Best Banks for Small-Business Checking 2021

Which bank deserves your business’s business? Our ranking of the best small-business checking accounts can help you decide.
Best overall
BlueVine
BlueVine
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Interest-bearing checking
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Easy cash deposits
Fastest approval
Small Business Bank
Small Business Bank
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Same-day account approval
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Long customer service hours
Best personal account
N B K C Bank Logo
NBKC Bank
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Business and personal accounts
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Free money market add-on
Best for scaling
Axos
Axos Bank
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Several checking accounts
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Choices for all business sizes
Best integrations
Novo bank logo
Novo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Integrations with other apps
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Discounts for other products

Checking out your checking account options? Then you’ll love our rankings of the best banks for small-business checking.

Below, we’ve identified which banks have the best checking and what makes them stand out. And because we want you to have all the information you need, we’ve even named a few banks that you’re better off steering clear of.

Let’s take a look at your checking account choices.

2021’s best small-business checking accounts

Compare the top small-business checking accounts

Bank
Type
Lowest monthly fee
Min. opening deposit
Free transactions per month
Get a Bank Account
BlueVineOnline$0$0Unlimited
Small Business Bank

Online

$0

$5

Unlimited

NBKC BankOnline$0$5Unlimited

Axos Bank

Online

$0

$1000

Unlimited

Novo

Online

$0

$50

Unlimited

Citizens

Traditional

$0

$1

200

KeyBank

Traditional

$5

$25

200

TD Bank

Traditional

$10

$25

200

SunTrust

Traditional

$5

$100

50

Huntington Bank

Traditional

$0

$0

100

Data effective 2/15/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

BlueVine: Best overall small-business checking account

BlueVine
Our verdict
BlueVine’s free interest-bearing business checking account offers the best value for most businesses.

BlueVine offers the best small-business checking account we’ve found.

Let’s start with the coolest feature: BlueVine checking accounts earn interest on balances of less than $100,000. And it offers a great interest rate too―you’ll earn 1% on your account balance. (That’s 20 times the average interest rate for business checking accounts.)1

But BlueVine isn’t all show and no substance―it’s a great account even if you set the interest rate aside. See, BlueVine offers free business checking, so you don’t have to make a minimum deposit to get an account, you won’t pay a monthly maintenance fee, you won’t have to maintain a minimum balance, and you don’t have to worry about transaction fees or other common banking fees.

Plus, as an online bank, BlueVine is available in all 50 states. So no matter where you happen to do business, you can use BlueVine.

Unlike other online banks, though, BlueVine makes it easy to deposit cash into your checking account. You can make a cash deposit at any Green Dot location (often found in Walmarts, Walgreens, and other stores) for a small fee. Wouldn’t you rather deposit cash while running errands than make a special trip to the bank?

With all that, it’s easy to see why we say BlueVine has the best business checking account for most business owners.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Interest-bearing checking
Pro Bullet Easy cash deposits
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet No interest on balances $100,000
Con Bullet No branch locations

Small Business Bank: Fastest account approval

Small Business Bank
Our verdict
Small Business Bank has a fast approval process on its free checking account, so you can start banking right away.

Can’t wait several days to get approved for a checking account? Go with Small Business Bank.

Small Business Bank brags that it usually approves accounts either the day you apply or the day after. (Many other banks admit their process can take days or even weeks.) And even if Small Business Bank ends up requiring a little extra paperwork from you, it has nice, long customer support hours―giving you time to get everything in.

And don’t worry―Small Business Bank has more than account-opening speed going for it. It’s also quite affordable, since Small Business Bank doesn’t charge a monthly service charge or any transaction fees on its checking account (though unlike truly fee-free banks, you may encounter an nonsufficient funds fee or an incoming wire fee).

Why wait around to get approved? With Small Business Bank, you could have free business checking this time tomorrow.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Same-day account approval
Pro Bullet Long customer support hours
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Potential fees on free account
Con Bullet Outdated website and app

NBKC Bank: Best personal accounts

N B K C Bank Logo
Our verdict
NBKC has solid business accounts and personal accounts, so you can do all your checking with one bank.

Ever feel like you have too many accounts with too many companies? NBKC Bank can help you cut through the (account) clutter with its business and personal bank accounts.

See, NBKC is the rare bank that has both a great business checking account and a great personal checking account. (None of the banks above even offer personal banking.) Both accounts come free, with no monthly fees or transaction fees.

To make things even better, the business checking account lets you add on a free money market savings account, which comes with a competitive interest rate. And the personal checking account happens to earn interest too (also at a very competitive rate). Just note that NBKC has some of the more limited support hours out there, so it might be the best choice if you regularly do nighttime banking.

Even so, NBKC’s personal and business accounts make it a great bank for people who want to keep things simple―and in the same place.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Business and personal accounts
Pro Bullet Free business money market add-on
Pro Bullet Available in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Mediocre customer reviews
Con Bullet Limited support hours

Axos Bank: Best for scaling businesses

Axos
Our verdict
Axos Bank has enough types of accounts and other banking products to satisfy businesses at many stages and sizes.

Planning on growing your business a lot? Axos Bank can keep up.

Axos Bank offers checking accounts for businesses of many sizes. It offers an affordable basic checking account for small businesses that need a cheap solution, an interest-bearing account for businesses with higher account balances, and analyzed checking for commercial power-users.

You’ll also find other types of bank accounts and banking services. Because while you may just need a checking account right now, you’ll probably need more from your bank―like merchant services or treasury management―as your business grows.

So rather than switch banks as your business scales, let Axos Bank grow alongside your business.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Variety of business checking accounts
Pro Bullet Accounts for small and large businesses
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet High minimum opening deposits
Con Bullet Negative customer reviews

Novo: Best integrations and discounts

Novo bank logo

Our verdict

Novo integrates with and gives you discounts on other business software, making it a real team player of a checking account.

In most cases, you need more than just a business checking account to run a successful company. Novo gets that, and it helps by giving you great integrations and discounts.

Novo understands that you’ll need payment processing, accounting software, a business website, and other business services. So Novo offers some very helpful software integrations. For example, Novo integrates with payment processors like Stripe, accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero, and even communication software like Slack. That way, your business bank account can work with your other business essentials.

Plus, Novo tries to make it easier for you to get the other software and services you need by offering “perks,” or discounts for other business-related companies. These include discounts on some of the software we just mentioned (like Stripe and QuickBooks), but also on travel sites (Booking.com), marketing services (like Google Ads and Snapchat Ads), and even staff scheduling software. It’s a nice bonus for Novo customers.

All of which is to say that if you want your business checking account to work as part of your larger business ecosystem, Novo’s perks and integrations make it the checking account for you.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Integrations with other apps
Pro Bullet Discounts for other products
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet No cash deposits or outgoing wires
Con Bullet Mediocre customer reviews

Honorable mentions

We love the banks above, but they aren’t your only good options. We’ve got five more checking accounts to recommend.

Heads up though: The banks recommended above all happen to be online banks, which means you can use them no matter where your business operates. But with traditional banks, like our honorable mentions, your location matters. So keep in mind that you may not be able to use the banks below, depending on where you are. (That’s why we’ve found the best bank for business in your state.)

Citizens: Best customer service

Like knowing someone always has your back? Citizens has 24/7 customer service for all your business banking needs. (Other banks with 24/7 support limit that to credit cards.) Plus, Citizens offers lots of ways to reach its customer service. You can use phone, email, Citizens’ online support forum, or even social media.

Whether you’re burning the midnight oil or early to rise, you’ll know you can get help from Citizens.

