Best Business Checking Accounts

As a small business owner, choosing the right bank and finding the best business checking accounts to choose from, can feel like an overwhelming experience.

Account fees are just one of many factors to consider. For example, maybe you need free cash deposits, unlimited transactions, or invoicing tools. It all depends on you and how your business runs.

The good news is that whether you’re a freelancer, sole proprietor, or limited liability company, there are many high-quality business bank accounts ready to serve you.

In this post, you’ll learn about the best business checking accounts, including traditional banks, online-only options, and more.

9 Best Business Checking Accounts For 2022

  1. Novo Business Banking: Best to Avoid Fees
  2. Axos Bank Basic Business Checking: Best For Online Businesses
  3. Chase Business Complete Banking: Best Sign-Up Bonus
  4. LendingClub Bank Tailored Checking: Best Cash Back Rewards
  5. Wells Fargo: Best For Physical Branches
  6. BlueVine Business Checking: Best APY
  7. U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking: Best For New Businesses
  8. Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking: Best For Cash Deposits
  9. Bank of America Business Advantage Relationship Banking: Best For Multiple Accounts

1. Novo Business Banking

Best For Fee Avoidance

This business banking fintech aims to provide simple, data-driven solutions for modern businesses and is a top choice for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.

Novo Business Banking Account

They offer only a single product: the all-in-one Business Banking account.

It’s 99% fee-free and entirely digital, so you won’t be able to stop into a local branch if you need help. This is mitigated by Novo’s easy-to-use tools and seamless integration with external software.

For example, you can easily send out invoices, receive payments, and take care of any bills — all from the Novo app. You’ll also get discounts on business services like QuickBooks, Stripe, HubSpot, and Salesforce.

The only downsides are that there is no interest rate, and there are several transaction limits that would be deal-breakers for established businesses. For example, you cannot write checks or send ACH payments over $5,000.

Novo Business Banking Top Features

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • 100% of ATM fees are reimbursed (even international ones)
  • ACH transfers, mobile check deposits, mailed checks, and incoming wire transfers are all free
  • Minimum opening deposit requirement: $50
  • Overdraft Fee: $27 (this is the only fee you’ll find).

You can apply for a Novo account online or in the mobile app in as little as 10 minutes.

2. Axos Bank Basic Business Checking

Best For Online Businesses

Axos is one of the most popular online-only banks.

For businesses, it has two offerings: Basic Business Checking, and Business Interest Checking.

Both accounts are Quickbooks compatible, accept ACH transfers, and come with dedicated Axos relationship managers.

You can even set your employees up for success with low-fee Workplace Banking accounts.

Axos Basic Business Checking Top Features

  • Visa business debit card
  • Online and mobile banking
  • First 50 checks are free
  • No monthly service fee
  • No minimum balance requirement

You’ll also get free online bill pay and up to 200 free items (debits, credits, or deposits) per month (it’s $0.30 per item after that). Axos also reimburses for all domestic ATM fees.

If you are looking to earn a top APY on your business checking deposits, it’s hard to find a better option than Business Interest Checking.

Axos Business Interest Checking Top Features

  • 0.81% APY on balances up to $49,999
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • $10 monthly fee (avoidable with $5,000 monthly balance)

Axos Bank Sign-up Bonus

If your business was incorporated after June 1, 2021, you’re currently in line for a $100 bonus when you open a new account. Just use the promo code NEWBIZ100 when you apply.

If you are just starting and cannot meet the $5,000 requirement to avoid Business Interest Checking’s monthly fee, go with Business Banking and work your way up.

3. Chase Business Complete Banking

Best Sign-Up Bonus

Chase is one of the biggest banks in the U.S., and it comes with a full suite of business banking products and services.

From deposit accounts to business loans, all your bases are covered with Chase.

