Business checks are the written orders linked to a business checking account that allow business owners to pay their business expenses, including vendor services and payroll. The two most common types of business checks are laser-print, which are processed using a computer, and manual business checks. These checks can be ordered with paystub vouchers, multiple checks to a page, or just one check per page.
You can easily order the business check of your choosing from a bank, credit union, or third-party check retailer based on how you wish to use them. Here we’ll explore the types of business checks available and how to determine the best one for your small business.
- There are two main categories of business checks—computer business checks and manual business checks.
- All business checks must be linked to a business bank account.
- Both computer and manual business checks can come with or without detachable vouchers or pay stubs for accounting purposes.
- Computer checks are often favored for higher-volume business accounts, while manual checks are a better fit for businesses that issue a small number of checks.
What Are Business Checks?
Business checks are monetary instruments business owners can use to issue funds from their business bank account. Like personal checks, business checks are linked to a bank account that gets debited when a written check is cashed. Personal checks also have your personal information, like first and last name, while business checks will have your business information printed on the check. You will need to open a business bank account first in order to obtain and use business checks.
Types of Business Checks
The two main types of business checks are computer checks and manual checks. Laser-printed computer checks allow business owners to print business checks complete with the issue date, check amount, and payee, directly from their computers. In comparison, manual business checks are kept in a check binder or wallet-sized checkbook, and you must handwrite the check information. Both kinds of business checks can include vouchers or stubs that can be kept for better recordkeeping.
Computer Business Checks
Computer business checks allow you to issue pre-printed checks right from your computer using accounting software. These checks are often more convenient as they make it easier to document and track business checks, while often being clearer, easy to read, and more professional-looking than handwritten business checks. Computer business checks come in a variety of styles, including:
- Top of page: A check stock designed to print one business check at the top of a page, with two check stubs on the middle and on the bottom of the remaining page space—one for the business, one for the payee
- Middle of page: A check stock designed to print one business check in the middle of the page, with check stubs on the top and bottom of the remaining page space
- Bottom of page: A check stock designed to print one business check on the bottom of a page with pay stubs printed on the top and middle of the remaining page space.
- Three to a page: A check stock that utilizes the entire page and prints three checks for each page, leaving no room for vouchers or pay stubs
- Laser wallet: A check stock similar to the three to a page format, with room for pay stub information
- Blank business stock: A less commonly used check type that allows owners to print not only the payee and check amount, but the business account number and routing number as well.
Some business checks come with security features, including holograms, fluorescent fibers, watermarks, and heat-sensitive ink, which can help prevent forgery and fraud.
Manual Business Checks
Manual business check stocks are business checks that have only some pre-printed information; you will need to fill in the payee, issue date, memo, and amount. Manual checks may not always be compatible with your bookkeeping software, so you may need to handwrite them. The two most common types of manual checks are:
- Business voucher checks: Manual business checks typically come with a place to write detailed payment information like the invoice number or payee information in a detachable pay stub or invoice box that can be used for bookkeeping reference. These business checks most often come three to a page, but they are also available in a one-check format.
- Business wallet checks: These manual business checks are often personal check-size—smaller than standard business checks.
How To Choose the Best Type of Business Check for You
There are multiple types of business checks you can choose from, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. When deciding on the best business checks for you, you’ll need to consider your business activity, business type, and how often you write checks.
Businesses With Regular Payroll
If you’re a business owner with employees, you’ll need to pay them regularly. Although digital deposit is common, some businesses need to issue payroll checks on a regular basis. Computer checks are ideal for handling payroll expenses because they allow owners to easily document check information and sync up business bank information with their accounting software.
Larger businesses that issue a high number of checks may wish to consider payroll check services like ADP or Paychex. These payroll services issue checks for you while monitoring check clearing, reducing the risk of check-cashing discrepancies and fraud.
Freelancers and Sole Proprietors
It's a good idea for even freelance business owners and small contractors who rarely write checks to keep a few checks handy. In this case, pricier computer check options may not make the most sense for businesses that don't issue checks frequently. So, if writing a check is a rare occurrence for you, a wallet-sized manual business check may be a good money-saving option.
Businesses With Multiple Accounts
Businesses with multiple bank accounts or that have to change bank accounts often may want to consider blank computer business checks. Because this check stock doesn’t have the account number or bank routing information, blank business checks allow owners to print checks from multiple accounts without changing the check paper.
Some banks require businesses that utilize blank check stock to use magnetic ink for what's referred to as the MICR line, which consists of the check amount, account number, routing number, and check number. However, the popularity of check-scanning devices has resulted in the reduction and even elimination of magnetic ink.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I fill out a business deposit slip with multiple checks?
You can deposit multiple checks into your business account by listing them on your business deposit slip, along with any cash and coin totals you have in the designated deposit spaces. It’s important to list each check by check number and amount so your bank can accurately track your deposit.
Where do I order business checks?
You can order business checks through your local bank or credit union. Business checks can also be ordered through non-financial institutions and third-party vendors like Costco, Walmart, and online check retailers.
How long are business checks good for?
Business check stock has no expiration dates and can be issued at any time as long as the linked business checking account is valid and in good standing. Once written, business checks are good for six months from the issue date. However, some business checks issue expiration dates less than six months, like “void after 60 days,” in which the listed time period is honored.
Why are business checks so expensive?
Business checks typically come with more features than personal checks, like laser printing capability, logos, and pay stubs, as well as enhanced security features, adding to the overall costs. However, business owners may find that the most affordable type of business checks are the wallet-sized options because they closely resemble personal checks in both size, style, and cost.
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