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Best Free Business Checking Accounts (Updated 2017)

Best Free Business Checking Accounts (Updated 2017)

There are many business accounts out there that come with some level of free service. The business checking accounts listed in this article are not ranked or rated because there are simply too many of them to accurately and impartially rank. One of the things you should note is that many best free business checking accounts are not very good. We had to search through many poor-quality business checking accounts to find the checking accounts we featured on this article. The problem is that best free business checking accounts have to make money some way, and usually that involves high fees for transactions. In many cases, it may be better to opt for a paid business account. Nevertheless, do not let our research go to waste. Here are the best free business checking accounts of the year 2017.

What Makes A Good Free Business Checking Account?

The banks listed on this article are mainly suitable for smaller businesses. That is because banks will tend to offer free accounts to smaller businesses to pull in their custom. When the businesses grow a little, that is when the banks start up-selling to them and throwing charges their way. Here are the seven most important things to consider before choosing your next Business Checking Account.

How Free Is The Account?

The term “Free” doesn’t mean the same thing in business as it does to an ordinary consumer. For example, an ordinary consumer may not expect to pay a fee to open a free online account, but with business accounts, this is a little different. A free business checking account may have a starter fee to open the account. With a business checking account, a free account means it is free to maintain and will not cause another overhead. Small businesses need to keep overheads down, so it stands to reason that they may opt for a free-to-maintain business account.

How Are Deposits Made?

A bank or financial intuition should be able to offer you an easy and convenient way to deposit your money and your checks. All of the accounts on this article allow customers to conveniently deposit their money and their checks. Good business accounts will make the process as painless and as convenient as possible.

What Are Their Transaction Fees Like?

A small business needs to keep overheads and expenses down, which means a small business cannot afford to pay for numerous transactions within their bank account. On the other hand, smaller businesses have less need for numerous monthly transactions. This means a good business checking account will have either very low transaction fees, or it will have a certain amount of free transactions per month or per statement cycle.

What Is Their Online Banking GUI Like?

A good business checking account should have an online portal or platform with which a businessperson or business owner may check the account balance and be able to work a few transactions online. All of the accounts listed in this article have their own online platform/services, and all of them have a very good user interface that easily allows customers to use the account/financial services on offer.

How Much Are Deposit Fees?

Banks tend to charge businesses a fee for putting their money into their accounts. There is no need for this fee, but it is just another way that a bank can make money from its users. Nevertheless, a good checking account will have relatively low fees. Some banks will also offer a certain deposit limit that doesn’t have fees attached. In most cases, a bank will specify how much a customer may deposit without having to pay a fee. If the deposit amounts exceed that of the specified number, then the bank will start charging fees. The amount must be surpassed within a statement cycle in order to start generating fees.

Are There Extra Perks?

The business checking accounts that were listed in this article are not chosen because of their extra perks. They were chosen because they excel in terms of providing the service they promise. A lot of banks and financial intuitions make promises that they struggle to keep, but the accounts listed in this article are all consistently good. Extra perks are a benefit, but they do not matter as much as a consistently good and trustworthy service.

Can I Do Online Transfers And Bill Payments?

All of the accounts on this article have some way of allowing you to move your money from your business account to other accounts, and/or ways that allow you to pay bills online. You can write checks with these accounts, but above all, you are able to pay money and transfer money with your account.

What Is The Bank’s Online Reputation Like?

All of the business checking accounts on this list have an online option, and all have a good online reputation. An online reputation is basically how much you can learn about a company by searching for it on the Internet. A good reputation means that a user is exposed to a lot of positive press about the bank/financial intuition, and a bad reputation means that the user is exposed to a lot of negative press about the bank/financial intuition.

Banks that have a negative reputation are ones that have numerous complaints about similar issues. If a bank/financial intuition has various and apparently random negative things about it online, then it may mean that the bank/financial intuition is very bad and is getting its just desserts online.

Many times, a number of random and wide-ranging criticisms about a single bank/financial intuition mean another entity has created a smear campaign about it, and the negative press/negative reputation, tends to disappear fairly quickly. On the other hand, if there are numerous people making similar complaints, then you can assume the criticisms are real and move on to the next bank/financial intuition you wish to choose.

Best Free Business Checking Accounts – Our 2017 Picks

Here’s our list of the best of the best, compiled after our researchers looked into business checking accounts that offer the most ‘free’ features that most small businesses would be interested in.

For Smaller Businesses With Fewer Transactions Per Month

If you run a smaller business, you may enjoy a free business account by partaking of less banking business per month. Banks that offer this sort of deal are hoping that you will have a few good months here and there so that you need more than 150 transactions per month. Use the fact that you are a small business to your advantage.

