Choosing the right checking account is very important for a business. This is because an owner wants to concentrate on their business, not banking. Convenience, not paying fees and having an easy way to bank, should all be priorities.
Different businesses are going to have various features that they’re looking for in a business checking account.
“(Business owners) enjoy doing what they’re selling or what their business is all about,” says Kari Harpold, treasury management officer at Capitol Bank in Madison, Wisconsin. “But to have to also do all of the financial end of things … it’s not what they enjoy doing. So if they can just have a good relationship with the bank, where the bank’s handling a lot of that stuff for them, you’re just making it more efficient for them and save some of their time, then that’s a better scenario for them.”
The best business checking accounts of November 2021
- Best for free account with no transaction limits: Bethpage Federal Credit Union
- Best for outgoing domestic wire transfers: Capital One
- Best for a cash back debit card: LendingClub Bank
- Best for getting a safe-deposit box discount: Regions Bank
- Best for business perks: Security Service Federal Credit Union
- Best for depositing cash: VyStar Credit Union
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Methodology for Bankrate’s Best Business Checking Accounts
Bankrate’s editorial team regularly surveys around 70 widely available financial institutions, made up of the biggest banks and credit unions, as well as a number of popular online banks. To find the best business checking accounts, our editorial team analyzes various factors, such as: annual percentage yield (APY), minimum balance requirements and broad availability. All of the accounts below are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) at banks or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) at National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions.
Bankrate’s picks: Best business checking accounts for November 2021
Best for free account with no transaction limits: Bethpage Federal Credit Union; 0.20% APY
Overview: Bethpage Federal Credit Union was established in 1941.
Perks: Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s Free Business Checking with Interest doesn’t have a transaction limit. It also doesn’t charge you a monthly service fee and it earns some interest. Anyone can join Bethpage Federal Credit Union with a $5 deposit into a savings account.
What to watch for: It only has branches on Long Island, New York.
Best for outgoing domestic wire transfers: Capital One; 0% APY
Overview: Capital One has about 380 bank branches, Capital One Cafes and offers online bank accounts. Savings accounts, business credit cards, the ability to accept credit card payments from customers and lending options are some of the products and services that Capital One offers for businesses.
Perks: The first five domestic outgoing wires each month are free with the Spark Business Unlimited Checking account. Those domestic outgoing wires are valued at $125, since after your five free monthly wires are sent you’ll be charged $25 for each additional domestic wire transfer.
The Spark Business Unlimited Checking account allows you to have the monthly maintenance fee waived on up to two Spark Business Basic Checking accounts. Account holders also won’t be charged for receiving domestic wire transfers and no fee is charged on cash deposits of less than $40,000 a month. It also allows unlimited transactions.
What to watch for: A monthly maintenance fee of $35 is charged for 30-day or 90-day balances that go below $25,000.
Spark Business Unlimited Checking customers aren’t charged a fee for making cash deposits. But the bank may convert the account into another checking product if you make more than $40,000 in cash deposits during a statement cycle. The account is meant for businesses that have less than $10 million in annual sales.
Best for a cash-back debit card: LendingClub Bank; 0.10% APY (on balances $5,000 or more)
Overview: LendingClub Bank is an online bank founded in 2007. Radius Bank, which was founded in 1987, was acquired by LendingClub in February 2021.
Perks: LendingClub’s Tailored Checking offers unlimited cash back of 1 percent and earns 0.1 percent APY on balances of $5,000 or more. The account also offers businesses free unlimited transactions.
What to watch for: LendingClub Bank has only one cashless branch, in Boston, according to its website. Businesses that need cash and coin orders on a regular basis may want to avoid online banks. There is a $10 monthly maintenance fee if the Tailored Checking account balance falls below $5,000.
Best for getting a safe-deposit box discount: Regions Bank; 0% APY
Overview: Regions Bank has about 1,400 branches in the South, Midwest and Texas.
Perks: Regions Bank’s Business Simple Checking account offers business owners up to a 40% discount on a safe-deposit box. Account holders can waive the $7 monthly service fee by making at least $500 in purchases with a Regions Business CheckCard. Regions requires only a $100 deposit to open the account.
What to watch for: Regions Bank has locations in 16 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Best for business perks: Security Service Federal Credit Union; 0.15% APY (on balances of $1,500 or more)
Overview: The Security Service Federal Credit Union Premium Business Checking account offers an account that helps with more than just banking. The account is subject to a $20 monthly maintenance fee for accounts that don’t maintain an average daily balance of at least $50,000.
Perks: With the account, you’ll have access to a network of attorneys, who provide free and discounted services for Premium Business Checking customers. The credit union also provides business checking customers with mobile phone coverage, which covers accidental damage, mechanical failure or theft. Two claims of up to $500 each are permitted in a 12-month period.
What to watch for: Only customers who live, work, attend school, worship, volunteer or have a business in Colorado, Texas or Utah are eligible to join the credit union. You can also join by being a military member of select branches or units. Department of Defense employees at certain bases within Security Service Federal Credit Union service areas may also be eligible.
Also, family members or household members of an existing member can join.
Best for lower-balance cash deposits: VyStar Credit Union; 0.10% APY (on balances of $2,500 or more)
Overview: VyStar Credit Union is the 18th-largest credit union based on assets, according to VyStar’s website, and it is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
Perks: The VyStar Credit Union Small Business Checking account lets a business deposit up to $10,000 in cash monthly without paying a fee. Other banks or credit unions might have lower limits on depositing cash for free.
