Azlo Review – Business Checking for Founders and Freelancers

Update: Azlo is no longer taking new customers and existing accounts will be closed on 3/31/2021. See our recommendations for alternatives, like Novo, below.

When you’re starting a business or a side hustle, business banking is one of the first things you need. Finding the right business checking like Azlo—whether you’re a full-time business owner or have a side gig—can get you started on the right foot.

Azlo is an online business checking for founders and freelancers. They provide digital banking and business resources to help save small business owners time and money.

When I started my latest business venture —Financial Freedom Summit—I decided to give Azlo a try, and it’s been fantastic for the event’s banking needs. If you’re looking for a place to set up your business banking or change your bank, Azlo might be a good fit for you. Here’s more about Azlo and what they have to offer small business owners.

What is Azlo Bank?

Azlo is an online banking platform for small business owners. Their free business checking and digital tools make it easier to launch a small business. Its simple setup and no minimum balance requirement make it a valuable tool for freelancers and side hustlers to manage their business income. There are no brick and mortar locations for Azlo—it’s online only.

Azlo Home

Azlo Starter

Azlo Starter is the account I signed up for. It’s their free account that comes with standard features like no fees or minimum balance requirement. Customers can pick from two account types, the free version (Starter) or upgrade to Azlo Pro. Here are all the business banking features that come with the Starter account.

Invoicing

A unique feature for founders and freelancers is invoicing directly from your account. With Azlo, you can create custom invoices for your customers and clients without the need to use an outside accounting platform. Your clients have the option to pay by money transfers, credit cards, or with checks.

Bill Pay

Azlo makes it easy to manage and make payments for your business expenses. Accounts holders can pay an unlimited number of bills free of charge, but there is a limit of $10,000 per payment. You’re able to schedule bills to be paid by check, electronically, or by bank transfer. Electronic payments take five business days, and mailed checks are within seven days business days.

Transfers

Standard and Instant transfers are available with your Azlo account. Standard ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfers from bank to bank are free but can take a few days to complete the transfer.

Instant transfers allow you to instantly move money in and out of your Azlo account using linked debit cards. Fees apply to your Instant transfers. It costs $2 to move money out of your account and 2% to move money into your account.

Sending international transfers isn’t an option with Azlo right now. However, you can use a third-party service like TransferWise or Xoom to send a transfer, but their fees will apply. Azlo doesn’t send international transfers, but they can receive international wires to your Azlo account.

Azlo Envelopes

Envelopes are a budgeting tool within your business checking account. Starter accounts come with one Envelope. You can set aside money for things like savings, taxes, or new equipment. You’re able to give your Envelope a name and quickly allocate a specific dollar amount or percentage of money to that Envelope.

Azlo Envelopes

Money in your Envelopes is not included in your Available Money. That means the funds in the Envelope are not available to withdraw. If you want to spend the money, you must release it from your Envelope. Don’t worry—you can use the mobile app to release your Envelope funds quickly.

Azlo Pro

Azlo customers can upgrade their Starter account to Azlo Pro. Pro is a subscription service that comes with advanced features and everything the Starter account includes. Some of the features are not available with the Starter account.

Azlo Pro is an option for businesses that want to automate more functions of their finances like invoicing and budgeting. With the Pro subscription, you can save even more time and simplify running your business. The cost is $10 per month, but they offer a free 14-day trial to see if you like it. Here’s what you get with an Azlo Pro subscription.

Unlimited Envelopes

With the Pro account, you can budget your business finances with unlimited Envelopes. Azlo Pro lets you set business goals and automatically fund each of the Envelopes for your goals.

If you’re a fan of Profit First—the popular business accounting system—upgrading to Pro gives you the capability to follow its envelope system.

In addition to unlimited Envelopes, Pro users can also automate the transfer of funds to their named Envelopes. Automating your savings and Envelopes makes it easier to reach your business goals.

Advanced Invoicing

The time it takes to create invoices each week or month adds up. Azlo Pro allows you to set up recurring invoices for your clients and customers reducing mistakes and missed invoices.

Instant Transfer Discounts

Instant transfers allow you to move money from external bank accounts. If you have a Pro account, you receive discounts on those transfers. It costs $1 to transfer money out of your account and 1% to transfer money in with Pro.

Accountant Access

A feature that is only available with Azlo Pro is Accountant Access. Pro Members can give one user read-only access to their Azlo account. It allows the additional user to view and download transactions and statements.

Starter vs. Pro

Most of the features offered with Azlo Starter are also available with the Pro account but with more automation, discounts, and resources. Here are the differences between Azlo Starter and Azlo Pro.

Starter

Instant Transfers
No Discount
Discounted

Envelopes
1 Envelope
Unlimited Envelopes

Envelope Automation
Manually Move Funds
Recurring Funding of Envelopes

Invoicing
Manually Create Invoices
Automate Creation & Sending of Invoices

Azlo University
Basic Content
Premium Content

How Azlo Business Checking Works

If you’ve never used an online-only bank, you may have some questions or concerns about how it all works.

How Does Azlo Make Money?

Azlo makes money from the interest on customer account balances.

Does Azlo Have Checks?

Azlo does not offer personal checks for their accounts. Even if you get checks printed by another company, they won’t work. But you have the option to pay bills with checks through “Move Money” in your account.

Azlo Checking

Is Azlo FDIC Insured?

Yes, Azlo is FDIC-insured through their partner bank, BBVA USA.

