High fees, poor customer service and overly restrictive policies are just a few of the headaches you can expect with your average checking account, but they can all be avoided with the best business checking account.
Watch out! Not all business checking accounts are created equal.
In the sections that follow you’ll learn more about how to pick the right checking account for your business. First, we’ll dive into exactly what the best business checking account should consist of, before moving onto our list of the 6 best checking accounts for businesses. Regardless of your business age or type, you’ll find a noteworthy account.
What Is a Business Checking Account?
A business checking account is a bank account for your business transactions.
Opening one of these accounts allows you to separate your business expenses from your personal expenses, which is important for accounting and tax reasons.
Always separate business expenses from your personal expenses.
Your business checking account will also be the tool you use to pay your vendors, suppliers, and anyone else you need to pay to keep your business afloat. Lenders are also more likely to offer financing to businesses that have checking accounts.
Most major banks offer business checking accounts. In some cases, it may be possible to open a business checking account with your existing bank.
However, the bank that you’ve chosen for your personal finances might not offer the best deals for your business transactions, which is why it’s important to shop around before you pick a financial institution to work with for your business needs.
How to Pick the Best Business Checking Account
You’ve probably come across several business checking accounts advertised as “free.”
While these checking accounts might be free to open, they often have additional fees that will take effect as you continue to use your account.
Many bank accounts charge transaction fees or have balance requirement fees.
While most financial institutions are upfront with their fees, you may not realize the effect that these added costs will have until you’ve been using your account for weeks or even months.
You should have a firm grasp of your monthly business needs before you open a checking account. Here are some factors to consider:
1. How much money do you want to keep in your account?
While the best business checking accounts remain free no matter how much money you keep in them, some accounts will charge you a monthly fee if you don’t maintain a certain balance.
Many banks asses fees if you don’t meet their balance requirements.
If you aren’t planning to keep very much money in your account, opening a business checking account with no minimum balance fees is a must.
Next, you’ll want to take note of how many transactions you expect to make on a monthly basis.
2. How many transactions do you perform per month?
Before you select a business checking account, get an idea of how many business transactions you usually make each month.
Plan to make a lot of purchases? Then ask about transaction fees, if any.
Some business checking accounts charge fees for every transaction beyond a certain threshold, and these fees can add up quickly. If you plan to make more than 100 transactions with your account per month, choose your business checking account accordingly.
3. Do you need to have access to a physical branch?
Some of the best business checking accounts are online-only. While these business banking options often offer the best deals, they have significant drawbacks.
Some of the best business checking accounts are online-only.
Since these financial institutions don’t have physical branches, your access to useful features like cash deposits and ATM access may be limited.
4. Will your account integrate with your accounting software?
Opening a new business checking account shouldn’t make accounting harder.
Some banks easily integrate with accounting software like Quickbooks.
The right financial institution will offer a checking account that seamlessly integrates with your accounting software. For instance, some banks offer features that automatically sync every transaction with your QuickBooks information.
5. Are you willing to make an initial deposit?
Some banks won’t give you a business checking account unless you make an initial deposit. The amount required for this deposit varies from bank to bank, and some financial institutions don’t require initial deposits at all.
Most business checking accounts require an initial deposit. Amounts vary.
However, it’s likely that you’ll deposit some money into your new business checking account right away anyway, so if you’ll be able to access a better bank by making this concession, you might want to take the plunge.
Top 11 Free Business Checking Accounts
To pick the best business checking account options, we compared the fees, ease of use, and introductory offers associated with each bank.
We also factored in the size of the bank’s network, and we determined if each bank had any special services that sweeten the deal. As a result, we picked the following 11 financial institutions as the best providers of business checking accounts:
1. Chase Bank Total Business Checking
Chase Bank offers some of the best incentives to new business customers. This company charges reasonable fees, and it has a huge network that you can access from anywhere in the country.
Chase Bank Fees
Chase Bank charges a $15 per month fee for its Total Business Checking account, but this fee is waived if you have a Chase personal account. It goes down to $12 per month if you choose paperless statements, and it’s also waived if you keep at least $1,500 in your account.
Put your money to work for you with the best money market accounts
You’ll be charged $0.40 per transaction past the first 100 transactions in a month. Plus, Chase charges $2.50 per $1,000 in cash deposits if you deposit more than $5,000 in cash in a month. You’ll also pay $2.50 per transaction if you use an ATM outside the Chase network.
Chase Bank Introductory Offer
Chase Bank offers a $200 signup bonus. To qualify, you’ll need to deposit $1,000 within 30 days of opening your account, maintain this balance for 60 days, and make at least five transactions with your account within 60 days.
Chase Bank Network
The main benefit of Chase Bank is its network. Chase has more than 5,100 branch locations and 16,000 ATM locations across the country.
