Even if you’re bootstrapping your startup as you grow revenue and look for investors, you can still access a business bank account to suit your needs.
Whether you’re growing a side hustle outside your nine-to-five job, or building a tech empire out of your garage, the right bank account keeps your business financials organized. Not only will you easily track your revenue and expenses, but you’ll also be ready to maximize your tax deductions with clear transaction records.
Explore six of the best business bank account options out there for startups that don’t require major deposits. On top of that, you’ll still get the services and features you need to scale.
Overview of the best business bank account for startups
Bank account Best for
Novo Comprehensive management through software integration
Chase Business Complete Checking℠ Accepting payments from clients and customers
LendingClub Tailored Business Checking Account Building up a cash reserve
NorthOne Budgeting expenses and projects
Brex Cash No fee international transactions
Silicon Valley Bank Early stage startups who are looking to scale
Novo’s bank account is designed to easily integrate into other platforms you already use for your business. Connect your account directly to services like Stripe, Shopify, Square, Slack, QuickBooks, and more. It’s easy to accept payments for any type of business model, whether you need to send invoices and receive payments for services or accept debit and credit card payments from an e-commerce shop.
Your account is also fee-free, which is a great bonus when it comes to business banking. And it’s ideal for businesses of all sizes since there’s no minimum balance requirement. Even ACH, domestic wire transfers, and foreign wire transfers are completely free. The only things listed on Novo’s fee schedule are a $50 opening deposit, a $27 charge for insufficient funds, and a $27 charge for uncollected funds returned.
As a Novo account holder, you also gain access to useful perks like credits and discounts from major service providers.
Novo doesn’t just give you a place to manage your business finances; instead, it gives you a comprehensive platform for managing your entire business. No matter what type of startup you’re launching, open a Novo Bank account in just minutes with your company EIN.
Chase Business Complete Banking℠
- Minimum opening deposit: $0.
- Minimum balance requirement: $2,000 daily (to avoid service fee).
- Monthly fee: $0 or $15.
Chase Business Complete Banking℠ offers multiple ways to manage payments for your startup. The app’s QuickAccept℠ feature turns your smartphone into a mobile card reader so you can accept customer payments on the go. Tap, dip, and swipe transactions cost 2.6% + $0.10 while manual transactions cost 3.5% + $0.10. QuickAccept℠ also offers free same-day deposits to help manage your cash flow more efficiently.
There is a $15 monthly fee to use Chase Business Complete BankingSM but there are multiple ways you can get the fee waived. You can maintain a $2,000 daily balance, make at least $2,000 in monthly purchases on your Chase Ink® Business Card, receive $2,000 in QuickAccept℠ deposits, or link to a Chase Private Client Checking℠ account.
Chase’s monthly fee may seem high to a new startup, especially if your business doesn’t yet meet any of the $2,000 thresholds to get it waived. Another downside is that you have to go into a branch to open your account.
Luckily, there are more than 4,700 locations nationwide, but still, check to make sure there’s one close enough. However, for some startups, those low transaction fees for accepting payments could outweigh the negatives, especially since there’s no minimum opening deposit. You can access all of the account’s features without a huge startup budget.
LendingClub Tailored Business Checking account
- Minimum opening deposit: $100.
- Minimum balance requirement: $0.
- Monthly fee: $10 for accounts under $5,000.
Unlike many small business bank accounts, the LendingClub Tailored Business Checking account offers both interest and cash back rewards. Earn up to 0.10% APY on your account, plus 1% cash back on debit purchases.
There’s no minimum balance requirement, but you do need to start off with a $100 deposit in order to open your account. Get the $10 monthly fee waived by keeping at least $5,000 in your account.
Managing your startup’s cash flow is easy with the LendingClub app. You can view your complete transaction history and quickly generate accounting reports. Digital invoicing is also available and you can accept payments via card, ACH, or lockbox. Plus, you can schedule bill payments, transfer funds, and send wire transfers just as you would with a standard checking account.
