Lili offers a free checking account it says was designed just for freelancers. And honestly, it delivers.
For starters, Lili doesn’t charge typical bank fees (like a monthly maintenance fee, transaction fees, or even overdraft fees). That makes it a great bank for thrifty freelancers, independent contractors, and sole proprietors.
But it’s also got some smart extras, like free sub-accounts. Lili lets you create sub-accounts for both taxes (so you can plan ahead for quarterly estimated tax payments) and an emergency fund (so you more easily ride out the time between gigs). You can manually add money to those sub-accounts, or you can specify a percentage of each account deposit to get automatically added to your sub-accounts.
Lili also offers features like expense reports, integrations with online platforms (like Upwork, Etsy, and Shopify), and notifications for account transactions. And even though it’s an online-only bank, Lili lets you easily deposit cash at Green Dot retail locations.
Just note that Lili has pretty short support hours (even for a bank), so it’s not ideal if you like hands-on help. Also, Lili sets very low spending limits for your account ($3,000 in spending and $500 in cash withdrawals a day), which may be too restricting for some freelancer spending patterns.
Even with those caveats, the no-fee checking, free sub-accounts, and other helpful tools for self-employed people make Lili our favorite freelancer bank account.