The Best Small Business Bank Accounts (Updated for 2023)
Ensuring finances are properly managed is crucial to starting a business. A free business bank account can be an excellent tool for separating new business finances from personal bills. The trick is finding a provider that won’t charge an arm and a leg for their services. As a new business, every penny matters, and unnecessary costs add up super quickly. We’ll look at a few options for the best small business bank account and compare them.
Best Bank Account For Earning Interest and No Fees: Bluevine
Bluevine offers one of the highest interest rates on business checking balances of any banking platform. Earn 2.00% APY on up to $250,000, pay zero fees or minimums to open or maintain an account, tap into a Line of Credit*, and get two free checkbooks yearly. Integrate with Quickbooks and sign up in as little as 90 seconds.
Fees & Minimums
Pros & Cons
Bluevine, backed by Coastal Community Bank (member FDIC), makes the top spot on this list because of what we think is an incredibly powerful and unique offer: an incredibly competitive interest-bearing business checking account with a 2.00% APY on up to $250,000 in funds. The only requirement is to spend at least $500 monthly using your Bluevine debit card or receive $2,500 monthly into your account via ACH, wire, check deposit, or through a credit card processor if you have one (i.e., Stripe). Unlike other high-interest business checking accounts, Bluevine offers the full fat 2.00% with no minimum balance.
Fees? What Fees?
If a high-yield business checking account isn’t interesting enough, we think Bluevine is one of the best for small businesses because of its lack of fees. In addition to the table stakes of no minimum balances, Bluevine has no minimum deposit to open an account, no in-network ATM fees across the 38,000+ MoneyPass ATM network, no overdraft fees, no incoming wire fees, and no NSF fees.
Once your Bluevine account is open, you’ll get a Mastercard debit card and the option to receive two free checkbooks per year, something we don’t often see with financial technology companies or online banks looking to carve out business from the big names. If you’re a business that works with local vendors that do not accept credit cards, this makes paying them a breeze.
Once your account is opened, set up separate sub-accounts (up to 5) with unique account numbers to better manage your business’ money (for purposes like payroll and taxes). Pay your employees, contractors, and taxes directly from those accounts using Bluevine’s bill pay service. Integrate Bluevine with Quickbooks and other accounting software to create a complete workflow and set of tools for your business to make any accountant happy.
Best Business Bank Account for Perks and Freebies: Novo
Novo is a compelling option if you’re an e-commerce business that can take advantage of fee-free Stripe transactions and $3,000 worth of additional discounts. Get unlimited transactions and integrations with all the popular e-commerce services like Stripe, Shopify, and more.
Fees & Minimums
Pros & Cons
Novo is a financial technology company offering free small-business banking services backed by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A., member FDIC. This means Novo accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
You’ll find all the best features here that come free of charge: unlimited transactions, a Mastercard debit card with an EMV chip, notifications on every transaction, and so much more.
One of Novo’s powerhouse features is its massive integration catalog. You’ll find integrations with Stripe, Shopify, Venmo, PayPal, Quickbooks, and more. In addition to the deep catalog of ways to tie your business together in one spot, you’ll have more than $56,000 in discounts on other services you might use. On this list, you’ll find $3,000 in free Google Cloud credits, $50,000 in free service from Segment, and zero-cost transaction processing on $20,000 worth of transactions through Stripe (a $500 savings). That’s huge.
The feature set doesn’t stop there. Generate invoices to send to clients from within your Novo account, allowing your customers to pay you directly without needing to manage a third-party payment portal, credit card processing system, or deal with physical checks.
Novo also recently introduced Novo Funding, which allows small businesses to get an advance on future sales to help grow their business. The starting interest rate is high, at 1.5% per month (18% APR), which rivals some credit card rates, and line of credit options will often be much lower.
In addition to evaluating your banking history with Novo, they only run a soft pull on your personal credit, so qualification will not affect your credit score. What I don’t like, however, is that this is a Merchant Cash Advance, and signing up for an MCA can expose your business to receiving a UCC filing. More shady MCA providers capitalize on this and will pester you to refinance or work with them instead via phone calls and text messages.
Speaking from experience, I once briefly had an MCA arrangement in 2019, and in 2023 I still get calls and messages from random “funding” companies that are no more than a P.O. Box.
Reserves & Cash Flow
In addition, Novo’s Reserves feature lets you stash money away for rainy days, ensuring you’ll always have some capital on hand, just in case. Create multiple virtual envelopes and transfer funds into them, removing those funds from your available balance. If you ever need to tap into that money, transfer the funds out of reserves, and they’re immediately available again.
Cash Flow Insights tells you where your spending is at its highest and other helpful details about your cash flow.
Best Business Bank Account For In-person Banking: Chase
We like Chase as our pick for the best bank if you need a physical branch for three reasons: their business offerings cover small and large businesses alike, Chase often has promotions on signup, sometimes as much as $300, and they’re located just about anywhere you need them to be, so you’re never far away from someone that can help.
Fees & Minimums
Pros & Cons
This was an option that surprised me to an extent during my search. Chase is no stranger to offering incentives for opening accounts with them. Whether it’s a credit card, checking account, or even sometimes less-trafficked deposit accounts like CDs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a product that doesn’t have some offer attached.
The Chase mobile app is pretty good and places all your accounts into one area. I have Chase products and have never had difficulty navigating the app to find what I need.
This account has all the typical bank stuff–extensive ATM network, mobile deposit, debit card, wires, ACH transfers, calling and talking to humans, etc.
