Updated April 16, 2022

Best Free Business Checking in 2022

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Hidden fees can pile up. Don't let your checking account be part of the problem. Find out which small business friendly bank account is good for you.

Best Free Checking Accounts for Small Business

© CreditDonkey

Best free business checking accounts:

  1. Bluevine Business Checking: Best overall
  2. Kabbage Business Checking: Best all-in-one platform
  3. Chase Business Complete Banking: Best for Chase customers
  4. Novo Business Banking: Best for tech integrations
  5. Axos Basic Business Checking: Best for less banking activity
  6. Brex Cash Management Account: Best cash management account
  7. U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking: Best for convenience
  8. Mercury Banking: Best for startups, e-commerce
  9. Bank of America Business Advantage Banking: Best for fluctuating needs
  10. Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking: Best for smaller, growing businesses
  11. Capital One Basic Business Checking: Best for travelling businessowners

Are There Free Business Checking Accounts?

There are two main types of free business checking accounts:

  1. Business checking accounts with NO monthly service fee

  2. Business checking accounts that are free IF you maintain a minimum balance or meet other criteria

The first type, with no monthly service fee, is usually offered by online banks. These are good if you don't want to worry about maintaining a minimum balance to waive the fee. Just keep in mind that it may be less convenient to deposit cash into an online bank account.

Don't rule out the accounts that require a minimum balance either. If you can easily meet the requirement, and it has the convenience and features you need, it could be right for you.

This list covers the best free business checking accounts for both types. Read on to learn more.

What kind of bank do you want to use for your small business?
26% National bank
33% Local bank
41% Online bank
Source: CreditDonkey poll, May 23, 2022

Best Free Business Checking Accounts

© CreditDonkey

1. Bluevine Business Checking

Best for: Most small businesses

Bluevine is one of the most popular online business checking accounts. It has no monthly fee and offers a competitive interest rate.

Although Bluevine is online, you can still deposit cash at over 90,000 GreenDot locations. However, GreenDot does charge a fee of up to $4.95.[1]

You can also create up to 5 subaccounts. Your balances in the subaccounts are eligible for interest too (up to $100k on combined balances across all the accounts).

In addition, Bluevine offers a small business line of credit and invoice factoring. It's a great choice if you're looking for business checking plus financing with one bank.

2. Kabbage Business Checking

Best for: Businessowners who want a holistic platform

Kabbage offers one of the highest interest rates currently on the market. It was acquired by American Express in 2020, so you know it has the backing of one of the biggest financial firms.

One impressive feature of Kabbage is that you can add up to 5 "Reserves". These are sub-accounts where you can set aside money for goals like taxes or big business expenses. Your money in Reserves will be separate from your available balance.

Kabbage also offers a small business line of credit. Payment processing is coming soon (join the waitlist here). It could be a great choice if you're looking for multiple services under one roof.

3. Chase Business Complete Banking

Best for: Existing Chase customers

Do you process credit cards for your business? Chase Business Complete Banking has built-in card processing included in the checking account.

Plus, Chase often offers cash bonuses for opening a new business bank account, so make sure you check out the current promotions.

This account isn't completely free, but it does offer several easy ways to waive the $15 monthly fee (find them here). The Complete Banking features include:

  • QuickAccept mobile card reader and processing via app
  • Competitive processing rates at just 2.6% + $0.10 per swipe[2]
  • Same-day deposits into your checking account.

A nice perk is that you don't need to open a separate merchant account. You can do banking and processing all from one checking account.

Chase Bank is also known for its great mobile app and good, 24/7 customer service with real reps.

4. Novo Business Banking

Best for: Tech-savvy businesses, software integrations

Novo is one of the best overall banks for all types of businesses. It accepts sole proprietors, LLCs, partnerships, and corporations.

Novo stands out for being a tech-savvy banking account. You can integrate your checking with thousands of popular business apps, such as Shopify, Stripe, QuickBooks, Xero, Zapier, and Slack.

It also has a rewards program offering thousands in savings from popular business services. For example, you can get $20,000 in fee-free card processing with Stripe.

There are no foreign transaction fees, so Novo is also great if you travel internationally for business.

What's the easiest business checking account to open?
Novo is one of the easiest business bank accounts you can open. It doesn't do a credit check so you can get approved even without great credit. Plus, it's lenient on who counts as a business owner. Freelancers and gig workers are all welcome.

5. Axos Basic Business Checking

Best for: Small businesses with less banking activity

Axos Bank is another online-only bank. Its Basic Business Checking has no monthly fee or balance requirements.

Axos gives you unlimited reimbursements of domestic ATM fees, so you can use any ATM you want. You can also deposit cash for free at cash-taking Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs.

Axos Bank also offers a Business Interest Checking Account that earns a competitive APY on all balances. There is a $5,000 average daily balance requirement in order to waive the $10/mo service charge.

6. Brex Cash Management Account

Best for: Tech-savvy business owners who want cash management

Brex Cash is not a bank, it's all-in-one cash management account designed for business owners.

It has all the features of a traditional banking account. You can make transfers, pay bills, deposit checks, send wires, and even send paper checks through the app. All these services are free.

Other features include:

  • Brex credit card to earn rewards & build business credit
  • Free unlimited virtual cards for your team
  • Financial management tools
  • Integrations with business software like Gusto, Quickbooks, Xero, and more

However, Brex doesn't have an ATM network where you can withdraw or deposit cash.[3] But if you don't need an ATM, Brex's free account is very well worth considering.

Note: You must have an EIN to apply for Brex. It's not open to sole proprietors. Your business must be incorporated in the US. International founders based elsewhere can apply with a PO Box or virtual office.[4]

7. US Bank Silver Business Checking

Best for: Businessowners who want big-bank convenience

U.S. Bank offers a Silver Business Checking Package with no maintenance fees or account minimum. It's one of the few free business checking accounts offered by big banks.

U.S. Bank has more than 2,000 locations across the nation. It's a solid choice if you prefer the reassurance of a physical branch and building in-person relationships.

And even if you don't live close to a US Bank location, you can use any of the 37,000+ MoneyPass ATMs with no surcharge.

8. Mercury Banking for Startups

Best for: Startups, e-commerce, and other digital businesses

Mercury is an online banking platform created specifically for tech startups, with APIs that let you custom build your own banking experience.

When you open an account with Mercury, you get a completely fee-free checking business account, savings account, debit card, check payments, wire transfers, and financial tools. There are no monthly fees, minimums, wire fees, or overdraft fees.

What's really unique about Mercury is their Raise program to connect startups to top investors. There's a fundraising round every quarter. If your startup is chosen, it will be shared with over 450 investors in their network. It's a great way to potentially accelerate your seed funding.

You need to be a US-based company and have an EIN to apply. It is not open to sole proprietors.

9. Bank Of America Business Advantage Banking

Best for: Businesses with fluctuating needs

Bank of America has more than 5,000 physical branches nationwide. It offers a business checking account with two tiers: Fundamentals and Relationship. You can switch between them at any time based on your business's needs.

The basic Fundamentals account has very low requirements to waive the monthly fee. It includes access to the Cash Flow Monitor and an AI finance "assistant", Erica.

The higher tier Relationship account gives you customized employee access, QuickBooks integration, and an included checking and savings account at no extra charge.

And if you enroll in the Preferred Rewards program, you can get additional perks. These include banking services fee waivers, more rewards, and discounts on interest rates. Each account tier does charge a monthly fee, but you can waive it by fulfilling the requirements below.

How to Waive Monthly Fee:
The $16/mo fee (may vary by location) can be waived by ONE of the following each statement period:[5]

  • Spend $250 in new net qualified debit card purchases
  • Maintain a $5,000 combined average monthly balance
  • Enroll in the Preferred Rewards for Business program

10. Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking

Best for: Growing businesses

Wells Fargo is the third-largest bank in the US with over 5,000 branches. You may consider Wells Fargo if you want the convenience of a large bank with added services.

The Initiate Business Checking account is designed for growing small businesses. It's easy to waive the monthly service fee.

11. Capital One Basic Business Checking

Best for: Businessowners who frequently travel, need regular ATM access

Capital One Basic Business Basic Checking is an affordable solution for businesses with a lot of digital transactions. The minimum opening deposit is $250.

Capital One has one of the biggest ATM networks. You get free access to 70,000+ Capital One, MoneyPass and Allpoint ATMs.

How to Waive Monthly Fee:
You can avoid the $15/mo maintenance fee if your prior 30- or 90-day account balance averages at least $2,000.

Best Free Business Checking by Region

Are you looking for a local bank with physical branches? Small local businesses may benefit more from a regional or community bank. You'll have the chance to build a personal relationship with your banker.

Here are some solid business checking options in different regions.

PNC Bank Business Checking (East & Midwest)

PNC Bank has a large presence in the East and Midwest, with 2,600 branches in 19 states.

The Basic Business Checking account is for small business owners with lower activity. It has low requirements to waive the monthly service fee. The opening deposit is just $100.

You get 150 free transactions and $5,000 in cash deposits per month. It also comes with built-in tools to help you track cash flow, manage payments, and sync accounting software.

As a bonus, PNC Bank often offers cash bonuses for opening a new account.

How to Waive Monthly Fee:
The $10/mo maintenance fee can be waived by one of the following each statement cycle:[6]

  • Maintain an average monthly balance of $500
  • Make $500 in eligible purchases with a linked PNC business credit card
  • Keep a linked PNC Merchant Services Account and generate at least $500 in qualifying monthly processing 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.

Huntington Business Checking 100 (Midwest)

Huntington Bank has nearly 1,000 branches in the Midwest. It has a free Business Checking 100 account with no minimums or monthly fees.

This account is ideal for new businesses with limited activity. Each month, you get 100 free transactions and can deposit up to $5,000 in cash in-branch or at an ATM at no charge.

First Horizon BizEssentials Checking (South)

First Horizon Bank offers a BizEssentials Checking account with no minimums or monthly service fee.

This bank is more prominent in the south. But if you're not near a branch, you also get fee-free access to 43,000+ Allpoint ATMs across the nation.

First Citizens Bank (South)

First Citizens Bank's Basic Business Checking account has no monthly account minimum. You need a $100 deposit to open an account, which is pretty reasonable.

First Citizens Bank has over 600 locations primarily in the southern states and some scattered across the West coast.

You need to be an existing First Citizens Business Customer to open an account. The minimum deposit is $100.

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

Why You Need A Business Checking Account

As a small business owner, it's smart to separate your company's finances from your personal checking account. Here are just a few reasons why you may want to open a business checking account:

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

  2. It's easier to calculate your expenses for tax purposes.

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

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

Keep these in mind as you consider our list of options.

How to Open a Business Account

To open a business banking account, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name, address, and date of birth
  • Driver's license or state ID
  • SSN or employer identification number (EIN)
  • Business license (if your state requires)
  • Assumed Name Certificate if operating as a DBA
  • Written Partnership or Joint Venture Agreement (for Partnerships)
  • Articles of Organization (for LLCs)
  • Articles of Incorporation (for Corporations)

Sole proprietors can usually open a business account online. Partnerships, LLCs, and Corporations may require all general partners or members to be present. Find out your bank's requirements.

When should I open up a business bank account?
You should open a business bank account once you're set to begin accepting or spending money as your business.[7]

What to look for in a business checking account

Small business checking accounts come with fine print. To find the right account for your business banking needs, here are some important factors to consider:

  • Account Balance Requirements
    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 Requirements
    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 business accounts may have a maximum transaction limit. Look for a bank account that can accommodate your business's transaction amount.

  • Physical Location
    Consider whether having a physical branch nearby is important to you. If you make a lot of deposits and withdrawals, you may want the convenience of a physical branch. If you can manage your business finances completely online, online-only banks will open up a lot of possibilities.

  • Other Banking Services
    Does your business receive wire transfers often? Or do you need to make cash and check deposits? If so, search for a bank that offers these features at lowest cost. For example, some banks offer free incoming wires.

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

    Ask about when funds are available across major payment platforms. The difference between a day or two days can be crucial for small businesses.

  • 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.

  • 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.

How do I know if the bank is FDIC insured?
To check if a bank is FDIC-insured:

Can you open a business checking account with no credit check?

When you apply for a business bank account, the bank will most likely check your credit history. If you're a sole proprietor and use your SSN for business purposes, the bank may check your personal credit. This is only a soft credit inquiry, so your credit score will not be impacted.

If you form an LLC, corporation, or partnership, then you'll get a separate tax identification number (EIN). This number isn't tied to your SSN, so your personal credit may not be checked. If you have business credit, that may be used to see if you qualify.

However, your credit may not be the only thing checked. Banks also usually run your banking history through ChexSystems. This is another reporting agency, but it only reports any negative marks on checking and savings banking activity.