Chase Bank Extra Features
Your Chase Bank Total Business Checking account integrates with your accounting software. This bank also offers a comprehensive mobile app that includes online check deposit, bill pay, and wiring options.
2. Axos Bank Basic Business Checking
Axos Bank is an online-only financial institution that offers impressive incentives. While Axos doesn’t have physical branches, it does offer a great mobile app and ATM access.
Axos Bank Fees
This bank doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee.
All you’ll need to do to open an account is deposit at least $1,000. Axos offers 200 free transactions per month, and any further transactions cost $0.30 each. You can deposit up to 60 checks into your Axos account using this bank’s app every month.
Axos Bank Introductory Offer
This bank doesn’t provide an introductory offer.
One of our favorite bank accounts: check out our CIT Bank review.
However, what they lack in introductory offers, they make up for with a fantastic mobile app and other features, like up to 200 free transactions per month, and free access to countless ATMS.
Axos Bank Network
This bank also doesn’t have any physical branch locations. However, it does provide free access to thousands of ATMs around the country.
Axos Bank Extra Features
The best feature of Axos is its mobile app. You can access all your banking functions from this app, and it will also serve as your portal for customer service.
Azlo is an online-only bank that you can try without any risk. This bank doesn’t require an initial deposit, and it offers unlimited monthly transactions. The main drawback of Azlo is its lack of physical locations.
As far as we know, Azlo is the only truly fee-free business checking account. You don’t have to make an initial deposit to use this platform, you can make an unlimited number of transactions every month, and Azlo doesn’t charge any maintenance fees.
Azlo Introductory Offer
Unfortunately, Azlo doesn’t have an introductory offer.
Azlo offers free ATM access at over 55,000 locations across the country.
Azlo Extra Features
This platform offers almost as many features as a physical bank. You can perform direct deposits with your Azlo account, perform account transfers, and send invoices with this bank’s mobile app.
4. Iberiabank Free Business Checking
Iberiabank offers a sweet deal if you want to put your business and personal accounts under one banner. Otherwise, this business checking account isn’t all that impressive.
Iberiabank requires an initial deposit of $100 to open an account. From there, you get 500 free transactions each month before fees apply. This company doesn’t have a monthly service charge.
Iberiabank Introductory Offer
This bank doesn’t provide an introductory offer.
Iberiabank has about 300 branch locations. This company also offers access to a few hundred ATM locations.
Iberiabank Extra Features
This bank offers a relatively comprehensive mobile app, and it also provides account upgrades if your Iberiabank Free Business Checking account ends up being insufficient for your needs.
5. BBVA Compass ClearConnect for Business
Since BBVA Compass doesn’t charge any monthly fees or have a minimum monthly balance, it may be the best business checking account for small businesses. This bank offers access to thousands of free ATMs, but it doesn’t have many physical branches.
BBVA Compass Fees
BBVA Compass doesn’t charge any transaction fees, but it does limit the number of physical deposits you can make per month. After the first two deposits you make at a BBVA branch location in a month, you’ll have to pay a $4 fee. However, BBVA Compass doesn’t have any monthly fees whatsoever.
BBVA Compass Introductory Offer
Unlike other banks with physical branches, BBVA Compass doesn’t provide any introductory incentives.
BBVA Compass Network
BBVA Compass only has 650 branch locations, but it offers free access to more than 43,000 ATMs nationwide.
BBVA Compass Extra Features
While BBVA Compass charges hefty fees for in-person transactions, online deposits are free.
6. Bank of America Business Checking
Bank of America has thousands of locations, and it’s the best business checking account for your company if you make lots of cash deposits each month.
Bank of America Fees
This bank charges a maintenance fee of $14-$18. Bank of America also charges $0.45 for every transaction past your first 200 each month. However, this bank lets you deposit $7,500 in cash before it imposes a fee.
Bank of America Introductory Offer
Bank of America gives you $100 if you make an initial deposit of $1,000 or more. And it gives you $200 if you open a small business credit card.
Bank of America Network
Bank of America is one of the largest banks on the planet, with over 4,600 branch locations and over 16,000 ATMS.
Best Business Checking Account Summary
So, it’s safe to say you’ve learned a lot about how to pick the best business checking account.
However, ultimately it’s based on the specifics of your financial situation. But some options are truly better than others. If you require a physical presence somewhere, opt for a big bank like Chase or Bank of America. However, if you can swing for online-only, go for it. It’s less expensive and more feature-rich.
Azlo is one of the best online banks out, especially for startups who are cash-strapped and don’t have too much to use as an opening deposit. Plus, you can make unlimited transactions. It’s one of the few truly free business checking accounts.
BBVA Compass is another truly free business checking account we love. They don’t charge any monthly or minimum balance fees, plus offers access to thousands of free ATMs. Just no physical branches. We love them too.