Chase does have a monthly fee, but it is waived as long as $2,000 remains in the account regularly. Otherwise, the fee starts at $15/month. You can also avoid the monthly fee if your business has a Chase Ink Business card and spends at least $2,000 on that card each month.
Integrated Credit Card Processing
Chase Payment Solutions are great for businesses looking to keep their third-party services to a minimum or like the idea of tight integrations between where they do their banking and accepting credit and debit card payments from customers.
Chase provides its smaller credit card reader (to pair with an existing device like a tablet running the Chase mobile app) for $49. The larger standalone credit card terminal at $399 at the time of writing, sometimes with an additional $100 discount, is also available for in-person retail. In-person transactions will cost you 2.6% plus $0.10 for each event. For online transactions, Chase charges just 2.9% plus $0.25 for each transaction.
Chase doesn’t charge monthly fees or require long-term contracts for most small businesses.
Sign Up Bonuses
Chase also often has sign-up bonuses in effect for new accounts. It’s most often somewhere in the $300 range and requires depositing $2,000 into the account within 30 days of opening and keeping that money in the account for at least 60 days.
Suppose you need a full-service option, including credit card processing, and can manage to limit your cash deposits to $5,000 per month and determine your in-person banking to 20 transactions per month. In that case, Chase is one of the better options on the market.
Honorable Online Mention for Small Businesses: NorthOne
With over 300,000 businesses under its umbrella, Northone knows what it takes to offer a quality online banking service. Have transactions automatically categorized and connect your account to your favorite payment processor to streamline your business’ money management. We just wish they didn’t charge a monthly fee.
Fees & Minimums
Pros & Cons
I’m a fan of banks that offer mobile apps that function well, and NorthOne falls squarely onto that list. Over 100,000 customers use NorthOne, America’s fastest-growing business banking app. Their free business bank account makes transferring money, depositing checks, and paying with the NorthOne Mastercard super simple, but what I enjoy about this option is the dedicated tax account(s). If you collect sales or use tax, keeping your taxes aside and available for remittance is essential. Making that an automatic process takes this to the next level.
Regarding money management, NorthOne supports multiple users and integration with bookkeeping options to pass off accounting tasks to others on your team. Need to get an overview of your cash flow? The app presents good-looking graphs to make that happen.
On top of that, NorthOne ties into just about every platform you could ever need: Quickbooks, PayPal, Amazon, Venmo, Shopify, Etsy, Freshbooks, and a truckload of others.
NorthOne is no-fuss, easy banking for businesses. Even if you’re not opening a new business, you’ll find the feature set valuable and a surprising amount of room to grow.
Best Business Bank Account for U.K. Small Businesses: ANNA
We didn’t want to leave our U.K. audience out in the cold, so we’ve picked ANNA as our best online banking service for those across the pond. Create and send invoices, automatically calculate VAT, track receipts, and more. Sign up in as little as three minutes.
As time passes, I try to update this post with new options as I find them. One such case is ANNA, a banking product aimed directly at U.K. residents.
I love this option because it comes with a regular ol’ bank account and debit card, invoicing functionality, accounting software, and tax services. For small business owners, having all the critical money tasks in one place can be a real-time- and money-saver.
Prices for ANNA start at £0 for income under £500/month and come with two cards, two money transfers within the U.K., and £100 worth of ATM withdrawals per month fee-free. Above that, rates start at £4.90/month.
What Does a Great Small Business Bank Account Look Like?
It’s effortless to find any bank to take your money. Within four miles of my home, there are at least 10 bank branches from five different banks and credit unions. There is no shortage of options near me.
However, that doesn’t mean they’re the best for starting a business. Many banks appreciate high deposit balances and don’t offer large transaction allowances. High-dollar e-commerce businesses might see daily deposits from their payment processor and withdrawals for payroll and expenses, but those are scheduled and routine.
Banks focusing on small businesses know that a smaller shop’s needs will differ. When every dollar counts, high deposit balances aren’t likely going to be a thing–at least from the start–and there’ll be a need for a debit card and frequent transactions as the only way to take care of regular expenses until lines of credit and invoice terms are established with suppliers.
A free or low-cost business checking account is critical for all these reasons. While you might not get as many hand-holding-type features and service offerings with some of these banking options, as a startup, you won’t likely need them, anyway.
How These Banks and Fintechs Were Chosen
Anyone can pick random banks off the Internet and slap them into a blog post. I wanted to stay away from such canned content and relive some of what I went through during my research of the bank I use for one of my businesses.
Here is what I wanted to use as criteria for evaluating the options I found:
When I originally wrote this article, I had ten options. As I went through them, I realized some weren’t that great and not worthy of being offered up as the “best” options.
Some of these might not fit your needs, which is okay. Businesses growing and needing more backing and flexibility from a traditional institution might not find what they need on this list (though Chase is a powerhouse).
These options are solid and worth looking into for most of those operating an e-commerce business or are just starting. I’d be happy with any of them,, and I feel unconditionally comfortable suggesting these 5 options to my readers.
Regardless of your path, the biggest takeaway is to make sure you’re not spending money on a bank that you don’t have to spend. In the early stages, every dollar counts (I’ve said that how many times, now?). Watch out for unnecessary fees and transaction limits that could end up costing more down the road.
Simple might be a good thing. Start small and build. Like an e-commerce business, you might find the bank you choose has many of the same motivations.
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