For example, if you've had some overdrafts or didn't pay banking fees, it will show up there.

If your credit or ChexSystem report (request a free one here) doesn't qualify you for a business banking account, you could consider a bank that offers second chance checking. These are designed to help those who have trouble being approved for a normal bank account.

How to Print Business Checks

Most business checking accounts do not offer free business checks. But you can save money by printing them at home using just any blank check paper.

You will need a check printing software, such as Online CheckWriter or Checkeeper. The software will help you design professional checks that you can print anytime with any printer at home. You can also print as many as you like.

To print a check, you will need to enter:

  • Your banking institution
  • Bank routing number and bank account number
  • Your name and address
  • Payee name and amount
  • Date

The software will do the rest for you and format it to banking standards. You don't need any special ink or printer. For businesses that write a lot of checks, this can offer a much cheaper and more efficient solution to pre-printed checkbooks by your bank.

Which banks give you free business checks?
Most banks do not give free business checks, but here are some that do.
  • Bluevine - 2 free checkbooks
  • Axos - first set of 50 checks free
  • Novo - sends paper checks on your behalf for free

What the Experts Say

Looking for the right business checking account isn't easy. Take time to figure out what your business needs. CreditDonkey asked a panel of industry experts to answer readers' most pressing questions. Here's what they said:

BOTTOM LINE

Free business checking accounts work best for growing small businesses looking for a way to start up for cheap and save on banking costs.

But only a select few banks offer completely free business checking options. If you meet certain conditions, though, many business bank 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.

Free Business Checking by State

Free Business Checking in Alabama

Free Business Checking in Arizona

Free Business Checking in Arkansas

Free Business Checking in California

Free Business Checking in Colorado

Free Business Checking in Connecticut

Free Business Checking in Delaware

Free Business Checking in Florida

Free Business Checking in Georgia

Free Business Checking in Illinois

Free Business Checking in Indiana

Free Business Checking in Iowa

Free Business Checking in Kansas

Free Business Checking in Kentucky

Free Business Checking in Louisiana

Free Business Checking in Maine

Free Business Checking in Maryland

Free Business Checking in Massachusetts

Free Business Checking in Michigan

Free Business Checking in Minnesota

Free Business Checking in Mississippi

Free Business Checking in Missouri

Free Business Checking in Montana

Free Business Checking in New Hampshire

Free Business Checking in New Jersey

Free Business Checking in New Mexico

Free Business Checking in New York

Free Business Checking in North Carolina

Free Business Checking in North Dakota

Free Business Checking in Ohio

Free Business Checking in Oklahoma

Free Business Checking in Oregon

Free Business Checking in Pennsylvania

Free Business Checking in Rhode Island

Free Business Checking in South Carolina

Free Business Checking in Tennessee

Free Business Checking in Texas

Free Business Checking in Vermont

Free Business Checking in Virginia

Free Business Checking in Washington

Free Business Checking in West Virginia

Free Business Checking in Wisconsin

References

  1. ^ Bluevine. Green Dot Services, Retrieved 2/25/2022
  2. ^ Chase. Chase QuickAccept, Retrieved 1/4/2022
  3. ^ Brex. Can I use my Brex card at an ATM?, Retrieved 2/25/2022
  4. ^ Brex. What are the requirements for a Brex account?, Retrieved 2/25/2022
  5. ^ Bank of America. Fees at a Glance, Retrieved 2/25/2022
  6. ^ PNC. Basic Business Checking Account, Retrieved 1/4/2022
  7. ^ U.S. Small Business Administration. Open a business bank account, Retrieved 4/10/2022

Write to Samantha Tatro at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website 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. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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Chase
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Chase Total Checking® - $200 Bonus

Expires 7/20/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
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  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
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*We won't charge an overdraft fee if you are overdrawn $50 or less at the end of the business day. Chase may pay, for a $34 fee, overdraft transactions at our discretion based on your account history, deposits and transaction amount. If you've enrolled in Debit Card Coverage, everyday debit card purchases like groceries, may be approved at our discretion when you don't have enough money in your account.

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What kind of bank do you want to use for your small business?
26% National bank
33% Local bank
41% Online bank
Source: CreditDonkey
Leave a comment about Best Free Checking Accounts for Small Businesses?



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