August 23, 2019

Free Business Checking

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The last thing your business needs is another expense. Find out which free business checking account is the best for you.

Starting a business checking account is an important step toward separating your company's finances from your personal ones. The type of small business checking account you choose will affect:

  • The amount of money your business can spend
  • Your ability to withdraw cash
  • The number of transactions you can make

Think you don't need a small business checking account? Read on.

Why You Need A Business Checking Account

As a small business owner, you have many reasons to keep your personal and business accounts independent. Here are just a few reasons a business checking account is important:

  1. You will need it to deposit money from a small business loan.

  2. It makes it easier to calculate your expenses for tax purposes.

  3. Your employees can access the account for day-to-day operations.

Top Picks For Free Business Checking Accounts

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Free business checking accounts come in two varieties:

  • Business checking accounts with NO monthly fee.

  • Business checking accounts that are free IF certain criteria are met.

Both options come with their own limitations. No monthly fees often means limited transactions each month. On the other hand, it can be hard to stay above a minimum daily balance or stick to other restrictions.

Read on for our list of the top free business checking accounts.

Chase Bank

Chase has three small business checking accounts. Each account can be free of monthly service fees if certain conditions are met.

Total Business Checking
This option is best for a budding small business.

    Chase

    Chase Total Business Checking®

    • Get $200 as a new Chase business checking client, when you open a Chase Total Business Checking® account with qualifying activities
    • Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 Chase branches
    • Chase has business specialists at your local branch to help with your business needs
    • Account Alerts are a great way to stay on top of your account's activity and enhance security
    • Unlimited electronic deposits at no charge, including Chase QuickDeposit℠, ACH and ATM

The basic business checking account does not have advanced features, like linking business sub-accounts, and waiving non-Chase ATM fees.

Here are some of the baseline features:

  • 100 transactions a month at no additional charge

  • $5,000 in cash deposits at no additional fee

  • Domestic and international wire transfers

How to Waive Monthly Service Fee
Chase's Total Business Checking has a $12 monthly fee.

That fee is waved if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500. It's reduced to will be discounted if you enroll in paperless statements. Otherwise, the account will cost $15 a month.

Performance Business Checking
This option is best for established businesses because of the added features.

Here are some of the baseline features:

  • 250 transactions a month at no additional charge.

  • Unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wires.

  • $20,000 cash deposits per statement cycle without an additional fee.

  • All incoming domestic wires free of charge. Two outgoing domestic wires at no cost during the statement cycles.

In addition to the baseline features, enjoy fees waived at non-Chase ATMs, link up to 99 Chase Business sub-checking accounts and associate and employee debit cards available.

How to Waive Monthly Service Fee
Waive the monthly service fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $35,000. Otherwise, the account will cost $30 a month.

Chase Platinum Business Checking
This option is best for large-scale businesses.

Chase's largest business checking account has a variety of features, including no charges for returned deposited items or cashed checks, no charges for extended overdrafts, insufficient funds fees waived, and more.

Here are some of the baseline features:

  • 500 transactions a month at no additional charge.

  • Unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wires.

  • $25,000 cash deposits per statement cycle without an additional fee.

  • All incoming domestic wires free of charge. Your four most expensive outgoing wires at no cost during the statement cycles.

How to Waive Monthly Service Fee
Maintain a minimum daily balance of $100,000. Otherwise, the account costs $95 a month.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo combines lending and business checking options for businesses - with plenty of free options for small businesses. The bank also offers a variety of loans, including medium-term, short-term, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.

Every tier of business checking has different features, from small business options to larger-scale options.

  • Varying monthly service fees, with the possibility to waive them by maintaining a certain minimum balance, numbered debit card purchases or other means

  • A set number of transactions per tier of checking account

  • Text and mobile banking

  • Design your card to include your business logo

  • Zero Liability protection, which means unauthorized debit and credit card transactions will be reimbursed.

The third-largest bank in the U.S. has several business checking account options. Read on to learn about their features.