In First Place Is
ANB Bank Free Business Checking Account

ANB offer quite a few free banking options. Their free banking option gives you 150 free items per month. This means 150 free deposits, debits and things of that nature. There is no service charge, so you get your account free if you keep your transactions to less than 150 per month, which is rather easy in some businesses.

The big catch is that they are going to charge you 50 cents per transaction after 150 free items per month. Charging 50 cents per transaction is terrible, so make sure you keep your transactions to less than 150 per month.

Returned deposit items are only $7.00 each, and their Check SafeKeeping service is free. Check Imaging–Fronts of Checks are optional, but will cost you $5 Per Month if you choose them. Their eStatements are free, but their paper statements will cost you $5 per month.

Recapping The Reasons This Is One Of The Best Free Business Checking Accounts

You get a free business debit card, but we had to apply for it before they gave it to us. The service itself is the same as their paid service, which is why we chose it as the winner in this category. They offer the same things they offer paying customers. The only downside is that they sting you for going over 150 transactions per month, but if your business expands so that it needs more than 150 transactions/items per month, then upgrade your account or find another.

In Second Place Is
America First Credit Union

The American First Credit Union was pegged for the top spot, especially since it was our number one in 2015 and 2016. However, this year, we had so much trouble applying for an account that it takes second place. It took several application attempts and over 10 conversations with their terrible customer service department before we could get a full account. They offer a good service, but getting an account is a hassle.

The America First Credit Union account is free for businesses and though it is a very popular account, it is very simple and stripped down. You only get 250 free transactions per month, which is not very much and is therefore more suitable for smaller businesses and businesses that do not need many bank actions during a statement cycle.

Their fee for transactions after 250 is $0.15, which is high when compared with their higher-level business accounts, but is low in the world of free bank accounts. For example, many of the other banks/financial intuitions have rates of around $0.25 and $0.30 for their transactions fees.

They give you access to their Money Market Savings accounts, and they are willing to lend you money with this account. They have an online platform that allows you to use their BillPay services. They have debit cards and offer a business visa too.

They Should Try To Market Themselves A Little Better

Despite the fact that this is a popular account, and despite the fact that most business users opt for this account first when they join America First Credit Union, it still seems like the institution doesn’t care too much about it. They do not market it very well, and it has few features, functions and perks. It does what it is supposed to very well, which is the mark of a good business account, but it is so simple and stripped down that it feels like a gateway account.

Their strategy appears to be to offer businesses a simple and free account to get them on board, and to then up-sell to them later with more attractive accounts and perks. Even if this is the case, the America First Credit Union should still be a strong contender for your considerations because the services they offer are top notch.

Recapping The Reasons This Is One Of The Best Free Business Checking Accounts

Do note that they offer more free transactions than our first pick, and they charge less per transaction after your 250 free transactions. They would have been our top pick if they hadn’t made the application process so difficult.

In Third Place Is
The First Business Checking

With its 150 free items (transactions) per month, and its 50 cents charge per transaction after your 150 limit is reached, you may wonder why The First Business Checking ended up in third position “For Smaller Businesses With Fewer Transactions Per Month.” It seems especially unfair that it takes third place when our first pick “ANB Bank Free Business Checking Account” has exactly the same deal.

The reason is because the account itself isn’t up to much. Over the last two years, they seem to have stripped the account back. I know they can do better than this because they have offered more and charged less in the past. They have earned their place on this list, but they can do so much more. Nevertheless, here are a few details for your consideration.

They offer a free business checking account, a commercial first checking account, a first friend’s money manager and a business first money market service. It is an account for smaller businesses and it doesn’t have monthly fees to maintain or keep your account. You do not have to keep a minimum balance, and you only need a $100 deposit to open your account.

It Is Aimed At Smaller Businesses

Their free checking account is mainly aimed as smaller businesses because it is free if you partake of 150 transactions/actions or less. A medium or larger business would defiantly need more. There is a Bill Pay tool, they offer online banking and e-statements, and there is a 24/7 live call centre. You can transfer money with their desktop tool and with their mobile app.

The worst thing about the company is their marketing. Plus, other banks and financial companies offer far more than they do, but the things they offer they do very well. Their online access and their app is fairly simple and basic, but it works well as a result.

Recapping The Reasons This Is One Of The Best Free Business Checking Accounts

The company says it is free, but they only allow a total of 150 debit items per statement cycle. Things such as checks, withdrawals and deposits will cost an extra 50 cents each after the 150 limit is reached. Other than that small flaw, it is a reasonably good business banking account for small businesses. It doesn’t have the power, flexibility or tools to handle middle-to-larger business accounts.

