The Best Banks for Small Businesses in 2023
Best for Mobile Users
- No minimum balance
- Tax calculator
Best Overall for Small Business Owners
- $5,000 free deposits
- 1.5% cash back cards
Up to 2.00%
Best for New Small Business Owners
- Online-only bank
- $200 for new owners
Up to 1.01%
Best for Freelancers and Gig Workers
- Expense tracking
- No monthly fees
If you’ve started your own company — or you’re considering the move — you’ve likely marveled at the logistics required to pull it off.
Popular first-time small business owner (SMB) questions include:
- How do taxes work now?
- What do I need to know about buying health insurance?
- What exactly qualifies as a business expense?
There are many changes when you run your own show. And when you become a business owner, your banking needs to change, too.
That’s right, you can now open a business account.
Since vetting banks and business checking accounts probably isn’t how you want to spend your time when you’re self-employed, we did the leg work for you.
Here are some of the best bank accounts for small business owners.
Because we’re looking at business savings and business checking accounts for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), we searched for banking services that cater to your needs — i.e. a small business whose cash flow might not be cracking six figures yet.
Best Banks for Small Businesses 2023
|Bank||Key Feature||Prime Perk|
100 free transactions
$300 signup bonus
$200 signup bonus
LiliNavy Federal Credit Union
For military personnel
High-Top-notch on mobileyield checking
No minimum deposit
No overdraft fees
A reminder: We don’t know your business finances or your cash flow like you do. The best bank for your small business is going to depend on your situation.
Now, here are our favorites:
- 100 fee-free transactions
- $5,000 in free cash deposits/month
- $25 minimum deposit
If your business can keep a reliable daily balance, Wells Fargo’s business accounts come cheap. You’ll only need $25 to open any Wells Fargo business checking (Initiate, Navigate or Optimize) or savings (Market Rate or Platinum) account. You can waive the $10 fee for the Initiate Business Checking Account by maintaining a $500 minimum daily balance or $1,000 average ledger balance. You’ll also get 100 fee-free transactions per fee period, plus no fees on the first $5,000 deposited per fee period. The entry-level savings account (Market Rate) earns 0.15% interest.
Wells Fargo also offers business lines of credit between $10,000 and $150,000 for fixed interest rates as low as Prime + 1.75% APR. You can also get business credit cards with 1.5% cash back and sign-up bonuses between $300 and $1,000.
For more information on Wells Fargo bank’s features, check out our full Wells Fargo review.
- 4,700+ brick-and-mortar branches
- Fee waivers for accounts with minimum balances
- $300 sign-up bonus
As another “big four” bank, Chase’s business checking account offers familiar perks: a reliable brand and enough resources to keep things convenient. But its credit card offerings are particularly worth noting.
The Ink Business Premier, Unlimited and Cash cards offer rewards and sign-up bonuses ranging between $900 and $1,000. Premier earns you 2% to 2.5% cash back, Unlimited earns you 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and the Cash card earns you 5% back on select categories. You can also choose the Ink Business Preferred or various airline and hotel business credit cards.
Chase also offers business loans starting at $5,000 with varying interest rates and lines of credit up to $500,000. For more information on Chase Bank’s features, check out our full Chase Bank review.
- Free cash deposits up to $5,000/month
- 0.20% APY guarantee for 12 months
- No overdraft fees
You can likely guess that the credit card options landed Capital One on the list, but the checking and savings account options are worth a nod as well. If your main priority is credit cards, Chase may beat Capital One out, but if you're looking for comprehensive service (read: better savings and checking options), Capital One could be for you.
Along with an affordable bank account, Capital One offers six business credit cards and includes information upfront about the credit score you need to qualify for each one. Its cards offer between 1% and 2% cash back (or 1.5X to 2X miles), free employee cards with spending limits and options for no annual fee. It also offers equipment loans, business installment loans and lines of credit that start at $10,000. Loan term lengths and repayment terms vary.
For more information on Capital One’s online banking features, check out our full Capital One review.
- No monthly account fees
- Expense tracking and invoice creation
- Unlimited transactions
Found is a business checking account designed for freelancers and gig economy workers. With a Found account, you’ll get a Mastercard business debit card (and virtual card) that makes it easy to keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses. There are no hidden fees, no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements, and the account offers unlimited transactions and free ACH transfers.
Freelancers may particularly appreciate the free and unlimited customizable invoices. And when quarterly tax season strikes every few months, Found is helpful since it tracks your expenses as you go, calculates your tax bill in real time, automatically categorizes write-offs and even lets you pay taxes right from the app.
Found is a relatively new fintech (started in 2019). Despite its relative youth, Found offers serious banking perks, including data encryption, secure infrastructure, two-factor authentication and fraud monitoring to keep your account safe. Banking services are provided through Piermont Bank, which means deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
You’ll likely still want a high-yield savings account as your freelance income grows (Found doesn’t pay any interest). But for managing your expenses, paying taxes and creating invoices for clients, it doesn’t get better than Found.
