16 Free Business Checking Accounts for 2019

16 Free Business Checking Accounts for 2019
Eric Goldschein
on March 13, 2018
Read in 10 min

Many of your business activities are affected by whether or not you have a free business checking account.

How much money you’re able to spend, how easy it is to withdraw cash when you need it, and how much in fees you have to pay to do any of this may be determined by the checking account you have and how well you manage it.

Which is why it’s imperative to open a business checking account right off the bat when you launch your new company.

When entrepreneurs first start their new business, separating their personal checking account from their business checking accounts is ranked right up there with choosing the best name for your company and writing a solid business plan.

Business checking accounts differ greatly from personal checking accounts in terms of fees, rates, policies, and perks, but choosing the right one need not be a complicated endeavor. There are many options for business owners looking for a free business bank account, so read on to learn some important facts.Free Business Checking

Learn more about the Best Banks for Small Business before you make a final decision.

Some may offer a free online checking account with no deposit, and others will have different terms. You may be able to find some banks that offer free checking with no minimum balance, for example, but other banks will require one.

It can be confusing trying to make a comparison and find the best option, so feel free to use our guide to free business checking accounts available in 2018 starting with this question:

Why Do You Need a Business Checking Account?

Separating your personal money and business money is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur.

First of all, if you ever need a loan to borrow working capital, you’ll likely need a business checking account to receive the funds.

These business loan offers from our partners are some popular options for small businesses in 2018:

Funding Options APR Do you qualify? Time in Business Annual Revenue
Funding Option
Get Started
APR
13.99%-40%
Estimated Apr
Do you qualify?
600
MIN CREDIT SCORE
Time in Business
At least 1 year
Annual Revenue
At least $100K
Funding Option
Get Started
APR
6%-10.25%
Estimated Apr
Do you qualify?
600+
MIN CREDIT SCORE
Time in Business
At least 1 year
Annual Revenue
At least $150K
Funding Option
Get Started
APR
1.10-1.48 FR
Estimated Apr
Do you qualify?
500+
MIN CREDIT SCORE
Time in Business
At least 6 months
Annual Revenue
No minimum
Funding Option
Get Started
APR
5%-35%
Estimated Apr
Do you qualify?
560
MIN CREDIT SCORE
Time in Business
At least 1 year
Annual Revenue
At least $100K

Secondly, when tax season comes around, a business checking account will make sorting through the transactions and calculating your write-offs easy and streamlined, eliminating what could otherwise be a major headache.

And if you ever plan to incorporate, you won’t be able to do so until you stop using your personal money for the company (and vice versa).

Why not plan ahead from the very beginning?

If you have a business checking account, it will also be easier (not to mention safer) to delegate banking responsibilities to your employees, empowering them to be hands-on in the basic, day-to-day operations of the company.

Business checking accounts are also required to process debit and credit card transactions, and in today’s largely plastic-based economy, it’s imperative to offer customers that form of payment. Free online business accounting is a resource that entrepreneurs should examine carefully because it can greatly help with streamlining business operations.

If you’re in the market for a credit card of your own, check out our favorite business credit cards for small businesses in 2018.

Free Business Checking – What To Look For

Obviously, one primary factor in a business checking account that you’re looking for is that it is free to open and maintain.

And don’t feel cheap for thinking that way.

“The number one thing a business owner should look out for are the fees associated with a business checking account,” says Evan Tarver, a financial analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com.

“Most business checking accounts have a monthly service fee that’s waived if certain criteria are met.

These criteria are wide-ranging and businesses owners should choose a business checking account in which they can easily avoid the fee.”

Don’t just look for what seems like the best surface deal when it comes to free business checking accounts, either.

That’s how Scott W. Johnson, founder of Marindependent Insurance Services got into trouble.

“First off, you need to ask yourself, why am I opening a business banking account?” Johnson advises.

“Next, what are the most important features of this account? Next, what is the cost? How long will that rate be good for. Lastly, what other fees can you charge me?”

“Failure to ask all of these questions will bite you in the butt,” warns Johnson.

“I found out later that my ‘free business checking account’ was based on me continuing my mortgage with the bank in question.

When I rewrote my mortgage with a different bank, my checking account was both no longer free, and carried ridiculous fees with it.

I ended up spending several hundreds of dollars in fees and charges that I did not need to.”

Here are some other factors to consider as you decide what to look for in a free business checking account:

Average Daily Account Balance

Many free business checking accounts are only free if you maintain a certain monthly or daily account balance.

If avoiding fees is important to you, consider carefully what kind of balance you can expect to maintain effortlessly on a monthly or daily basis and choose your business checking account accordingly.

The Opening Deposit

Another stipulation for having a business checking account be free is that you open it with a minimum deposit.

The amount of this deposit varies greatly between institutions and the products they offer their customers.