For Medium-Sized Businesses With Varying Transactions Numbers Per Month

If you are a middle-sized company, then it is your job to stay informed about which banks are going to offer you the best deal. You may be stuck with your bank for a long time, especially if you are looking to build a good banking history so that you may get bank credit. Here a few banks for your consideration.

In First Place Is
Liberty Bank Business Checking

This business bank account allows you unlimited transactions for free, and they allow you to use all of their ATMs for free. They will refund the ATM charges that other banks impose on you for up to $15 per month. There are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. They are great if you are a medium-sized businesses.

Why Smaller Businesses Should Avoid Them

Their free transactions may appeal to smaller businesses, but there are three good reasons why only medium sized businesses should sign up with Liberty Bank Free Business Checking.

Number one, their Business Debit MasterCard is not as widely accepted as VISA, and this may not suit smaller businesses that have fewer buying options.

Number two, they will really kick you with fees if you do something such as overdraw. Plus, their fees are as good as hidden until you are moments away from signing the forms, at which point the documents with their fees are produced and their penalties for shaky account management become worryingly clear.

Number three, they will hold onto your money for as long as they can, and where a medium-sized business may withstand this sort of inconvenient, for a smaller business it is the difference between paying a bill on time and overdrawing.

Why Medium-Sized Businesses Should Consider This Bank

For just $25, you can sign up for an account online and within a few days your business checking account will be open. You can use their BizLink Online Banking services with Bill Pay. They have 24-hour LibertyLine telephone banking and they offer 6-day-a-week live contact with their customer service center.

You get a business debit MasterCard with 24-hour ATM/debit card access. You can use your Debit Card as if it were an ATM card, so that you may gain access to your money at any ATM where you see the NYCE, Cirrus and MasterCard logos displayed.

It is a fantastic account and it doesn’t seem to have a catch. One expects some sort of catch when there are as many perks as there are with this account, but it appears there are none. It is fantastic that they have almost eradicated any fee that a business banker would incur. If you are looking for an account that offers numerous fee-free elements and that really works for your money, then you may have found it here.

Recapping The Reasons This Is One Of The Best Free Business Checking Accounts

As a medium-sized business, it is best that you are not limited to a certain number of free transactions. Unlimited free transactions should suit you perfectly. It only costs $25 to open an account, they let you use their ATMs for free, and they refund up to $15 per month of other company’s ATM fees. BillPay is free, there are no minimum balance requirements, you get a business debit MasterCard, their eStatements are free, and they have a customer service department that runs six days per week.

In Second Place Is
BNC National Bank Business Checking

They have one of the best free business checking accounts for medium-sized businesses that need around 1000 free items (transactions) per month. Their business checking account is perfect for many small businesses because it has no minimum balance, and there are no monthly service charges.

You get up to 1,000 free monthly transactions, after which you are charged a small fee per action. You also get up to $10,000 currency deposited per month without having to pay a fee.

Their interest business checking account is good for qualifying sole proprietorship and for not-for-profit organizations. It comes with competitive interest rates that go with their 1,000 monthly transaction items for free.

Best Free Business Checking Accounts by BNC

Smaller Businesses Should Probably Avoid This Account

The BNC National Bank Business checking account is for medium-sized businesses because it has a daily balance requirement. To avoid the $6 per month fee, you will have to maintain an average balance of $1,500, which is why this account is more suited to medium-sized businesses.

You can deposit up to $10,000 per month without having to pay fees. After that point, you will have to start paying fees, even if you have made fewer than 1000 transactions that month.

They have a commercial checking account for businesses with more complex banking needs. You get a credit allowance on deposit balances that may help offset activity fees. They have a $15 monthly service charge and transactions cost 12 cents each.

Recapping The Reasons This Is One Of The Best Free Business Checking Accounts

They seem to have something for every business on the surface, though if you are a smaller business, then their free business checking account is not for you, though they may have other banking services that are more suitable. Their accounts are mostly aimed at medium-to-smaller businesses, their rates are healthy, and their transaction allowance means that medium-to-smaller businesses will not incur unnecessary fees.

In Third Place Is
Farmington Bank Business Checking Account

The Farmington Bank business account is one of the best free business checking accounts because it doesn’t have monthly fees and you get as many transactions as you wish. You may use wire transfers, you get a MasterCard debit card, and you only need a $100 opening deposit.

Their free business account seems on the surface to be better than their other business banking accounts, so what’s the catch? So far, the only catch appears to be that they want to reel you in. They offer very limited extra services to go with the free checking account. For example, if you want an overdraft or another financial service, then they are going to ask that you sign up for a higher level of business-bank account. Their free and basic bank account is of a very high quality and has far fewer fees than most business banking accounts.

