Found Banking Review: The Best Checking Account for Self-Employed Workers
If you’re self-employed, you’re not just a gig worker, independent contractor or freelancer. What you really are is a small business owner.
If you don’t feel like you’re running a business, it might be because you don’t have access to the business-checking, bookkeeping and tax-prep tools that other small business owners use to grow their businesses.
We heard about a company called Found, which has been helping self-employed people do more with their earnings and avoid the mistakes that tend to make people lose money while trying to earn it. Best of all? It’s free.
What is Found?
Found is a financial technology company that was purpose-built to help self-employed people draw a clear line between personal and business expenses, ultimately making tax prep easier.
It offers business-banking services banked by the FDIC, along with invoicing tools, bookkeeping services and tax-prep help, all integrated into a single app. You can also access your account through its website.
All of Found’s core products are free. But if you’re an experienced self-employed worker, you’ll probably find that a subscription to Found Plus is worthwhile. It gives you more options to customize your account and its features, ultimately making your self-run business more efficient and potentially more profitable.
Found is ideal for self-employed individuals, such as rideshare drivers, freelance writers, freelance designers, personal trainers, independent consultants and other sole proprietors.
Found Banking Services and Features
Found offers four main products:
This is a business checking account designed just for freelancers. It comes with a Mastercard Business Debit card. There’s no credit check, no minimum balance requirements and no fees.
You can invoice your clients for free and accept payments from other apps, all from the Found app. And there’s no cap on how many invoices you can issue clients.
Found automatically saves each transaction you make with your business checking account into your records. That includes receipts for purchases and payments. And you can keep track of all of your expenses in one place.
Everything else is all in one place (receipts, invoices, earnings data), which makes tax prep a whole lot easier. Found even provides you with a tax estimate. It can also help you find tax credits with profit and loss statements and help you determine your tax-filing status.
Found’s tax-planning tools can also automatically deduct taxes from your earnings as you receive them. That way, there are no surprise tax bills lurking for you when tax season arrives.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Found
There’s a lot to like about Found’s products, especially if you work for yourself. But nothing is perfect. Here’s what we like most about Found’s business products and what could use improvement.
What We Like
We looked, but we couldn’t find any fees hiding in any of Found’s products. Sure, you can pay for added functionality, but all of the core services are offered completely free, and they really do simplify things.
What We Wish It Had
The biggest drawback is the lack of support for check deposits. Yes, checks are going extinct in an increasingly cashless, paperless world.
But you’ll have to look elsewhere for check-cashing services if you run into an old-school client who prefers to cut checks.
- Integration with third-party payment apps like Cash App
- Automated expense tracking and bookkeeping
- Checking, taxes and accounting all in one place
- Sign up free in minutes. No credit check
- No minimum balance, monthly service or overdraft fees
- Built-in tax calculator and saving tools
- Built-in tax calculator and write-off tracker
- Real-time expense tracking and invoicing included
- Earn 1.5% APY with Found Plus
- No cash deposits
- Does not support check deposits
Pricing and Fees (Found Plus)
While Found’s core services make self-employed life a lot easier, for a small subscription fee, life can get even easier for you.
Found Plus builds on the company’s core offerings with the ability to export your books to a third-party tax-prep tool if you want.
You can opt to pay taxes quarterly, create custom categories for your bookkeeping and take pictures of receipts to upload them into your accounts — which is really helpful if you pay for a business expense with cash or another card.
You can subscribe to Found Plus for just $14.99 per month, or save money with an annual subscription of $95.88 a year.
Who is Found Right For?
Found is a near-perfect all-in-one solution for self-employed people. This includes freelance writers, freelance graphic designers, app-based gig workers (Uber, Lyft, Door Dash, Instacart and the like), personal trainers, independent consultants and contractors who don’t employ staff.
Contractors who employ one or more staff members may be better served with conventional business banking services.
If you can live without cash and check deposits, look no further than Found to run your small business like a small business. And because all the essential features are free, there are no barriers to entry.
Frequently Asked Questions About Found
Need to know a little more before you open a Found business checking account? We rounded up some answers to commonly asked questions around the web.
Found is certainly legitimate, but Found is not a bank. It's a fintech company that partners with Piermont Bank to deliver business banking services to independent contractors.
Business banking is one of the core products of Found, a financial technology company that accommodates freelancers and other self-employed individuals. Found's banking features are provided through a partnership with Piermont Bank.
No, you can't directly deposit checks in your Found checking account. You'll need to use a third-party check-cashing service to deposit any checks you received as payment for your work.
Found's bank account services are provided by Piermont Bank, member FDIC. Deposits are insured up to the federal limit of $250,000.
Found is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Piermont Bank, Member FDIC. The Found Mastercard ® debit card is issued by Piermont Bank pursuant to a license from Mastercard Inc. and may be used everywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted.