5 Best Business Checking Accounts of 2021

·17 min read

The best business checking accounts are ones with zero fees (or ways to waive them), minimal requirements, and reliable digital bank platforms. A good business checking account will help you stay on top of your finances.

Read on to learn more about the best business checking accounts from online banking startups, banks with physical branches, and online-only banks.

Our Top Picks for Best Business Checking Accounts

  • NBKC Bank – Best for Small Business

  • BlueVine – Best for High Yields

  • Novo – Best for E-Commerce

  • Axos Bank – Best for Variety

  • Chase Bank – Best Option from Large Bank

Best Business Checking Account Reviews

NBKC Bank – Best Online Account for Small Business

Monthly service fee

$0

Minimum opening deposit

$0

Minimum monthly balance

$0

ATM network

Free access to 32,000 + MoneyPass ATM’s

APY

None

NBKC’s Free Business Checking Account is our top small business checking account for owners that want the benefits of fully digital banking but still prefer to sign up with a traditional bank offering fee-free accounts nationwide. The Free Business Checking Account features no fees per item or transaction, no minimum balance, no opening deposit requirements, and no overdraft fees.

Using NBKC’s credit/debit Business MasterCard, customers can make free cash deposits or withdrawals within MoneyPass’s broad ATM network. If you ever go out of network, fees (even foreign ones) will be reimbursed, up to $12 per month.

As your business grows, NBKC offers investment options in the form of money market accounts and other elective add-ons to further give your company a leg up. Added perks include check scanning equipment for desktop deposits and merchant processing services.

Pros

Cons

$0 service or transaction fees

Physical branches located only in Kansas City, Missouri

$0 fees on mobile deposits or bill pay

Outgoing domestic wires cost $5

Free incoming domestic wire transfers

Outgoing and incoming international wires cost $45

Cash deposits and withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs

Includes a business credit card

BlueVine – Best for High Yields

Monthly service fee

$0

Minimum opening deposit

$0

Minimum monthly balance

$0

ATM network

Free access to 32,000 + MoneyPass ATM’s

APY

1.0% on balance up to $100,000

BlueVine’s Business Checking account pays 1.0% APY on customer deposits — one of the highest in the industry — without a monthly or minimum daily account balance requirement. The account includes unlimited transactions, and there are no monthly fees, minimum daily balance fees, or non-sufficient fund fees.

BlueVine features the BlueVine Payments Platform, where account holders can pay bills and make vendor payments for free.

While BlueVine doesn’t operate branches or its own ATM network, customers can withdraw cash and make deposits with their Business Debit Mastercard at any MoneyPass ATM.

Pros

Cons

$0 non-sufficient funds fee

No physical branches

$0 overdraft fees

No reimbursement for fees paid at out-of-network ATMs

Automatic vendor payments

$15 for domestic wire transfers

Mobile check deposits

$4.95 cash deposit fee

Free checkbooks

Unlimited transactions

Novo – Best for E-commerce

Monthly service fee

$0

Minimum opening deposit

$50

Minimum monthly balance

$0

ATM network

None, but Novo refunds ATM fees

APY

None

Novo’s Online Business Banking is great for e-commerce businesses as it integrates popular third-party programs such as Shopify, Slack, Stripe, Quickbooks, Zapier, TransferWise, and Xero. The account also includes discounts and rewards for popular programs like Homebase and Google Ads.

Novo’s mobile app makes it easy to handle key transactions such as check deposits, payments, transfers, and wires. Clients can also link their PayPal account as an additional payment option. However, the only way to make cash deposits is to purchase a money order, so this account may not be the best option if your business handles a lot of cash.

If your business requires check payments, you can request them with Novo’s mobile app and send them directly to the payee at no charge. All deposits at Novo are FDIC-insured through Middlesex Federal Savings.

Pros

Cons

Refund on all domestic and international ATM fees

No physical branches

Free ACH transfers

No cash deposits

Cash withdrawals with Novo debit card

No wire transfers

Free incoming domestic and international wires

$27 overdraft fee

Integrates multiple third-party programs

Mobile check deposit

Axos Bank – Best for Variety

Basic Business Checking

Business Interest Checking

Monthly service fee

$0

$10 or $0 if you keep a $5,000 daily average balance

Minimum opening deposit

$1,000

$100

Minimum monthly balance

$0

$0

ATM network

Free access to Allpoint ATM’s nationwide

Free access to Allpoint ATM’s nationwide

APY

None

Up to 0.81%

Business owners who sign up with Axos Bank can choose from two types of business checking accounts: basic business checking and business interest checking.

Basic Business Checking is the best account for small businesses looking for a simple, free checking account with no monthly service fees. This account also includes the first 50 checks and up to 200 free transactions per month.

The Business Interest Checking account earns 0.81% APY on balances up to $50,000 and there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if you maintain a daily balance of $5,000. Business owners who want to earn interest on a higher balance can also open a separate business savings account, which will earn 0.81 on balances up to $5,000,000.

Customers of Axos Business Banking can deposit checks, make transfers, and set up automatic bill payments, all from the mobile app. Axos clients will also receive a Visa debit card.

Pros

Cons

Unlimited reimbursement of domestic ATM fees

Minimum opening deposit required

$100 welcome bonus for accounts that meet the requirements

Limited free monthly transactions

Works with popular accounting software, like Quickbooks

No cash deposits

Online and mobile banking, including bill pay and invoicing services

Only three physical branches nationwide

First 50 checks free

Mobile check deposit

Chase– Best Option from a Large Bank

Monthly service fee

$15, with multiple options to waive

Minimum opening deposit

$0

Minimum monthly balance

$0 or $2,000 daily to waive the service fee

ATM network

16,000 Chase Bank ATM’s nationwide

APY

None

Chase’s entry-level checking account, Chase Business Banking Complete, integrates online, mobile, and in-person banking with streamlined digital platforms and a broad network of physical branches.

A standout feature of the Chase Business Complete account is Quick Accept, which allows you to accept debit or credit card payments anytime with a mobile card reader or by manually entering the transaction on the Chase Mobile app. Keep in mind that transaction fees will apply.

Overdraft protection is also available if you have a Chase business savings account. Both accounts will be linked, and any overdrafts will be automatically transferred from savings to checking.

Pros

Cons

$300 bonus when you open an account and meet the qualifying conditions

$15 monthly service fee (but it can be waived provided certain conditions are met)

Free incoming wires

Fee for in-person deposits, withdrawals, and paper checks

Free same-day deposits

Unlimited electronic deposits

Up-to-date online platform and highly rated mobile banking app

Ranked 2nd in JD Power’s 2020 National Banking Satisfaction Study

Other Business Checking Accounts We Considered

Although some of the companies below may offer higher fees, lower transaction limits, or fewer features than our top picks, they still offer valuable services that could better fit your business needs. Here’s a list of our runner ups:

Bank of America

Bank of America offers two business checking accounts. The Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking has a $16 monthly fee, which can be waived if the average account balance is kept over $5,000. The Business Advantage Relationship Banking costs $29.95, which can also be waived if the average monthly balance is maintained over $15,000. Both accounts provide access to a Cash Flow Monitor tool, mobile banking, and guidance provided by dedicated specialists.

Pros

Cons

Options to avoid monthly fees

$15 per wire transfer on Fundamentals account

Access to Zelle® app for business

Account balance must be kept above a certain monthly average for monthly fees to be waived

Business debit cards with $0 Liability Guarantee

Additional checking or savings account without additional fees

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers three business checking accounts to accommodate different transaction volumes. The Initiate Business Checking Account has a minimum opening deposit of $25 and a $10 monthly fee. For businesses with higher transaction volumes, Wells Fargo offers the Navigate Business Checking account for $25 a month, and Optimize Business Checking account for $75.

Pros

Cons

Deposit checks directly with the Wells Fargo Mobile app

Some accounts may not be eligible for mobile deposit

Zero Liability protection against unauthorized transactions

Withdrawals at non-Wells Fargo ATMs in the U.S. have a $2.50 per withdrawal fee

Add your company logo to cards and checks

24/7 fraud monitoring and alerts

US Bank

US Bank offers three tiered business checking accounts: Silver Business Checking Package (no monthly fee), the Gold Business Checking Package, and Platinum Business Checking Package. They also offer two specialty accounts, a Nonprofit Checking Account and the Premium Business Checking Account. All accounts include U.S. Bank Visa debit card, no-fee transactions at U.S. Bank ATMs, mobile check deposit, and access to business services and payment products.

