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By Andrea Agostini
Updated: March 31, 2021 2:20 PM ET | Originally published: March 26, 2021
Hand Writing Out A Check
Money; Getty Images

Business checking accounts make it easy for small, mid-sized, and large businesses to do their banking and get their projects up and running. We focused on accounts with no fees (or ways to waive them), minimal requirements, and reliable digital platforms.

Read on to learn more about the best business checking accounts from online banking startups, banks with physical branches, and online-only banks.

Our Top Picks for Best Business Checking Accounts

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Best Business Checking Account Reviews

NBKC Bank – Best Online Account for Small Business

Pros Cons
$0 service or transaction fees Physical branches located only in Kansas City, Missouri
$0 fees on mobile deposits or bill pay Incoming domestic wires are free, and outgoing domestic wires cost $5
Free incoming domestic wire transfers Outgoing and incoming international wires cost $45
Cash deposits and withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs
Includes a business credit card

NBKC’s Free Business Checking Account is our top business checking account for small business owners that want the benefits of fully digital banking but still prefer to sign up with a traditional bank. Through its online banking products, NBKC offers fee-free accounts nationwide, despite its limited physical presence.

The Free Business Checking Account features no fees per-item or transaction, no minimum balance, no opening deposit requirements, and no overdraft fees.

Remote banking includes full mobile accessibility, where business owners can deposit checks for free, pay vendors and bills, and make wire transfers directly from the app. For even easier transfers, third-party services such as Venmo, PayPal, CashApp, GooglePay, or ApplePay can also be linked to your account.

Using NBKC’s credit/debit Business MasterCard, customers can also make free cash deposits or withdrawals within MoneyPass’s broad ATM network. If you ever go out of network, fees (even foreign ones) will be reimbursed, up to $12 per month.

As your business grows, NBKC offers investment options in the form of money market accounts and other elective add-ons to further give your company a leg up. These perks include check scanning equipment for desktop deposits and merchant processing services.

Monthly service fee $0
Minimum opening deposit $0
Minimum monthly balance $0
ATM network Free access to 32,000 + MoneyPass ATM’s
APY None
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BlueVine– Best for High Yields

Pros Cons
$0 non-sufficient funds fee No physical branches
$0 overdraft fees No reimbursement for fees paid at out-of-network ATMs
Automatic vendor payments $15 for domestic wire transfers
Mobile check deposits $4.95 cash deposit fee
Free checkbooks
Unlimited transactions

BlueVine’s Business Checking account pays 1.0% APY on customer deposits — one of the highest in the industry — without a monthly or daily account balance requirement. The account includes unlimited transactions, and there are no monthly fees, minimum balance fees, or non-sufficient fund fees.

BlueVine features the BlueVine Payments Platform, where account holders can pay bills and make vendor payments for free.

While BlueVine doesn’t operate branches or its own ATM network, customers can withdraw cash and make deposits with their Business Debit Mastercard at any MoneyPass ATM.

Monthly service fee $0
Minimum opening deposit $0
Minimum monthly balance $0
ATM network Free access to 32,000 + MoneyPass ATM’s
APY 1.0% on balance up to $100,000
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Novo Best for E-commerce

Pros Cons
Refund on all domestic and international ATM fees No physical branches
Free ACH transfers No cash deposits
Cash withdrawals with Novo debit card No wire transfers
Free incoming domestic and international wires $27 overdraft fee
Integrates multiple third-party programs
Mobile check deposit

Novo’s Online Business Banking is great for e-commerce businesses. This account integrates popular third-party programs such as Shopify, Slack, Stripe, Quickbooks, Zapier, TransferWise, and Xero and includes discounts and rewards for popular programs, like Homebase and Google Ads.

Novo’s mobile app makes it easy to handle key transactions such as check deposits, payments, transfers, and wires. Clients can also link their PayPal account as an additional payment option. However, the only way to make cash deposits is to purchase a money order, so this account may not be the best option if your business handles a lot of cash.

On the other hand, if your business requires check payments, you can request them with Novo’s mobile app and send them directly to the payee at no charge.

All deposits at Novo are FDIC-insured through Middlesex Federal Savings.

Monthly service fee $0
Minimum opening deposit $50
Minimum monthly balance $0
ATM network None, but they refund all ATM fees
APY None

Axos Bank – Best for Variety

Pros Cons
Unlimited reimbursement of domestic ATM fees Minimum opening deposit required
$100 welcome bonus for accounts that meet the requirements Limited free monthly transactions
Works with popular accounting software, like Quickbooks No cash deposits
Online and mobile banking, including bill pay and invoicing services Only three physical branches nationwide
First 50 checks free
Mobile check deposit

Business owners who sign up with Axos Bank can choose from two types of business checking accounts: basic business checking and business interest checking.

