best business checking accounts for freelancers

In the ever-evolving landscape of freelance and entrepreneurial work, finding the right financial tools to manage income, expenses, and taxes is paramount. As such, choosing a business checking account becomes not just a matter of convenience but a strategic decision that can impact the ease of managing cash flow, the benefits of financial perks, and the minimization of fees.

We’ve found the best business checking accounts for freelancers and entrepreneurs, spotlighting those catering to their unique needs. From accounts that offer seamless integration with popular payment systems to those providing invaluable financial advice and low-fee structures, we’ll help you make an informed decision that supports your business’s growth and financial health.

Best Business Checking Accounts For Freelancers and Entrepreneurs

Business Checking AccountBest Feature
BluevineEarns high interest on balances up to $100,000
ChaseOffers a $300 bonus for new clients and various ways to waive the monthly fee
FoundIntegrates accounting and tax features directly into your banking experience
NovoOffers unlimited ATM fee rebates and direct integration with business tools
LiliAutomatically sets aside taxes and categorizes expenses for freelancers.
TruistOffers a $300 bonus for new clients and various ways to waive the monthly fee
GrasshopperOffers digital banking with no monthly fees and unlimited transactions.
MercuryTailored for tech startups with advanced banking tools and API integrations

1. Bluevine

bluevine

The Bluevine Business Checking account is an innovative financial solution tailored specifically for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Designed to meet the unique needs of small business owners, it offers a suite of features that promote ease of use and financial efficiency. Notably, it provides a high-yield interest rate of 2.00% on balances up to $100,000, which is rare in business banking.

This means that freelancers and entrepreneurs can earn more from their savings, helping to grow their businesses faster. Additionally, the account boasts no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, and unlimited transactions, ensuring business owners can manage their finances without worrying about unnecessary costs.

BlueVine’s business checking account is highly regarded for its user-friendly online banking platform and efficient mobile app, allowing seamless fund management, invoice generation, and payment processing. The convenience of having a digital-first banking experience means that freelancers and entrepreneurs can focus more on their core business activities rather than being bogged down by complex financial management tasks.

With the integration of advanced security measures, BlueVine ensures that its clients’ financial assets are protected at all times, providing peace of mind alongside its financial services.

Read our Bluevine Review

2. Chase Business Complete Checking

chase

The Chase Business Complete Checking Account is a comprehensive checking account designed to meet the diverse needs of freelancers and entrepreneurs. It offers a balanced mix of features to support the financial operations of small businesses, including low minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees and various ways to waive these fees entirely, making it accessible for businesses at various stages of growth.

When you open a Chase Business Complete Banking Checking Account, you’ll earn $300 for completing qualifying activities. This includes:

  1. Deposit $2,000 in new funds into your account within 30 days of offer enrollment.
  2. Maintain at least a daily balance of $2,000 for 60 days.
  3. Complete five qualifying transactions within 90 days of offer enrollment.

What makes the Chase Business Complete Checking Account particularly appealing to freelancers and entrepreneurs is its integration with other Chase business services, including merchant services and business credit cards, which can streamline financial management and potentially offer rewards that benefit the business.

The account also supports QuickAccept, a feature that allows businesses to accept card payments directly through the Chase Mobile app or a contactless mobile card reader. This facilitates immediate cash flow, a critical factor for small businesses’ success.

Read our Chase Business Complete Checking Review

3. Found Business Checking

found

Found Banking is a modern financial platform designed for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It offers a suite of features tailored to the unique needs of independent business owners. This digital-first banking solution stands out for its no-fee model, which includes no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, or overdraft fees.

Found’s standout feature is its built-in accounting software, which automatically categorizes transactions for tax deductions, tracks expenses, and generates financial reports. Integrating banking and accounting functions in one platform simplifies financial management, saving users valuable time and effort.

For freelancers and entrepreneurs who juggle multiple responsibilities, Found Banking’s ability to issue invoices directly from the account and its real-time tax savings suggestions are particularly beneficial. The platform estimates taxes on each deposit made into the account, helping users set aside the right amount for tax payments and avoid year-end surprises.

Additionally, the ease of setting up and managing a Found account and its powerful expense tracking and tax planning tools make it a great choice for those looking to streamline their financial operations. Found’s focus on providing a comprehensive, hassle-free banking experience helps the self-employed focus more on growing their businesses and less on managing their finances.

4. Novo

novo

Novo Business Banking emerges as a compelling option for freelancers and entrepreneurs seeking a modern, efficient way to manage their business finances. This digital-only platform is designed to cater to the needs of small business owners, offering a robust, no-fee checking account that eliminates common banking nuisances such as monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, and transaction fees.