Why Smaller Businesses Should Avoid Them

Their free transactions may appeal to smaller businesses, but there are three good reasons why only medium sized businesses should sign up for a Farmington Free Business Checking account.

Number one, the account has its fair share of fees that smaller businesses may not be able to handle. Their fees are cleverly hidden in their paperwork. You will find nothing about their fees on their website. The cost of wire transfers, statements and much more are too high for smaller businesses to handle.

Number two, their Business Debit MasterCard is not as widely accepted as VISA, and this may not suit smaller businesses that have fewer buying options. I also want to say that that the bank doesn’t hold onto your money an overly long time, but they are not exactly swift when it comes to clearing checks.

Number three, Farmington doesn’t have a massive ATM network, and if you don’t have one of their ATMs near you, then you will end up paying fees for out-of-network ATMs.

Recapping The Reasons This Is One Of The Best Free Business Checking Accounts

You get a MasterCard debit card, there is a Farmington app, you may use mobile deposit, you may use online banking, you may use Bill Pay, and you get free e-statements. They will not charge you for transactions, nor does their free account come with any sort of maintenance fee. As a reasonable business account for middle-sized businesses, it takes a comfortable third place.

A Winner From Last Year That Didn‘t Make It This Year
IBERIA Bank Business Checking

Last year, we featured this bank as one of our top picks for middle-to-small businesses. We felt that we should feature it this year as part of this article, even though it didn’t make the cut.

The truth is that this bank is okay/good, but this year they gave us so much trouble that we cannot add them into our top picks. Getting past the Captcha puzzles is such a pain, especially since they keep resetting, that we almost gave up. Plus, if you do not have cookies enabled, then the website won’t let you do anything. They tracked our every move, and logging in to both the personal and bank accounts was slow, tedious, and just plain stupid. Their tech department has really dropped the ball this year.

Reasons We Recommended It Last Year Before The Technical Issues

They offer an account that doesn’t have monthly charges and you do not need a minimum balance amount to maintain your account. You only need a deposit of $100 to open your account, and you get 500 transactions for free per statement cycle before you have to start paying for them. Deposit up to $10,000 in currency per month and you will not be charged.

With the account, you also get two IBERIA bank personal checking accounts with waived monthly service charges if you are a small business owner. You get a free IBERIA bank Visa business debit card, access to their Bill Pay systems and online banking. You can use their free text and mobile system, you can make mobile deposits, and they have free online email alerts, telephone banking and e-Statements.

A Quick Recap Of The Winners From Last Year

These are the banks we recommended last year. Even though they have not won this year, they are still good banks and are still worth your consideration. If you do not fancy one of the banks listed above, then please consider one of the banks listed below. We haven’t included all the banks from last year because some of them took a downward turn to the point where they no longer deserve a place on our “Best Free Business Checking Accounts” article.

Trustmark Banking And Financial Solutions

There is no minimum balance needed in order to maintain your account, and you only need $100 in order to open the first account. The $100 is a first deposit and is not a fee. You get up to 200 free combined debit/credit items per month. Any transactions after that will cost $0.40 each.

You can deposit up to $5,000 per month, after which it will cost you $0.25 for every $100 you deposit. You get as much as a $50 discount for your first order of business checks, you get free TrustNetWeb basic balance reporting, and you get a discount on their annual safe deposit box.

Why We Recommend It

They actually have a lot of options available for businesses. Their free account is mainly aimed at very small businesses such as sole-trading freelancers and professionals. They have a lot of other options available for different types of business, including accounts for lawyers. The free account is very basic, but that is probably because they want people to upgrade once their business takes off.

ENT Free Business Checking Account

They have three options for businesses. They have free business checking, business dividend checking, and business analysis checking. The minimum opening deposit is $100, and the minimum balance requirement is $0. You get 100 free transactions, after which you pay $0.30 per transaction. You can deposit up to $2500 for free, and then it will cost you $0.10 per $100 you deposit. The free transaction limit is one of the smallest on this article, so you should only consider this bank if you are a very small business such as a lawyer, freelancer or somebody offering a service by yourself (such as a graphic designer, web designer, accountant and so forth).

Why We Recommend It

It’s a seemingly basic account with very few perks and features, but it does its job for small businesses. In a world where many business-banking accounts are trying to screw the small businessperson, it is just good to see yet another business checking account that does its job without sticking a shank in with hidden fees and poor performance. This account is not a world-beater, but it deserves its place on this list.

