Best Free Business Checking Accounts in 2022

With so much choice, finding the best free checking account can seem like quite a challenge for starting entrepreneurs.

In this review of the Best Free Business Checking Accounts in 2022, we break down the pros and cons of each banking service, show you how to open a free business checking account online with no deposit, and consider what you should look out for when finding a free business checking account.

Recommended Service: Relay's online business checking account and money management platform is tailored towards small businesses.


Best Free Business Checking Accounts

There are several factors that you should consider when deciding how to open a free business checking account online with no deposit. We have provided our breakdown below.

Our Approach to Finding the Best Free Business Checking Services:

  • Cost assessment: Is there a monthly service fee involved? If yes, is there a way to avoid it?
  • Bank requirements: How strict are the requirements of each business checking account? We also considered whether each online business banking platform is available for foreign owners of US businesses.
  • Number of useful features and integrations: Are any useful discounts offered (e.g., Google Ad discounts, accounting software integrations, etc.).
  • Security: What precautions are taken to ensure safe transactions? Is each small business bank account FDIC insured?

Best Overall Option: Relay

Relay offers a small business checking account through its online money management platform. 

Relay offers its users two subscription packages:

Relay Standard: $0 Monthly Service Fee 

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No minimum opening deposit requirement
  • $0 bounced checks
  • Cash withdrawals in 32,000 AllPoint ATMs
  • 24/7 customer support service
  • Up to 20 no-fee checking accounts
  • Up to 50 virtual or physical debit Mastercards
  • Payments via ACH, wire, or check
  • Ability to invite team members to Relay
  • Automated spending limits for team members
  • Third-party integrations, including Xero and Quickbooks Online
  • iOS, Android, and Web app availability
  • Third-party integrations (e.g., Expensify, Gusto, Plaid, Wise, etc.)
  • Online and mobile banking check deposits
  • One to two-day ACH delivery time
  • Domestic wires available for $5
  • Partner Program
  • Client Portal

Relay Pro: $30 Monthly Service Fee

  • Automatic importation of bills from Quickbooks Online and Xero
  • Ability to view, approve, and pay all bills from a single dashboard
  • Ability to set up and automate multi-stage approval workflows for bills
  • Ability to pay bills in batches
  • Free domestic and international wires
  • Free same-day ACH transfers
  • Same-day ACH delivery time
  • Auto-import bills from QuickBooks Online and Xero
  • Multi-step approval rules for bill payments to increase security

Schedule of Fees Summary

  • Direct deposits or ACH Transfers initiated from an outside financial institution: Limited to $1 million/day
  • Wires initiated from an outside financial institution: Limited to $1 million/day
  • ACH Transfers: Limited to $100,000/day
  • Wires: Limited to $200,000/day
  • Bill Pay Checks: Limited to $40,000/day
  • Internal Transfers: Limited to $1 million/day

Relay Pros and Cons

PROS

  • 4.5 stars on Trustpilot
  • Free Relay Demo offered with live Q&A
  • Relay Partner Program, with which you can earn very generous revenue share and discounts by adding clients (e.g., 17% revenue share by adding 10 clients, etc.)
  • Collect payments from PayPal, Stripe, Square, and much more
  • No account fee option
  • No withdrawal fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • No account minimums
  • High security — accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000, cards are covered by Mastercard’s Zero Liability Policy, and two-factor authentication for logins is provided
  • As an accountant, you can log in to multiple clients’ Relay accounts by using one set of credentials. This means you do not need to share client passwords and 2FA codes.
  • Extremely scalable — very high limits on wires, direct deposits, and ACH transfers
  • Available to foreign owners of US businesses

CONS

  • Not as many integrations and free rewards as other providers
  • Relatively high monthly fee, although this is made up through the no-fee financial transactions
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Recommended: Try Relay’s premium digital banking platform for small businesses.

*Relay is a financial technology company, not a bank. Relay deposits are insured for up to $250,000 per user through Evolve Bank & Trust, member FDIC.

Optimum for Venture-Backed Startups: Brex

Brex comes in at a close second place. Its free business checking account offers no account, domestic and international transactions, as well as no minimum balance fees. 

Brex stood out to us because — despite its very low fees — it offers an exceptionally high number of bonuses, discounts, and other rewards. These can be very financially convenient for small business owners.

Brex Business Checking Account: $0 Monthly Service Fee

  • No account fees
  • No transaction fees
  • No hidden fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Live chat, phone, and email support
  • Can create up to eight different accounts in Brex mobile banking app or dashboard to separate operational expenses
  • Can schedule payments to and from any account
  • Unlimited transactions when it comes to ACH and wire transfers
  • Fee-free international transfers 
  • Can deposit checks for free
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000

Schedule of Fees Summary

  • Domestic ACH: No cost
  • International ACH: No cost
  • Checks: No cost, sending and receiving
  • Domestic wire transfers: No cost, incoming and outgoing
  • International wire transfers: No cost, incoming and outgoing
  • Account maintenance fees: None
  • Account opening fees: None

Brex Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Expedited payments for ecommerce platforms, including Amazon, PayPal, Shopify, Square, and Stripe
  • High number of third-party integrations: Rippling, Gusto, Expensify, QuickBooks, Xero, Slack, and much more
  • Partner perks worth over $150,000
  • Up to $100,000 credits via AWS Activate
  • 3x rewards on eligible Apple purchases, including hardware purchases
  • 40% off your first 12 months of QuickBooks
  • 50% discount every time you ship with UPS
  • Up to 150% in Google Ads
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000 per account
  • No transaction, account, or international fees
  • No monthly fee
  • Brex credit card available
  • Available to foreign owners of US businesses
  • No minimum deposit

CONS

  • Needs a pre-existing business bank account — you must connect at least one Linked Account to your Brex account (these are required to be business bank accounts)
  • Must be in business for six months and be venture-backed to be considered for an account
  • Cannot be used to withdraw money from an ATM
  • Cannot deposit cash into your Brex account
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Recommended: Looking for a zero-fee business account? Check out Brex.

Great for Ecommerce Businesses: Novo

Novo is a financial technology banking platform that is sponsored by Middlesex Federal Savings.

Novo offers a great business checking account for all small businesses, but we found that it is especially beneficial for those specializing in ecommerce. This is because it offers several payment processing integrations (e.g., Shopify, eBay, etc.) that allow businesses to get paid faster.

Novo also offers 100% refunds for all ATM fees, both inside and outside the US.

Novo Business Checking Account: $0 Monthly Service Fee

  • Free ACH transfers
  • Free mailed checks
  • Free incoming wires
  • FDIC Insurance
  • No minimum daily balance
  • Refunds all ATM fees
  • Thousands of dollars in exclusive perks
  • One virtual card for immediate and secure spending
  • High number of integrations, including QuickBooks, Shopify, Stripe, Xero, Slack, Wise, eBay, and Etsy
  • No early closing fee
  • No monthly service charge

Schedule of Fees Summary

  • No account, transaction, or deposit fees
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum amount required: $50
  • Insufficient funds charge: $27
  • Uncollected funds returned fee: $27

Novo Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Very secure — includes EMV chip, bank-grade encryption, and a disposable virtual card
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000
  • Accounting software integrations
  • $20,000 in fee-free card processing with Stripe
  • 6% cashback on all Booking.com trips when you pay with your Novo debit card
  • $3,000 in Google Cloud credits
  • 100% discount on the first three months of any Gusto package
  • 40% discount on the first six months of any QuickBooks Online package
  • 30% discount off first year HubSpot subscription, as well as 15% for all the following years
  • $25,000 in segment credit for the first two years
  • Free six months on any Zendesk Suite licenses
  • $150 in Snapchat ads credits 
  • Online and mobile banking check deposits

CONS

  • Only US residents are eligible for Novo's business accounts
  • Limited industries — if you work with cryptocurrencies, privately-owned ATMs, or gambling, you will be unable to use Novo
  • Minimum balance required to open is $0, but the minimum amount required is $50
  • Some Novo Apps' advanced functionalities may incur fees charged by Novo's partners (e.g., Wise integration, etc.)
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Recommended: Novo's prolific integrations make it a recommended banking service for ecommerce businesses. 

*Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; member FDIC.

Great for In-Person Banking: Chase

If you have to make regular free cash deposits, Chase's business checking account may be ideal for you.

Chase offers several ways that small businesses can avoid paying monthly maintenance fees.

Chase offers three different business checking accounts:

Chase Business Complete Banking: $15 or $0 Monthly Service Fee

  • $2,000 of minimum daily balance, deposits from Chase QuickAccept, or Chase Ink Business Card purchases are needed to obtain a monthly service fee waiver
  • Unlimited debit card and Chase ATM transactions
  • Up to 20 teller and paper transactions
  • $5,000 in cash deposits per statement cycle without a fee

Chase Performance Business Checking: $30 or $0 Monthly Service Fee

  • A combined average beginning day balance of $35,000 needs to be maintained in order to obtain a monthly service fee waiver
  • 250 transactions per month at no charge
  • Unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wires free of charge
  • $20,000 in free cash deposits every statement cycle
  • Can accept credit and business debit cards at the counter, on the go, or online via Chase Payments Solutions

Chase Platinum Business Checking: $95 or $0 monthly service fee

  • No monthly fee if you maintain a $100,000 combined average beginning day balance
  • 500 transactions per month at no charge
  • Unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wires
  • $25,000 in cash deposits per statement cycle without a fee
  • Can obtain a CPC relationship status and monthly fee waiver with a $50,000 balance

Chase Pros and Cons

PROS

  • More than 5,000 branch locations and over 17,000 ATMs
  • Largest US bank, most assets
  • Numerous business bank account types, lots of versatility
  • Great mobile app and website
  • Several ways to eliminate fees
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Potentially avoidable monthly fee — for example, the Chase Total Checking account allows users to avoid the $12 monthly fee if they satisfy certain transactional and account-finance requirements

CONS

  • Business savings account interest rates are on the lower end
  • Premium business checking is expensive — their Platinum Business Checking account costs approximately $95 per month

To open a business checking account with Chase, visit a branch or fill out an online application. You’ll need your business formation documents, EIN, and ID.

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Recommended: Chase is great for brick and mortar businesses that need a local branch to make cash deposits.

Ideal for Freelancers and Solopreneurs: Lili

Lili is a fintech business that offers a free online business checking account service through its partner — The Bancorp Bank — who is a member of the FDIC. 

Similar to Relay, Lili offers two business checking accounts:

Lili Standard: $0 Monthly Service Fee

  • No minimum daily balance requirements
  • Automatic savings features
  • Built-in expense tracking
  • Expedited payments (i.e., up to two days faster)
  • Free ATM withdrawals in over 38,000 ATMs

Lili Pro: $4.99 Monthly Fee

  • Visa Business Debit Card with cashback features
  • Fee-free overdraft up to $200 per account
  • Advanced tracking to assist with tax deductions
  • Ability to create and send an unlimited number of invoices
  • Generous cash back program (e.g., Mailchimp, Microsoft, TaxAct, etc.)

Schedule of Fees Summary

  • Direct deposit: Capped at $25,000 per day, or $50,000 per month.
  • Monthly cash deposit capability: $9,000 per month
  • ACH inbound Pro: Capped at $1,000 per day, or $5,000 per month
  • ACH inbound standard: Capped at $500 per day, or $2,000 per month

Lili Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Expense management — businesses can categorize different expenses from Lili's online and mobile banking app in real-time 
  • If you deposit money from online platforms into your basic business checking account, you can get your money up to two days earlier (e.g., Uber, Lyft, Shopify, etc.)
  • No opening deposit
  • No hidden fees
  • Business cashback rewards on everyday purchases
  • Highly secure — FDIC insured, real-time transaction notifications, ability to freeze and unfreeze debit cards at any time through your app
  • Three-minute sign registration
  • Can find locations of free withdrawal ATMs within Lili app
  • Lili pre-fills your annual 1040 Schedule C form, saving time when you need to file it with your accountant or with the IRS
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Very affordable
  • Can use Lili debit card internationally anywhere where VISA is accepted
  • “Auto-Saving” service
  • Invoicing tool to manage your bookkeeping by creating an unlimited amount of invoices through Lili's online and mobile banking app
  • Can save and download all invoices as PDF documents directly from Lili mobile app

