10 Best Free Business Checking Accounts 2021

The best things in life are free—like these small-business checking accounts.
Best overall
BlueVine
BlueVine
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Interest-bearing checking
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Easy cash deposits
Fastest account 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
    No overdraft or NSF fees
Best for established
Axos
Axos Bank
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Free checks with new account
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unlimited ATM reimbursement
Best for integrations
Novo bank logo
Novo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Free checks with new account
  • Icon Cons  Dark
    Unlimited ATM reimbursement

What’s better than a business checking account? A free business checking account, of course!

Lucky for you, we’ve done the research and found the best free checking account options out there. You’ll find our top picks below, along with some answers to frequently asked questions about business checking.

Now, let’s find your new account.

Money
How free is free?

All of our recommended banks offer at least one business checking account that doesn’t have any monthly service fee―but you still might have to pay fees for things like transactions, deposits, and overdrafts.

10 best free small-business checking accounts 2021

Compare the top free small-business checking accounts

Company
Type
Min. opening deposit
Free transactions per month
Get a Bank Account
BlueVineOnline$0Unlimited

Small Business Bank

Online

$5

Unlimited
NBKC BankOnline$5Unlimited

Axos Bank

Online

$1000

200

NovoOnline$50Unlimited

Citizens

Traditional

$1

200

TIAA Bank

Online

$1,500

Unlimited

Huntington Bank

Traditional

$0

100

US BankTraditional$100125

BBVA

Traditional

$100Unlimited

Data effective 2/16/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

BlueVine: Best free business checking account

BlueVine
BlueVine
Our verdict
BlueVine’s interest-bearing checking offers the most value you can get from a free business checking account.
 

BlueVine doesn’t just have our favorite free business checking account―it offers the best business checking account, period. (Not bad for a bank that launched in 2020.)

So what makes BlueVine’s checking account so great? Well, first of all, it’s everything a free checking account should be. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee, transaction fees, ATM fees, or non-sufficient fund fees. You don’t have to make a minimum opening deposit to get an account. In other words, it’s really, really free.

In fact, one of the only fees you need to worry about is a cash deposit fee. Because unlike many online banks, BlueVine makes it easy to deposit cash. Just visit a Green Dot location (often found in Walmart, Walgreens, and other stores) and pay a low $4.95 fee to make your deposit.

Of course, the real reason we love BlueVine banking is that its checking account earns interest. Not just a little bit of interest, either―BlueVine offers a 1% interest rate on account balances under $100,000. So not only do you not pay for your BlueVine checking account, you actually get paid to use it.

Oh, and don’t forget that BlueVine has excellent customer reviews too. Sounds like the whole enchilada, right?

Put simply, BlueVine offers an all-around great checking account for businesses―and it happens to be free.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Interest-bearing checking
Pro Bullet Easy cash deposits
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Outgoing wire and card replacement fees
Con Bullet No interest on balances over $100,000

Small Business Bank: Fastest account approval

Small Business Bank
Small Business Bank
Our verdict
Small Business Bank offers same-day or next-day approval on its business checking accounts, so you can start banking ASAP.

Free checking accounts can often take several days to successfully open―but not at Small Business Bank, which offers same-day approval on its bank accounts.

Now, it’s not a guarantee―it could take longer―but Small Business Bank tries to get you up and running fast. In most cases, you just submit an application, a copy of your driver’s license, your EIN (employer identification number), and maybe a proof of address. Then Small Business Bank will review your application and approve it within one business day.

In some cases, Small Business Bank may need additional documentation from you. But even then, it can move faster than other banks do. That’s because Small Business Bank has longer customer support hours than most banks (from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. CT every day). In other words, you won’t have to scramble to submit documents by 5 p.m.―you’ve got some time.

So if you need a business bank account and you need it fast, Small Business Bank will be your best bet.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Same-day account approval
Pro Bullet Long customer support hours
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Wire fees, NSF fees, and more
Con Bullet Outdated website and app

NBKC Bank: Best personal accounts

N B K C Bank Logo
NBKC Bank
Our verdict
NBKC has free accounts for both business and personal banking, so you can keep all your money in one place.

Don’t want to keep track of accounts at multiple banks? NBKC Bank makes it easy―and appealing―to do your business and personal banking in the same place.

See, NBKC has a great free business checking account. The only fees you’ll ever pay are wire fees (on all outgoing wires and on incoming international wires). You can add a money market savings account for no additional charge. All sounds good, right?

Well wait until you hear about its personal account. NBKC offers interest-bearing checking with a super-competitive 0.4% rate. And just like the business checking account, NBKC’s personal account doesn’t come with any of the usual monthly fees, transaction fees, or overdraft fees.