Chase Business Complete Banking

Chase’s most popular business checking account is called Business Complete Banking. The account is intended for up and coming businesses and comes with all of the following essentials:

  • Free same-day deposits
  • Mobile and online banking
  • QuickAccept for accepting customer payments through the app
  • Online Bill Pay
  • QuickDeposit

Unfortunately, there’s a $15 monthly fee, but here is how you can avoid it:

  • Maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,000 or more
  • Make $2,000 or more in purchases with your Chase Ink Business credit card
  • Receive $2,000 or more through Chase QuickAccept or other qualifying Chase merchant services
  • Link to a Chase Private Client Checking account

Chase Business Complete Signup Bonus

New Chase customers can claim an impressive $300 sign-up bonus by signing up between now and October 21, 2021.

Enter your email address request your unique promo code. Once you’re in, complete the following actions to get your bonus:

  • Deposit $2,000 or more in new money within 30 days after enrollment.
  • Maintain a balance of at least $2,000 for 60 days after coupon enrollment.
  • Complete at least five transactions within 90 days after coupon enrollment. Qualifying transactions include debit card purchases, QuickAccept deposits, Chase QuickDeposit, ACH credits, and wire transfers.

Once you’ve met all the requirements, the bonus will hit your account within 15 days.

When it comes to traditional brick and mortar banks, it's hard to beat Chase for business — but only if you can avoid their fees.

4. LendingClub Bank Tailored Checking

Best Cash Back Rewards

LendingClub established itself as a chartered online bank after acquiring Radius Bank in 2020.

Tailored Checking (formerly known as Radius Tailored Checking) is its interest-bearing small business checking account. The biggest draw here is the ability to earn cashback rewards.

When you use your LendingClub business debit card, you’ll get an unlimited 1.00% cashback on purchases.

Watch out for fees, though. There’s a $10 monthly fee on balances under $5,000 or more.

LendingClub Bank Tailored Checking Top Features

  • $100 minimum opening deposit requirement (but no minimum balance requirement after that)
  • 0.10% APY earning on balances over $5,000
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Free ATMs worldwide with unlimited atm fee reimbursements

5. Wells Fargo

Best For Physical Branches

Wells Fargo is one of the largest financial institutions in the world and boasts the most physical branches of any American bank, with more than 7,000 brick-and-mortar locations.

If you want to have access to a branch no matter where you are, Wells Fargo is unmatched.

Wells Fargo offers three account options for small business owners: Initiate, Navigate, and Optimize.

All accounts come with online banking, customizable debit cards and checks, mobile check deposits, and free cash withdrawals within the bank’s ATM network.

However, since each account is designed for a different type of small business, we’ll provide a quick overview of each option:

Initiate Business Checking

Initiate Business Checking is intended for newer business owners looking to build a stable foundation.

The account is minimalistic and serves the most basic business banking needs. It also has the lowest monthly service fee at $10 per month, which you can avoid by maintaining an account balance of at least $500 or an average ledger balance of $1,000 or more.

The account also comes with free cash deposits of up to $5,000 per statement cycle. After that, it’ll cost $0.30 per $100 deposit.

There’s no fee for your first 100 monthly transactions, but each one on top of that is $0.50.

Navigate Business Checking

Navigate is targeted toward business owners who are growing and need to evolve with the changes that come along with that growth.

The account expands on Initiate’s transaction limits and also adds some premium features. For the added perks, the monthly fee goes up to $25 per month, and you’ll need a $10,000 minimum daily balance or $15,000 in average combined business deposit balances to get around it.

There’s no fee for cash deposits of up to $20,000 per month, and you’ll get 250 free transactions. If you go over either limit, the same transaction fees associated with Initiate will apply.

The account is interest-bearing, though don’t expect more than ground-floor rates. You won’t pay any fees for stop payments, cashier’s checks, or money orders, and you’ll get two non-Wells Fargo ATM fee reimbursements per month.

In addition, incoming wire transfers are always free, and your first two outgoing wires are covered in each statement period.

Optimize Business Checking

Optimize is Well’s Fargo’s premium business checking account for well-established businesses. The monthly fee is $75, and unfortunately, there’s no option to get around it.

Instead, Wells Fargo allows you to offset the cost of fees through credit accrual based on your investable balances.

Optimize has the same limit of 250 free transactions as Navigate, but for cash deposits, you’ll simply pay $0.0025 per $1 deposited.

