hour. If you’re working early or late, you can reach out for customer support via the app.
Lili niches down even further than Novo, creating a banking platform designed specifically for freelancers.
You’ll get banking with no minimum balance or opening deposit required. That makes it easy to create a separate account for your business transactions, which becomes vital during tax time. There are no hidden fees, and the standard account is free.
Lili is an online banking solution built for the freelancer. You’ll get all the tools you need to manage your money and file taxes, as well as the debit card and ATM access you’d get with a personal bank account.
With no hidden fees or minimum balance requirements, it’s the perfect platform for the busy independent contractor.
- No hidden fees
- Automatic savings buckets
- Get your paycheck early
- Limited ATM usability on deposits
- For freelancers (and other business types) only
With Lili, if you are paid via direct deposit, you’ll have access to those funds as early as two business days before you could use them in other bank accounts.
Access your account at no charge at more than 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide, and if your Visa® business debit card is missing, you can lock the account in no time.
But where Lili really shines is in its freelance-geared accounting tools. You can easily track your transactions in real-time and assign them categories. At tax time, just pull a report and you’ll have all your deductions right in front of you.
Lili also has a pro account (Lili Pro) that takes those business tools to the next level. With Lili Pro you’ll get customizable expense categorization and unlimited invoicing, and earn cash back on your spending with certain merchants, as well as 4.15% interest on your savings. There’s a $9 monthly service fee with this account, but it also covers you for up to $200 in fee-free overdrafts. There are also Lili Smart and Lili Premium account plan tiers.
Lili also offers automatic savings features that allow you to have small amounts of money pulled out of each deposit and put into “buckets.” You can save for taxes, build an emergency fund, and more using this tool.
What’s best is that you can set up your account in just three minutes, perfect for the freelancer looking to save time (and money).
Chase Business Complete Banking℠
Chase offers in-person and online options. Whether you’re looking to open a personal or business account, credit card, or take out a loan they offer a total banking experience.
With Chase Business Complete Banking℠, you can handle your business banking on-the-go, online, or in person. Chase gives you access to more than 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 brick-and-mortar branch locations.
Chase Business Complete Banking℠ is a small business checking account that offers a competitive suite of benefits for business owners providing you what you need to start or grow your business and keep it going.
- Convenient physical bank access
- Wide range of additional banking services
- QuickAccept℠ payment processing feature
- Monthly fee may apply
- There's a limit to free transactions
As a small business owner, you watch your budget closely. Chase Business Complete Banking℠ has a $0 monthly service fee if you maintain a $2,000 minimum daily balance for 60 days or if your account is coupled with your personal Chase Private Client Checking or Chase Sapphire Checking account. Otherwise, the monthly service fee is $15 with ways to waive (or $12 if you skip paper statements and get them electronically).
If you like the convenience of online access mixed with the comfort of knowing you can visit a traditional branch, Chase is a great banking option for your small business.
Axos Basic Business Checking
Axos is a digital bank that offers its customers a comprehensive banking experience — from checking and savings accounts to home, auto, and personal loans.
Its Basic Business Checking and Business Interest Checking are the best fit for small businesses.
Axos Bank offers a variety of banking accounts with easy-to-use software to make your personal banking experience efficient.
Their Axos Bank Business Interest Checking Account provides a valuable and simple banking option for small businesses.
- Earn up to 1.01% APY*
- Up to 60 remote check deposits per month
- Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
- Average daily balance of at least $5,000 to waive monthly maintenance fee
- Online-only bank
Basic Business Checking requires a $0 minimum opening deposit requirement. The account is not subject to monthly maintenance fees plus you get unlimited transactions.
Business Interest Checking requires a $100 minimum deposit to start. There’s no monthly maintenance fee if you carry a $5,000 daily balance. If the account dips below that, the monthly fee is $10. With Business Interest Checking, you’ll earn up to up to 1.01% APY*.
Enjoy the convenience of remote deposits anywhere and anytime via your mobile device. You can make cash deposits through wire transfer. Axos offers free online banking, mobile banking, and online bill pay free of charge.
You can integrate your account with QuickBooks to streamline your small-business budget processes.
If you’re ready to open an account for your small business, Axos has been in business for 20 years and provides a variety of online services to fit your needs. It’s a solid small-business choice.
LendingClub is an online-only bank that offers a full suite of services for businesses of all sizes.
Its Tailored Checking product is the best choice for small businesses. It also features Relationship Checking and Account Analysis Checking for larger companies with a higher transaction volume, as well as Interest Checking for non-profits and municipal organizations.
If you’re a small business owner or independent contractor, Tailored Checking boasts ease of use and 27/7 online and mobile access. Account management features include the ability to deposit checks, do a balance inquiry, and examine statements and transaction history.
With your LendingClub account, you can transfer funds to internal accounts, conduct wire transfers, and issue payments to others.
You can access funds fee-free at 20,000 ATMs across the country. The LendingClub debit card comes with a host of protection options, including setting transaction, activity, and location limits, receiving real-time security alerts, and deactivating a missing card via the app.
Your LendingClub account integrates with Autobooks so you can create and email customer invoices, then receive payments via card or electronic transfer.
LendingClub accounts do have fees attached. You’ll pay $10 per month if your account balance is under $5,000, a $5 per day overdraft fee, and fees to initiate and receive wire transfers.
» Read more about LendingClub Bank in our full review.
What’s the difference between a personal and a business bank account?
It just so happens that there are some extra benefits that come with opening a business bank account including:
- Added protection. A business account offers limited personal liability protection and purchase protection for your customers.
- Line of credit. Many business banks offer you the option to take out a line of credit for your company. So, if you encounter an emergency or require some cash this can be incredibly helpful.
- Additional information required. When it comes to opening a business bank account you will need to provide some additional information such as your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security number if you’re a sole proprietorship and business license.
Do I need a business bank account for my small business?
It is highly recommended that as a small business owner you have a separate business bank account for the following reasons. First, it helps to keep your business and personal expenses separate
Second, this separation is extremely useful when it comes time to do your taxes. You don’t want to be sifting through your personal expenses trying to identify a business cost.
Third, having a business account makes you appear more professional and legitimate. And fourth, if your company is legally separate from you, as with an LLC or Corporation, then you need to have a separate account to protect your personal property in case of a lawsuit.
What are some important features to look for in a small business account?
When you start your search for a small business bank account that will best suit your needs consider the following features:
- Fees (maintenance fees, transaction fees, etc.).
- Interest rates for savings and checking accounts.
- Minimum balance requirements.
- Security (FDIC member).
- Access to ATMs.
- Online vs. in person.
- Card options (is a debit or credit card available).
This article features some of the best small business bank accounts that offer a broad spectrum of features from online and in-person access, to high APY accounts, and low fee accounts. If you are thinking about starting a small business, or you already own a small business, it’s important that you have a separate business account.