That means that whether you want both a free business account and a free personal account or just one of them, NBKC has you covered.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Business and personal accounts
Pro Bullet Free business money market add-on
Pro Bullet Available in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Wire transfer fees
Con Bullet Limited support hours

Axos Bank: Best for established businesses

Axos
Axos Bank
Our verdict
Axos requires a hefty opening deposit, but its free checking account is a great value for checks and ATM fees.

Axos Bank works best for businesses that are established enough to have some cash on hand.

We’ll cut to the chase: Axos Bank doesn’t charge a maintenance fee on its business checking account, but it’s not as cheap an option as other accounts on this list. The minimum deposit to open an account is $1,000. So if you want a free account because you don’t have much cash on hand, you should go with another bank. But if you want a free business checking account because fees are dumb—and you have an established business—then Axos Bank deserves your attention.

Besides having no monthly fee, Axos Bank also offers unlimited reimbursement on ATM fees. And while it does charge transaction fees, Axos gives you 200 free monthly transactions first. Axos will even give you 50 free checks when you open an account. Plus, if you ever feel the need to upgrade to a more robust deposit account, Axos offers lots of options for small and large businesses alike.

So if you can afford that opening deposit, Axos might be just what your established business needs.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Free checks with new checking account
Pro Bullet Nationwide availability
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Weaknesses
Con Bullet High minimum opening deposit
Con Bullet Only 200 free transactions per month

Novo: Best integrations and discounts

Novo bank logo
Novo Bank

Our verdict

Novo gives you a wide range of software integrations and exclusive discounts, giving it a unique synergy with other business apps.

Want a bank account that has synergy with your other business products and services? Take a look at Novo.

Novo offers a free checking account that comes with a number of integrations and discounts for your business. That means that you can set up your Novo bank account to seamlessly work with the other business apps you use―and it means you can get great deals on business apps you’ve been thinking of trying with your company.

For example, you can sync up your Novo bank account with popular accounting software (like Xero and QuickBooks), payment processing apps (like Stripe and Square), and virtual wallets (like Google Pay and Apple Pay). And as a Novo customer, your account also gets you exclusive discounts on things like web hosting (with GoDaddy), travel (with Booking.com), and accounting (with QuickBooks). 

In other words, Novo’s free checking account plays nice with all your other business software and gives you bonus deals―just the kind of team player we like to see. 

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

Citizens: Best customer service

Maybe you’re the kind of person that keeps customer service on speed dial. In that case, consider Citizens. This bank has the best customer service options of any bank on this list. That means 24/7 customer support, yes, but it also means that you can contact customer support through phone, online chat, email, or even social media. (Sorry, no homing pigeons.)

So if you want a free checking account plus ultra-accessible customer service, give Citizens a go.

TIAA Bank: Most ATMs

Is your business debit card your best friend? Are you constantly on the prowl for an ATM? Then check out TIAA Bank. This online bank has more ATMs than any other bank on this list (80,000 of them, in fact). Even better, most of those are fee-free, so you can avoid hefty ATM fees. And if you do rack up a few, TIAA will reimburse them all with a minimum balance of $5,000.

If you care a lot about ATM access, give TIAA a look.

Huntington Bank: Best one-stop shop

Let’s be real: a free checking account is just the beginning. As your business grows, you’ll need more finance products, like business loans, credit cards, savings accounts, merchant services, and more. Huntington Bank has all that and then some. In addition to the usual financial products, you’ll even find things like insurance and cybersecurity products—useful complements to your free checking account.

Put simply, Huntington Bank offers a good free checking account―and plenty more besides.

US Bank: Best for nonprofits

Got a nonprofit? US Bank offers a free checking account for small businesses, sure, but it’s got a free nonprofit checking account too. US Bank’s nonprofit checking has (of course) no monthly maintenance fee, and you get 1,800 free transactions and 300 free cash deposits per year. Plus, your free US Bank nonprofit checking account can earn interest (though the rates aren’t exactly stellar).

While other banks offer nonprofit checking, US Bank stands out by making its account free. If you’ve got a nonprofit, US Bank is the obvious free choice.

BBVA: Most traditional transactions and deposits

Traditional banks don’t tend to offer the same kind of unlimited transactions that online banks do―but BBVA comes close. BBVA’s free small-business checking account gives you a limited number of in-branch withdrawals and deposits each month, and it gives you unlimited other transactions. Plus, BBVA lets you make $5,000 in free cash deposits each month (a competitive amount), which is more than most online banks can say.

So if you’re a power user who plans on lots of transactions and deposits, BBVA’s free checking account can keep up with you.