Basic Business Checking is the best account for small businesses looking for a simple, free checking account with no monthly service fees. This account also includes the first 50 checks and up to 200 free transactions per month.

Axos offers the Business Interest Checking account for businesses with a steady cash flow, which earns 0.81% APY on balances up to $50,000. There is a $10 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if you maintain a daily balance of $5,000. Business owners who want to earn interest on a higher balance can also open a separate business savings account, which will earn 0.81 on balances up to $5,000,000.

Customers of Axos Business Banking can deposit checks, make transfers, and set up automatic bill payments, all from the mobile app. There are no options for cash deposits, so it may not be the best choice for businesses that handle many cash payments.

Axos clients will also receive a Visa debit card, and deposits are fully insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Basic Business Checking Business Interest Checking
Monthly service fee $0 $10 or $0 if you keep a $5,000 daily average balance
Minimum opening deposit $1,000 $100
Minimum monthly balance $0 $0
ATM network Free access to Allpoint ATM’s nationwide Free access to Allpoint ATM’s nationwide
APY None Up to 0.81%

Chase– Best Option from a Large Bank

Pros Cons
$300 bonus when you open an account and meet the qualifying conditions $15 monthly service fee that can be waived provided certain conditions are met
Free incoming wires Charges fee for in-person deposits, withdrawals, and paper checks
Free same-day deposits
Unlimited electronic deposits
Up-to-date online platform and highly rated mobile banking app
Ranked 2nd in JD Power’s 2020 National Banking Satisfaction Study

Chase’s entry-level checking account, Chase Business Banking Complete, is best for new business owners who prefer to work with a large, national bank. Business Banking Complete integrates online, mobile, and in-person banking, with streamlined digital platforms and a broad network of physical branches.

A standout feature of the Chase Banking Complete account is Quick Accept, which allows you to accept debit or credit card payments anytime with a mobile card reader or by manually entering the transaction on the Chase Mobile app. Keep in mind that transaction fees will apply.

Overdraft protection is also available if you have a Chase business savings account. Both accounts will be linked, and any overdrafts will be automatically transferred from savings to checking.

Monthly service fee $15, with multiple options to waive
Minimum opening deposit $0
Minimum monthly balance $0 or $2,000 daily to waive the service fee
ATM network 16,000 Chase Bank ATM’s nationwide
APY None

Other Business Checking Accounts We Considered

Bank of America

  • $16 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived
  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • Deposit up to $5,000 in cash each month with no fee
  • $15 monthly fee waived with $2,000 minimum 30- or 90-day average balance
  • Separate business savings account available
  • Online and mobile banking

Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking

  • $10 monthly service fee that can be waived provided the conditions are met
  • $500 minimum daily balance
  • $1,000 average monthly end balance
  • Separate business savings account available
  • Online and mobile banking

US Bank Silver Business Checking Package

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Merchant services and products to accept payments
  • Fee applies after exceeding 125 monthly transactions
  • Separate business savings account available
  • Online and mobile banking

BBVA Business Connect Checking

  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly service fee
  • Online application restricted
  • Limited physical locations
  • Separate business savings account available
  • Online and mobile banking

Citizens Bank Business Checking Account

  • No monthly service fee
  • No online-sign up available
  • 200 free monthly transactions
  • $12 fee per daily overdraft protection transfer
  • Operates in select states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont
  • Separate business savings account available
  • Online and mobile banking

Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking

  • $250 minimum deposit to open an account
  • $15 monthly service fee that may be waived
  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • Free cash deposit up to $5,000 only
  • Separate business savings account available
  • Online and mobile banking

Radius Bank

  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • $10 monthly maintenance fee waived with balances over $5,000
  • 0.10% APY with balances over $5,000
  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • Radius mobile app for check deposits and account management
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Business Checking Account Guide

Financial support for small businesses affected by COVID-19

The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been in place since early 2020, issuing federally-backed business loans to help companies stay afloat throughout the pandemic.

As of this publication, the deadline for PPP loan applications is March 31, but the House voted to extend this program until May 31, and this extension is expected to be approved by the Senate in the coming weeks.

Business owners who still want to benefit from these loans before March 31 must look for lenders that are still accepting them or wait for the upcoming extension.

It is important to look at the requirements, deadlines, and processing periods from each financial institution, as these vary, and some banks may put up more roadblocks than others. The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) can help match you to eligible lenders in your area.

All of the banks featured in this article — NBKC, Novo, Axos Bank, Chase, and BlueVine — are eligible PPP lenders. All, except Axos Bank, are still accepting applications following federal deadlines.