CONS

  • Funding limits can be inconvenient unless it’s a very small business (e.g., $2,000 a month in ACH Inbound, etc.)
  • No 24/7 hour support — available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. EST
  • Business accounts only available for single-owner LLCs and sole proprietorships
  • Foreign Activity: If you move outside of the US or have frequent international transactions, you may be contacted for additional verification of your address. If you “will not be returning to the US, your account may be closed”
  • Does not accept deposits in foreign funds or checks drawn from banks outside the US
  • Cannot make deposits at an ATM
  • No wire transfers
  • No checks 
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Recommended Service: Check out Lili's services if you are a freelancer or very small business owner. 

*Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group, member FDIC.

Final Thoughts

In summary, you should keep in mind that finding the right free business checking account will ultimately come down to your business's specificities.

As a small business, you want to find an online bank that will give you "everything you need", whilst avoiding paying for extras that you do not necessarily need or will seldom use.

Here’s some good general advice that you should keep in mind when comparing business checking accounts:

  • Look for banks that offer free business checking accounts
  • Sort out the free banks offering the lowest fees
  • Search for free banks offering the highest interest rates
  • Pick banks most suitable for your business type (e.g., brick-and-mortar vs. online business, etc.)

For more information, see our guide on how to open a business checking account.

Best Free Business Checking Accounts FAQs

Does US bank offer a good small business checking account?

US Bank is a great option for small business owners. It offers the following features and benefits: 

  • 125 free transactions per month
  • Can deposit cash 25 times for free each month
  • More than 2,000 branches in 26 states
  • Over $573 million in assets

Keep in mind that you will be charged $0.50 per transaction for all transactions following the 125 free ones.

Can I open a business checking account online?

Yes, all of our recommended banking services and cash management account options allow businesses to open business checking accounts online.

Having said that, the information that they will require, as well as the time that it will take them to open your account, can vary significantly.

Can I use a regular checking account for business?

You can technically use a personal checking account for your business, but this is not recommended for several reasons.

Besides helping you distinguish between your business and personal finances — and making for a more "streamlined" accounting process — getting a free business checking account is extremely important if you own an incorporated business (e.g., LLC, corporation, etc.) because it can help you avoid piercing the corporate veil.

This is because a free business checking account demonstrates that you are treating your business as a separate entity to yourself.

Should I use Bank of America's business checking account?

Bank of America's business checking account offers the following features and benefits:

  • 3925 branches located in 37 states
  • No monthly fee option
  • Can have multiple business checking accounts and business savings accounts
  • Business Advantage Relationship Banking for larger businesses.
  • Bank of America business debit card

Having said that, users should keep in mind that:

  • Bank of America's online banking platform offers relatively low interest rates. You will likely be able to find a much more competitive interest rate banking service.
  • There are additional fees for wire transfers and account management tools
  • A minimum opening deposit can be required

Which best business bank account should I open?

The best basic business checking account for you will depend on your business's needs.

If your budget is very low, you may want to prioritize a small business checking account that has no fees, even if it doesn't offer as many discounts and secondary benefits as some of the alternatives.

On the other hand, your business's finances may mean that you are happy to pay a small monthly fee in exchange for faster payment integrations and increased integrations with accountancy tools — among other benefits.

At the same time, there are several premium online cash management account options that come with no monthly fees and still offer several benefits. A few examples include:

  • Relay
  • Chase Bank
  • Novo
  • Lili

You should always consider your business's fundamental needs when comparing business checking accounts.

What is the easiest bank account to open online?

The "easiest" business bank account to open will be different for each business.

This is because each online banking platform can request different personal and business identification documents in accordance with Section 326 of the Patriot Act.

Where some basic business checking account services may simply require a personal identification document and your business's registration documents (e.g., Articles of Incorporation, EIN, SSN, etc.), others can require much more (e.g., proof of physical address, US phone number, etc.).

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