Who Can Use Azlo?

To be eligible to use Azlo, you must be over 18 years old and be a U.S. resident. Accounts are available to sole proprietors, general partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and nonprofits, but currently, they aren’t open to limited partnerships or limited liability partnerships.

How Do I Deposit Cash?

If you need to deposit cash, you can deposit the money into an account linked to your Azlo account and then transfer the funds to your Azlo account.

Does Azlo Charge Fees?

There are no fees to use Azlo. The only fees they charge are for instant transfers and for Pro services. There are also no overdraft fees. If you try to use an ATM or make a purchase and don’t have the money in your account, the transaction will be declined without an overdraft fee. Here’s Azlo’s fee schedule.

Additional Resources

Azlo is more than a checking account. They know what we know. It’s hard to start a side hustle or new business. That’s why they offer additional resources to help founders “survive and thrive” in entrepreneurship.

Azlo Business Foundry Project

Azlo Business Foundry Project is their way to give back to the small business community. It’s a hub to find side-hustle or money-making opportunities to bridge income gaps while building and growing your business.

You do a quick assessment to gather information about your skills. Then they give suggestions about available opportunities you can select from. You don’t need an Azlo account to take advantage of the Foundry. It’s free for everyone.

Azlo University

Businesses fail all the time because they lack knowledge about entrepreneurship. Azlo University is a library of lessons that provide support for all stages of business. They cover subjects like funding, marketing, and financial management to help business owners succeed. Some content from Azlo University is only available through Pro accounts.

Guides and Webinars

Azlo has extensive guides and webinars to help small business owners be successful. They provided how-to videos and guides created by business owners from the Azlo community. They are deep dives to answer your questions or increase your knowledge of running a business.

Azlo Integrations

Azlo can integrate with most third-party services that link to bank accounts. Accounting, investing, and other tools like Quickbooks, Xero, Personal Capital, Stripe, and Square can all be linked to your Azlo account.

Mobile App

Most of your Azlo business banking needs can be accomplished with the mobile app, anytime, anywhere. You can activate your Azlo debit card, deposit a check, check your balance, find an ATM, or send an invoice with the app. The Azlo app is available for both iOS or Android devices.

Customer Support

Dealing with account issues is a chore no business owner wants. Azlo created Help Articles to answer your questions or troubleshoot problems quickly. Customer support is available by phone Monday-Friday 6:30 am to 5:30 pm PST at 844-295-6466. You can also email Azlo’s support team at support@azlo.com.

Is Azlo for You?

My experience with Azlo has been great, but you’ll have to weigh the Pros and Cons to see if it’s a good fit for you and your business.

Pros

  • Free
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Electronic invoicing and payments
  • Business guidance (blog)
  • Free ATM (AllPoint)
  • Azlo Business Foundry Project
  • Unlimited Envelopes (with Pro subscription)
  • Invoice scheduling and automation (with Pro subscription)

Cons

  • No in-person locations
  • No cash deposits
  • No physical checks
  • No interest earned

Azlo Alternatives

Azlo isn’t the only online business bank available to small business owners. Comparing other alternatives can help you determine if it’s the right business checking for you and your goals.

Azlo vs. Novo

Novo is another online banking platform for small business owners. Like Azlo, there are no monthly fees or minimum balance. It’s also easy to set up, and they do not pay interest on accounts.

Azlo doesn’t charge overdraft fees, but Novo does. Theirs is $27 if you have insufficient funds.

Azlo vs. BlueVine

BlueVine also specializes in banking for small businesses. They have no monthly fees, minimum deposits, or balances, and you’re able to earn 1% interest on balances up to $100k. They also give you two free checkbooks. Azlo doesn’t offer checks.

Azlo also has no fees or minimum deposits or balances, but you can’t earn interest with your Starter or Pro account. Another feature that Azlo does not have but is available with BlueVine is cash deposits. Your BlueVine debit card allows you to make cash deposits at Green Dot locations throughout the U.S. Examples of companies that participate in Green Dot are CVS, Dollar General, and Walmart.

Azlo vs. Radius Bank

Radius Bank offers both personal and business checking. Unlike Azlo, Radius charges a $10 monthly service fee if your account balance is less than $5,000. There are no fees with Azlo or minimum balance requirements. Radius Bank also requires a minimum deposit of $100.

One significant difference between the two banks is with Radius, you earn .10% APY when your account balance is greater than $5,000. You can also get up to 1.5% cash-back on online purchases or “signature-based” transactions.

Related content: Best Free Business Checking Accounts

How to Open an Account

Starting my Azlo account was quick. It took me under 10 minutes. You may or may not need to provide documentation to set up your account. The required documents depend on your business entity. After you submit your application, it typically takes 2-3 business days for your account setup.

If you want to upgrade to Azlo Pro, sign in to your current account and click on “Upgrade Account.” The monthly $10 cost will be taken directly from your account.

Debit Card

Once your account is set up, you get your Visa debit card in 7-10 business days. Mine arrived within a few days, and I was able to activate it using the app. You can also activate new cards online under “Manage Card” in your account.

The Bottom Line on Azlo

If you’re a new or seasoned entrepreneur, Azlo is an excellent option for business banking. They can save you time and money while you build and grow your business. They not only provide business checking for free. They also offer you tools and resources to help you succeed in your business endeavors.

Have you tried Azlo? What do you think? Tell us your favorite features in the comments below.

About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

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