Tips for choosing the best business checking account

1. Think about the features you want. These may include:

  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • No daily balance minimums
  • No fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Overdraft protection
  • High annual percentage yield
  • Mobile and online banking
  • Cash bonus offers
  • Free ATM access
  • Free checks
  • Business debit card, preferably with cash back earnings
  • Nearby physical branches
  • Free wires
  • Merchant services and banking products like investment or savings accounts
  • FDIC or NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) insured

2. Consult customer satisfaction data like JD Power Surveys and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) database. Small businesses, in particular, will benefit from referencing JD Power’s Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study.

3. Select the business checking account that best fits your money management style, business structure, and size and that earns high marks in customer satisfaction.

Business checking account application checklist

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • One or two types of personal identification
  • Business license
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Certificate of Assumed Name-DBA
  • Partnership Agreement, if applicable

Best Business Checking Accounts FAQs

Why do I need a separate business checking account?

Business checking accounts allow you to keep your business and personal finances separate and add multiple authorized users under one account while also streamlining the tax filing process. With a business checking account, you also gain access to merchant services and products such as mobile card readers or point-of-sale (POS) systems.

How to open a business checking account?

After selecting the banking institution of your preference, you will need to gather the necessary documents to apply. Generally, you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), two types of personal identification, business license, Articles of Incorporation, Certification of Assumed Name, and Partnership Agreement, if applicable. Requirements may vary depending on the business structure, whether you are a sole proprietor, a member of a business partnership, a limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation.

Can I be rejected for a business checking account?

Yes, if your deposit account history is less than ideal, a bank can reject your application. When you apply for a deposit account, be it checking or savings, many banks use ChexSystems — a reporting agency that records an individual’s negative deposit account history — to see your account history. If they see red flags, like excessive overdrafts, bounced checks, or unpaid negative balances, it can prompt the bank to reject your application.

There are “second chance banks,” which will be less rigorous and offer you access to a checking account if more exigent banks won't. Remember that these accounts can lack benefits like overdraft protection and charge high service and monthly transaction fees.

Do you need good credit to open a business checking account?

It depends. Most banks will only look at your overall banking history with ChexSystems, but if your credit score is a noticeable red flag, you could still be denied a checking account. Your best bet is to apply for checking accounts at smaller or mid-sized banks or credit unions that may be willing to overlook a negative credit score.

What are the best free business checking accounts?

The best free business checking accounts are from NBKC, BlueVine, Chase, Novo, and Axos. Many banking institutions offer “free” business checking accounts without a sign-up fee. However, depending on the account, minimum opening deposits or minimum balance requirements may apply, so even if an account is free to open, be sure to read the fine print. Besides, free is not always the only feature to look out for. Many credit unions charge a reasonable membership fee to open an account, and oftentimes the benefits of the account far outweigh that initial opening cost.

How do I choose the best small business checking account?

Small businesses should look for bank accounts that will fit their financial needs. In general, you should strive to avoid maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, and monthly transaction fees. You will have your pick from online-only banks, traditional banks, credit unions, and fintech companies. Finally, look for customer satisfaction data, like JD Power’s Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study, to make a final choice.

How We Chose The Best Business Checking Accounts

Business banking products are available from fintech companies, traditional banks, and member-owned financial cooperatives, but they are not one size fits all. For this article, we gave priority to business checking accounts with open membership, nationwide availability, and robust digital platforms. This narrowed down our options to accounts from banks or fintech companies, and sadly, excluded credit unions.

However, we encourage you to research business banking services from credit unions in your area because they are certainly worth looking into. Credit unions operate at a more local level and generally have better interest rates, lower fees, and a good customer service reputation.

After selecting the business checking account providers we’d review, we looked in closer detail at the following features to decide which accounts fit into our Top Picks.

Few or No Monthly Fees

We only considered business checking accounts that charge no fees or let you avoid fees if you meet certain requirements, such as a minimum monthly balance or a specific number of transactions per month. While a personal checking account encourages you to make transactions, the opposite is true of business accounts.

Broad ATM Access

We gave precedence to banks that have a sizable ATM network. Checking accounts that come with foreign ATM fee reimbursements also earned high marks.

Reasonable Transaction Limits

Utilizing your business bank account fully is crucial, and nobody wants to get hit with unnecessary fees just for making too many deposits or debits. We also looked for business checking accounts that either allow unlimited transactions or have reasonable transaction limits.

FDIC or NCUA insurance

Your hard-earned money should always be insured. The FDIC and NCUA both guarantee deposit insurance for up to $250,000 for banks and credit unions, but fintech companies are a bit different. They offer financial services that focus on optimizing financial products with technology and are not directly insured by the FDIC. However, they can guarantee FDIC insurance for their customers by depositing your money in a partner or parent bank. We made sure this insurance was in place for all the companies on our list.

Summary of Money’s Best Business Checking Accounts of 2021

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