- Online-only bank
- Up to 1.01% APY on business checking
- $200 bonus for new business owners
Hands down, Axos is the best bank for new small business owners — as long as you’re OK with not having physical access to your financial institution. Axos’ Basic Business Checking is great because there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, but the Small Business Interest Checking is more appealing with the 1.01% APY.
All three of its savings accounts earn 0.20% APY, but new small business owners should start with the Business Savings account, which only requires $1,000 to open and has fees waived as long as you maintain a $2,500 average minimum daily balance.
No matter which account(s) you open, you can earn $200 if you opened a new business after June 1, 2020. Even if you started your business before that, Axos will give you $100. Here’s where Axos falls short: It doesn’t offer any credit cards, and its small business loan options are more limited.
For more information on Axos’ banking features, check out our full Axos bank review.
Navy Federal Credit Union
- No monthly service fee
- 30 free non-electronic transactions
- Member-owned nonprofit institution
You’re a small business owner now. Maybe you don’t want to do business with a multibillion-dollar corporation. If that’s your speed, a credit union like Navy Federal might be right for you. These member-owned nonprofits can provide a comfort and familiarity that the big four can’t offer, even if they can’t match the perks.
Its basic Business Checking account has no fees and allows two signers, but you can upgrade to Business Plus Checking for unlimited signers (and 50, rather than 30) non-electronic transactions. Business Premium Checking jumps to 100 free non-electronic transactions and can earn up to 0.45% APY. In addition, Navy Federal has two savings accounts that pay dividends.
Navy Federal also offers business lines of credit starting at $35,000 and rewards credit cards from Visa and Mastercard with no annual fee.
For more information on banking for veterans and service members, check out our full list of the best military banks and credit unions.
- Built-in expense and tax tracking
- Unlimited transactions with no monthly fee
- No account, overdraft or foreign transaction fee
The Lili business checking account comes with its own Visa debit card. Whenever you spend any money, you’ll get a push notification asking you to swipe left or right to instantly categorize the expense as either “personal” or “business.” At tax time, this will allow you to easily maximize your expenses and reduce your taxable income, lowering your tax bill.
For more information on Lili’s banking features, check out our full Lili account review.
- 2.0% APY on balances up to $100,000
- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements
- No overdraft or NSF fees
BlueVine is an honorable mention in this list, because it doesn’t offer a full suite of business banking services. But its 2.0% APY on your business checking account balance (if you meet the criteria) makes it stand out among even modern banks for businesses, so it’s worth mentioning. With the account, you can pay vendors and bills by ACH, wire or check and set up recurring payments. You can also apply for credit lines up to $250,000 with rates as low as 6.2%. If a brick-and-mortar location isn’t a top priority, add this one to your list.
What Is a Business Bank Account and Why Do You Need One?
A business bank account is where you keep your money for the company. It’s an account used specifically for the business — so, separate from your personal checking or savings accounts — where you hold your earnings, pay for related expenses (supplies, vendor services, utilities, etc.) and more.
Keeping these transactions separate is helpful come tax time. If you choose to apply for a business loan (some banks require you to have an account for a designated time period), you’ll also need an account to share your financials and house the money.
No matter how big or small your operation is, it’s strongly recommended that you open a business bank account. At a minimum a business checking account is a good way to stay organized, period. You want a place to keep track of all the money coming in and out of your business and have a clear-cut record of your finances.
Banks for Small Business Owners
Most major banks offer business accounts, as well as many credit unions. You can opt to open an account with an online-only bank or solely brick-and-mortar institution, or choose one that offers a hybrid model.
If your personal bank offers business bank accounts, that might incentivize you to open an account with your current institution — but run the numbers first. While you may have access to the merchant services you’re accustomed to and be able to link accounts (and seamlessly transfer money from your business bank accounts to your personal checking account, for example), there may be higher transaction fees or hidden costs.
You have lots of options when it comes to banks for small business, so do some research.
Common Types of Business Checking and Savings Accounts
Like with personal accounts, you have many options when it comes to choosing a business bank account. Here are the basics of business banking:
Business Checking Account
Some banks, specifically larger ones, may offer a variety of business checking accounts. Depending on factors such as your daily minimum balance, the number of transactions performed in a month and the amount of services you need, you can choose a checking account to fit your needs and budget.
Business Savings Account
You can select this type of account to build cash reserves and earn interest on your money. And similarly, some banks offer more than one type of account (ranging in monthly maintenance fees) based on how much money you plan on saving and the number of transactions you make in a month.
High-Yield Business Savings Account
With this type of account, you have an opportunity to earn higher interest rates on your money. Typically, there is a higher minimum deposit required and tighter restrictions around the number of monthly transactions allowed for this account.