There’s no fee for stop payments, cashier’s checks, money orders, or incoming transfers, and you’ll get two ATM fee reimbursements each month.

Overall, Optimize stands out with its more advanced features. For example, you can have up to five linked Optimize accounts for one monthly fee, and you’ll get access to Commercial Electronic Office (CEO), which provides more control over payments, more robust account management and security, and higher transaction limits.

6. BlueVine Business Checking

Best APY

BlueVine is a fintech company that offers business bank accounts, loans, and lines of credit.

The Business Checking account is the company’s flagship business banking product. The account is fee-free and lets you handle your everyday banking needs online from any device.

By far, the most attractive feature is that you can earn 1.00% APY on balances up to $100,000. As such, BlueVine offers one of the highest-earning business accounts available.

BlueVine Business Checking Top Features

  • 1.00% APY on deposits up to $100,000
  • No monthly fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • Unlimited transactions
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • Free access to more than 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs
  • Cash deposits at Green Dot locations, though each one will come with a fee

I am not seeing any other business checking options out there that can match or beat BlueVine's APY. So, if APY earning is your primary goal, BlueVine Business Checking is probably your best choice.

7. U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking

Best For New Businesses

The Silver Business Checking Package from U.S. Bank is a free checking account intended for newer businesses with limited transaction activity.

The account comes with 125 free transactions and 25 free cash deposits (of $100) per statement cycle. You’ll also get a half-off discount on your first check order of up to $50, plus 50% off the monthly fee on a personal checking account.

Silver Business Checking comes with online and mobile bill pay, plus card payment processing, mobile check deposit, and overdraft protection through a Business Reserve Credit Line.

To apply for an account, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Employer Identification Number or Tax ID Number (sole proprietors can use a Social Security Number)
  • Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, or a charter (not required for sole proprietors)
  • Photo ID and Social Security Number

Note: Most of the other banks on this list require the same credentials to open an account.

If you are looking for a free account backed by a national institution, U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking is a good place to start.

8. Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking

Best For Cash Deposits

Capital One’s Spark Business Unlimited Checking account is designed for high-volume businesses that don’t want to worry about transaction limits or fees.

You’ll get truly unlimited business transactions each month, plus quick access to deposits with availability the following day.

There’s no fee or limit on cash deposits and incoming wires are fee-free. Plus, you get five free outgoing domestic wires every month. You can also opt to link your account with another Capital One deposit account for overdraft protection.

The downside is the monthly fee, which is $35 per month. To get around it, you’ll need an average 39 or 90-day balance of $25,000 or more.

Capital One is a hybrid that mostly operates as a digital bank but also houses physical branches that are mainly located on the East Coast.

The mobile app is one of the best in the business and allows for easy deposits and account maintenance wherever you are.

Do you run a cash-heavy business like a bar, restaurant, or food truck? If so, you'll be in good hands with Spark Business Unlimited Checking — especially if you can avoid the monthly fee.

9. Bank of America Business Advantage Relationship Banking

Best For Multiple Accounts

Business Advantage Relationship Banking is BoA’s premium business account.

There are some fees, but it’s a decent option if your business makes a lot of transactions and needs in-person support.

Business Advantage Relationship Banking Top Features

  • Free business savings account
  • Built-in cash flow monitor
  • Free Zelle transfers
  • 500 free teller transactions and checks written per month
  • Free incoming wires
  • $29.95 monthly fee (avoidable with a monthly balance of $15,000 or more)

BoA also offers Preferred Rewards to business customers who maintain a balance of $20,000 or more.

The program eliminates monthly maintenance fees and comes with additional rewards on business credit cards and discounts on credit lines and loans.

If the monthly fee seems steep, consider BoA’s lower-tier business account: Business Advantage Basic Banking.

There’s a $16 monthly fee, however, the premium option gets the nod here because Basic does not come with a free business savings account.

FAQs

What is the best bank for small businesses?

It depends on your situation. Every small business is different, so the best bank for one might be a poor fit for another.

With that in mind, the best small business bank is the one that meets your unique business needs, and that doesn’t charge any fees.

