Best Business Checking Accounts of December 2021

Just like with your personal finances, a checking account is useful for a business, large or small. Make sure you find a bank that offers what you need.
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Starting a business is an opportunity to be your own boss, make money and grow your skill set.

There are also the not-so-great, somewhat messy and complicated parts about operating a business. If you start off solo or small, you’ll be tackling a lot of tasks yourself.

But don’t worry. In this article, we’re going to address something relatively simple in the business world: the best business checking accounts.

We’ll go into why you need one, what you should look for and several of the best ones available, both in-person and online-only.

What to Look for in a Business Checking Account

Before you peruse accounts, get a handle on your business needs and wants. For instance, do you make a lot of transactions? Do you want a business credit card ASAP? Do you prefer a big bank where you can pop into a different branch every half mile?

There are other considerations. Do you want your bank, credit union or financial institution to…

  • Offer free bank statements?
  • Have an app? (a fair requirement in 2021)
  • Offer free online banking and/or bill pay?
  • Have in-person locations?
  • Offer comprehensive customer service, i.e., allow you to talk to someone online and on the phone 24/7?
  • Have integration with tools, like invoicing software?
  • Offer multiple products, such as business credit cards, small-business loans, etc.?

There are lots of banks for small businesses to choose from, but you want one that will give you the most options. And ideally, save you some money and headaches in the process.

To choose the best business checking accounts, we focused on accounts that:

  1. Require a low minimum initial deposit ($1,000 or less — most require only $25).
  2. Offer a certain number of transactions for free.
  3. Either have no monthly service fee or make it easy to have the fee waived.

We also focused on checking accounts for small and medium businesses. If you’re looking for accounts to manage a higher volume, many of the traditional institutions on our list have them, too.

An inconvenient reminder: Banking institutions can be acquired and shut down (RIP Azlo). So, it’s a good idea to keep the following business bank accounts in mind in case you find yourself suddenly needing to move your money.

Best Business Checking Accounts of December 2021

Bank Top Feature Promotion
Chase Many branches and ATMs $300/Business Complete
Wells Fargo Customized debit card None
U.S. Bank No fee/Silver Business None
BlueVine 0.6% APY None
Axos Bank First 50 checks free $100

Do I Really Need a Business Checking Account?

The purpose of a business checking account is to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances.

Technically, you might not need one depending on the legal structure of your business.

For example, if you’re a freelance writer who established a sole proprietorship and is starting slowly, you could use your personal checking account to get off the ground. But you’ll want to be extremely organized about keeping track of your business money for tax time. (Nothing will dampen your momentum like getting audited.)

Freelance workers have special needs in a financial institution. Here’s our list of the best banks for freelancers.

The type of business you’re running makes a difference here. If it’s transaction-heavy — or a particular legal structure, like a limited liability company — you might need a business checking account, full stop.

But if you’re starting any kind of business, it’s probably in your best interest to open one.

Business checking accounts make it easier to track profits, expenses and deductions, and help establish your operation if you file for business credit cards or loans down the line.

What’s the Right Business Checking Account for You?

The bottom line: The best business checking account for you will depend on your business and needs.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to level up, there are plenty of options out there, online and off. Start your search now, so your future self — and CPA, come tax time — will thank you later.

What You Need to Open a Business Checking Account

To open an account, you’ll typically need the following:

  • Social security number (SSN) or employee identification number (EIN)
  • Valid driver’s license or state ID
  • An initial deposit

How easy it is to open a business checking account will depend on your business. If you’re a sole proprietor, the process might feel similar to opening a personal checking account. If you have a different legal business structure, you’ll likely have to provide additional documentation (like your articles of incorporation).

Requirements will vary from bank to bank.

The 5 Best Business Checking Accounts for December 2021

We chose five institutions and a couple of different checking account options for each where available.

