When you’re running a small business, it’s expected that you’ll have regular expenses in the course of doing business. But when it comes to a business checking account, why pay monthly service fees when you don’t have to? Some of the best free business checking accounts from brick-and-mortar and online banks don’t require monthly service fees or have minimum balance requirements.
Not all service fee free banks are completely free, though. Some banks charge for going over your free transactions limit, overdrafting the account, making excess deposits, and other account actions. With this in mind, here are some of the best free business checking accounts available without minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees.
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Novo is a free online business checking account for U.S. based small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. There are no hidden fees with Novo — in fact, the only fees collected are $27 each for insufficient funds and uncollected funds returned. You can also apply for an account in less than 10 minutes online.
Unlike other online banks, Novo uses human-powered customer support instead of chatbots and automated phone menus. The online app is easy to use with simplistic settings, and you can connect Novo to services you already use, like:
Novo business checking accounts are FDIC insured through Middlesex Federal Savings, offering free ACH transfers, incoming wires, and mailed checks. All ATM fees are reimbursed, and there are no minimum balance requirements. With Novo, you need at least $50 to open a free business checking account.
- No hidden fees
- Pay only for insufficient funds or uncollected funds returned
- Completely online experience
- Human-powered customer support
- FDIC insured
- Minimum $50 to open account
- No brick-and-mortar locations
- No option to deposit cash
Best for in-branch transactions
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If you’re looking for a bank with physical locations, U.S. Bank offers a free business checking account and brick-and-mortar locations in 26 states. Their basic business checking account offers the Silver Business Checking Package, which includes 25 free cash deposits and 125 transactions per statement cycle and a 50% discount on your first check order up to $50.
You can use your business debit card to get free access to U.S. Bank and MoneyPass ATMs. Nonprofits can also get a monthly maintenance free business checking account from U.S. Bank with up to 1,800 free transactions per year. U.S Bank offers check fraud protection measures, online and mobile banking with bill pay, and the ability to accept card payments in person, mobile, or online for your small business.
- Free checking for small business and nonprofits
- Get 25 free cash deposits per statement cycle at U.S. Bank and MoneyPass ATMs or branch locations
- No monthly fee or minimum deposit
- 125 free monthly transactions
- Branch locations in only 26 states
- Limited free cash deposits and transactions each month
Best for new businesses
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Open to active or retired service members, their spouses and children, Navy Federal offers a free basic business checking with no monthly service fee or minimum deposit requirements. Get free starter checks, digital bank access, and a business debit card on an interest-bearing checking account for your small business.
Navy Federal Credit Union offers unlimited fee-free electronic transactions and 30 free non-electronic transactions, which cost just $0.25 for 31 or more. Members have free access to Navy Federal and Co-op network ATMs and won’t have to pay for incoming wire transfers.
The basic business checking account allows for two signers per account. You can upgrade to the Business Plus or Business Premium checking accounts to unlock additional benefits like unlimited signers, but both come with a monthly service fee or minimum requirements to waive it.
- Interest-accruing basic checking account
- No monthly maintenance fee or minimum requirements
- Two account signers
- Unlimited fee-free electronic transactions
- Must qualify for membership
- Various account fees
Best for earning interest
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Technically, BlueVine is a financial technology company and not a bank. But, it offers not only fee-free business checking accounts, it also lets you earn a generous 1.0% interest on balances up to $100,000. Deposits are also FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per account with The Bancorp Bank.
At BlueVine, you don’t have to pay monthly service fees or for your first two checkbooks. There are also no fees for insufficient funds or minimum balances or deposits required. Access over 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs fee-free as well.
BlueVine also offers unlimited free transactions and gives you the ability to lock your card in under a minute if it’s lost or stolen. You can use the online dashboard or mobile app to see your balance, deposit checks, and send or receive money to internal or external accounts. BlueVine also allows cash deposits using your debit card at any Green Dot location nationwide, but you have to pay $4.95 per deposit.
- Earn 1.0% interest on up to $100,000 balance
- Pay no fees for monthly maintenance, insufficient funds, or when using MoneyPass ATMs
- No minimum opening deposit
- Deposit cash at Green Dot locations using your debit card
- FDIC-insured with The Bancorp Bank
- Cash deposits cost $4.95 per deposit
- Outgoing wires cost $15
Best for Startups
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Mercury offers a free standard business checking account for startups, especially in the tech industry. U.S. based businesses can open an account online with Mercury unless the business is involved with adult entertainment, internet gambling, or the marijuana industry. Sole proprietors and trusts are ineligible for a Mercury business account.
The Mercury standard business checking account is completely free, with no minimum amount to start an account. While ATM transactions are free with Mercury, you are still responsible for operator charges outside of the Allpoint network. Mercury also does not support cash deposits and has no brick-and-mortar locations.
Mercury is fully integrated with Quickbooks and Xero and will automatically sync transactions. Checking and savings accounts are FDIC-insured through Evolve Bank & Trust. With a completely online system, you can manage expenses, payments, and team members, plus create virtual debit cards as needed.