That might seem like a non-answer, but it’s the truth. Find the bank with the business tools will help you achieve your goals. It’s that simple.

Which bank has the best business checking account?

Again, it depends. If your business needs modern, digital tools, you might be the best fit for an online option like Axos or Novo.

On the other hand, if you prefer in-person support, you’re likely better off with an account from a big bank like Chase or Wells Fargo.

There’s no clear-cut “best” account, which is why we’ve provided a set of diverse options that suit different needs. If you are still unsure, stick to the options in this post, and you’ll be just fine.

Which bank is best for LLC?

It really depends on how your LLC operates. But, if I had to pick one best overall, I would go with Chase Bank due to the wide array of account options.

However, Chase might not be available in your area, in which case you’d be just fine going with Wells Fargo, Bank of America, or U.S. Bank.

With that said, most small businesses and entrepreneurs no longer need to visit a physical bank. In that light, BlueVine, Novo, and Axos could be the best fit for you, depending on the unique needs of your LLC

Rather than thinking about finding the best bank for an LLC, consider the best bank for your particular business.

What banks offer free business checking accounts?

Our top picks for free business checking accounts are Axos, BlueVine, Mercury, and Novo Bank.

Generally speaking, most online accounts are free, whereas traditional brick-and-mortar banks tend to come with fees.

Which Business Checking Account is Best for You?

As you grind day and night to grow your business, the last thing you want to deal with is a bank account that isn’t getting it done.

Take a good hard look at your business, your cash flow, and your expectations for customer support. Do you handle cash, or are your services entirely digital?

Do you want the flexibility of an online bank or the peace of mind of a traditional one? How much are you comfortable paying in fees?

Once you can answer those questions, the decision will be much easier.

Here’s to finding the best business checking account for you and your business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read Comments