Novo sets itself apart with its easy integration with popular business tools and services, including Stripe, Shopify, and QuickBooks, facilitating seamless financial operations and simplifying reconciliation. This integration capability makes Novo an exceptionally versatile banking solution, allowing entrepreneurs to connect their financial accounts with their operational tools, streamlining their business workflows and improving efficiency.

The account has many unique features, like the ability to send invoices directly from the banking app and access to a reserve feature to set aside funds for taxes, expenses, or savings. These tools are designed with the user’s financial health in mind, providing a straightforward way to manage cash flow and prepare for future expenses.

Novo’s responsive customer support and straightforward, mobile-optimized banking experience ensure that business owners can manage their finances effectively and with minimal hassle, regardless of where they are. By focusing on the specific needs of small businesses and integrating with key financial and operational platforms, Novo Business Banking positions itself as a valuable partner for entrepreneurs and freelancers aiming for growth and financial stability.

Read our Novo Review

5. Lili

lili

Lili Business Checking is a forward-thinking financial solution for the modern freelancer and entrepreneur. It combines traditional banking features with innovative tools tailored for independent workers and small business owners. All at no cost for it’s Lili Basic platform.

One of the standout features of Lili is its fee-free structure; the account does not charge monthly maintenance fees, requires no minimum balance, and offers free mobile check deposits, making it highly accessible for businesses of all sizes. Additionally, Lili’s real-time expense tracking and tax optimization tools are particularly beneficial, helping users categorize transactions on the go and set aside a percentage of income for taxes, simplifying financial management, and year-end tax preparation.

The app’s intuitive design allows users to manage invoices, payments, and expenses in one place, reducing the need for multiple financial tools and services. Lili also offers a unique Emergency Bucket feature, enabling users to automatically save small amounts of money, which can be crucial for unexpected expenses or income fluctuations.

Read our Lili Review

6. Truist Simple Business Checking

truist

Truist Simple Business Checking is tailored for freelancers and entrepreneurs looking for a straightforward and efficient banking experience supporting their business’s growth. This account offers a no-frills approach to business banking, with no monthly maintenance fees for the first 12 months, a low minimum opening deposit requirement, and a generous allowance of free monthly transactions.

Truist (formerly Sun Trust) provides access to a wide network of branches and ATMs across the United States, ensuring business owners can access their funds and in-person support when needed. This blend of accessibility and cost-effectiveness is designed to meet the demands of small business owners who need reliable banking services without unnecessary complications.

Beyond its basic banking features, Truist Simple Business Checking stands out for its focus on enhancing the customer experience with digital tools that streamline banking processes. The Truist online banking platform and mobile app offer intuitive interfaces for managing accounts, transferring funds, and monitoring transactions.

With dedicated business support and the ability to integrate with various business management tools, these digital services underscore Truist’s commitment to facilitating smooth financial operations for freelancers and entrepreneurs. The account’s straightforward structure, the supportive digital ecosystem, and the potential for fee waivers make Truist Simple Business Checking a compelling choice for those starting or looking to simplify their business banking experience.

7. Grasshopper Business Checking

grasshopper

Grasshopper Business Checking stands out as a digital-first banking solution specifically designed for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners seeking a modern and efficient way to handle their banking needs. Unlike traditional banks, Grasshopper eliminates many common barriers to business banking, such as monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, and transaction fees.

This approach makes it incredibly appealing for new and small businesses looking to maximize their financial resources without being weighed down by unnecessary costs. Grasshopper’s platform is built with the user experience in mind, featuring an intuitive online interface and a mobile app that allows for easy management of finances anywhere, anytime. This level of accessibility ensures that business owners can focus on growing their businesses rather than managing banking logistics.

Grasshopper Business Checking is tailored to support the dynamic needs of freelancers and entrepreneurs. Its features include early direct deposit, which can improve cash flow by providing quicker access to funds. Its seamless integration with popular accounting software also helps streamline the reconciliation process, making financial management and tax preparation simpler and more efficient.

Grasshopper also offers innovative tools such as invoicing and the ability to send and receive ACH transfers, which are crucial for managing client payments and expenses. The bank’s commitment to providing a comprehensive banking experience is evident in its personalized customer service and educational resources to help business owners make informed financial decisions. For freelancers and entrepreneurs searching for a banking partner that aligns with the needs of the digital age, Grasshopper Business Checking offers a compelling blend of flexibility, convenience, and support.

