best banks for small business

The 8 Best Banks for Small Business

Bank accounts aren’t just for individuals. Businesses need a way to store money, deposit checks, pay bills, and manage their finances, so many banks offer business bank accounts. These accounts come with features specifically designed to meet business banking needs.

If you run a small business, you must have a business bank account. While using your accounts can be tempting, keeping your money separate from your business’s money helps with bookkeeping. It is required to enjoy some of the legal protections that businesses have.

Our list of the best banks for small businesses highlights each bank’s most compelling feature. However, keep in mind that many of these banks have multiple perks that you can utilize to maximize your profit.

Small Business BankBest For
BluevineEarned Interest
LiliFreelancers
North OneCash Deposits
U.S. BankUpfront Bonus
RelayMultiple Accounts
NovoFee Free Services
LendingClubCash Back Purchases
ChaseIn-Person Service

The Best Banks for Small Business

Bluevine

bluevine

Bluevine is an online checking account and loan provider for small businesses. Bluevine’s value proposition is that it goes beyond its competitors’ no-fee offerings by paying up to 1.50% APY on deposits to your business checking account up to $250,000.

Clients will need to meet one of the following monthly eligibility requirements to continue earning the APY:

  • Spend $500 per month with their Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard®, which can be used everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
  • Receive $2,500 per month in customer payments into their Bluevine Business Checking account via ACH, wire transfer, mobile check deposit, or directly from their merchant payment processing provider.

If your business often needs a bit of extra cash to get by, Bluevine can also help with that. The company offers business lines of credit, which can help you get quick access to cash and regular lines of credit at reasonable interest rates.

Bluevine also lets customers deposit cash through a partnership with Green Dot. This is somewhat unusual among online business checking accounts, making Bluevine a solid choice for most business owners.

Checking & Savings Account Details

  • Minimum balance: None
  • Annual Percentage Yield: Up to 1.50% APY
  • Transaction Limits: None
  • Account Fees: A $4.95 fee applies to cash deposits (up to $2,000 daily). The full fee schedule is available here.

Lili

lili

Lili is a mobile-focused bank focused directly on freelancers. If you’re working for yourself, you’re wearing many hats, so having a bank designed to make your life easier can be a big help.

One of the first things to know about Lili is that it charges very few fees. There are no monthly, inactivity, or overdraft fees to worry about.

As a mobile-focused bank, Lili has a powerful app that makes it easy to handle your banking while on the go. This is essential for freelancers who rarely have the time to sit down at a computer or to go to their local bank to deal with their finances.

Most freelancers dread tax season, so Lili also offers valuable tax tools. For example, Lili can automatically set money aside for taxes each time you receive money from a customer. It can also help categorize your expenses to maximize your tax deductions.

Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC.

Checking & Savings Account Details

  • Minimum balance: None
  • Annual Percentage Yield: 4.15% APY on Savings
  • Transaction Limits: Unlimited transactions
  • Account Fees: None for Lili Basic, $15/mo for Lili Pro, $35/mo for Lili Smart, $55/mo for Lili Premium

NorthOne

northone

NorthOne offers an online business checking experience. There are two plans to choose from. NorthOne Standard doesn’t have a monthly fee but charges transaction fees. You can see a list of fees here. NorthOne Plus has a $20 monthly fee and charges lower transaction fees.

The bank also has a vast ATM network; you can withdraw cash at any ATM that has the Cirrus®, MasterCard®, and Maestro® logos. There may be third-party or ATM owner fees. You can also deposit cash at the cash register of most Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, or 7/11 locations.

NorthOne integrates with many popular small business tools, such as QuickBooks Online, Wave Accounting, Zoho Books, and Patriot Accounting, which can help you organize your business’s finances.

Checking & Savings Account Details

  • Minimum balance: $50 to open
  • Annual Percentage Yield: None
  • Transaction Limits: None
  • Account Fees: $0 – $20 per month

U.S. Bank

us bank

U.S. Bank is a full-service small business provider, offering accounts for savings, checking, credit cards, business loans, and lines of credit. The U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard and U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa offer big upfront bonuses (60,000 bonus points and $500, respectively), and that’s not even their biggest bonus product.

U.S. Bank offers small businesses three different tiers of checking accounts: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each has different fees and perks.

Checking & Savings Account Details

  • Minimum balance: $100 to open
  • Annual Percentage Yield: None
  • Transaction Limits: 125 free transactions per month with the Silver package, 300 free transactions with the Gold package, and 500 free transactions with the Platinum package. After that, $0.50 per transaction
  • Account Fees: None for Silver, $20/mo for Gold, $30/mo for Platinum

Relay

relay

Relay is the newest member of our list of the best banks for small businesses. Its allure comes from its simplicity: offering account holders a banking platform that boasts no fees, account balance minimums, transaction limits, or overdraft fees.

Relay offers small businesses an account that pays between 1% and 3% APY (depending on deposit size) and the ability to open up to 20 individual checking accounts. Each account can have up to 50 virtual or physical Visa debit cards, and integration with accounting platforms like Xero and Quickbooks is easy.

Checking & Savings Account Details

  • Minimum balance: None
  • Annual Percentage Yield: 3% APY on more than $1 million balances. 2% APY on balances between $250,000 and $1 million. 1.5% APY on balances between $50,000 and $250,000. 1% APY on balances up to $50,000.
  • Transaction Limits: None
  • Account Fees: None

Novo

novo

Novo is a fintech company that offers business checking accounts and business funding up to $75,000.

What sets Novo apart is its sleek and easy-to-use website and app. You can apply for an account in just a few minutes, and you can easily use the app or website to make transfers into or out of the account.

Novo also offers perks that business owners can use to save some money. These perks include discounts on Stripe, Quickbooks, Google Cloud, HubSpot, and Zendesk. Novo also integrates with apps like Xero, Slack, and Stripe to make managing and tracking your business easier.

One additional important perk is that all ATM fees will be refunded.

Checking & Savings Account Details

  • Minimum balance: None
  • Annual Percentage Yield: None
  • Transaction Limits: Unlimited transactions
  • Account Fees: None

LendingClub Bank

lendingclub bank

LendingClub Bank offers several different business bank accounts, including savings and checking accounts. Their most popular product, Lending Club Tailored Checking, offers a few perks that set it apart from other banks on our list.

The LendingClub Tailored Checking account automatically refunds ATM fees. While many banks offer 2-3 rebates per month, LendingClub offers UNLIMITED ATM fee rebates. Account holders can also accept credit card payments, ACH payments, and wire transfers.

LendingClub Bank also offers cash back for purchases made with your business debit card. This can be a significant benefit if you don’t have a business rewards credit card.

Checking & Savings Account Details

  • Minimum balance: $500 to waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee
  • Annual Percentage Yield: 1.50% APY on balances under $100k, 0.10% APY on balances over $100k
  • Transaction Limits: Unlimited transactions
  • Account Fees: None for account balances of $500 or more ($10/mo otherwise)

Chase

chase business

Chase is one of the largest banks in the United States, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for your business’s banking needs. Through Chase, you can get a checking account, credit card, and loans for your business. The Chase Ink line of small business credit cards is the best small business credit card you can find; I cannot recommend them enough.

The drawback of working with Chase is that it will be a bit more expensive than many other options. The upside is that you’ll have thousands of branches nationwide to receive in-person support anytime you have a question or concern.

Chase might be a solid choice if you hope to expand your business to a medium or large one because you can stick with the bank as the business grows. New Chase Business Complete Checking® account holders can earn a $300 bonus with qualifying activities (expires 7/22/2024) for a limited time.

Checking & Savings Account Details

  • Minimum balance: $2,000 to waive the monthly service fee for Chase Business Complete Banking
  • Annual Percentage Yield: None
  • Transaction Limits: Unlimited for Complete, 250 free for Performance, and 500 free for Platinum
  • Account Fees: None for all products if qualifying activities are met. Otherwise, $15/mo for Complete, $30/mo for Performance, and $95/mo for Platinum

How To Choose the Best Bank for Your Small Business

Choosing the best business bank account can be difficult because the best bank relies heavily on your business.