  • Comment Author image blank
    Deanna R. Jones
    Thanks for the information! I'm starting up my own LLC, so I need to open up a separate checking account for my business. It's good to know that there are programs that offer special discounts for cardholders. As a startup company, I could use as many discounts on a new company account as I can get.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Gabby
    Great info, but Ally just flagged my account as business and now they're shutting it down. It's completely ridiculous, but there's not a thing I can do about it. I have my freelance income deposited into my Ally account and use it to purchase things like annual hosting fees, etc. for my website. It's small potatoes when it comes to income, yet they're calling it a business...
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Good to know, Gabby. I didn't realize that Ally would flag freelance income/expenses as a full-fledged business account. I don't think that's right at all, but I guess you can't do anything about it. This is good info for anyone else who is using their Ally account for small freelance transactions.
      • Comment Author image blank
        Dave
        So Ally does not have business checking accounts? Too bad. The personal account has been perfect and saves me a lot of money and time, not to mention their support has been perfect!
    • Comment Author image blank
      Chris
      I just found out about that issue with Ally as well yesterday. I called to see if I could add my LLC and was told they don't offer business accounts and that they would shut you down if found to be doing business transactions. Really pretty lame actually. I don't know what is required of a bank to work with businesses but it is probably some government compliance deal. Big brother to the rescue again!
      • Comment Author image blank
        Kacey
        I used Ally in tandem with Braintree when my business was just a Sole Proprietorship. (Shhhh...don't tell.) I've just formed an LLC and am now looking at internet banks for business checking. My criteria are no monthly fees or minimum balance and mobile deposits. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but Radius Bank is looking pretty good. Does anyone have any experience with them? And for personal banking, their Hybrid account looks pretty great.
        • Comment Author image blank
          Kacey
          It turns out Radius is only opening checking accounts for clients within their New England footprint (currently MA and NY). Bummer. Now looking at both US Bank Silver Business Package and Spark Business Checking, but was hoping to find a "least evil" bank like Ally. SmallBusinessBank (Gardner Bank) is another option I'm seriously considering. Note: For sole proprietors getting shut out of Ally, EverBank has a small business checking ($1500 to open, no monthly fee) for sole proprietors.
      • Comment Author image blank
        J Goldberg
        Well, had you bothered to read the user agreement before "agreeing" to it and signing on, you would've known their policy. It is illegal for then to pay interest on business holdings. If you're actually in business, you really should already know this though. Next time do your due diligence before whining after the fact..
  • Comment Author image blank
    Jim A
    While Ally has no idea if/when they're coming out with an honest to goodness Business Checking and Savings account deal, Capital One 360 is in the testing phase of business checking accounts under the "Spark" line. I've been invited to be one of their testers. Only thing holding me back from making 360 my full-time biz account is the lack of integration into my GoDaddy Bookkeeping account. In the meantime, I'm using a regional bank (Huntington) for all my business accounts. A free checking account, believe it or not. Carrie, if you wanna know more about the 360 Biz Checking account I'm testing, I'd be happy to chat about it.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Kevin
      Jim A- I'm very curious about your Spark / 360 Biz Checking account you are testing... Any chance of sharing a few details here? Or how it would be possible for a small, high income sole-proprietorship to gain entry to this test? I'm currently a Spark business credit card user if that helps? :)
    • Comment Author image blank
      Hayley
      Jim, I'd love to know more about the Spark testing. I used to have all of my accounts with 360, but when I switched to an LLC and they didn't have a business checking option, I had to go elsewhere.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Marie C.
      I just made my first transaction with Spark Pay on 9/4/15, Today is the 9th and there still has not been a deposit made into my account although it states on the home page "deposits made every night". Also, after making my first transaction i soon received an email stating that due to my business being a "high risk business" (An apparel shop?) They will withhold 25% of each transaction for 120 days. Are you kidding me?! As for the Business checking? It takes 5 days for a mobile deposit to clear which is unheard of. Any other deposit takes 5 days as well. Capital one hasn't been very convenient for business at all. Has anyone had a different experience?
      • Comment Author image blank
        Dori
        I just got off the phone with a representative. They said it is still in BETA testing so the IT department is still working out the kinks for deposits and it will be awhile before the system can readily push through deposits. I've had an ING account before Capital One bought it and I have been grandfathered into keeping my account because NOW, the rule is if you live in a state that has a Capital One Branch - you must open an account with the branch. You CANT open an online CapitalOne360 account. This goes for the Spark business account as well unless you live in a state that does not have any Capital One branches.
      • Comment Author image blank
        Donnita
        Marie, I realize it has been some time since this post. Are you still using Capital One and did they indeed require a 25% hold back? I've been reading some good reviews about the Spark account but reports like this are unsettling.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Rachael Witmer
