Whether you are a freelancer, side hustler, or run a full-time business, opening a separate business bank account should be your first move after starting your business.
A business bank account helps you keep your business finances and personal income and expenses separate. Having a business bank account for all your business finances makes it easy to run records and track your costs and deductions at tax time.
Business checking accounts can also help business owners establish credit, which they can use for net terms with suppliers or to take out business loans or business credit cards.
But which business checking account is best? And can you find good options with free business checking accounts?
12 Best Free Business Checking Accounts
We’ve done the legwork for you, compiling a list of the 12 best free business checking accounts available in the U.S. today.
1. Bluevine: Best Free Business Checking Account Overall
Bluevine offers one of the most comprehensive and best free business checking accounts you’ll find. It has no monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees, and an annual percentage yield APY of 2% on up to $250,000 of your balance if you meet monthly activity goals. To qualify, simply make $500 in debit card purchases with your Bluevine business debit or receive $2,500 per month in customer payments to your account.
Bluevine offers features that make it great for a team, including the ability to open multiple sub-accounts and even have separate logins for employees or contractors, like accountants and virtual assistants.
While some free business checking accounts have transaction limits, your Bluevine business checking account does not. Funds are backed by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Coastal Community Bank provides business banking services for Bluevine customers.
2. Capital One Business Bank Account: Best for Local Branches
If you’re looking for personalized service at local branches, consider Capital One business checking. Capital One offers two tiers of checking accounts: Basic and Enhanced. Both accounts offer unlimited digital transactions, free overdraft coverage, access to Capital One’s mobile app, no ATM fees at 70,000 Capital One, Allpoint, and MoneyPass ATMs, and low monthly fees that are easily waived when you meet minimum balance requirements.
Capital One Enhanced business checking is designed for larger businesses who can meet $25,000 average daily balance requirements needed to waive the $35 monthly service fee. Enjoy free incoming wire transfers, five free outgoing wire transfers monthly, and a remote scanner for mobile check deposits.
3. GO2bank: Best for Online Banking
GO2bank is a complete mobile banking solution with digital banking services provided by Green Dot Bank. The bank offers many features in its online business checking account that will appeal to business owners and their employees, including co-branded debit cards, optional overdraft protection, and a co-branded app for businesses. You can also get a secured business credit card through GO2bank.
Waive the monthly fees with qualifying direct deposits, and receive ACH payments up to two days early. You can also purchase eGift cards for yourself or as employee incentives and earn up to 7% cash back.
4. Found: Best for Freelancers
Hailed as the debit card for the self-employed, we rate Found as the best free business account for freelancers. It has no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum deposit or minimum balance requirements, and no credit check to open your account.
Found has a few features that can help you streamline your business. By evaluating your income and expenses, Found can calculate your tax bill, categorize tax write-offs, and even auto-save the correct amount from each deposit to cover your quarterly taxes. You can also send invoices from the app.
Found is a financial technology company, not a bank. Deposits are FDIC insured through Piermont Bank.
5. First Citizens Bank Basic Business Checking: Best for Checking Account Choices:
Most business checking accounts have one option for a business owner. First Citizens has four choices to help you choose the right business checking account with the features you need. The basic business checking account offers 100 transactions with no monthly fee, and has a minimum opening deposit of $100.
Business Banking I is free with a merchant account or a minimum daily balance of $25,000. It offers processing of up to $250 transactions per month, plus $10,000 in cash processing, including cash deposits. Business Banking II has similar features with 500 free transactions and $15,000 in cash processing, including cash deposits. There is a $50 monthly fee unless you have a merchant account or an average daily ledger balance of $50,000.
Business Banking III is best for larger enterprises who want choices and do a high volume of business. Process up to 750 transactions free each month, with $20,000 in cash deposits. You’ll need a merchant account or $75,000 in your average daily ledger balance to avoid the monthly maintenance fee.
Business Banking I, II, and III accounts also let you customize your plan with additional discounted services.