Monthly Transaction Caps

Part of the reason banking institutions are able to offer free business checking accounts is because of the minimal effort it will take for them to maintain the account on their end.

Because of this, many free business checking accounts will have a cap on the number of transactions they will process in a given month.

Pay attention to the fine print so you understand exactly what this limit is.

If you expect to regularly go over the cap for a bank’s particular free business checking account, it’s not going to be free after all.

Physical Location

If doing your banking at a physical location (as opposed to just online), carefully consider your proximity to the nearest branch, and how available they are throughout your city.

“The main point of a business checking account is to provide the business with easy access to cash,” says Tarver.

“The more locations a business owner has to withdraw cash, deposit checks, and receive in-person help, the better.”

As commerce moves more and more online, this might not be such a big factor, just a matter of personal preference.

Software Integration

If you rely on software services like Quicken or Quickbooks to handle your bookkeeping, it is absolutely imperative that the free business checking account you choose have compatibility with these products. 

“Something many business owners don’t think to look for when shopping for a business checking account is how well their online banking integrates with accounting software,” says Courtney Barbee, CEO of The Bookkeeper.

“Certain banks have much more difficulty connecting than others, or they don’t provide useful information in the transaction detail.

Some banks even charge an additional monthly fee to connect your online banking account with a third-party software.”

“We’ve also run into issues where there are business checking accounts which do not show check images in the online banking, leaving it on the business owner to keep track of all to whom all of their checks are written.

It might seem like a small thing, but it can be a major inconvenience for a busy entrepreneur or for their accounting professional.”

Payment Platform Integration

“In today’s day and age many businesses deal with a multitude of payment platforms, from Venmo to Paypal and so on,” says Zachary Weiner, CEO Emerging Insider Communications.

“With this differing banks seem to have far differing times of how quickly they transfer payments from these platforms.

When cash flow is concerned is the difference between a payment coming in the next business day, or four business days later can be crucial.”

“Before opening an account, one should ask for average payment timing across major payment platforms.”

Size of the Institution

Do you want straight-forward, personal service without having to be careful about what’s in the small print?

A smaller banking institution might be the right fit for you.

However, larger banking institutions have greater technology, more branch locations, and more flexibility waiving fees.

Funding Options APR Do you qualify? Time in Business Annual Revenue
Funding Option
Get Started
APR
13.99%-40%
Estimated Apr
Do you qualify?
600
MIN CREDIT SCORE
Time in Business
At least 1 year
Annual Revenue
At least $100K
Funding Option
Get Started
APR
6%-10.25%
Estimated Apr
Do you qualify?
600+
MIN CREDIT SCORE
Time in Business
At least 1 year
Annual Revenue
At least $150K
Funding Option
Get Started
APR
1.10-1.48 FR
Estimated Apr
Do you qualify?
500+
MIN CREDIT SCORE
Time in Business
At least 6 months
Annual Revenue
No minimum
Funding Option
Get Started
APR
5%-35%
Estimated Apr
Do you qualify?
560
MIN CREDIT SCORE
Time in Business
At least 1 year
Annual Revenue
At least $100K

16 Free Business Checking Accounts for 2018

Here’s some of the best free business checking accounts we could find, organized by the features and attributes you may find most useful.

For Online Banking

More and more businesses are online-only these days, so it’s often easiest for these companies to do their banking primarily online as well.

Here are some recommnded online business checking accounts for you to consider:

Everbank, Business Checking

Everbank is one of the pioneer companies in online banking, and offers solutions for digital companies.

This account requires an opening balance of $1,500, and the monthly maintenance fee of $14.95 will be waived if you maintain a balance of at least $5,000 at all times.

Built for smaller operations, you can process 200 transactions per month for free but will be charged $0.25 for each transaction after that.

Bank of the Internet, Basic Business Checking

Unencumbered by maintaining expensive branch locations, Bank of the Internet is equipped to give numerous customer perks.

New customers will get $50 off their first check order, enjoy 200 free transactions per month and never be subjected to maintenance or cash handling fees.

For Low Balances

When you’re just starting your business, maintaining a sufficient balance in your checking account could be difficult, to say the least.

Here are some of the options we found for free business checking accounts with no balance minimums, or less than $1,500.

Some of these are almost as flexible and simple as personal checking accounts.

ANB Bank, BusinessFREE Checking

Ideal for first-time entrepreneurs, ANB Bank’s BusinessFREE account boasts no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and a mere $25 to open the account.

As your business grows, you will outgrow this account’s transaction limits sooner rather than later, but graduating to one of ANB Bank’s premium business checking accounts is a breeze.

BBVA Compass Bank, Clear Connect for Business

For the organized and efficient entrepreneur, as well as retail business owners who need to process cash transactions, the BBVA Compass Bank’s Clear Connect account provides a combo of online and in-branch services.