      Hi Jim, This is an old post, but I'd love to find out what came the CapOne 360 business account testing. I'm opening either a DBA or an LLC and I love my 360 personal bank account.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Jim
    Kevin and Hayley, you may contact me via email: jimashley(at)outlook.com
  • Comment Author image blank
    Joe
    Ally shut down my account because I was depositing money I made from my freelancing business in. They are very strict about this. Deposit one paypal payment there and they will shut down your account.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Thanks for the input, Joe and everyone else who had experience with Ally Bank. I have removed them as a recommendation and replaced it with another good alternative.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Sonia
    So Carrie I am now looking for a business checking account without all the fees, found some but not sure which one to go with. Its just for income purposes, direct depositing and because my business is an LLC, I'm having a difficult time.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Sonia, have you sat down with your accountant and had a discussion about the best checking account for your needs? I'm sure they will be able to help! Otherwise you can make a checklist of what you're looking for in a bank for your business and find the one that checks the most boxes. Good luck!
  • Comment Author image blank
    Kyawt Aung
    Do not open your business account with CHASE. I had a customer who used CHASE quick pay for my service and later call the bank that the payment was fraudulent. My account was frozen because someone claimed that payment to my account was not correct. CHASE told me I have to find out the person and ask the person to go to CHASE that the payment was the correct. Is that make sense? Instead of punishing the person who did the fraudulent claim, the bank punish my business account by freezing it. I could not write checks or make payment anymore. The business is basically freeze without able to make financial transactions. Many hours of stressful phone calls without making progress just asking me to get the person who did fraudulent claim to CHASE branch. The should have been tracing down the person who did the fraudulent claim. My suggestions is when you open the account at CHASE, you may pleased the smiles and attention of bankers. The HELL might be waiting behind the smiles and beyond the local branches.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      I'm sorry to hear that your experience with Chase was so poor. I've always had an awesome experience with them and still use them for my business and personal accounts. Sometimes things happen though, so it's always smart to do research and beware of what's happening.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Jackie
    Hello Carrie. thank you for the info, I just registered my dba (am into graphics and web design) My question is , is it wise to use a paypal account attached to my personal account, I understand paypal needs a tax id to pen a business account. please i will need your opinion on this, Thanks Jackie
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      PayPal offers a Premier account and a Business account. Both of them are different and have varying fees associated with them. I simply use a Premier account with my personal name and Tax ID number.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Roy
    Hi Carrie, I just contacted Discover Bank and they told me that they don't have checking and savings for small business owners. Too bad since I was looking forward to opening with them. Roy
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Yes, that's true Roy. I use Discover for personal spending allowance that I allocate for myself each month. I like to think of it as a commission-based reward system for being self-employed. When I make a big sale or land a big client, I reward myself with a small allowance. It makes being your own boss more fun! :)
  • Comment Author image blank
    David
    Thanks so much for writing this up... very helpful! I've also had a good experience with Chase, but I'm not so sure "every-corner" Starbucks is a great comparison. I'm moving to Massachusetts soon, which has two Chase ATMs and no Chase branches. In fact, Chase only has branches or ATMs in half of the states.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Ashley
    Love the PayPal idea. I tried searching their site but couldn't find it: Do they have a routing number/account number for external partners to deposit funds directly? Thanks!
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Great question, Ashley. Yes, you can deposit funds directly from your PayPal account into an external bank, savings, or money market account. You can also request a debit card from PayPal and use your account balance that way.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Amy
    Hi Carrie, I have been a banker for nine years, and am in the process of choosing a bank for the small business I am starting up. I ran across your blog when I was looking around online, and thought some clarification could maybe help everyone. For anyone with their own business, it is utmost important to have a separate account for their business income/expenditures, but it's not generally recommended to run it through a personal account. All back office operations in banks/credit unions will look for activity that appears to be a business running through a personal account per federal regulations (just like they look for money launderers, etc.). From a personal standpoint, I really recommend going the route of LLC/Inc to help protect the individual, and to really research the laws and regulations in the state in which you are going to do business as there are some oddball items out there. Hope this helps anyone trying to go it on their own with a business!
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Thanks for the clarification, Amy! I definitely agree that you should always separate your business and personal accounts and then move them to a small business checking once you're more established. It's even more important when you're an LLC and make things legit!
  • Comment Author image blank
    David
    Why was ally taken off the list? What complaints have people had?