Chase

Best for 24/7 Customer Service and Overall Accessibility

3.5 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 4,700 branches
  • 16,000 ATMs
Chase is a well-known brand with many physical branches and flexible options for business owners. It’s a good choice if you want to easily find a chain and talk to someone in person. Chase also offers 24/7 support, so you can call and email them anytime of day. To learn more, read our Chase Bank review.
Chase Business Complete Banking

Bonus amount
$300
Minimum initial deposit
$25
Monthly service fee
$15; waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $2K
Cash deposits per month
Up to $5K without an additional fee
Free transactions per month
100

Chase

Best for Generous Monthly Transactions

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 4,700 branches
  • 250 free monthly transactions
Chase is a well-known brand with many physical branches and flexible options for business owners. It’s a good choice if you want to easily find a chain and talk to someone in person. Chase also offers 24/7 support, so you can call and email them anytime of day.
Chase Performance Business Checking

Bonus amount
None specified
Minimum initial deposit
$25
Monthly service fee
$30; waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $35K or more in qualifying accounts
Cash deposits per month
Up to $20,000 without an additional fee
Free transactions per month
250

Chase has business saving account, lending and credit card options, too. Chase offers several small-business credit cards, all with new card member bonuses, which include $750 cash back to 100,000 bonus points depending on the card.

To learn more, read our Chase Bank review.

Wells Fargo

Best for Small Business Owners Starting Out

3.5 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 7,200 branches
  • Low minimum opening deposit
Wells Fargo is another strong choice for your business checking account needs. It has many branch locations and you can call them 24/7. Its website is also easy to navigate and lets you find answers to your questions without clicking on a ton of links.
Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking

Bonus amount
None specified
Minimum initial deposit
$25
Monthly service fee
$10; waived by having a minimum daily balance of $500 or $1,000 average ledger balance
Cash deposits per month
Up to $5,000 for free
Free transactions per month
100

Well Fargo

Best for Larger Monthly Cash Deposits

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Mobile deposit
  • Customized debit card
Wells Fargo is another strong choice for your business checking account needs. It has many branch locations and you can call them 24/7. Its website is also easy to navigate and lets you find answers to your questions without clicking on a ton of links.
Wells Fargo Navigate Business Checking

Bonus amount
None specified
Minimum initial deposit
$25
Monthly service fee
$25; waived with min. daily balance of $10,000 or average combined business deposit balance of $15,000
Cash deposits per month
Up to $20,000 for free
Free transactions per month
250

Other benefits include a customized business debit card, 24/7 fraud monitoring and mobile deposit. Wells Fargo also offers small-business lending and credit card options.

Check out our Wells Fargo Bank review for more information.

U.S. Bank

Best for Simple, Fee-Free Banking

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Locations primarily in Midwest
  • 3,106 branches
  • Account coaching
U.S. Bank has lots of locations across the country, which is good news if you’re a small-business owner looking for a simple checking account. U.S. Bank offers Silver, Gold, Platinum and Premium business checking accounts — no monthly service fees for its Silver account. You can also go to U.S. Bank’s website and take a short quiz to determine which account would work best for your needs.
U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking

Bonus amount
None specified
Minimum initial deposit
$100
Monthly service fee
$0
Cash deposits per month
25 for free
Free transactions per month
25 per statement cycle; 50 cents per excess transaction

U.S. Bank

Best for Frequent Deposits

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Free business checking
  • Fee for paper statements
  • Locations primarily in Midwest
U.S. Bank has lots of locations mostly in the Midwest, which is good news if you’re a small-business owner looking for a simple checking account. U.S. Bank offers Silver, Gold, Platinum and Premium business checking accounts — no monthly service fees for its Silver account. You can also go to U.S. Bank’s website and take a short quiz to determine which account would work best for your needs.
U.S. Bank Gold Business Checking

Bonus amount
None specified
Minimum initial deposit
$100
Monthly service fee
20; waived by satisfying one of several criteria listed on its website
Cash deposits per month
100 for free
Free transactions per month
300 per statement cycle; 45 cents per excess transaction

U.S. Bank will charge you $5 for paper statements, so stick with online ones to save money and the planet. You can also access online and mobile banking, check-order discounts, get a small business Visa credit card and more.

Silver and Gold are good options for small businesses looking for free business checking accounts (as long as you stay within the limits). And in general, Chase, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank are all good options for an LLC.

BlueVine

Best for Fee-Free, Online-Only Banking

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Online only
  • No branches
  • Fee-free withdrawal at 38,000+ MoneyPass ATMs
BlueVine boasts no hidden fees and unlimited transactions. Members can pay vendors, schedule one-time and recurring payments, and earn an impressive 1.0% on their checking account balance up to $100,000. (Note: The APY adjusted from 1.0% to 0.6% Dec. 1, 2021.) Deposits are FDIC-insured (up to $250,000) through Coastal Community Bank.
BlueVine

Bonus amount
None specified
Minimum initial deposit
$0
Monthly service fee
$0
Cash deposits per month
Unlimited. Deposit cash at about 100,000 retailers through a partnership with Green Dot. $4.95 per deposit.
Free transactions per month
Unlimited

Customers also get a BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard, access to a business line of credit, two free checkbooks, and phone and email customer support.