With unlimited online transactions, customers can enjoy processing two deposits and up to five withdrawals at one of the bank’s branches for no additional charge.

Citizen’s Bank, Clearly Better Business Checking

No minimum account balance and 200 free transactions per month make Citizen’s Bank Clearly Better Business Checking account worth considering.

This could be used as a starter business checking account for entrepreneurs just getting off the ground.

Comerica, Basic Business Checking

Technically qualifying as a small business themselves, Comerica Bank is equipped to work with other small businesses.

In addition to the waived monthly maintenance fee, a low $50 opening deposit and 150 free transactions per month, they provide perks like credit card and payroll processing, something new businesses owners could need assistance with.

Bank of the Ozarks, Free Small Business Checking

For a mere $100 opening deposit, customers can process up to 250 transactions and 15 free payments per month.

However, going over this amount can have steep penalties ($0.50 per additional transaction).

First Citizen’s Bank, Basic Business Checking

Even businesses need overdraft protection, and this perk is built right into First Citizen’s Bank Basic Business Checking Account, along with no maintenance fees and no minimum balance.

Often used as a starter account, the fee and penalty structure is designed for customers to graduate from it quickly.

Iberia Bank, Free Business Checking

Iberia Bank takes a lot of the stress of decision making out of choosing the right checking account and keeping track of fees.

All customers start out with the perks of no minimum account balance, no monthly fee and 500 free transactions per month, then automatically upgrades them to the next best product after they hit two consecutive months with more than $10,000 in deposits or over 500 transactions.

Popular Community Bank, Totally FREE Business Checking

If your company is processing less than 200 transactions per month and has less than $7,000 in total deposits, Popular Community Bank’s Totally FREE Business Checking account is a quick and efficient way to get started banking.

Once you go over this threshold, the bank will automatically upgrade customers to the appropriate fee-based product.

For Established Businesses

So far, all the free business checking accounts have been for companies that have small deposits and a low level of transactions, but larger companies can enjoy the perks of free business checking accounts as well.

Bank of America, Business Fundamentals

If you keep a minimum daily balance of $3,000 and an average monthly balance of at least $5,000,  the $16 monthly fee for this account will automatically be waived.

Built for companies selling products and services at high prices, the first 200 transactions will also be free, with a $0.45 charge per transaction after that.

Any deposits over $10,000 will be subjected to a 0.2% fee.

Bank of the Internet, Business Interest

So far, the biggest feature from this list has been checking accounts that actually pay interest on your balance.

Not anymore, thanks to Bank of the Internet’s Business Interest checking account.

A 0.8% APR won’t be life-changing, but it’s better than nothing!

This account is a great resource for medium to large-sized companies that can maintain a daily balance of $5,000 or more in order to keep it free and avoid the $10 per month fee.

Chase Bank, Total Business Checking

This account is free as long as you avoid going over 200 transactions and making deposits greater than $7,500 each month.

If you don’t plan on having any major growth in the coming months, this could be a great starter checking account.

While you’re at it, check out our review of the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card.

Citibank, Citibusiness Streamlined Checking Account

The $12 monthly fee attached to this account can be avoided as long as you maintain an average balance of $5,000 or more.

This account also boasts 250 free transactions per month, with a marginal $0.30 fee for each transaction over the limit.

For High Transaction Volume

For business owners in the retail industry or who otherwise process a lot of card swipes each day, these accounts are tailored to remain free while handling the high volumes of sales.

ANB Bank, Business Interest Bearing Account

This account boasts no monthly fees, an opening deposit minimum of just $100, and unlimited transactions.

You’ll have to speak with an ANB Bank representative to find out if your company qualifies for this opportunity.

Popular Community Bank, Simple Business Checking

400 free transactions per month isn’t quite unlimited, but it’s double what most accounts offer while still boasting an impressive array of other perks.

Just keep the daily balance above $7,500 to avoid the $15 monthly fee.

Free Business Checking – The Final Takeaway

Aside from coming up with the perfect name for your company and writing a stellar business plan, the business checking account you choose (and THAT you choose one) is one of the most important things you can do as you launch your company.

And as we’ve seen, it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

In addition to many free business checking accounts available on the market, many of them waive their fees if you meet specific balance minimums and avoid going above the allotted free transaction limit.

And now that you’re ready to open a free business checking account, we can help get you connected with a lender to potentially get your hands on the capital to grow.

See Business Lenders
Eric Goldschein Finance Journalist

Eric Goldschein is a freelance journalist who covers entrepreneurship, small business trends, emerging technologies, culture and sports.

He was previously the managing editor of SportsGrid.com, and has written for Business Insider, Trep Life, the Huffington Post, Fundera and more.

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