Where to get Free Business Checking
As your small business takes shape, it’s a good idea to open a checking account as soon as possible. A business account makes bookkeeping easier and might even help you protect yourself legally. But cost is always an issue, so where can you find free business checking accounts?
There are two ways your business can bank for free:
- Find an account that’s truly free
- Meet minimum requirements
This page describes how your business can bank for free and details offers from several banks.
Note that things may have changed since this writing, so review your each bank’s account agreement carefully before you open an account.
Truly Free Business Checking Accounts
As you may know from your personal accounts, free checking is not as common as it used to be. Many consumers can bank for free by setting up direct deposit or keeping a minimum amount on deposit with the bank, but when you add a business account you essentially double the amount of cash needed to bank for free. Fortunately, there are still free checking accounts for both consumers and businesses.
Start local: the best place to find free personal accounts as well as free business accounts is at a local bank or credit union. These institutions are interested in building relationships with local businesses, and they don’t have the same overhead as larger banks so it’s easier for them to offer free services. Call local banks and ask what they can offer, and if they’re willing to waive fees while you get up and running.
Capital One: Capital One Spark Business Checking is an online-only bank account. If your business never uses cash, there's no need for a brick-and-mortar location (although there are plenty of free ATMs nationwide if needed).
US Bank: US Bank’s Silver Business Package is a free business checking account for businesses that don’t need much. If you keep transactions to a minimum (many consulting and service businesses can stay under the limit), you’ll be able to bank for free. If you add volume at a later date, you’ll need to change to a different package or pay fees. Key features of US Bank’s free business account include:
Everbank: Everbank also offers Completely Free Checking for businesses. The drawback? It’s only available for sole proprietorships. If you have a corporation, LLC, or other type of entity you’re out of luck. Key features of Everbank include:
Banks that Waive Monthly Fees
If you can’t find anything locally and the accounts above aren’t doing it for you, you’ll need to jump through some hoops to find free business checking. In most cases – even at small banks and credit unions – you can bank for free simply by keeping a minimum amount in your account at all times.
Banks may also waive fees if you use multiple services: in addition to using the bank’s checking account, you might also use them to accept credit cards or handle payroll. This page focuses on how you can minimize fees without using those additional services.
Chase: Chase’s Total Business Checking account costs $10 per month if you opt for electronic statements, but you don’t have to pay if you keep at least $1,500 on deposit at all times. The account also features a friendly $25 minimum to open.
|Capital One: Capital One’s Spark Business Cashback Checking costs $15 per month, but the first two months are free. After that, the monthly fee is waived as long as you keep your account balance above $2,000.|
Bank of America: B of A offers a slightly different way to avoid fees with the Business Fundamentals account, which will appeal to businesses with high expenses. The standard fee is $15 per month, but that fee is waived when you spend at least $250 on your business debit card (or a linked business card such as a credit card) in a billing cycle.
The accounts above might get you started, but you need to look at more than fees. If you can bank for free, that’s great.
Here are a few other things to consider as you shop for business checking account (depending on your business, it might make sense or be necessary to pay more):
- How many transactions are allowed per month, and how much do additional transactions cost?
- Can employees get debit cards? How much do those cost?
- What are the fees for international transactions?
- Will you send or receive wire transfers? How much do they cost?
- What protection do you have against fraud and other unfortunate events (consumer protection laws don’t apply to business accounts)
Using Personal Accounts?
After reviewing the accounts above, you might decide that you’ll save money by using a personal checking account for business purposes instead of using an account designed for business. That might work, but it’s not ideal. If you fail to keep business matters separate from personal matters, a creditor could “pierce the corporate veil” and make you personally responsible for business debts or liabilities.
Plus, it’s best to keep things separate so you can truly understand the profitability of your business.