KeyBank: Best for cash-heavy businesses

Does your business have a bunch of cash transactions? Take a look at KeyBank. It offers $25,000 in free cash deposits—way more than any other business checking account we reviewed. And if $25,000 isn’t enough for you, KeyBank has low cash deposit fees after that. So if you find yourself depositing stacks of cash, KeyBank’s affordable deposits make it a good option for your cash-heavy business.

TD Bank: Best for off-hour banking

Online banking offers 24/7 convenience, but what if you prefer in-person banking? No worries—TD Bank offers extended hours for people like you. While it’s not quite 24/7, TD Bank branches tend to be open later and on weekends, letting you take care of your banking outside of business hours. Plus, those great hours are just the cherry on top of a solid checking account; even if you bank 9–5, TD Bank is worth checking out.

SunTrust: Best for few transactions

If you plan to have only a few transactions in your business checking account each month—think between 5 and 50—then SunTrust could be a good option. If you have at least five transactions, SunTrust waives your monthly fee. But it offers fewer free transactions than other banks. If you’re in that sweet spot, SunTrust is a good (not great) value.

Huntington Bank: Best one-stop shop

We know you want a great checking account―but sometimes you need a whole lot more. Fortunately, Huntington Bank specializes in a whole lot more. It has just about all the banking services you can think of―from common needs like business credit cards and business loans to less-common needs like business insurance and cybersecurity. 

Huntington Bank can meet every business banking need you have and then some.

Location
What about your local credit union?
There’s a good chance your local credit union has great deals on small-business checking accounts (and all the other banking services you could want). While we can’t review all the credit unions in the nation, you might want to give yours a call to see what it offers.
Grow your business today

Browse hundreds of loan options, custom-tailored to your business and budget needs, from a single, simple platform.

Other (not-so-great) banks for small-business checking

Remember how we said we’d tell you about some banks we don’t recommend? Well, here they are.

NorthOne
NorthOne
As an online bank NorthOne has a lot going for it (like sub-accounts and some helpful integrations), but we’re not impressed by the unwaivable monthly fee.
Bank of America
Bank of America
We like Bank of America as a whole, but its business checking accounts aren’t a standout. Still, it has lots of branches (5,000!), so it’s good for in-person banking.
Santander
Santander
Santander seems to have a lot going for it—until you look at customer reviews. Santander’s terrible ratings keep us from recommending it.
PNC
PNC
PNC has specialized checking accounts worth checking out (for nonprofits, lawyers, etc.), but its normal small-business accounts are unimpressive.
M&T Bank
M&T Bank
You can find better business checking accounts than M&T Bank’s. It offers just a few free transactions each month, and it has relatively high transaction fees.
American Business Bank
American Business Bank
American Business Bank has a handful of locations in California. Given that it’s only available in that one state, we don’t recommend it.
Capital One
Capital One
You may have heard that Capital One Spark Business is great for small businesses. It was, but Capital One isn’t accepting new small-business customers.
Citi
CitiBank
CitiBank has an F with the Better Business Bureau, thanks to government action against this big bank. No way we’re recommending that.
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo also has an F with the BBB because of government action. Again, we suggest you give this scandal-riddled bank a hard pass.
JP Morgan Chase Bank Business
Chase
Oh yeah, Chase has a long and storied history of government action against it too. So no, we don’t recommend the Chase Business Checking Account.

Choosing the right small-business checking account

To choose the best checking account for your business, you’ll want to consider a few key factors.

Features

First, think about features.

If you prefer in-person banking, for example, you’ll want to check out how many branches are near you. If you plan to withdraw lots of cash, you’ll care more about ATM density.

Basic business checking account features
Bullhorn

With pretty much any checking account, you’ll get a free debit card. You should also get access to both online and mobile banking.

You might also care about customer service (what hours you can contact support and how you can get in touch) or other products a bank offers (like credit cards, business loans, and merchant services).

And if you use a certain accounting software or credit card processing service, you should make sure your bank account will integrate with it.

