Looking to open a free business checking account? Know this: You can find one with big benefits for absolutely no cost.
The process of finding a free checking account for your small business can be confusing. Moreover, there are often specific requirements to meet, such as a minimum monthly deposit.
Don’t sweat it: We’ve done the homework and compiled a list of 10 banks offering the best free business checking accounts for your consideration.
Why Do You Need a Business Checking Account?
The main reason for opening a business checking account is it keeps business finances separate from personal finances.
The two shouldn’t be mixed. Besides, your accountant might find it difficult to distinguish between business expenses and personal expenses.
Here’s another reason: Having a separate checking account for your business will save time and money come tax season. Your accountant and the IRS can easily figure out taxable income and profits.
Lastly, if you’re trying to secure a small business loan, take heed: Some lenders require that you have a business checking account.
If you’ve been researching free business checking accounts, you’ve probably noticed that while an account itself may be free, many of the perks aren’t.
Some banks provide a limited number of transactions and services for free. Once you’ve reached the limit, the bank may charge fees per transaction on wire transfers, cash handling and withdrawals from automated teller machines.
Some free business checking factors to consider:
It’s crucial to read over the terms before committing.
- Look at how many free transactions you get each month, including:
- Cash and check deposits
- Account withdrawals
- Account transfers
- Any electronic payments.
Does your cash flow tend to run a little short each month? Some banks charge lower fees or zero fees for keeping a high enough daily or monthly balance. Again, be sure to read over the policies and make sure you’re able to meet the minimum threshold.
Free accounts that charge a lower fee or no fees at all typically require a large opening deposit. Certain banks may offer a cash signup bonus if your deposit exceeds a specific amount and you manage to maintain that balance.
Online vs. Offline Checking Accounts
In this digital age, financial technology isn’t just front and center: It’s worldwide. Fintech banks may prove incredibly useful if your business is based online and you only deal with electronic payments: There’s no need to deposit cash, which saves you time and money. If your company operates out of an office or a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll probably need a local bank branch in the physical realm to make regular deposits.
Accounting Software Integration
You need all of the small business tools you can get your hands on to help your company grow and increase its bottom line. Some business checking accounts allow you to integrate accounting software with existing payments, saving your company time and effort when it comes to balancing the books.
Banks That Offer Free Checking Accounts
Some banks with physical branches claim to be free, but charge fees for certain services. They also have specific requirements that need to be met in order to waive the monthly service fee or when opening a bank account. Physical banks do have their perks, however, such as being able to deposit cash, checks and the ability to see staff in person.
Fintech banks are changing the game, however. Most offer free business checking accounts without fees and provide unlimited transactions — but they do with their own set of limitations.
With those factors in mind, here’s our roundup of the best no-fee checking accounts:
- Offers zero-fee online banking.
- Provides a debit card, check depositing services, Automated Clearing House transfers and the ability to send invoices through online banking and a mobile app.
- Doesn’t accept any cash deposits (no physical branches).
- Accounts integrate with popular payment processors such as Stripe and Square.
- Touts no “hidden fees.”
- Comes with all the typical bank perks (including a Mastercard debit card) except the ability to deposit cash.
- Can make payments and transfers via a mobile app.
- Provides free business checking.
- Requires no minimum balance to maintain or monthly fee. (That said, you must deposit $50 to activate the account.)
- Requires a $1,000 deposit to open the account.
- There’s no balance requirement or monthly fee.
- Benefits include 200 free transactions a month, the first set of 50 checks free, 60 remote deposits a month and unlimited ATM fee reimbursement.
- Requires a minimum daily balance of $1,500 to avoid a $15 monthly service fee. (The fee is reduced to $12 a month if enrolled to receive paperless statements.)
- Allows up to 100 transactions a month at no charge and unlimited electronic deposits
- Includes $5,000 worth of fee-free cash deposits a month.
- Waives the $10 monthly fee if you maintain a balance of $500 each month.
- Requires a $25 deposit for activation.
- Requires no minimum balance and there is no monthly maintenance fee.
- Provides up to 200 free transactions a month.
- Free if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $3,000 or a balance of $5,000 a month; otherwise, it’s $18 a month.
- No cash handling fees for the first 200 transactions, then 45 cents per transaction.
- No cash deposit processing fees for the first $7,500, then 30 cents per $100.
- Waives the monthly maintenance fee with $5,000 average monthly balance.
- Provides up to 200 free transactions a month.
- The minimum opening deposit is $500.
- Focused on companies based in New York City.
- Waives the $15 monthly fee with a minimum balance of $5,000.
- Provides 250 free transactions a month with a fee of $0.30 per transaction after that.
- Waives the $15 monthly fee with a minimum balance of at least $2,000.
- Can deposit up to $5,000 without fees (after that, it’s $1 for every $1,000 deposited).
The Bottom Line
Finding the most suitable free business checking account for you will depend on whether you’re an online company or have a physical location that accepts cash. Furthermore, your decision may be impacted by the volume of transactions your company performs and if you’re able to maintain the minimum balance to waive the monthly fee.