Axos Bank

Best for Free ATM Use

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • Online only
  • No physical branches
  • Access any U.S. ATM and be reimbursed
Axos Bank is another online-only bank. In addition to business checking accounts that earn interest, customers can take advantage of surcharge-free ATMs across the U.S. Axos Bank offers Basic Business Checking, Business Interest Checking and Analyzed Business Checking.
Axos Basic Business Checking

Bonus amount
$100 if you incorporated after June 1, 2020
Minimum initial deposit
$1,000
Monthly service fee
$0
Cash deposits per month
Up to 60 items with remote deposit
Free transactions per month
200; afterward, 30 cents each

Axos Bank

Best for Collecting Interest

4 out of 5 Overall

Key Features
  • 0.81% APY
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements
  • First 50 checks free
Axos Bank also offers savings accounts and Business CDs, but no credit cards. Other benefits: customers can pay bills with no charge through the app and get 50 free checksIn addition to business checking accounts that earn interest, customers can take advantage of surcharge-free ATMs across the U.S.
Axos Business Interest Checking

Sign-up bonus
$100 if you incorporated after June 1, 2020
Minimum initial deposit
$100
Monthly service fee
$10; waived if there’s an average daily balance of $5,000
Cash deposits per month
Up to 60 with remote deposit
Free transactions per month
50; afterward, 50 cents each

Regional Business Checking Account Options

Here’s a glance at three smaller, regional options for business checking accounts. If your area isn’t listed, you can research credit unions and banks near you.

America First Credit Union

This institution has branches in Nevada and Utah. America First offers four types of business checking accounts: Basic, Premier, High-Yield and Non-Profit.

The Basic Business Checking offers 250 free monthly transactions, free online bill pay, access to money market savings, lines of credit and a Business Visa credit card.

First Horizon

This bank has branches in Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Texas. First Horizon offers BizEssentials Checking, Plus Checking) and Interest Checking accounts.

The Business Interest Checking Account has no minimum balance requirements (though you can waive the monthly maintenance fee when you keep an average of $10K in it), plus you’ll earn interest on your balance and have access to a Visa Business debit card.

SunTrust, Now Truist

This operation has branches in Alabama, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. SunTrust offers three types of business checking accounts: Simple Business Checking, SunTrust Primary Business Checking and SunTrust Business Advantage Plus Checking.

SunTrust Primary Business Checking has a $15 monthly fee that’s waived in the first two statement cycles and after that when you have a $1,000 minimum daily balance. Each month, you’ll get 150 free transactions and $5,000 cash processing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Business Bank Accounts

Here are some FAQs about checking accounts for your business.

Why Should You Open a Business Bank Account?

Keeping your business earnings separate from your primary checking account funds is a great way to keep your books organized — ideally, you want to keep your biz earnings and related expenses in one place. This can help you during tax time, and also allow you to get a clear view of how your business is doing. And you’ll have good financial records if you want to apply for loans. An individual biz account is good branding because of checks with your business name on them.

Do You Need a Business Account for an LLC?

he short answer is no, a business account is not a legal requirement for a limited liability company, or LLC. However — again — it’s a solid move to keep your business financials in one location. Whether you’re a sole proprietor, LLC or other business entity, it’s a smart move to keep your finances organized in a separate account.

Can You Open an Online Business Checking Account?

Yes! You can open an account at a credit union, a brick-and-mortar, regional or online-only bank, or an other financial institution — whatever your preference, you have many options when it comes to choosing a business bank account. Don’t feel like you have to limit your search to your primary bank, either; if a different place has a better business account for your needs, you can open an account at a different bank.

What is the Best Bank for a Business Account?

The best bank for your business will depend on several factors. If you’re looking for an online-only option with perks (like APY for your checking account), Axos or BlueVine are worth looking into. However, if you like the peace of mind of walking into a physical branch in big cities across the U.S., Chase or Wells Fargo might be better options for you. Or, maybe you prefer to support a regional credit union — the options are nearly endless. Overall, it’s best to look for a bank with no fees.

Contributor Kathleen Garvin (@itskgarvin) is a personal finance writer based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and former editor and marketer at The Penny Hoarder. She owns a content-writing business and her work has appeared in U.S. News, Clark.com and Well Kept Wallet.