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      You can read some of the first comments posted from other freelancers to see why Ally isn't the best choice for a freelance business bank account. Thanks!
  • Comment Author image blank
    Drew Reed
    I like how you said that there are different types of checking accounts for different purposes. My wife and I were looking at starting an account so we could pay our bills more easily. I'm still not sure which one to go with, but it sounds like this article will help her decide. Thanks for sharing!
  • Comment Author image blank
    mary
    I have the chase small business account as well, but it only allows INCOMING wire transfers for international. Do you know which is the BEST for outgoing? And how to find the fees? I can't seem to find any online. I'd love to see a compare between banks that have outgoing wire transfers for international. I Send 4-6 a month.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      I'm not sure of the international wire fees and transfer schedule. This would be a good question for customer service. Here's a guide from NerdWallet that may help explain the wire fees from different banks: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/wire-transfers-what-banks-charge/ It looks like outgoing wires from Chase are $40 each.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Josh
    Hey Carrie - I personally have done business with PayPal (and only PayPal) for my ecommerce website for the last 12 months and I haven't had any problems, but ever since I've done more research, I've seen a surprising amount of people say they've been screwed over by PayPal by freezing their accounts unfairly and keeping their money. One example I saw was from an Entrepreneur.com article that come across my Facebook news feed about a new PayPal feature and several people jumped right in and claimed PayPal is notorious for freezing accounts unfairly and keeping their money - and that everyone should avoid PayPal at all costs. It's kind of worrying me and I think I'm going to try avoiding them as much as I can while still allowing it as a payment option for my website and future freelance transactions (haven't begun website design freelancing yet, but I plan on starting soon in the future). Have you heard anything about PayPal freezing a lot of accounts?
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      I haven't heard that about PayPal, Josh. In fact, I use my own PayPal Premier account every day and am constantly transferring funds back and forth. I've never had an issue with it in over 4 years.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Krystal
    Forgive me. I am a little confused.... Could I maybe open my personal account under my DBA name or do I have to open a "real" business account.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Yes, you can open a personal account under your DBA name. It only has to be a real business account if your business is an LLC or other entity.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Kurt Brindley
    Great post. Thanks so much for putting it together. I was especially interested in Ally as a business banking option and now I know it's a no go. One update for you - Paypal no longer allows for taking pictures of checks and adding the funds to an account via its app. I just got off the phone with a rep and she said that was discontinued because they were having too many problems with it. She doesn't anticipate it returning as an option. Thanks again! Kurt
  • Comment Author image blank
    April Cook
    I have been thinking about starting a freelance business, and this is helpful information. I didn't realize that I would need a separate checking account for my business, but it makes sense. I like that customizing your business account will make you look more professional. how bog would you say a business needs to be before you get a business account? Thanks for the information!
  • Comment Author image blank
    Frank
    Hi, this is a really great blog and this article is fantastic. I came upon it as I am trying to find out which bank in the US, specifically in California, will open a bank account for me in my dba name (and thus also lets me have checks that feature my dba name only). I am trying to avoid confusion: I am not talking about an LLC business account, that's easy. I mean dba, which is substantially different. I know that most major banks do not open accounts and issue checks for a sole proprietor who only has a dba certificate, they always want an avtual LLC registration. Could someone clarify if the banks listed here will open an account based on a dba name only?
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      My only advice is to ask a local bank or chat with an online representative to see if they will be able to open an account with your DBA name only. Since opening my account with Chase several years ago, they allowed me to use a personal account with a DBA. But I don't think they allow this anymore. Good luck!
  • Comment Author image blank
    Sandy
    Hi Carrie, I would like to work as a general transcriber for a transcription company, it's an independent contractor job and they pay with PayPal. Can I open a premier PayPal with an EIN, or do I have to use my S.S. #? Also, do I need any kind of permit or city license for this type of job? Thank you and I love your blog.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Hey Sandy, great question. Yes, you can open a Premier account with PayPal using your EIN. This is what I've done in the past and it worked great. My husband recently got an independent chef contracting job and is doing the same thing. You don't need any permit or license for this type of job. You'll probably just have to fill out a W-9 form with the company so they can properly issue you a 1099 at the end of the year.
      • Comment Author image blank
        Sandy
        Thank you Carrie for the quick reply. You helped me with my questions. I will continue to read your blog because you inspire me to work from home so I can take care of my family. My Chihuahua dog appreciates you too!!!
  • Comment Author image blank
    Pavel
    PayPal charges 2.9%+$0.30 per transaction - how is that a good banking option for a small freelancing business?
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Great question, Pavel! First off, paying a small amount like that for transactions through PayPal is nothing compared to the overhead and other expenses most small businesses have to pay to get up and running, so it's not that bad when you think about it. Plus, it's a tax deductible expense (PayPal fees, I mean). On the other hand, I talk a lot about using accounting software that allows you to only pay $0.50 PER PAYPAL TRANSACTION so that's why I highly recommend it, and use it myself. You can read more about my explanation in this post: https://www.carefulcents.com/avoid-invoicing-fees/
  • Comment Author image blank
    justin
    I'll have to look into the paypal one. I love how they operate just with my regular account.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Ron Russell
    Ok. this article just changed where and how I was going to put my finances for my entrepreneur endeavor, and likely will save me a bunch of money over the long term. My sincere thanks to producing this and maintaining it as well. + 1 subscriber
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Glad to hear it, Ron! Welcome to the community. :)
  • Comment Author image blank
    Raisa Delima
    I'm glad you talked about finding bank accounts that don't have monthly maintenance fees. That is a good thing to look for if your business is small and can't afford fees, like you said. I do think you should look at all of the benefits a bank has to offer first, though. Some banks have maintenance fees that are outweighed by the benefits and promotions they offer, you want to make sure you weigh out your options.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Tim
    Here's a question: Do you contribute to any retirement accounts? If so, do you pay into these from your business or personal account, and why?
  • Comment Author image blank
    Chris
    "Basically anything you can do with a regular bank account, you can do with a PayPal business account — and more" Hmm, not quite. PayPal does not have a Bill Pay service to pay standard bills, like a regular bank account.
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      True. While PayPal doesn't have a bill pay service, you can still sign up for automatic bill payments and use your PayPal account to pay them. That's what I do!
  • Comment Author image blank
    Wendy C.
    Hi Carrie, I am starting off as a consultant with dba (which from research didn't seem that I actually needed one since I am using my name) and this blog has been incredibly helpful. I have been trying to download the Free checking account checklist and it does not seem to be working. Is this still available? Thanks!
    • Comment Author image blank
      Carrie
      Hi Wendy, I'm glad you found this post helpful! Yes, the checklist is still available -- please send me an email ([email protected]) and I will forward you the PDF. Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience!
  • Comment Author image blank
    J
    Great blog post! Just heard about Spark tonight from a colleague and then found your post here Carrie. I realize its been 2years since your original post, so I'm wondering if there are any updates about Cap One Spark Business? It's boasting no fees for all of its services..I went from using Radius/Aspire as a sole prop, and just recently became a corp and need mobile biz banking that is easy and streamlined, and affordable.
    • Comment Author image blank
      John Gooch
      Spark isn't accepting applications for business checking right now, I also don't see them listed in Quickbooks, so they may not be a good recommendation. Thank for the tip about Ally Bank. I search the Web and found sites that say it's ok to use Ally for Sole Proprietorship business. However, there are enough reports of accounts being shut down by Ally for "business like practices" that I'm going to head over to Chase Bank tomorrow to open a Business checking account. The only reason I want a free account is that my business is only a few months old and hasn't made any money. To be honest I'm currently writing the Web service/ application that will be the flagship product for the business. Until it's released, I'm blogging and selling print on demand products and affiliate links to hopefully make that first sale. I'm not even blogging that much as most of my time is spent on design and coding in addition to my day job.
      • Comment Author image blank
        Carrie Smith Nicholson
        Exactly, that's why I don't recommend Capital One Spark Business as a good option. They're not doing so well right now for business owners! I'm glad you were able to find some good options though. Good luck with your business idea!
  • Comment Author image blank
    Diane
    I just read this entire conversation thread, along with the blog.. Great info! One question if anyone can answer for me please? Can I obtain an EIN number if I am NOT an LLC or other corporation? ie, if my intention is to obtain affiliate sales and provide online copywriting and social media management sales under my personal name, but do not want to provide my SSN number to the varied affilates and customers, can I use an EIN number instead? Or, is this only for corporations? Also, 2nd question, if anyone is able to help me out? If I already have a personal PayPal account and want to retain that account, but want to set up a separate PayPal account to capture payments for services, affiliate sales, and some store sales - what are my options with Pay Pal? I am guessing I can't have 2 personal accounts with the same name, even if they are aligned with separate bank accounts. I only see Business account and Personal accounts as options. Business account seems to need a business checking account paired, along with proof of business registration and assumed name, but I wanted to use a separate personal account I recently opened to keep my business transactions separate. and just use my personal name for now. SO confused on what to do until I am established, and want to do this the RIGHT way and Legal way! Any guidance? This has been paralyzing me from moving forward with monetization attempts for the past 4 months! Grateful for any help and guidance, Carrie, and others! Thank you.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Chris
    Looks like Spark Business applications are not currently being accepted. Maybe they are revamping things?