If you run a small e-commerce website that never deals with cash, you can do fine with a low-fee account from an online bank. If your business deals heavily in cash, you’ll want to find a bank that keeps fees for cash deposits low, even if some of its other fees are higher.

In general, one of the first things you should consider is how much the bank’s services will cost. Even if some of the bank’s fees for certain services are high, those fees aren’t important if you won’t use those services. Similarly, low fees for services you won’t use don’t matter much either.

Another thing to consider is how you interact with the bank. This is a matter of personal preference. If you like going to a bank and working with people in person, you’ll want to choose a physical bank. Online business banks are a good choice if you don’t need in-person interaction and prefer to do everything online.

It’s all about finding the bank offering an account that cheaply meets your company’s unique needs.

Factors to Consider When Looking at Small Business Banks

The factors that we called out when reviewing these bank accounts are some of the most important ones to look at when comparing bank accounts, and they’re the following:

  • Fees
  • Minimum balance requirements
  • Transaction limits
  • Interest earned

These factors are a good place to start if you’re looking for a new business bank account and want to compare multiple options.

It’s also worth considering other things that can be hard for a reviewer to cover. For example, if one bank has a branch near your business while the other option only has a branch in the next town, that’s a point in favor of the first.

Another thing worth considering is the reputation of the bank you choose. You want to work with a trustworthy bank known for good customer service. Find a bank that wants to work with you rather than one that doesn’t seem to care about its customers.

How Did We Pick the Best Banks for Small Businesses?

To pick the best banks for small businesses, we focused on finding banks with reasonable fee structures and features that appeal to smaller companies.

Small businesses don’t need all the bells and whistles that large companies need from their banks. They also can’t meet huge minimum deposit requirements. All they usually need is an easy-to-use account that doesn’t cost much and can help them keep business money separate from the owner’s funds.

Upfront bonuses, rewards programs, and perks were also considered in the ranking process, but they were outweighed by each bank’s ease of use and fee structures.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does my small business need a checking or savings account?

It is possible to successfully run a small business without giving it a dedicated bank account, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

A business checking or savings account accomplishes many tasks. One is that it helps keep your business’s finances separate from your money. That can make keeping track of your business’s money and performance much easier. Mixing your personal and business money can make it difficult to do accurate recordkeeping or pay your taxes properly.

Business bank accounts are also essential for maintaining some of the protections businesses receive. For example, if you form a Limited Liability Company, you can lose that protection if you mingle your personal and business funds.

What’s the difference between a personal and a business bank account?

Both personal and business bank accounts do the same basic thing. They give you a place to store your extra money safely.

The difference comes in the additional features offered by the account. Where a personal account offers automatic transfers to a savings account and online bill payments, business accounts offer invoicing tools and help manage large cash deposits.

What do you need to open a business bank account?

When you open a personal bank account, you must provide information about yourself. Opening a business bank account is similar, except you have to provide both your personal and business information.

This includes your name, contact information, ID, Business EIN, SSN, business formation documents, and ownership agreements.

Do I need a business account if I’m self-employed?

While you don’t need a business bank account if you’re self-employed or a freelancer, it’s still a good idea.

Business bank accounts make it much easier to separate your business money and your money, as well as business and personal transactions.

This makes it much easier to keep accurate records, which can be a huge help when you have to file taxes or want to apply for a loan to expand your self-employment into a larger business.

Can I open a business checking account without a deposit?

Most banks have a minimum deposit requirement that you must meet before you can open a business checking account. However, some don’t have any minimum balance, so you can open an account without having money to deposit.

Just make sure that you check the account’s fee structure before you open it. Some banks will charge a monthly fee if your account balance falls below (or never reaches) a certain threshold.

Some banks will close your account automatically if it remains at a $0 balance for too long.

Can I have two business bank accounts?

Yes, just like you can have multiple personal bank accounts, you can have more than one business account. Before you open a second account, make sure you have good reasons for doing so and can meet any fee waiver requirements.

Bottom Line

Every business should have a dedicated bank account. It helps keep the business’ finances separate from the owners, and many business accounts offer valuable tools to make managing your business’s money easier.

When looking for a business bank account, look for accounts with low fees and features that help your business meet its unique needs.