6. Novo Business Checking Account: Best for E-commerce and App Integrations
Novo is not a bank, it’s a financial technology company with deposits backed by Middlesex Federal Savings, Member FDIC. Novo is one of the most tech-forward financial institutions on our list, offering easy integration with apps like Shopify, Wise, Stripe, Square, and Quickbooks.
The Novo Business Checking account has no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, no cash deposit fees, and ATM fee reimbursement for out-of-network ATM use. Account holders can also get discounts on popular business software and services, including LegalZoom, Constant Contact, and Stripe.
7. Mercury Banking For Start-ups: Best for Start-ups
Bootstrapped and venture-backed startups of every size have unique needs in a business checking account. A Mercury free business checking account helps your money stretch further with no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirements, and no minimum deposit to open. You can earn 5.11% annual percentage yield APY with mutual funds invested through Mercury Treasury if you have an account balance of $250,000 or more.
Mercury free business checking offers unlimited free transactions, including no cash deposit fees, for businesses who process less than $200,000 per month. The account offers team management tools, debit cards for multiple employees, and capabilities to open multiple checking and savings accounts to manage cash flow.
Plus, your Mercury account is backed by up to $5 million worth of FDIC insurance through partner banks. Banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust, Members FDIC and deposits are held in various partner banks.
8. U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking: Best for Sign-up Bonus
If you’re looking to earn free cash to boost your business, consider a U.S. Bank Silver Business checking account with a $100 minimum deposit before June 30, 2023. You can earn a $500 bonus when you make new deposits of at least $5,000 and maintain a minimum balance of at least $5,000 until 60 days after the account opening. Increase that to $15,000 in new money deposits and maintain that balance for 60 days and earn $750 deposited into your new business checking account.
U.S. Bank offers tons of benefits for business owners, including no transaction fees for up to 125 transactions each month, 25 free cash transactions (or up to $2,500 in free cash deposits, whichever comes first), no monthly maintenance fee, and 50% off on your first check order, up to $50.
Larger businesses may prefer a Gold Business Checking Account, with no transaction fees for up to 300 transactions per month. It also has a waivable $20 monthly fee.
There is also a Platinum Checking Account Package with 500 free transactions and a $30 monthly fee. This fee is waived by meeting monthly minimum balance requirements.
9. Chase Business Complete Banking: Best for Payment Processing
For those who want to avoid online only banks and are looking for a big bank with international recognition and branches and ATMs across the U.S., Chase Business Complete Banking offers a solid solution. It comes with many ways to waive the monthly service fee.
Chase also makes it easy to accept credit and debit card payments without using a third-party payment processor. Chase QuickAccept is a built-in feature as part of Chase Business Complete Banking. You don’t need to apply for a separate merchant account, and the transaction fees are competitive with other credit card processing companies.
QuickAccept also allows you to access money faster with same-day deposits with no added fees. If you need a merchant payment processing provider that works in synch with your bank account, Chase Business Complete Banking could be the best choice for you.
Right now through August 3, 2023, businesses can earn a bonus up to $500 when they open a Chase Business Complete Checking account and meet requirements, which including total deposits of $15,000 or more. Deposit just $2,000 or more and snag an easy $300 for your new business checking account.
Huntington National Bank, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, since 1866, offers three business checking accounts, including a business interest checking account, Unlimited Plus Business Checking.
The top-tier account includes unlimited transactions, plus cash deposits of up to $25,000. Waive the $40 monthly fee with up to $50,000 in total deposit relationship balances across business accounts. Designed for larger businesses, the Unlimited Plus Business Checking allows you to choose two bonus services such as a fraud tool, waived returned deposited items fees on up to 25 items per month, or two free incoming domestic wires monthly.
The Unlimited Business Checking account offers similar features, with unlimited transactions, free cash deposits on up to $10,000 per month, and a choice of one bonus service. Waive the $20 monthly fee by maintaining a minimum balance of at least $10,000. A Business Checking 100 account offers up to 100 transactions per month, and up to $5,000 in cash transactions with no monthly fee.