- No minimum deposit to open an account
- Completely free standard business checking
- Enhanced security features
- Integrated with Quickbooks and Xero
- No cash deposits
- Not available for trusts and sole proprietors
- Does not refund ATM operator charge
Best for cash rewards
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While Oxygen is not a bank, the financial technology company offers a free business check account that is FDIC-insured through The Bancorp Bank. Oxygen doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit and offers LLC creation nationwide through a third-party vendor. If you aren’t already incorporated, you can form your LLC right through the app and then open your business checking account.
Small business owners can enjoy fee-free ATM access at Allpoint ATMs and deposit cash using the Green Dot network. You can create an unlimited number of single-use cards for online shopping so you don’t have to share your business debit card number. You can also stay in control of spending by limiting dollar limits by merchants.
Oxygen also has a long list of approved merchants that offer 5% cashback rewards for things like shipping expenses, gas, rideshare costs, and more. This is a great option for business owners who aren’t ready for a business credit card yet, but want to get returns on everyday purchases.
- Unlimited fee-free transactions
- Earn cash back using your Oxygen business debit card
- Create unlimited virtual cards, limit spending by merchant
- Create an LLC online first before opening business account
- Mobile option only
- $3 withdrawal fee for ATMs not in network
- Up to $4.95 service fee for cash deposits
- Can only receive domestic wires, no option for international wires
- Unable to add multiple authorized users
How did we choose these products?
To determine the best free business checking accounts for small business owners, we looked at banks in the United States, including local, regional, national and online banks and credit unions offering these types of checking accounts.
A number of features were compared among business checking accounts, including:
- Account accessibility.
- ATM networks.
- Balance requirements.
- Customer reviews.
- Fees and interest rates.
- Perks and special offers.
The business checking accounts featured are either members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or are partnered with FDIC-insured institutions. If the bank becomes insolvent or otherwise fails, the FDIC insures your bank balance up to the legal limit.
Fee structures, perks, rates, account requirements, and special offers are subject to change without notice, and information referenced may not be the most up-to-date. Most rates and fees are based on the prime rate and may fluctuate.
Which is the right one for you?
When searching for a free business checking account, it’s important to know what features you value the most. Whether you prefer free ATM access, the best mobile banking features, or business owner support, understanding what you expect out of a business checking account can help you find the right one for you. Other factors you may want to consider when trying to find the best free business checking account are:
- How many free monthly transactions can I use?
- Is there a daily or monthly balance requirement?
- Do I have to pay a minimum deposit to open the account?
- Are there physical branch locations?
- Can I access a wide range of nationwide ATMs for free?
- How many signers or authorized users can I add to the account?
- Does it integrate with my preferred accounting and payment vendors?
- How much do I have to pay for everyday transactions (incoming and outgoing transfers, ACH and cash deposits, other fees)?
Consider customer reviews and experience when narrowing down your preferred business bank accounts. Existing customers are a great resource to see how banks resolve issues and what the most common issues are that arise, expected wait times, and how their customer service handles established accounts versus brand new accounts.
Choosing the right free business checking account can take some time. After doing some research, you can usually narrow down your options to the top three, which can then be compared against each other so you can determine the best free checking account for your small business.
Do you need money to open a business checking account?
While some business checking accounts need a minimum amount of money to open, not all of them do. Required minimum deposits range from $5 to $1,000 or more to open a business checking account. If you are looking for a free business checking account without a minimum opening deposit, consider BlueVine, Mercury, or U.S. Bank.
Should I open a business checking account at my personal bank?
While it can be convenient to open a business checking account at your personal bank, it may not be the best option available. Some banks offer additional perks or special offers if you open a business checking account and already have an established personal bank account. However, there may be another bank that offers better customer service, fewer limits, and other features that make choosing their business checking account a better option for your small business.
Should I use a credit union for my business checking account?
Credit unions generally have lower fees and better customer service than traditional banks because they are owned by the customers and don’t answer to shareholders. However, you may need to qualify for membership, and could be limited to fewer credit union locations and ATM access than national or regional banks. If the benefits outweigh the risks, it may be best to use a credit union for your business checking account.
Are there alternatives worth considering?
Depending on what you are looking for in a free business checking account, there are alternatives worth considering than the options listed above. Here are a few more options to consider when comparing free business checking accounts:
Axos Bank: Best for small businesses with moderate account activity. Axos partners with Celero to offer merchant services and is compatible with QuickBooks. Get unlimited reimbursed ATM charges so you can access your money anywhere and up to 200 free transactions per month. If you incorporate your business after June 1, 2020, get a $100 welcome bonus with promo code NEWBIZ100 if you meet minimum requirements.
Small Business Bank: Best for micro businesses and sole proprietors. Initial deposit of $5 to open an account and there is no option for cash deposits or withdrawals. The MicroPayment debit card can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted.