best bank accounts for startups

A major hurdle in running a successful startup is managing your finances. That is, after coming up with an idea, securing funding, and building a team.

From accepting payments to paying for expenses, you need a bank account that can handle a variety of tasks. We looked at some of the best bank accounts for startups to help you find the best option for your business needs and listed them below.

The Best Bank Accounts for Startups

1. Chase Business Complete Banking®

chase business

JP Morgan Chase Bank, the parent company of Chase Bank, is a major provider of banking and financial products in the U.S. Choosing a business bank account from Chase may come with a few extra fees compared to other options, but you can be sure you’re getting a reliable banking experience for your startup.

Chase Business Complete Banking is great if your business needs access to other banking products, specifically credit cards and business loans. As a full-service bank, Chase can offer a variety of financial services, such as merchant services for retail businesses.

But if you’re a larger company or have a lot of transactions, you’ll probably need to opt for a higher-fee premium account from Chase or consider other banking options.

  • Best for: Small businesses who want a variety of financial services but don’t have a lot of transactions.
  • Biggest drawback: Transaction limits may not suffice for a rapidly growing company.

Basic Details of Chase Business Banking

  • Minimum Balance: No minimum balance. But if you want to avoid the $15 monthly service fee, you’ll need a balance of at least $2,000.
  • APY: None
  • Transaction Limits: Unlimited debit card purchases and Chase ATM transactions, and up to $5,000 no-fee cash deposits per statement period.
  • Fees: $15 monthly service fee, waived if you meet eligibility requirements
  • Credit Cards: Chase offers four different Ink business credit cards to fit almost any business.
  • Loans: There are various business loan offerings from Chase, from SBA loans to commercial financing, and a business line of credit.
  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • International Availability: No

Read our Chase Business Checking® Review

2. Lili Bank

lili

Lili is a straightforward, simple online checking account designed for freelancers. That means you’ll need to use your real name and Social Security number to sign up for an account. There are no credit cards or rewards, but there aren’t any fees, either. Plus, Lili’s tax tools make your life easier come tax time.

Lili is best for freelancers who don’t have a lot of monthly or large transactions. The transaction limits make it difficult to use Lili if you’re making large transfers each month or making a lot of individual sales that require multiple transactions. However, if you need a business checking account that makes it easy to see your spending and automate your savings as you get your freelance business up and running, Lili could be a good fit.

  • Best for: Freelancers or one-person operations.
  • Biggest drawback: Lili caps individual checks at $10,000, which can be an issue as your business grows.

Basic Details of Lili

  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: Lili offers a savings account with a 4.15% APY
  • Transaction Limits: Card transitions are limited to $10,000/day (no monthly limit), ATM withdrawals are limited to $1,000, and mobile check deposits are capped at $50,000/month and $10,000/day, with a maximum of $10,000 per check
  • Fees: Depends on the plan. Plans range from free for the basic to $25 for the premium plan
  • Credit Cards: No
  • Loans: None
  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • International Availability: No

Read our Lili Review

3. Bluevine

bluevine

Bluevine offers a modern approach to business banking. Unlike traditional banks, which often have minimum balance requirements and fees, Bluevine is a no-fee bank account for your startup business. You’ll also earn interest on your balance up to $250,000. Bluevine doesn’t offer business credit cards, but you can improve business cash flow through a business line of credit.

Bluevine is an ideal business banking option for small businesses that are just getting started, though the limited balance to earn interest may not make sense for a larger startup or a business that has investor backing. With no fees, free in-network ATM access, and payment schedules, Bluevine provides a great basic business bank account for founders and small business owners.

  • Best for: Tech-friendly business owners who are just starting
  • Biggest drawback: No business credit card offering

Basic Details of Bluevine

  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: 2.00% APY on balances up to and including $250,000
  • Transaction Limits: None, other than a $10,000/day limit on debit card purchases and $2,000/day for cash withdrawals
  • Fees: The standard plan is free, while the premiere plan is $95/month
  • Credit Cards: No
  • Loans: Business Lines of Credit, and Paycheck Protection Program
  • FDIC Insured: Yes, and insured up to an impressive $3 million
  • International Availability: No

Read our Bluevine Review

4. Mercury

mercury

Mercury bank accounts are geared toward tech startups or businesses that don’t deal in cash. The bank doesn’t allow you to make cash deposits or withdrawals from ATMs, so this could be a dealbreaker if you have a lot of cash transactions.

Mercury offers a fair amount of features for your startup, from FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts to employee debit and credit cards with personalized limits, plus your standard ACH, wires, checks, and foreign exchange payment options.

It also gives tech founders access to resources that could help them grow their business. This includes a business blog, podcast, and Mercury Raise which connects Mercury customers in the seed phase with potential investors. If you’re a tech or low-cash business that’s hoping to raise capital in the future, Mercury could be a good fit.

  • Best for: Cash-free startups looking for venture capital
  • Biggest drawback: Mercury doesn’t deal with cash, so if your business does, it makes sense to look into other options.