Artisans’ Bank Free Business Checking

You get your first 150 transactions for free per statement cycle, and then you have to pay for them. They offer online banking that has a small business bill payment feature. They offer free mobile banking and free e-statements. You get a free visa business check card, and the company offers free consultations for your business financial needs. They have free business checking account overdraft protection too.

Why We Recommend It

For some reason they want you to sign up to E-statements within the first 30 days of your account opening, otherwise you are charged a fee of $5 per paper statement until you enroll. Why all the bother when they could automatically sign people up for eStatements and then charge people if they want paper statements? It seems like they are doing it backwards. The service seems fine other than that small issue.

United Bankshares Free Business Checking

For the attention of anybody from United BankShares who may be reading, you were a winner last year, and your service deserves its mention here, but please teach your customer service department to answer a question with a straight f**king answer. Different members of our research team made eight communications with your customer service department, and each time we were met with scripted answers to questions we didn’t f**king ask. You are mentioned in our 2017 update, but if it happens again next year, then you won’t be in the 2018 update.

The Reasons You May Still Consider This Bank In 2017

With their account, you get a fairly flexible package without too many fees and charges. You get up to 500 transactions per month, after which you have to pay $0.25 per transaction. They have a checXchange, which is a free check collection service that United Bank provides for its nonprofit and business customers. There are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. You get free online banking with Bill Pay, and you can track your accounts on a number of different mobile and desktop devices.

Like most online accounts, they use an encrypted connection, and within your online account, you may transfer and pay money as you wish. There are no annual fees for both the checking account and the United Business Visa account. There is a charge of $100 to open the account.

United Bankshares Free Business Checking Selling Points

Why We Recommend It

The checXchange service is rather good, as is their offer to pick up deposits for their business and nonprofit customers. Their service is fairly well trusted and their offer of 500 free transactions per month will suit most small businesses. This is an online business checking account that is ideal for smaller businesses, but that is also aiming at larger businesses too. The one-off charge at the beginning is pretty fair and there are no further maintenance fees after that point, so the account is essentially free once the initial fee has been paid.

Old National Bank Business Checking

This is a nice bank for very small businesses, but it didn’t win a place in the 2017 update. The fact it is only available in five states is a big downside, and since the competition is so stiff, it didn’t make the cut. This account is available in Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois and Wisconsin.

This account is truly for smaller businesses or businesses that do not need a lot of online transactions. If your business is in that category, then this is a flawless account. The only problem with it is the attachment to a BusinessPartner checking account because that account has more rules to it. For example, with that account you need to maintain a balance in your account. The services they offer are of a high quality, but they could have made their system a little easier to understand so that the people that don’t read the fine print are not stuck with fees.

You Have A Choice To Make

If you are starting out in business and want a free business checking account, then by all means choose one of the free accounts above, but you have to choose carefully because the future of your company may be at stake.

The reason for this is because in the future, as your business grows, you are going to need an upgraded account. For example, your account may only allow 500 transactions, after which you have to pay $0.30. When your business is doing 6000 transactions per month, it may be time to upgrade because the fees are costing you too much.

The other scenario that is likely to occur in tandem is that your business will need financial and business services as it grows. A smaller bank/financial intuition will have better starter rates and accounts, but will not be able to offer bigger financial services and lending options. If you go with a larger bank/financial intuition that has a less attractive starter account, then you have a history with them that will help convince them to give you further lending options.

Here Is The Choice You Should Choose

If you think your business will require more transactions in the future than what your business bank account offers, then it doesn’t matter. You can always switch banks when your business grows and find an account that offers better rates for the money you are depositing and for the transactions you are doing.

If you think your business will need overdrafts and lending options in the future, then it may be better to bite the bullet earlier on and sign up with a bank/financial intuition that is a little larger. Their fees and starter packages will be less tempting, but over time, you will build a financial history with them that will make them more likely to lend you money and offer overdrafts in the future.

Conclusion

Need a Bank Account but have ChexSystems problems or Bad Credit?


Try opening a BBVA Compass Free Checking Account! BBVA is one of the more forgiving banks and may give you a full-fledged REGULAR bank account when you apply online...even with bad banking and credit history.

And if you don't qualify for the regular BBVA checking account for some reason, you'll then be given the option of opening the special BBVA Compass Easy Checking Account, an account designed specifically for those with banking problems.

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As you can see by the statistics and facts about the many accounts on this list, that they are mostly aimed at small businesses. A smaller business will shy away from paid bank accounts and will tend to target free business checking accounts. Though some of the accounts ask for an opening fee, all of them allow the users to maintain their account without fees, and none of them insists that a customer must have a balance over a certain amount of money.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. ‘

He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.

And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

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