Startups with existing cash reserves will benefit the most from a LendingClub Tailored Business Checking account. Not only will you get the fee waived, but you’ll also take full advantage of the interest rate on your account balance.
- Minimum opening deposit: $50.
- Minimum balance requirement: $0.
- Monthly fee: $10.
NorthOne makes it easy to organize your startup funds with its digital Envelopes feature. You can create an Envelope category for different expenses, then customize rules to automatically save for each one. For instance, you could budget a weekly savings amount for next month’s rent and then budget a percentage of your payments to go towards taxes.
Connect your NorthOne business bank account to several apps, including PayPal, Stripe, Square, Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, Venmo, and more. You can also integrate with accounting software like QuickBooks and FreshBooks so that your transactions are automatically recorded.
Your NorthOne bank account comes with easy online banking and mobile check deposits, but you’ll also get fee-free ATM access at more than two million Cirrus® ATMs across the globe. If you ever want to add cash to your debit card, you can do so at any Green Dot® location.
While NorthOne is a completely online account, there is access to human customer service support. Ask questions and get answers via live chat, phone, or email. Support hours are extensive, lasting from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST, seven days a week.
A NorthOne account does come with a $10 monthly fee. This includes all of the features and integrations, which may be worth it. Unlike some other accounts, you can’t get the fee waived regardless of your daily balance or monthly deposits. That said, right now, NorthOne is offering three months free to all Money Under 30 readers.
If your startup could benefit from multiple app and accounting software integrations, as well as easy budgeting tools, then NorthOne could still be a great choice.
Brex Cash Account
Brex provides startups with a cash management account, plus the option for a charge card with no personal guarantee. The business account especially stands out with its zero fees on international transactions, making it a solid fit for startups with business vendors or customers abroad. ACH and wire transfers are free, both domestically and internationally. Plus, there’s no monthly limit on the amount you can send.
The optional charge card lets you earn rewards, with certain categories offering better cashback multiples. Rideshares, for instance, provides 8x points, while recurring software payments earn you 3x points. You can also issue cards for your team members, with customized limits set for each individual. Since there’s no personal guarantee; however, you’ll have funds drawn daily from your debit account to pay off the balance.
The Brex Cash Account makes startup accounting much easier as well. There are built-in accounting integrations for QuickBooks, Xero, and NetSuite, Concur, and Expensify. The app also includes a receipts match feature, which lets you either take a picture or forward an email receipt to confirm amounts.
Startups that need free international transactions are a great fit for Brex Cash. The account also allows international founders to apply, although the actual business must be incorporated in the U.S.
Silicon Valley Bank
Silicon Valley Bank isn’t just for small businesses, it’s specifically designed for startups. In fact, it’s extremely popular among venture-backed tech and life science companies. Explore different options for early-stage, venture-funded, and late-stage companies. No matter where your startup stands today, Silicon Valley Bank has the tools to help as your company scales.
The SVB Edge account is made for pre-series A startups. Checking is free and includes unlimited wire transfers, bill pay, and mobile deposits. You can also open an interest-bearing money market account to earn 1.0% APY on balances under $1 million.
Beyond SVB’s bank account for early-stage startups, you’ll also benefit from access to research and data. Plus, you can participate in venture capital pitch sessions and curated events to network with investors and other founders. Customers also get access to SVB’s early-stage job board to help with hiring as you scale.
Finally, enjoy discounts on popular services like Amazon Web Service, Google Cloud, QuickBooks, Gusto, and Airtable. Silicon Valley Bank is designed for the startup with long-term growth in mind. The various levels of support could help you get there faster.
Summary of the best business bank accounts for startups
Business bank account Unlimited fee-free transactions? Monthly fee Unique features
Novo Yes (in U.S.) Yes (can be waived with certain criteria) Integrates with multiple apps
Chase Business Complete Checking℠ Free physical transactions limited to 20 per month Yes (can be waived with certain criteria) Multiple ways to receive payments
LendingClub Tailored Business Checking account Yes No Earn APY on account balances over $5,000
NorthOne Yes Yes Create custom budget rules for different financial goals
Brex Cash Account Yes No Free international transactions as well
Silicon Valley Bank Yes No Access founder events, job boards for hiring, and investor pitch sessions
How we came up with our list of best business bank accounts for startups
We chose these six business bank accounts based on low costs and account minimums while balancing that accessibility with useful features and tools. Mobile banking is a must-have for any startup, so we provided a variety of options based on different business models. Some are better for businesses based on client invoicing, while others are more suited for point of sale transactions.
What is a business bank account for startups?
A business bank account lets you keep all of your business transactions separate from your personal banking. For startups, it’s also helpful to integrate other tools like managing payments and accounting. Since you’re less likely to have a full-time accountant to help with these tasks, a comprehensive business bank account keeps you organized.
You can use both checking and savings accounts for your startup. As your revenue grows, moving funds from a checking account to a high yield savings account could earn interest. Having professional accounts also gives your startup credibility with vendors and clients. A polished appearance goes a long way in quickly establishing your new company as a trusted resource, regardless of industry.
Finally, a business bank account gives you an established relationship with a financial institution. As your startup grows and you need financing in order to scale, that existing bank relationship can help your business qualify. Your bank will have records of your transactions and assets to review your application more quickly and with a more favorable outlook.
Why should you use a business bank account?
You want accurate accounting
One of the primary benefits of using a business bank account is that it simplifies your accounting and bookkeeping. You’ll have a clear transaction history of your revenue and expenses to gauge your profit. It also simplifies your taxes and makes it easy to deduct expenses while keeping clear records.
Your startup is an incorporated business
Once you incorporate your startup, you need to open a separate business bank account. At that point, your company is officially its own legal entity so you can’t combine your personal and business finances.
You need to accept multiple forms of payment
Many business bank accounts help you manage your payments from customers or clients, either directly within the account or by integrating with other platforms. This makes it easy to manage your invoices and other transactions without having to manually input transactions into your payment or accounting software.
Why shouldn’t you use a business bank account?
You’re a sole proprietor
If you’re an unincorporated sole proprietor, you don’t necessarily need a business bank account, especially if you don’t have a lot of expenses. Your income can go directly into your personal bank account without having to manage two separate accounts.
You don’t meet fee-free requirements
Some business bank accounts require hefty opening deposits and daily balances in order to waive a monthly service fee. If you’re just starting your business and are pre-revenue, you may be hesitant to add another cost to your books. But in reality, you should still opt for a business bank account early on, especially if you’re incorporated.
Most important features of business bank accounts for startups
Depending on the structure of your startup, some features may be more important to you than others. Here’s a general overview of some common features you should look for in your business bank account.
No monthly fees
Every dollar counts when you’re first launching your business. Look for a business bank account that has no monthly service or offers an attainable way to get it waived. If there is a monthly service fee, consider the features and benefits included; in some cases, the cost may be worth those extra perks.
A robust mobile app makes it easy to manage your startup wherever you are. Even if you want a local branch to take care of some things, an app lets you keep tabs on your income and expenses, not to mention use the mobile check deposit function.
Whether your startup uses a separate accounting software or a payments app (or both), find a business account that integrates directly into those platforms. This simple integration feature will save you hours each month by automatically importing data rather than having to manually enter it yourself. Plus, all of your accounts will be accurate in real-time, rather than having to wait to see the big picture financials once you’ve reconciled your numbers.
No transaction limits
If your startup has a lot of transactions each month, focus on business bank accounts that don’t charge after you reach a monthly threshold. Those costs can add up quickly and eat away at your profit margins.
A business bank account can do so much more for startups than just holding your cash. Explore these top picks and choose the one that offers the best features that apply to your specific business. Whether it’s account integrations or flexible transactions, the right account can make your startup days much easier.