Fees

Of course, you should also check out the fees. After all, you don’t want to end up paying way more than you expect for your checking account. Look for these common fees:

  • Monthly service fees
  • Transaction fees
  • Deposit fees
  • Overdraft fees
  • ATM fees

You should also see if you get a certain number of free transactions, free cash deposits, or reimbursed ATM fees. (Most online banks offer unlimited transactions for free. Most brick-and-mortar banks have a transaction limit, after which you have to pay.)

And remember, most banks have an option to waive your monthly maintenance fees. In some cases, you have to maintain a certain minimum balance requirement. Others look for a certain number of transactions. Of course, if that’s too much hassle, you can just go with a bank that doesn’t charge monthly fees.

Ultimately, how much you prioritize cheap fees over ATM locations will depend on how you bank. But these criteria should give you a good starting point.

Small-business checking FAQ

Can I open a business checking account with no money?

Sure, you can open a checking account with no money―as long as you go with a bank that doesn’t require an opening deposit. You could opt for our favorite bank for checking, BlueVine, or several of the other banks we recommend above.

Can I use my personal banking account for my business?

You might be able to use your personal bank account for your business but you probably shouldn’t. Most banks really dislike this practice, so if they catch on to it, they may insist you open a separate business bank account anyway. But if you just have, say, a freelance writing business on the side, you probably won’t run into many problems.

At any rate, we recommend keeping your personal finances and your business finances separate. It makes your business more legitimate, plus it makes things like accounting and taxes way easier. So go ahead and open a business bank account.

Can I have two business bank accounts?

You can absolutely have two business bank accounts! Many businesses, for example, have both a checking account and a savings account. You might choose to have two accounts if you want an easy way to work toward different financial goals (e.g., cash flow money in one business account, your new employee fund in a different account). Some people also like to spread their money across more than one account as a security measure.

Just keep track of those account numbers and passwords.

What are the best banks with no fees?

Our favorite no-fee bank is BlueVine (thanks mostly to its interest-bearing checking account), but we also like Small Business Bank, NBKC Bank, Axos Bank, and Novo.

For more details, check out our guide to the best free business checking accounts.

What are the best banks like Azlo?

We haven’t found a perfect substitute for the late Azlo yet, but we’ve got a few suggestions.

If you’re after fee-free banking like Azlo had, quite a few online banks offer that. Small Business Bank, BlueVine, NBKC Bank, and Novo all offer business checking accounts with no monthly fees, low (or no) minimum opening deposits, and unlimited transactions.

If you like Azlo for its invoicing tools, you might consider either NBKC Bank or Novo. Both offer some invoicing tools, though we don’t like them as well as Azlo’s. NBKC offers invoicing through Autobooks, but it costs $10 a month after a two-month free trial. Novo’s invoicing is free, but it doesn’t (yet) work on its mobile apps, making it less convenient.

The takeaway

With no service fee, no minimum deposit, and virtually no other fees (plus the convenience of online banking!) on its interest-bearing checking account, BlueVine is our favorite bank for small-business checking. It can meet the basic business banking needs of most business owners.

But even if BlueVine isn’t right for you, you’re sure to find something on our list of banks for small businesses.

Enjoy your new account!

Now that you’ve found a business checking account, keep an eye on your cash with the best small-business accounting software.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

  1. BlueVine, “Checking Built for Small Businesses.” Accessed September 17, 2020. Accessed November 19, 2020.
Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
Recent Articles
African-American woman opening store, unlocking the door
The Best Business Security System: 6 Alarm Systems to Protect Your Small Business
Find the right commercial security system to keep your small business safe. Best budget option...
6 Effective Ways to Engage Your Customers With Social Media Marketing
1. Keep on top of optimum post lengths   Getting a balance between length and...
Bank of America Merchant Services Review 2021
Bank of America is a well-established financial corporation but its merchant services don’t quite live...
Gusto HR Software Review 2021
For resource-strained small businesses, Gusto shines with its premium access to human resources professionals that...