Business Credit Cards, Loans and CDs
Many banks offer business loans and business credit cards (more on those next) and certificate of deposit (CDs). You also want to keep an eye out for new-business-account bonuses (usually in the form of a couple hundred dollars) for owners just opening their account.
There’s no one “best bank for small business,” so it’s important to take inventory of what you want and need out of business banking.
What to Look for in Business Banking
There are several angles you could take to determine the best banks for small businesses, depending on the business needs of your company. To help you choose the best for your business, we focused on four main banking services: Small business checking account, business savings account options, small business lending and business credit cards.
Small Business Checking Account and Business Savings Account Options
We looked at balance requirements, (monthly) fees and transaction and deposit limits.
In general, it’s a good idea to look for business bank accounts that offer the following:
- A low minimum balance requirement
- A low monthly maintenance fee (or one that can be easily waived)
- Minimum monthly service fees (bonus for no monthly fees!)
- Free business checking
- A business debit card
- Free cash deposits (at least up to a point)
- Online banking
- Mobile banking (an app)
- Online bill pay
- Payroll services
Unlimited and free transactions (or banks that offer a reasonable limit for your needs) are also good to look for. Related, if your small business is verging into medium-sized-business territory, you might be eligible for a number of free transactions until you reach a certain limit. In that case, it may be worthwhile to move up to the next business checking account level to match your needs.
Small Business Lending
There are three main ways you can borrow money for your business. We compared what banks offered across these three categories:
- If you’re a qualified small business owner, you can take out SBA loans, which are backed by the Small Business Administration and, as a result, come with lower interest rates.
- You can also secure a business term loan, which operates in the same way as a personal loan.
- You can secure a business line of credit, which can provide you with flexibility if you’re not sure how much money you need.
Business Credit Cards
While we don’t advocate spending just to get credit rewards, there’s no reason to leave perks for your existing expenses on the table. We looked at the annual fees, interest rates and perks each bank offers with their small business credit cards.
Find the Best Bank for Your Small Business
You have many options when it comes to small business bank accounts. And your mileage with different banks and business checking accounts will vary depending on your wants and needs.
Ultimately, only you can determine the best business bank account for you and your business.
Do you want to use the same bank for your personal account, for example? Are you willing to step outside of the free checking options to earn more perks? Are you holding out for a debit card you can put your dog’s face on?
No matter what’s on your checklist, the options listed here should give you an idea of where to look next. If Wells Fargo and Chase were catching your eye, for instance, it might be worth comparing offerings from other big banks like Bank of America and Citibank as well.
And if you like the idea of Navy Federal, search for credit unions in your area to compare. If your small business is location-based and caters to a local clientele, working with a neighborhood credit union might benefit you in other ways a bigger bank cannot.
The right bank for your business and personal finances is out there. You’ve just got to hunt it down.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Small Business Banks
We’ve rounded up and answered some of the most common questions about small business banks.
Most traditional banks, community banks and credit unions offer business banking services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, loans and credit cards. Some online banks cater solely to businesses. Which is best for you depends on the needs of your business, like how much money you hold onto, your payroll and accounting processes, and your borrowing needs.
Startups tend to benefit from lean and nimble financial services. Look for an institution that makes it easy to upgrade your account as your business grows and rewards you for it. You likely also need access to loans, credit cards and lines of credit to support cash flow as you grow, so look for banks with favorable loan terms, lines of credit and rewards credit cards.
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances is important regardless of how your business is structured. Even if you’re a sole proprietor or independent contractor, a dedicated (personal) bank account helps you track your business income and expenses easily. If you’re structured as an LLC or corporation, a business bank account in the company’s name is important to maintain the legal separation and protections between you and your business.
In practice, business checking and savings accounts perform the same functions as personal checking and savings. They provide deposit and savings accounts for your cash, debit cards, ATM access, and sometimes perks like interest and cash bonuses. The main difference with a business bank account is that you need to open it in the name of a legal business entity (like a registered LLC or corporation) and usually have to provide a tax ID (EIN). If you’re a sole proprietor or independent contractor, you can just open another personal bank account in your name.
Small businesses need banks that will support them during times of growth and in lean times. That means a variety of account options that are easy to upgrade as your business grows, and lending and credit options that help you maintain cash flow when revenue is low. If you’re part of a localized small business community, you might also look for a community bank or credit union that keeps its money within your community.
Yes, but it’s not advised because mingling your personal and business expenses makes managing your business finances difficult and could lead to issues down the line, with taxes for example. If you run an LLC or corporation — where the business is a separate entity from you — mixing your finances could negate some of the legal protections the structure is supposed to provide, because you’re not clearly drawing a line between your assets and those of the business.
Contributor Dana Miranda is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® who has written about work and money for publications including Forbes, The New York Times, CNBC, Insider, NextAdvisor and Inc. Magazine. Contributor Timothy Moore updated this post.