8. Mercury

mercury

Mercury Banking is a fintech platform that caters specifically to the needs of startups, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. It offers a suite of financial services designed to support the modern digital business landscape. Unlike traditional banking institutions, Mercury provides a no-fee business checking and savings account, which means no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, or transaction fees.

This approach makes it highly attractive for new and growing businesses looking to keep operational costs low while benefiting from high-quality banking services. Mercury’s accounts are also equipped with advanced features like API access for custom integrations, enabling businesses to automate their financial workflows and connect seamlessly with other tools and services.

Its strong focus on the tech and startup ecosystem sets Mercury apart in the crowded field of business banking solutions. It offers tailored products like treasury management for companies looking to manage their cash more effectively and grow their reserves. Mercury also emphasizes ease of use and efficiency with its sleek, user-friendly online platform and mobile app, which allow business owners to manage their finances on the go, send and receive payments, and get real-time insights into their financial health.

Mercyrt also supports multi-user access, making it easier for teams to collaborate on financial management without compromising security. With its combination of tech-forward features, robust financial tools, and a commitment to simplicity and transparency, Mercury Banking stands out as an excellent choice for freelancers and entrepreneurs who value innovation and efficiency in their banking experience.

Why You Need a Business Checking Account as a Freelancer or Entreprenuer

If you have a small business, it’s important to maintain a clear separation between your finances and your company’s. The easiest way to do this, of course, is to have a dedicated business checking account for managing all of your business’s cash flow.

A business checking account will make it easier to view your current financial situation, track expenses, and watch for incoming funds. A separate business account will make the process easier if you are audited.

While it’s easy to see how a business checking account is imperative for small business owners and entrepreneurs, it might not be as clear for freelancers. And it isn’t a legal requirement, either.

However, a designated account can be key to tracking monthly finances, preparing for a potential audit, or separating home office and work-related expenses for tax deduction purposes. Depending on your tax filing status, you may or may not be able to qualify for a true business checking account as a freelancer. After all, a freelance business is still a business, so it only makes sense to treat it as such.

Instead, you might have to open another personal checking account that you designate for work expenses only. The bank you choose and whether you freelance as an individual, sole proprietor or have an LLC will determine this.

4 Key Factors to Consider with a Business Checking Account

When shopping around for a new business checking account, there are a few things you’ll want to look for that will help you pick the right one. In selecting between these factors, always consider how you plan to use your business checking account, and why your typical usage patterns dictate.

Fees

The less you spend on bank fees, the more money you can keep in your pocket. Therefore, looking for a business checking account that doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees or provides an easy way to waive them makes sense. After all, even a monthly fee of $10-15 can add up to hundreds of dollars a year.

Sometimes, though, these fees are unavoidable. Sometimes, you may opt for a bank that doesn’t waive or charge fees for a more robust account. If that account provides the services you need most and/or you can earn enough interest to offset those fees, it might be worth paying.

Beware of hidden fees, which are fees for activities you might not expect. Common examples include insufficient fund fees, stop payment, monthly service, maintenance, and wire transfer fees.

As with credit card annual fees, be sure that the benefits you receive warrant a monthly checking account fee. Otherwise, do your best to avoid paying one altogether.

Transaction Limits

Transaction limits are just as important as fees (but sometimes overlooked). Limits are placed on certain activities within your account, which will incur fees if you exceed the allotted amount.

Common transaction fees include limits on electronic transactions and checks. Some checking accounts have a cash deposit limit, limiting the number (or amount) of cash deposits you can make monthly.

This speaks to the importance of understanding how you will use your bank account. Consider the type and number of transactions you usually undertake and compare it against any limits on these transactions.

Interest

Certain business checking accounts are interest-earning, which can be a good way to see your money grow if you have a high account balance. However, many interest-earning accounts have certain transaction limits, fees, or a minimum balance requirement that you’ll have to consider. Match these factors against the interest-earning potential to ensure your earnings aren’t canceled.

Interest-earning accounts are usually best for business owners with fewer transactions and much long-term cash.

Accessibility

How do you personally prefer to bank?

If you handle a lot of physical currency or prefer face-to-face banking, you want to choose an institution with local bank branches. If you do all your banking online or through a mobile app, you’ll want to choose a bank with a robust digital platform. An online-only bank will be easier to set up and often has lower fees. Still, the lack of access to a physical location is a real consideration for many business owners.

Therefore, if you choose an online-only bank or prefer to bank online, you need to consider the functionality offered by the app or desktop platform. Important features include online payments, mobile check deposits, bill payments, and invoicing capabilities.