Huntington is devoted to the local communities it serves and spotlights small business owners on its website. It also specializes in SBA loans and offers a linked business money market account to earn interest on savings with no monthly maintenance fee if you maintain an average daily balance of $10,000+.
11. Relay Business Checking: Best for Money Management
Relay online banking offers up to 20 primary business checking accounts for members of your team or for different business expenses, plus 50 virtual or physical Visa debit cards. Designed to assist with cash flow and money management, your Relay online banking account allows automated transfers into the various checking accounts based on percentage of income or flat-rate dollar figures.
Your Relay online and mobile banking account also includes up to two business savings accounts with APYs of 1% to 3%. Best of all, unlike many free business checking accounts that are only free if you meet transaction or balance requirements, Relay has no monthly maintenance fee, no transaction fees, no overdraft fees, no ATM fees, and no minimum balance requirements.
12. Axos Basic Business Checking Account: Best for No Fees
Axos Bank has been voted best online bank by Money Magazine and its business offering stands out for small business owners as a straightforward business checking account with no transaction fees, no monthly maintenance fee, and no minimum opening deposit. You also don’t have to worry about balance requirements or ATM fees. You’ll even receive unlimited reimbursements for using out-of-network ATMs within the U.S.
You will need to maintain a minimum balance of at least $5,000 for the first five statement cycles to earn a $100 account opening bonus. You will receive $25 into your business account each month you maintain the minimum requirements. However, if you close the account within 120 days, you might have to pay a $100 early closure fee.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Free Business Checking Account
The best free business checking account for your business depends on the volume of cash deposits, number of transactions, the size of your company and your general banking needs.
It’s important for a business of any size, including a sole proprietor or 1099 contractor, to open a business checking account to keep business funds separate from your personal checking account and other personal finances. This is especially important at tax time.
Many of the business bank accounts on our list of best free business checking accounts make it easy for you to track your business finances. They offer end-of-month or quarterly reports or integrate with QuickBooks or other accounting software to make money management easy. This, along with costs, quality of customer service, mobile apps, and more should factor into your decision when you choose a small business checking account.
Monthly Maintenance Fee
Account fees have long been a fact of life for individuals and business owners, but they no longer have to be with so many free checking accounts available today. Some of the banks on this list, including Axos and Relay, offer no monthly fee of any kind. Others make it easy to waive the monthly fee by meeting balance requirements.
See if there are any balance requirements, direct deposit requirements, or minimum debit card purchases to avoid the monthly service fee, and if you will be able to meet those minimums easily each month.
Easy-to-use Online and Mobile Banking
Even basic business checking today should have a robust app and mobile banking solutions, including mobile check deposits, capability to turn your debit cards on or off, and to monitor spending in a user-friendly app.
You may think online-only banks have better mobile capabilities, but that’s not always the case. All the best business checking accounts on our list have intuitive, user-friendly mobile apps.
Low Minimum Opening Deposit Requirements
Most of the free checking accounts on our list have low minimum opening deposit requirements. Some may have higher minimums to earn a bonus on your business checking account. Make sure to read the fine print and know the minimum deposit requirements if you want to earn that sign-up bonus.
While it’s possible to find a business checking account with no monthly service fee, your bank may have some fees. Read the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. It should be easy to avoid ATM fees, overdraft fees, and even monthly fees.
However, you may have to pay for wire transfers, out-of-network ATMs, and other transactions. Unlike personal accounts, it’s common for business bank accounts to have fees if you deposit cash. Sometimes, a certain number of cash transactions is included in your monthly fee.
It’s important to research the bank’s customer service before you commit to a business checking account. Online only banks, especially, may have limited ways to reach customer support. Find out if they offer 24/7 service. Many people prefer online banking for the convenience and low account fees. But if you experience a problem, you want to make sure you can get help promptly.
Positive Customer Reviews
When you’re looking for the best business checking account, it pays to research the opinions of other business owners like you. Customer reviews can give you a feel for the level of customer service, ATM fees, monthly fees, fraud protection, and more.
