Checking should be free. Don’t you agree? I say don’t pay a monthly fee for a checking account unless you absolutely have to.
After all, you’re loaning them your money. All they’re giving you is a debit card, some checks, and a few monthly transactions with a teller.
If you want free checking – even free business checking – with no strings attached, you should begin by looking at the best free online business checking accounts.
You might find free checking at major brick-and-mortar banks as well. However, you’ll typically have to meet certain requirements related to things like account balance, debit card activity, or direct deposits. Important notes about this page:
- All of these banks are FDIC-insured and all work with U.S.-based businesses.
- Where possible, we’ve tried these business checking accounts for our own businesses. For instance, I’ve been a NorthOne user for several months.
- We review a variety of inputs (fees, features, history, integrations, minimums, to name a few) to determine our rankings.
- We’ve been small business owners for over ten years and have deep knowledge of the online small business banking industry.
- We don’t recommend a bank because we have a financial relationship with them. We recommend the best banks, period.
Whether you’re an established business looking to move banks, or you’re a startup that just created your LLC, this is a great list to find the right bank for you.
The Best Free Online Business Checking Accounts
Looking for a free checking account for your small business or side hustle? Below are several great free business checking account options. But here’s a quick summary of the best we’ve selected:
|Best for...||Bank||Minimum||Fee||Interest||Bonus||Learn More|
|Payments||Square||$0||$0||Yes; Savings||No||Go to site|
|Bonus||Axos||$0||$0||No||$200||Go to site|
|Freelancers||Lili||$0||$0||Yes; Savings||No||Go to site|
|Big Balances||Live Oak||$100||$0||Yes; Savings||No||Go to site|
|Cards||Amex||$0||$0||Yes||Yes; Rewards||Go to site|
|APY||Bluevine||$0||$0||Yes||No||Go to site|
|Startups||Mercury||$0||$0||Yes; Savings||No||Go to site|
|Profit First||NorthOne||$0||$10||No||$30||Go to site|
Axos Basic Business Checking
Best Bonus – $200
Axos Bank is an established bank that offers a Basic Business Checking account. It has no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement. It comes with a Visa debit card and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements. Plus, you get four months of ADP payroll services at no cost and two domestic wire transfers reimbursed each month.
One downside of Axos Bank’s Business Checking Account is that there are limits on free transactions – the first 200 transactions each month are free with the Basic Business Checking account, and the first 50 transactions each month are free with the Business Interest Checking account, with additional transactions costing $0.30 and $0.50 each respectively. Additionally, there are no physical locations. Hard to beat that bonus though.
Best for Freelancers
Lily’s business checking account is designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s easy to use and provides plenty of features and benefits to help you manage your finances.
You’ll get access to their online banking platform, which offers budgeting and tax optimization tools, plus free transfers and payments. You’ll also get access to their rewards program, which gives you cash back on spending with select merchants.
One downside of Lily’s business checking account is that it is limited to single-owner LLCs. So, if you have business partners, you won’t be able to open a joint account. Additionally, the basic business checking account does not earn interest, although you can get an automatic savings account with a 2.0% APY when you subscribe to the Lily Pro plan. Lastly, Lily does not allow sending and receiving of wire transfers.
Live Oak Business Banking
Best for Business Savings
I use Live Oak Bank. They offer business banking solutions, including business checking accounts. The accounts come with no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements, making them a great option for businesses that donâ€™t need to worry about physical branch access.
You can also take advantage of their mobile app, which offers access to your account on the go. Their business savings account is great, too! One downside of Live Oak Bank’s business checking account is that it has $100 minimum deposit requirement.
Best for Payments
With Square Checking, small business owners who use their payment processing can get money faster without having to worry about minimum balance requirements.
As soon as a sale comes in, the funds are securely transferred to customers’ FDIC-insured business checking accounts with no waiting period. Unlike traditional banking services, Square is not a bankâ€”but it’s just as secure! Square Checking is provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC.
There are no account opening or ongoing monthly balance requirements and no recurring fees like minimum balance fees, service fees, monthly maintenance fees or even overdraft fees. If cash accessibility is needed at an ATM machine, Square does not charge a feeâ€”though third-party operator charges may apply.
nbkc Business Checking Account
Like their personal checking accounts, nbkc bank business checking accounts are incredibly affordable. It only takes $5 to open an account, and after that, you’ll have a $0 minimum account balance.
You won’t pay any monthly service fee with an nbkc bank business checking account and there are no transaction fees either. And if you need to deposit large amounts of checks at a time, you may want to ask about their “Desktop Deposit” feature.
Finally, nbkc bank business checking accounts come with the same free debit card and ATM access that their personal accounts offer.
American Express Business Checking
Best for Credit Users
The AmEx business checking account offers a competitive interest rate of 1.3% APY on deposits up to $500,000. In addition to the high interest rate, this account has no monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees, and no out-of-network ATM fees.
There are also no restrictions on electronic deposit, payment, or ACH transactions, giving you flexibility and convenience when managing your finances.
The only limitation is that this account does not allow for direct cash deposits, like most of these online banks. Overall, this checking account is a cost-effective and convenient choice for anyone looking to maximize their savings and manage their finances efficiently.
Novo Business Checking
Novo is an online platform for business banking is partnered with Middlesex Federal Savings. They offer free business checking accounts to freelancers, small business owners, and startup founders.
Features of this account include: no minimum balance, no hidden fees, no fees on ACH transfers, no fees on incoming wires (both domestic and international), no fees to mail paper checks, a Novo debit card provided with no fees on ATM usage, unlimited transactions, FDIC coverage, and integration with multiple other financial platforms.
It’s easy to apply in less than 10 minutes, doing everything from your phone or mobile device. You can elect to receive automatic notifications of all transactions with your account. There’s an intuitive app that allows you to do your banking from anywhere, plus get customer support within 60 minutes during business hours.
You can deposit checks easily by snapping a photo. Link your Novo checking account to your other bank accounts for seamless transfers.
If you prefer to avoid plastic, you’re able to use Apple Pay or Google Pay with your account. Novo also can integrate with other platforms like Xero, Zapier, Slack, TransferWise, and Plaid.
Bluevine Business Checking
Best for APY
Bluevine Business Checking is a great choice for small businesses as it has no monthly fees and pays you a 2.0% interest rate on your balance up to $100,000.
You get unlimited transactions, a Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard to withdraw cash at more than 37,000+ ATM MoneyPass locations across the country, and FDIC deposit insurance up to $250,000 with banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Plus, the mobile app allows you to access your dashboard and deposit checks anywhere and everywhere.
The only downside is that there are limits on free transactions – the first 200 transactions each month are free with the Basic Business Checking account.
FNBO Business Free Checking
FNBO has two different options for small business checking.
First, they have a completely free business checking account that they playfully refer to as the “un-expense account.” Therefore, these accounts have no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fee. And with these free accounts, you’ll get 150 free transactions per month ($0.25 thereafter).
If you need more monthly transactions, you could open one of their Business 300 Class Checking accounts. These come with a $10 monthly fee. But it’s waived if your checking account balance stays above $5,000 or you have at least $15,000 in all business-related accounts.
Speaking of other business-related accounts, with FNBO Business 300 Class Checking, you’ll also get special rates on savings accounts, CDs, and more.
TIAA Bank Small Business Checking
With a TIAA Bank Business Checking account, you’ll get 200 free transactions per month and 10 free online bill payments. You need a $1,500 opening deposit.
Also, these accounts support both online check deposits and remote deposit capture (a good option if you write over 50 checks a month). And you can deposit checks from anywhere using their mobile app.
New Online Business Banks We’re Watching
Found Business Checking
Found is a business banking solution designed to make self-employment easier. With a range of useful features, Found offers smart banking without any required or hidden fees, multiple virtual cards, unlimited transactions, and free ACH transfers. It also provides a host of tax and bookkeeping tools.
Found offers a secure banking experience with FDIC insurance up to $250K through Piermont Bank, two-factor authentication, data encryption, and a secure infrastructure.
Found is best suited for self-employed freelancers, sole proprietors, single-member LLCs, gig workers, and small business owners without W2 employees. It is not recommended for businesses with two or more full-time employees or those with multiple W2 employees. Signup is free, and no credit check or opening deposit is required. A cash deposit feature is coming soon.
Disclaimer: Found is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Piermont Bank, Member FDIC. The Found Mastercard Â®️ debit card is issued by Piermont Bank pursuant to a license from Mastercard Inc. and may be used everywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted.
Oxygen.us is an online financial service that specializes in helping small and mid-sized businesses manage their finances. With a partnership with The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC, businesses can open personal and business checking accounts with competitive APYs, as well as savings accounts with 1.00% APY and no minimum balance requirement.
In addition to traditional banking services, Oxygen.us also offers cashback rewards, virtual cards with spending controls, deposit services, lines of credit, and a mobile app. It does not offer a debit card or ATM access for its business checking account.
Grasshopper Business Checking Account
Grasshopper business checking is an excellent option for businesses that don’t deal in cash. It has no fees or minimum balance requirements (beyond the initial deposit), and customers can earn 1.51% APY on all balances, with no minimum balance to earn and no cap on balances that qualify.
Plus, account holders can earn 1% cash back on qualifying debit card purchases. It also has a built-in bookkeeping and invoicing service for free.
However, Grasshopper doesn’t support cash deposits, and customer service is only available Monday through Friday; there’s no weekend support.
