10 Best Free Business Checking Accounts 2021

The best things in life are free—like these small-business checking accounts.
Best overall free checking
Kabbage
Kabbage
$0 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $0 minimum opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Interest-bearing checking
Another interest-bearing option
BlueVine
BlueVine
$0 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $0 minimum opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Interest-bearing checking
Fastest account approval
Small Business Bank
Small Business Bank
$0 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $5 minimum opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Basic checking only
Best personal account
N B K C Bank Logo
NBKC Bank
$0 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $0 minimum opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Basic checking only
Best for established
Axos
Axos Bank
$0 monthly fee
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    $1,000 minimum opening deposit
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Basic, interest-bearing, & analyzed checking

Data effective 10/8/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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.

5 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
KabbageKabbage
Online$0Unlimited
BlueVineBlueVine
Online$0Unlimited
Small Business Bank

Small Business Bank

Online

$5

Unlimited
N B K C Bank LogoNBKC Bank
Online$5Unlimited
Axos

Axos Bank

Online

$1000

200

Data effective 10/8/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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.

Kabbage: Best free business checking account overall

Kabbage
Kabbage
Kabbage

$0 monthly fee for checking

  • Online banking only
  • Online applications accepted

Kabbage offers the best free checking account for most businesses.

We say that for a few reasons. First, Kabbage’s free account is one of those really, truly free accounts for many users. Not only does it lack a monthly fee, but Kabbage also won’t charge you transaction fees, ATM fees, and most other usual banking fees.

But Kabbage goes beyond free―it actually ends up paying you. That’s because Kabbage offers interest-bearing checking, which means you earn interest on the money sitting in your checking account. And with 1.1% APY (annual percentage yield), Kabbage has the highest interest rate we’ve found for business checking.

Add in the fact that Kabbage lets you add free sub-accounts (for setting aside tax money, for example, or saving for equipment), and it’s an all-around great checking account.

Of course, as an online-only bank, Kabbage won’t work for businesses that prefer a traditional banking experience (usually cash-heavy businesses).

But for most businesses, Kabbage’s free account offers an unbeatable experience.

Pros
Pro Bullet No-fee online checking
Pro Bullet Interest-bearing checking accounts
Pro Bullet Nationwide availability
Cons
Con Bullet Checking accounts only
Con Bullet No interest on balances above $100,000

BlueVine: Another great interest-bearing option

BlueVine
BlueVine
BlueVine

$0 monthly fee for checking

  • Online banking only
  • Online applications accepted

Just like Kabbage, BlueVIne offers a well-rounded interest-bearing checking account.

BlueVine offers a 1% interest rate on account balances under $100,000. That rate is a little below Kabbage’s 1.1%, but it’s still very competitive. And interest aside, BlueVine’s checking is 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.

As an additional perk, BlueVine gives you a couple of free checkbooks when you open your new account (while Kabbage charges you at least $20 per checkbook). 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.

So if Kabbage isn’t quite what you want, give BlueVine a chance instead.

Pros
Pro Bullet Interest-bearing checking
Pro Bullet Easy cash deposits
Pro Bullet Availability in 50 states
Cons
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
Small Business Bank

$0 monthly fee for checking

  • Online banking only
  • Online applications accepted

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.

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

NBKC Bank: Best personal accounts

NBKC Bank
N B K C Bank Logo
NBKC Bank

$0 monthly fee for checking

  • Online & traditional banking
  • Online applications accepted

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.

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

Axos Bank: Best for established businesses

Axos Bank
Axos
Axos Bank

$0 monthly fee for checking

  • Online banking only
  • Online applications accepted

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.

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

Honorable mentions

If you haven’t seen the right checking account yet, don’t worry―we’ve still got a few more great options for you to check out.

Compare the honorable mention free small-business checking accounts

Bank
Type
Min. opening deposit
Free transactions per month
Get a Bank Account
Novo bank logoNovo
Online$50Unlimited
Citizens

Citizens

Traditional

$1

200

TIAA

TIAA Bank

Online

$1,500

Unlimited
Huntington

Huntington Bank

Traditional

$0

100

US BankUS Bank
Traditional$100125

Data effective 10/8/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Novo: Best integrations and discounts

Novo Bank
Novo bank logo
Novo Bank

$0 monthly fee for checking

  • Online banking only
  • Online applications accepted

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 (like Xero, Square, and Apple Pay)―and it means you can get great deals on business apps you’ve been thinking of trying with your company (from GoDaddy to 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. 

Citizens: Best customer service

Citizens
Citizens
Citizens

Starting at $0 monthly fee for checking

  • Traditional & online banking
  • In-branch applications only

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

TIAA Bank
TIAA
TIAA Bank

$0 monthly fee for checking

  • Online banking only
  • Online applications accepted

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.

Huntington Bank: Best one-stop shop

Huntington Bank
Huntington
Huntington Bank

Starting at $0 monthly fee for checking

  • Traditional & online banking
  • Online applications accepted

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

U.S. Bank
US Bank
U.S. Bank

Starting at $0 monthly fee for checking

  • Traditional & online banking
  • Online applications accepted

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.

Megaphone
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.

Get a better business bank account

Want affordable banking with great perks? With BlueVine, you can get a fee-free business checking account―and you can even earn interest on account balances over $1,000.

The takeaway

Kabbage is our pick for the best free business checking account, thanks to the lack of the fees and the interest you can earn, but it’s hardly your only option.

If you’re not sold on Kabbage, BlueVine offers a great alternative interest-bearing option. For businesses that need a new account right away, Small Business Bank offers super fast approval times. And for people who want to keep business and personal accounts together, NBKC has great options for both. Or if you’ve got an established business with more advanced banking needs, Axos Bank has great options for you.

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.

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).

Methodology

We analyzed over 30 business banks―including both online and traditional bank options―to get our rankings of the best free business checking accounts. We limited our list to banks that offered checking with no monthly fee, and then we scored banks based on other account fees, customer reviews, and more.


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.
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