Suppose you regularly deposit or withdraw funds from an ATM. In that case, you should choose a bank with network machines in your area or reimburse account holders for ATM fees. You should also note whether these machines give you access to withdrawals and deposits and whether there is a transaction fee for using the ATMs in your network. ATMs are a common way for a bank to hit you with hidden fees.

On the other hand, if you mainly deal with ACH transfers, choose a bank that allows for such without added fees or hassle.

Choose the business checking account that best matches your personal banking style, not just the one that sounds nice.

Type of Bank

Depending on your business, the type of bank may impact its functionality. Consider whether it’s a local bank, a national U.S. bank, an online-only bank, or even a credit union. Local banks may have certain more relevant features for business in your area. In contrast, national banks provide physical branch access wherever you are, among many other relevant considerations.

How to Set Up a Business Checking Account

Setting up a business bank account doesn’t usually take long, but it can be a bit complex if you don’t have the right information or documentation. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to get started:

  • Register your business. Ensure your business is a legal entity set up as an LLC or something else. If you’re a freelancer and don’t choose this option, find a bank that allows no business EIN (Employer Identification Number), such as Lili.
  • Gather the right paperwork. At a minimum, you’ll usually need your EIN, articles of incorporation (if applicable), and business license. More on this below.
  • Choose a bank. We’ve given you several excellent options here, so the first step is to select the one that best suits your needs. Remember that a true business checking account will require business documentation.
  • Apply. Filling out applications for business bank accounts online is very easy. All of the options we’ve listed above have a streamlined application process.
  • Wait. Unfortunately, you often have to wait while your business information is verified. Some banks promise an account opening in as little as 3 minutes, but from my experience, it takes at least a couple of days for the bank to verify your business.

Related: Business Checking Accounts That Don’t Use ChexSystems

What Do You Need to Open a Business Checking Account?

As I mentioned above, there are a few pieces of information you’re going to need to open a business checking account:

  • Your EIN. Legally registered businesses can get this directly through the IRS. It’s like your business’s Social Security Number.
  • Your own Social Security Number. Your Social Security number is often used to verify ownership, so you’ll need it handy.
  • Proof of incorporation. This is your Articles of Incorporation for an LLC, but other business structures might have other documentation. Either way, you need documentation to prove your business is a legitimate legal entity.
  • Business license. After you get an EIN, you will likely have to register your business officially with the state you’re operating in. This can usually be done directly through the state’s website, but you’ll need this to prove that you’re legally allowed to do business there.

Learn More: How to Open a Business Bank Account

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What can you do with a business checking account?

A business checking account allows you to do the same things you can do with a personal checking account, only for your business. The real benefit is that the account is tied to your business, not you, per se. This also allows you to keep your business and personal expenses separate.

Is transferring money from a business account to a personal account legal?

Transferring money from a business checking account to a personal checking account is usually considered income, so you must account for that at tax time. Consult a legal or tax expert if you have specific questions about paying yourself from your business.

Can I use a personal bank account for business?

You can legally use a personal bank account for business, but it’s not advisable. Using a personal account for business risks mixing your personal expenses and income with business expenses and income.

Not only will that become challenging at tax time, but it could also be considered “piercing the corporate veil” if you’re ever sued—meaning that someone could come after your assets since the two are intermingled.

Does an LLC need a business bank account?

If you have an LLC, you should have a business bank account. Legally, you can keep a personal account separate from all other personal expenses. Still, it’s in your best interest to legally set up a business account using your LLC.

Should I open a business checking account at my personal bank?

Above all, we recommend that you open a business checking account at the bank that offers the most advantageous features and functionality for your business. This being said, your bank may offer incentives for opening another bank account, which are often worth considering.

Additionally, you may already be familiar with the bank’s online and mobile software. With a single login, you can manage your business and personal checking or savings accounts.

Bottom Line

Whether you run a small business or freelancer, you must monitor your finances closely. This will help you maintain a budget even with a variable income and track expenses for tax purposes.

Choosing the right institution depends on how you bank, how much money you tend to keep in your account, and your financial management priorities. Luckily, there are some great banks to choose from when shopping for a new business checking account.

Related: Best Bank Account for Startups

Author

  • Stephanie Colestock

    Stephanie Colestock is a respected financial writer based in Washington, DC. Her work can be found on sites such as Investopedia, Credit Karma, Quicken, The Balance, Motley Fool, and more, covering a range of topics such as family finances, planning for the future, optimizing credit, and getting out of debt.

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