Basic Details of Mercury

  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: Up to 5.47%* yield on Mercury Treasury, the bank’s money market account
  • Transaction Limits: None
  • Fees: None, except 1% on currency exchanges
  • Credit Cards: Yes, plus you’ll earn 1.5% cash back
  • Loans: No
  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • International Availability: No

5. First Republic Bank Analyzed Checking

first republic bank

First Republic Business Analyzed Checking was created to serve startups with high volumes of transactions and cash management. If you deal with a lot of cash or need to make a lot of transactions, a First Republic account could help offset potential transaction fees or limitations of online-only banks.

The downside to banking in person with the First Republic is their limited locations and potential fees. If your earnings allowance doesn’t cover your fees, they’re withdrawn from your account. As for locations, First Republic can be found throughout California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

  • Best for: Startups with lots of transactions and cash flow
  • Biggest drawback: Limited locations

Basic Details of First Republic Bank Analyzed Checking

  • Minimum Balance: $5,000 to open an account
  • APY: None, but you’ll get an earnings allowance that can be used to offset banking fees
  • Transaction Limits: No
  • Fees: $30/month
  • Credit Cards: No
  • Loans: commercial real estate and construction loans, plus business lines of credit.
  • FDIC Insured: Yes
  • International Availability: No

Brex Business Account

brex business

The Brex Business Account has all the features you’d want and need in a bank account for your business, from no opening or minimum deposits, no transaction limits, and no monthly fees. You’ll also get free and unlimited incoming and outgoing wires.

Brex has a plethora of features, from Brex Bill Pay to Brex Expenses, and a robust app, which allows you to send free ACH and wire transfers on the go. It also allows you to spread your cash out among several different banks, which gives you higher FDIC insurance.

While you can certainly keep your cash liquid with Brex (and thus, retain FDIC insurance), you can also invest it in a money market and earn 4.94% APY. The Brex card is one of this account’s strong suits. This prepaid credit card allows you to pay bills daily or monthly and can help you build your business credit seamlessly.

  • Best for: Larger companies who want more FDIC protection.
  • Biggest drawback: Qualifying for a Brex account can be difficult.

Basic Details of Brex Business

  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: None
  • Transaction Limits: No
  • Fees: None
  • Credit Cards: Yes, Brex Card
  • Loans: No
  • FDIC Insured: Yes, if you keep your cash uninvested
  • International Availability: No

How We Chose the Best Bank Accounts for Startups

To find the best banks for startups, we combed through top-rated banks and business accounts. We looked for banks that provide special features for small businesses and those in the startup phase. We considered cost, features, transaction limits, and even whether or not they offer credit cards in tandem with a checking account.

Whether you’re a tech startup that wants an online-only experience or you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer that wants a branch within driving distance, our list has what you’re looking for.

Remember to Separate Your Startup and Personal Accounts

The most important reason to open a business checking account is to keep your business and personal finances separate. When you start mixing money from your business with your personal accounts, you open yourself up to liability and tax headaches.

Having a separate business account protects both your personal finances and your business, plus makes financial record-keeping a lot easier on yourself or your accounting team.

What to Look for in a Business Bank Account for Your Startup

There are a few questions to ask before you choose a bank account for your small business:

  • What are the fees and can they be waived?
  • Is my money FDIC-insured?
  • Will I need other financial products, like credit cards or a business loan? Does this account offer those services?
  • What are the translation limits?
  • Do I want access to a branch for in-person banking or am I tech-savvy enough to manage my finances online?

Keep an eye on fees

As a startup owner, saving (and making!) money is probably one of your top priorities. The last thing you want is to be paying money to manage your money. That’s why you should closely look into the fees of any bank account you may use for your business.

In addition to account maintenance fees, smaller fees can quickly add up and cost your business a lot of money. For example, some banks charge per transaction. This means you could be paying a fee every time you make a payment or receive a deposit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I need a credit card for my startup? 

A lot of business owners opt for a business credit card to cover expenses and earn rewards. However, you don’t have to have a credit card to pay for expenses. You can use a debit card, checks, or other payment options until you’re ready for a business credit card.

Is this a long-term decision?

Keep in mind that you don’t have to stay with the same bank forever. While you should try to find a bank that’s a good fit for your business and establish a long-term relationship, your business needs will likely change over the years. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate your banking needs now and then to make sure your bank is still meeting them.

The Bottom Line

Finding the right bank for your startup might seem intimidating, but there are a lot of options available. And, with the influx of banks in the fintech space, finding affordable business banking with all the features you need is easier than ever before.

Review each option above and figure out what is most important for your startup. After signing up for a new bank account, monitor closely, and don’t be afraid to try a different account if you don’t like what you see.

Author

  • Tara Seboldt

    Tara Seboldt is an experienced personal finance writer with a professional background in financial services. She has a passion for taking traditionally boring topics and explaining them in a way that’s a little more exciting for an everyday reader. Her expertise includes insurance, real estate, credit and loans, personal finance, and small business finance. When she’s not writing, you can find Tara hiking, camping, and skiing the Idaho mountains with her husband and their Border Collie, Rudi. You can learn more about Tara at Seboldt.com [http://seboldt.com/].