Extra Features with Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo offers a number of added benefits for small business accounts.
  • Full-service payroll features and employee benefits.
  • Tax programs.
  • Business credit cards.
  • Wells Fargo small business insurance

Simple Business Checking
Wells Fargo's most basic business checking account is best for burgeoning businesses with limited cash flow.

The account includes a maximum of 50 transactions and $3,000 in cash deposits.

How to Waive Monthly Service Fee
You can avoid the monthly $10 service fee in a variety of ways, including maintaining a minimum $500 balance during the fee period.

Business Choice Checking
Well Fargo's most popular business checking account is best for growing small businesses. The account includes a maximum of 200 transactions per month and $7,500 in cash deposits.

How to Waive Monthly Fee
Maintain a $7,500 balance or make 10 or more posted business debit card purchases/payments. Otherwise, pay the $14 monthly fee.

Platinum Business Checking
Larger businesses may want to check out the Platinum Business Checking account. This Wells Fargo account works best for businesses with a larger monthly balance.

The account includes up to 500 in transactions and $20,000 in monthly deposits a month.

How to Waive Monthly Service Fee
There are two ways to avoid the monthly fee of $40: maintain a $25,000 average balance or $40,000 in combined balances.

BBVA Bank

BBVA Clear Choice for Business checking account provides a combination of online and in-branch services for small business owners. This account is best for retail businesses and entrepreneurs.

How to Waive Monthly Service Fee
There are three ways to avoid the $15 monthly fee:

  • Maintain a $5,000 average balance daily.

  • Process at least $5,000 a month through Merchant Services.

  • Enroll in the BBVA for Your Cause Program.

Extra Features With BBVA
BBVA offers a number of added benefits with their small business accounts.

  • Pick two premium features from the list, including an additional 250 transactions, one free wire per month, one overdraft fee forgiveness refund per year, and unlimited returned deposit items per month, among others.

  • Up to $10,000 in cash processing a month

  • Three business Visa debit cards, customized

  • Unlimited bill pay

  • Online banking and mobile banking

  • Account alerts

BBVA also offers a premium small business checking account. In order to keep it free, small business owners will need to maintain a daily balance of $25,000.

Comerica

Comerica's small business checking account is an interest-free checking account with a number of features for small business owners.

The basic business checking account comes with no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement. You'll also get a basic account that comes with a debit card at no charge, online account management tools, and payroll processing.

However, there are some limitations:

  • The account has a maximum of 75 transactions before a fee hits AND

  • A maximum of $2,500 in cash deposits before a cash deposit fee

Extra Features With Comerica
Comerica's basic business checking account offers a number of added benefits with their small business accounts including:

  • View, download, or print 24 months of eStatements with Comerica Web Banking

First Citizens Bank

First Citizens' Basic Business Checking account has no maintenance fee and no monthly minimum balance fee. However, you will need a minimum deposit of $100 to open your checking account.

This business checking account has a maximum of 175 free transactions each month.

Sign up for e-statements to avoid an additional fee for paper statements.

Extra Features With First Citizens Bank
First Citizens Bank's Basic business checking account offers a number of added benefits with their small business accounts.

  • Free Business Visa debit card

  • Free coin and currency money deposits: a maximum of $5,000 a month

  • Unlimited use of the bank's ATM network

Bank Of America

Bank of America is one of the largest physical banks in the U.S. with small or no fees for their small business checking accounts.

Bank of America has more than 5,000 physical branches nationwide to help small business owners. The bank has two business checking accounts: the Business Fundamentals Checking account and the Business Advantage Checking account.

Both accounts have a small number of transactions so be aware of your needs.

Business Fundamentals Checking
The account comes with mobile banking, small business online banking, business and employee debit cards, and safety features.

Unlike other basic level, small business checking accounts, this account offers business and employee debit cards.