Practical Transaction and Cash Deposit Limits
Many of the best business checking accounts offer unlimited transactions and reasonable monthly limits to deposit cash. Many banks offer different tiers of business checking accounts, so you can pay a set monthly fee for the level of service you need.
Linked Business Savings Account or Business Interest Checking Account
If you want to earn interest on your cash reserves, look for a checking account that pays interest or for a bank with a high interest savings account. Pay attention to account fees, withdrawal limits, and
Consider the Need for a Bank With Physical Locations
Online banking offers lower monthly fees and convenience. But if your business needs to deposit cash regularly or you just want personalized service and relationship banking, you might prefer a bank account at a financial institution with brick-and-mortar locations.
Questions to Ask Before Deciding on a Business Checking Account
When you’re shopping around for a free business checking account, consider your needs, the number of transactions you conduct daily, your account balance, and whether you prefer a traditional bank or are willing to consider online only banks for your business checking needs. Ask yourself the following questions so you can compare your options.
Will you be making regular cash deposits?
Many business checking accounts charge a fee if you want to deposit cash. Sometimes, a number of cash deposits will be included in your monthly fee. Make sure to pick an account with the capabilities you need.
Do you prefer a bank or credit union?
You might prefer the personalized service of a credit union instead of choosing a large bank or an online bank. When you’re evaluating credit unions, compare all the features and fees the same as you would evaluate business bank accounts.
Do you need to process customer transactions?
Banks like Chase offer credit card processing as an add-on feature to their services. If you are using an online bank, you might want one that integrates with Stripe, Square, or other payment processors. The capability to process customer transactions is one element that sets a business bank apart from a personal checking account.
Do you want to earn interest on your balance?
Several banks on our list offer high yield savings accounts, which is a benefit for small businesses, start-ups, and any business that wants to earn free money from their balance. You might also consider an interest earning business checking account like Bluevine, which pays interest on your checking account balance.
Business Checking vs. Money Market Account
A money market account is a special savings account designed to hold money that you may need to access in the short term. Some money market accounts offer higher APYs than other savings accounts. A money market account often has limits on the number of fee-free withdrawals per month.
Most business owners will want to open a free business checking account and link it to a money market account to earn interest on cash reserves.
What You Need to Open a Small Business Checking Account
You may not need an Employer Identification Number or Tax ID number to open a business checking account. If you have one, you should open the account using that number instead of your Social Security number to help keep your business and personal funds separate.
But if you are a freelancer and file taxes as a sole proprietor/self-employed, you can open your business checking account with your SSN. However, if your business has a DBA (doing business as) you will need a certificate or paperwork showing that name.
Likewise, if you are an LLC, you’ll need your business registration along with your EIN. If you have a partnership, you’ll need your partnership agreement and paperwork showing the business name.
Beyond that, you can open a business checking account with your business address, a phone number, email address and the minimum deposit (if required). Visit a branch for personalized service or open your free business checking account online.
See what people are asking about free business checking accounts.
Do you need to pay account or transaction fees?
Some business checking accounts have monthly fees that you can waive by meeting specific requirements. You may also pay ATM fees, fees for cash deposits, and fees for wire transfers or international transactions.
Read the fine print or speak to a personal banker to choose the account that’s right for you.
Can you open a business checking account with no credit check?
Most banks and credit unions will allow you to open a business checking account with no credit check. By maintaining a positive balance in your account, you can build your business credit. A credit check may be required for business loans, lines of credit, or “net” terms with vendors.
What are the most important features of business checking accounts?
Most business owners are looking for business checking with no ATM fees and no monthly fee or easy ways to waive the monthly fee. Beyond that, consider the type and number of transactions you complete monthly, whether you need payment processing capabilities, and if you want a linked savings account to earn interest.
What banks offer free business checking accounts?
Many online and traditional banks offer free business checking or easy ways to waive the monthly fee. The list above describes 12 of our favorite options in free business checking.