The account pays interest on daily balances of $2,500 or more and doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee.
What to watch for: People who live or work in 49 Florida and 10 Georgia counties can join VyStar Credit Union. A $5 minimum deposit is required to open an account.
Business checking account features and terms
- Debit card: A debit card allows you to make purchases from your business checking account. Business debit cards typically can also be used at ATMs, and employees may also have debit cards issued to them.
- Cash-counting limits: Your bank might limit the amount of cash that can be deposited into the account without incurring a fee, which affects certain businesses — such as restaurants, grocery stores or convenience stores — more than others.
- Positive pay: This feature allows a business to submit information about the checks that it has written to limit the occurrence of fraudulent transactions. “The customer is able to see an image of that check that doesn’t match for whatever reason up on their computer screen within their online banking,” says Harpold of Capitol Bank. There’s usually a fee for this service. Positive pay may also be available for automated clearing house (ACH) transactions.
- Bill pay: A business can pay its bills online through a business checking account.
- Remote deposit capture: A business may be able to deposit checks without going to the bank through this service.
- Items: Some business checking accounts may limit the number of items per month. An item may be a check, ACH, cash withdrawal with a teller, ATM withdrawal, debit card purchase or other amount added or subtracted from your account, according to Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union’s website.
What to consider when choosing a business checking account
Here are some things to consider before opening a business checking account:
- Minimum balance requirement.
- Monthly maintenance fee.
- Other fees.
- Bonus for new accounts.
- Cash-counting fee.
- Free or discounted checks.
- Number of free items or transactions.
- Proximity to your business — especially for businesses that need cash or coin orders often. Or businesses that need to deposit cash or coins.
What to know about minimums and fees
It’s important to know the minimum balance requirements and fees. Try to find an account that doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee or one that has a fee that you can easily get waived. You may be able to waive some fees by maintaining a certain balance. Or there may be other ways to avoid a fee. For instance, Regions Bank waives the monthly service fee for those generating $500 or more in Regions Business CheckCard and or business credit card purchases.
Business checking account FAQs
Which bank is best for small businesses?
The best bank for a small business will depend on the priorities of the small business. Each small business is going to have different things that they’re looking for in a small business account. It may depend on the type of business or the type of banking services it needs.
A tech-savvy owner of an e-commerce business might opt for an account at an online bank. But a restaurant owner, who needs change every day, might favor the bank down the street.
What do you need to open a business checking account?
To open a business checking account, you’ll need some documents for yourself and the business. These may include your government-issued photo ID, your Social Security number, the tax ID number (TIN) for the business, a deposit of cash or a check made out to the business and other business formation documents.
What are the benefits of a business checking account?
A business checking account should help keep your personal and business banking separate.
- It could help limit potential liability and make it simpler to file taxes.
- It makes it easier to see how your business is doing.
- A business checking account might also offer you more options, such as the ability to accept credit card payments.
- Your business will look more professional when writing checks.
Do I need an LLC to open an account?
A sole proprietorship may be able to open up a business checking account. A Social Security number, employer identification number (EIN) or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) is needed.
Can I open a business checking online?
You might be able to at certain banks. Certain online banks also will let you open an account online. You may also be able to apply for a business checking account online at a brick-and-mortar bank.
Can I open a business checking account at a credit union?
Both FDIC banks and NCUA credit unions offer business checking accounts. Some online banks also offer these checking accounts.
Can I use a personal checking account for business?
Rachel Ivanovich, an enrolled agent and founder of Easy Life Management in Carlsbad, California, says it’s always better to keep your business and personal accounts separate and not commingle funds.
“I tell all of my clients, even if you only have a few transactions and it seems silly to have a separate bank account, do it anyway,” Ivanovich says. “In the long run, as your business grows, you’ll be in the habit of keeping your funds separate. And it makes tracking so much easier. It just makes the accounting cleaner and if you ever do get audited, it’s so much better.”
What’s the difference between a business checking account and a personal checking account?
It is likely to have more restrictions and possible fees, too. For instance, generally in a personal checking account, you’ll write checks and make withdrawals without tracking how many transactions you make. That is because unlike a business account, there usually isn’t a fee based on the number of transactions made or items.
Keeping track of your business’ finances
As a business owner, especially at a small business, you have a lot to keep track of: Bankrate has calculators that may help. You might also opt to use QuickBooks or another software program to help keep track of your business.
Bankrate’s Best Business Checking Accounts for November 2021
|Bank||Checking account name||APY||Monthly fee|
|Bethpage Federal Credit Union||Free Business Checking with Interest||0.20 percent APY||None|
|Capital One||Spark Business Unlimited Checking||N/A||$35|
|LendingClub Bank||Tailored Checking||0.10 percent APY*||$10|
|Regions Bank||Simple Checking Business||N/A||$7|
|Security Service Federal Credit Union||Premium Business Checking||0.15 percent APY**||$20|
|VyStar Credit Union||Small Business Checking||0.10 percent APY***||None|
*On balances of $5,000 or more.
**On balances of $1,500 or more.
***On balances of $2,500 or more.
Note: The annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Nov. 16, 2021. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated. The rates for some products may vary by region.