How to Waive Monthly Service Fee
To avoid the $16-a-month fee, do one of the following:

  • Spend $250 in new net purchases on a business debit or credit card

  • Maintain a $5,000 average monthly balance

  • Maintain a $3,000 daily balance

  • Maintain a combined monthly balance of $15,000 or more in linked Bank of America accounts

  • Enroll in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program

Business Advantage Checking
The account comes with a savings account and second checking account to help you manage cash flow for no additional fee. Bank of America also waives fees for stop payments, incoming domestic and international wire transfers, and more.

One of the biggest changes with Bank of America's more expensive business checking account is seamless QuickBooks integration at no additional cost.

Additionally, new eligible business credit card customers can earn a $300 statement credit by making at least $3,000 in new purchases within the first 90 days of opening the card account.

How to Waive Monthly Service Fee
To avoid the $29.95 per month fee, do one of the following:

  • Spend $2,500 in new net purchases on a business credit card.

  • Maintain a combined $35,000 average monthly balance in your linked Bank of America accounts.

  • Maintain an average $15,000 monthly balance.

  • Actively use one of these services: Bank of America Merchant Service or Payroll Service.

  • Enroll in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program.

Azlo (By BBVA)

If you do not need to visit a physical bank often, Azlo may be the choice for you. Their free business checking account has many features. All deposits are FDIC-insured.

Backed by BBV, Azlo is focusd on convenience. Their Business Checking account is created specifically for freelancers and self-employed individuals.

The Small Business Checking Account
Azlo offers one small business account: the small business checking account. The account is unique: no fees on any transactions whatsoever. There is no minimum balance required.

This banking option is best for the small business owner looking for ease and convenience without too many added features.

Here are some of the features:

  • Free domestic bank-to-bank transfers

  • Free debit card and free ATM access at select ATMs across the country. Use the mobile app to locate an eligible ATM

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Mobile check deposit

  • Receive domestic and international wire transfers at no cost

  • Electronic bill payments

  • Pay others with digital checks

You can connect your business' Stripe and Square payment system seamlessly, an important feature for e-commerce businesses. The bank plans to add additional providers in the future.

One potential downside to using Azlo is the lack of lending. If you are looking for a small business loan at any point in the future, you would have to look outside Azlo for lending.

Another downside: there are no physical banks. If visiting a physical bank is important to you, pick another bank.

Popular Bank has two main options for their small business checking accounts: the Simple Business Checking and the Popular Business Checking. Both accounts have no monthly maintenance fee.

They are best suited for small businesses with a moderate amount of transactions. It's easy to upgrade your account once it's open to best fit your needs.

Popular Business Checking
The Popular Business Checking account works best for small business startups. The account is truly free: it has no minimum balance fees and no monthly maintenance fees.

But the terms of the account are limited:

  • Maximum of 200 transactions per month for free. After that, it's an additional $0.50 per transaction.

  • $7,000 in total deposits for pay cycles.

To open Popular's Business Checking account, you will need to deposit at least $50.

Simple Business Checking
The Simple Business Checking account is best for growing businesses. The account will cost $15 a month if you don't maintain a $7,500 per cycle.

It includes 400 free transactions per statement cycle and $15,000 in cash deposits. There is no initial deposit required.

Extra Features With Popular Bank
Popular Bank's basic business checking account offers a number of added benefits with their small business accounts.

  • Free online banking and bill pay

  • Mastercard debit card

  • Phone banking

  • No fees for transfers between accounts

US Bank

US Bank offers small business owners the access to many physical branches across the U.S. and no monthly fee. US Bank has Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Premium checking accounts for small business owners.

The Silver business checking account is the only checking account with no monthly maintenance fees. The basic business account includes 150 free combined transactions a month.

Extra Features With US Bank
US Bank's basic business checking account offers a number of added benefits with their small business accounts:

  • 25 free cash deposits per month

  • No-fee transactions at U.S. Bank ATMs

  • Free mobile check deposits

  • Card payment processing

  • Small business Visa credit cards

  • $5 paper statement fee

  • $0.50 fee for additional transactions

PNC Bank

PNC Bank has several small business checking accounts that are free if you meet specific criteria. Small business owners do not have to pay for their checking account for the first three months.