Pros

Cons

Silver Business Checking has $0 monthly maintenance fees

No detailed information on other transaction and account fees

24/7 telephone support available on Premium Business Checking Account

Nonprofit checking account with $0 maintenance fee and 1,800 free transactions per year

BBVA

BBVA offers three tiered business checking accounts: the Business Connect Checking (no monthly maintenance fee), the Business Choice Checking for $15 per month, and the Business Premium Checking for $25 per month. All accounts offer online, mobile, and ATM banking features, business logo customized debit cards, and online and mobile banking alerts to protect against fraud.

Pros

Cons

No fees if you use another bank’s ATM

Physical branches in Florida and Texas

Unlimited debit card and ATM transactions

Only businesses with sole proprietors can apply online

No service charge or balance minimum with the Business Connect Checking account

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank offers the Clearly Better Business Checking account with no monthly maintenance fee and up to 200 check transactions per statement cycle. Two other account tiers are available: Business Advisor Checking for $25 per month and the Citizens Analysis Business Checking account for $20 a month. All accounts include online, mobile, and phone banking, savings overdraft transfer and overdraft line of credit, as well as a debit card.

Pros

Cons

No minimum opening balance for all three account tiers

No remote sign-up available

No monthly maintenance fee on the Clearly Better Business Checking account

Only operates in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont

Funds are made available within the same day until 10 PM

Over 1,100 branches and over 3,100 ATM’s

Capital One

Capital One offers two accounts: Spark Business Basic Checking for $15 per month, and Spark Business Unlimited Checking for $35. Both business checking accounts include unlimited transactions, 24/7 real-time account information, business debit card, as well as online bill pay, and mobile checking, including check deposits from your smartphone. Capital One also offers business loans & lines of credit, merchant services, and Spark Business credit cards.

Pros

Cons

Get unlimited monthly transactions

Free cash deposit on the Basic account is up to $5,000 only

No fee cash deposits on the Unlimited plan

Incoming wires cost $15

Deposit checks directly using your smartphone

Free overdraft protection with a linked deposit account

Radius Bank

All accounts can be opened with only $100. Included with your business checking account is the Radius Mobile app which shows real-time transaction history and allows you to pay bills, transfer funds, send wires, deposit checks, create and send invoices. The app also allows you to receive card, ACH, and lockbox payments. Additionally, Radius employs 256-bit encryption to protect data.

Pros

Cons

Unlimited monthly transactions, no minimum balance after opening

Only two physical branches

Unlimited 1% cash back with Radius debit card purchases

Various customer complaints regarding frozen or closed accounts

Earn a 0.10% APY with balances over $5,000

No ATM fees anywhere in the world, plus rebates on fees charged by other banks

Business Checking Account Guide

Tips for choosing the best business checking account

Three boxes
Three boxes

Think about the features you want and need. These may include:

  • No daily balance minimums

  • No fees

  • No minimum balance requirements

  • Overdraft protection

  • High annual percentage yield

  • Mobile and online banking

  • Cash bonus offers

  • Free ATM access

  • Free checks

  • Business debit card

  • Nearby physical branches

  • Free wires

  • Merchant services and banking products like investment or savings accounts

  • FDIC or NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) insured

Business Check
Business Check

Consult customer satisfaction data like JD Power Surveys and the CFPB’s complaint database. Small businesses will benefit from referencing JD Power’s Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study.

Five stars
Five stars

Select the business checking account that best fits your money management style, business structure and size, and that earns high marks in customer satisfaction. In addition to having a separate account, consider adding business insurance to cover general liability and some of the unexpected costs of running a business.

Use this business checking account application checklist to make sure you have all the documents needed to open your account:

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

  • One or two types of personal identification

  • Business license

  • Articles of incorporation

  • Certificate of Assumed Name-DBA

  • Partnership Agreement, if applicable

Requirements may vary depending on the business structure, whether you are a sole proprietor, a member of a business partnership, a limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation.

Financial support for small businesses affected by COVID-19

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently communicated that funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have already been exhausted and the program shut down on May 4, 2021, earlier than the original May 31 deadline.

Small business owners and qualified agricultural businesses may still benefit from small business loans such as COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The SBA is still accepting applications until December 31, 2021.

Best Business Checking Accounts FAQs

Why do I need a separate business checking account?

Business checking accounts allow you to keep your business and personal finances separate and add multiple authorized users under one account while also streamlining the tax filing process. With a business checking account, you also gain access to merchant services and products such as mobile card readers or point-of-sale (POS) systems.

How to open a business checking account?

Most online banks will allow you to apply and complete the process fully online while most traditional banks will require you to make an appointment with a representative at a branch or through the phone. After selecting the financial institution of your preference, you will need to gather the necessary documents to apply.

What do I need to open a business checking account?

Generally, you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), two types of personal identification, Social Security number & card, business license, Articles of Incorporation, Certification of Assumed Name, and Partnership Agreement, if applicable.

Can I be rejected for a business checking account?

Yes, if your deposit account history is less than ideal, a bank can reject your application.

When you apply for a deposit account, be it checking or savings, many banks use ChexSystems — a reporting agency that records an individual’s negative deposit account history — to see your account history. If they see red flags, like excessive overdrafts, bounced checks, or unpaid negative balances, it can prompt the bank to reject your application.

There are “second chance banks,” which will be less rigorous and offer you access to a checking account if more exigent banks won’t. Remember that these accounts can lack benefits like overdraft protection and charge high service and monthly transaction fees.

How can I get a business checking account with bad credit?

It depends. Most banks will only look at your overall banking history with ChexSystems, but if your credit score is a noticeable red flag, you could still be denied a checking account. Your best bet is to apply for checking accounts at smaller or mid-sized banks or credit unions that may be willing to overlook a negative credit score.

What are the best free business checking accounts?

The best free business checking accounts are from NBKC, BlueVine, Chase, Novo, and Axos. Many banking institutions offer “free” business checking accounts without a sign-up fee. However, depending on the account, minimum opening deposits or minimum balance requirements may apply, so even if an account is free to open, be sure to read the fine print.

Besides, free is not always the only feature to look out for. Many credit unions charge a reasonable membership fee to open an account, and oftentimes the benefits of the account far outweigh that initial opening cost.

Who has the best business checking account?

Small businesses should look for bank accounts that will fit their financial needs. In general, you should strive to avoid maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, and monthly transaction fees. You will have your pick from online banks, traditional banks, credit unions, and fintech companies, each with its own set of pros and cons. Finally, look for customer satisfaction data before making a final choice.

How We Chose The Best Business Checking Accounts

Business banking products are available from fintech companies, traditional banks, and member-owned financial cooperatives, but they are not one size fits all. For this article, we gave priority to business checking accounts with open membership, nationwide availability, and robust digital platforms.

This narrowed down our options to accounts from banks or fintech companies, and sadly, excluded credit unions. However, we encourage you to research business banking services from credit unions in your area because they are certainly worth looking into. Credit unions operate at a more local level and generally have better interest rates, lower fees, and a good customer service reputation.

After selecting the business checking account providers we’d review, we looked in closer detail at the following features to decide which accounts fit into our Top Picks.

Few or No Monthly Fees

We only considered business checking accounts that charge no fees or let you avoid fees if you meet certain requirements, such as a minimum monthly balance or a specific number of transactions per month.

Broad ATM Access

We gave precedence to banks that have a sizable ATM network. Checking accounts that come with foreign ATM fee reimbursements also earned high marks.

Reasonable Transaction Limits

Utilizing your business bank account fully is crucial, and nobody wants to get hit with unnecessary fees just for making too many deposits or debits. We also looked for business checking accounts that either allow unlimited transactions or have reasonable transaction limits.

FDIC or NCUA insurance

Your hard-earned money should always be insured. The FDIC and NCUA both guarantee deposit insurance for up to $250,000 for banks and credit unions, but fintech companies are a bit different. They offer financial services that focus on optimizing financial products with technology and are not directly insured by the FDIC. However, they can guarantee FDIC insurance for their customers by depositing your money in a partner or parent bank. We made sure this insurance was in place for all the companies on our list.

Summary of Money’s Best Business Checking Accounts of 2021

  • NBKC Bank – Best for Small Business

  • BlueVine – Best for High Yields

  • Novo – Best for E-Commerce

  • Axos Bank – Best for Variety

  • Chase Bank – Best Option from Large Bank

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