Relay Business Checking
Relay is an online financial platform designed for businesses, from freelancers to corporations. With Relay, you can open up to 20 separate business checking accounts, with the option to customize user permissions and unlimited transactions.
The basic account, Relay Standard, comes with no monthly maintenance fee and provides access to 32,000 Allpoint ATMs across the country. It also integrates with Quickbooks and other payroll and accounting software, so you can streamline your business accounting system.
If you need additional features, you can upgrade to Relay Pro for $30 a month. This plan gives you access to bill pay and payment automation, enriched transaction data, automated bill imports, and accounts payable automation.
Nearside Business Checking
Nearside’s business checking account is designed with small and mid-sized businesses in mind. It offers no monthly fees, no minimums, and big cashback rewards, so you can save time and money while taking care of business.
The account also provides access to helpful budgeting and tax optimization tools, and it is FDIC-insured, so you can rest assured that your money is safe.
Best for Startups
Mercury is a business banking platform tailored for startups, with no monthly or ongoing fees, no minimum balance or cash requirements, and FDIC-backed checking and savings accounts. It also offers a corporate charge card with automatic 1.5% cashback on all purchases, and discounts and promotional offers from various business software companies. Plus, some customers have access to a high-yield treasury account with an APY of up to 2.524%.
However, Mercury is only available to US-based businesses with an EIN, and certain high-risk businesses such as adult entertainment, marijuana, and internet gambling are not eligible. It also doesn’t offer merchant services, traditional credit options such as loans and lines of credit, cash deposits, or wire transfers.
How to Get the Best Free Business Checking
Remember, there are four different ways to go about getting a free small business checking account:
- First, you could go to one of the major U.S. banks. They typically will have a free business checking option as long as certain requirements are met (e.g. direct deposit). With a big bank, you can be assured that branches and ATMs are located in your area.
- Then there are the local banks and credit unions. Similar to the major banks, they usually have free checking but are typically limited geographically or by association.
- Next, you have the local and regional reward checking accounts. These accounts typically pay a higher interest rate on your balance if you jump through a few hoops each month (e.g. a certain number of transactions).
- Finally, you have the option of online-only checking accounts listed above. They offer certain perks and features that the major banks and credit unions can’t compete with.
Almost Free Business Checking Accounts
NorthOne Deposit Account
Best for Profit First Method
NorthOne is a financial technology startup that focuses on making banking easier for small business owners. They offer business accounts to small businesses across America, and their accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 by The Bancorp Bank, which is a Member FDIC.
The NorthOne Small Business Deposit Account waives all debit card fees, gives you access to ACH and Wire Payments, allows for Real-Time Transaction Tracking and ATM Usage. You can rest assured that the security around your account is robust, with additional features like Fraud Protection ensuring peace of mind. Enjoy 24/7 customer support as well as a user friendly mobile app for anytime banking convenience! Plus – easily integrate “Profit First” accounting system into their banking solution â€“ making financials easier than ever before!
NorthOne ensures that all fees are presented up front and clear. Every NorthOne customer is charged a flat fee of $10 per month, while wire payments, same-day ACH transfers, sending physical checks and ATM fees charged by the machine each have their own individual cost associated with them.
Ideal for small business owners and freelancers who aren’t scared of a simple fee structure, NorthOne has the perfect solution– without having to take on the bulkier services offered by bigger banks.
Lending Club Tailored Checking
Lending Clubâ€™s new business banking offering, Tailored Checking (formerly Radius Bank), puts your money to work with high-yield earning. There are no hidden fees with this business checking account and unlimited transactions to keep your business moving.
Tailored Checking has no penalties, no up-charges, no per-transaction fees, and 1% cashback. The only fee youâ€™ll see is a $10 monthly maintenance fee if your account balance is below $5,00.
Opening an account only requires a $100 deposit and there are no minimum monthly balance requirements. Companies can manage their account anytime by downloading the Lending Club mobile app.
Mobile check deposits, electronic statements, and integrated business services make Lending Club Tailored Checking one of the best business checking accounts around.
Other Business Checking Accounts We Considered
We decided against adding these banks. For one, they aren’t native to online. Also, they all either push you into accounts with fees, or they make you jump through too many hoops.
Bank of America
Banks we plan to add later…
In conclusion, there are several great options for free business checking accounts. It’s important to carefully consider the features and benefits of each account to determine which one is the best fit for you (biggest bonus, freelancer, APY, minimum balance, etc).
Some accounts may offer a higher number of free transactions, while others may offer additional perks such as a free ATM network or the ability to earn interest on your balance.
No matter which account you choose, it’s essential to read the fine print and be aware of any potential fees or limitations. It’s also a good idea to periodically review your account to ensure that it’s still meeting the needs of your business.
Which account will you choose?