The downside to PNC Bank: The bank operates on the East Coast and some Midwest states. If you don't live near a PNC Bank, you may want to plan to access all banking information online.

Basic Business Checking account
This account works best for businesses that need a checking account with relatively few transactions.

It features 150 transactions a month (with a $0.50 fee for added transactions) plus a small $0.25 fee for additional $100 deposits over the allotted limit.

How to Waive Monthly Fee
PNC's Basic Business Checking offers a number of ways to waive the $10 per month maintenance fee, including:

  • Maintain an average of $500 a month balance.

  • Make $500 in monthly eligible purchases.

  • Keep a linked PNC Merchant Services Account and generate at least $500 in qualifying monthly deposits.

Even if you can't meet one of these criteria once or twice a year, the fee ($10 a month) is low compared to other banks.

BB&T Bank

Startups can sign up for a small business checking account with BB&T Bank for a low-cost option. The downside: The bank operates in only 16 states.

Their Business Value 50 Checking Account is best for small business owners who want an affordable option with limited monthly transactions.

The account has no monthly or maintenance fee. You'll get 50 transactions for free. After that, you will pay $0.50 per transaction.

The bank will process up to $3,500 for no fee. You then pay a nominal fee for additional deposits - cost varies per state.

Take advantage of discounts on business checks, next day business funding with your card, free mobile app with check deposit features, and 24/7 account access.

Navy Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in the country, offers competitive options for small business checking accounts.

Their Business Checking account has no monthly maintenance fee. The account comes with 30 free transactions a month. Every added transaction costs $.025.

You can deposit up to $5,000 a month for free. For every $100 after the allotted limit, you will pay $0.16.

Navy Federal Credit Union has one of the largest bank networks of any credit union. However, they do not have banks in every state.

Before signing up, consider looking for locations near your home or place of business. They also offer 24/7 support for customers.

TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank offers banking services over the phone, through the mail or online only for sole proprietors and single-owner LLCs. The bank also offers lending and investment services.

The Small Business Checking Account
Has no monthly maintenance fee, but requires a $1,500 deposit to open.

Extra Features With TIAA Bank
TIAA Bank's basic business checking account offers a number of added benefits with their small business account:

  • High-yield on balances: around 1.2% intro APY

  • If you keep a minimum of $5,000 in your account, TIAA will reimburse you for any ATM fees charged by other banks

  • Deposit checks anywhere

  • Overdraft protection available

What To Look For In A Small Business Checking Account

Small business checking accounts come with fine print. Here are some important factors to consider:

Average Daily Account Balance
Free does not always mean free. Some banks require owners to maintain a certain daily or monthly balance. To avoid fees, make sure you can maintain the minimum required balance in the time frame.

Opening Deposit
Banks may also require a certain dollar amount as an initial deposit. The amount varies greatly by institution - be sure to double-check ahead of time.

Monthly Transaction Caps
Small business checking accounts are free because of the minimal effort it takes banks to maintain the account. These accounts may have a maximum amount of transactions they will process.

Physical Location
Consider whether having a physical branch nearby is important to you. If not, online-only banks will open up a lot of possibilities.

Software Integration
If your small business uses accounting products like QuickBooks or Quicken, consider whether they will integrate with your new small business checking account.

Payment Platform
If your small business uses payment platforms like Venmo or PayPal, consider those payment platforms when signing up for a free small business checking account.

Ask about the average payment timing across major payment platforms. The difference between a day or two days can be crucial for small businesses.

Size of the Bank
A smaller bank will be more personal and upfront with local ties. A larger bank will have greater technology, more branch locations, and greater flexibility when it comes to fees.

BOTTOM LINE

Free business checking accounts work best for growing small businesses looking for a way to start up for cheap.

But only a select few banks have completely free options. If you meet certain conditions, though, many checking accounts can be free.

Make sure to double-check the terms and conditions of your business checking account to ensure you can keep the account free long term.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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