Location
Your local credit union
There’s a good chance your local credit union belongs on this list. You might find that your credit union offers free (or heavily discounted) checking account options for smaller businesses. But we can’t review all the credit unions in the nation (sorry!), so you’ll have to find out for yourself.
Grow your business today

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

More ways to get a free checking account

The checking accounts above don’t charge any kind of monthly maintenance fee. But if you have your heart set on another bank that does charge monthly service fees, we have good news: There’s a good chance you can get those fees waived.

Pretty much all business banks will waive the monthly fee on your checking account when you meet certain conditions, like meeting a minimum balance requirement. Here are some examples:

  • PNC will waive the $10 fee on its basic checking account if you spend at least $500 on your business credit card each month.
  • KeyBank waives the $5 fee on its cheapest checking account when you keep an average balance of $1,000 in your checking account.
  • Bank of America waives the $14 fee on its basic checking when you join its Preferred Rewards for Business program.

And those are just a few of your options. So if you have a bank you like, go ahead and ask about how you can waive monthly fees and get a free checking account.

Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to waive other fees (like transaction fees or cash deposit fees). Fortunately, most bank accounts give you a number of free transactions and cash deposits each month, so you might be able to avoid those fees.

Free business checking account FAQ

Are free business checking accounts really free?

None of the checking accounts reviewed here charge any monthly maintenance fee, so they’re free to use.

That said, many banks do require you to make a minimum opening deposit (often between $5 and $100), so you should plan for that initial expense.

Plus, many banks charge transaction fees, deposit fees, and overdraft fees. If you use your debit card to withdraw cash from ATMs, you might also end up with ATM fees. And depending on how you use your account, you might also have to pay fees for incoming and outgoing wire transfers.

What if I don’t want to pay those fees?

If you don’t want to pay common banking fees, simply choose a bank that doesn’t charge them. Most online banks, for example, don’t charge transaction fees. Some (like BlueVine) don’t even charge overdraft fees or NSF fees.

But even if you go with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, many banking fees are pretty avoidable. Pretty much all banks give you a certain number of free transactions or let you deposit a certain amount of cash for free.

If you’re concerned about overdraft fees (we’ve been there), you can always sign up for overdraft protection by linking your small-business checking account to another account, like a savings account or a personal checking account. Or, you know, try not to overdraft your account in the first place.

As for ATM fees, many banks have “in network” ATMs that let you withdraw cash without paying a fee. And if that’s not an option, some banks will refund you a certain amount of ATM fees each month.

Can I get free mobile banking for my business?

Yep, all the banks we recommend offer free mobile banking apps for customers. Most also give you the option of using their website if you prefer slightly older-school online banking.

Are BlueVine and other online banks legitimate?

Yes, BlueVine and all the other online banking companies featured here are legitimate. They all have plenty of positive customer reviews, and in most cases, we’ve personally communicated with their customer service departments.

And if you think it will make you feel better, you can always look up a bank’s Better Business Bureau profile to verify that it's real and legit.

What’s the best alternative bank to Azlo?

Since Azlo has shuttered, we’ve been looking around for good Azlo alternatives.

BlueVine, Small Business Bank, NBKC, and Novo work a lot like Azlo, in that they’re online banks that offer free business checking accounts with few fees. So if you mostly want an ultra-affordable basic business checking account, those all offer good options.

If you liked Azlo for features like invoicing, you’ll probably prefer NBKC or Novo. Both banks offer some invoicing features (though NBKC’s invoicing costs you extra each month and Novo only lets you invoice via the website).

The takeaway

BlueVine is our pick for the best free business checking account, but it’s hardly your only option. We’ve handpicked several other banks that have no service fees, and many even offer no or reduced fees on things like transactions, deposits, and ATMs.

So go ahead and get your new checking account—and enjoy your free business banking.

Now that you have a business checking account, brush up on the small-business bookkeeping basics to keep your accounts in order.

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.

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
Featured image of a female banker showing documents to a female client
Chase Small-Business Loans Review 2021
With little transparency or convenience to offer, Chase is far from our favorite small-business lender....
A young Asian businesswoman draws on a tablet while sitting in front of a desktop computer
9 Best Checking Accounts for Freelancers 2021
Best overall Lili Free sub-accounts No-fee checking Visit SiteLearn More Best interest-bearing BlueVine Interest-bearing checking...
Best Cannabis Dispensary POS 2021
Operating a cannabis dispensary is tricky because of legal regulations and restrictions. Our top picks...
The 9 Best Virtual and Outsourced Accounting Services for Small Businesses in 2021
We considered bookkeeping features, payroll and tax add-ons, integrations and software, and price to bring...