online business bank account

The Best Online Business Bank Accounts

Anne Shaw

Establishing separate credit for your small business is essential for accurate tax reporting and for accounting purposes. The same holds true for business bank accounts. Whatever your business’s size or operating sector, you should get a checking account dedicated exclusively to business purposes.

So, where do you begin? When choosing an online business bank account — or any business bank account for that matter — it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. There are traditional brick-and-mortar banks and new online banking models forging a new path. One of our recommendations even clarifies that it’s not a bank but a “financial technology company.” Whatever your needs, we hope this guide helps you choose the right online business checking account for your business.

Benefits of an Online Business Bank Account

Once you’ve decided where to open an online business bank account, make sure to use its full range of services. There are numerous benefits of a business bank account. Below are just some of the advantages. With an online business bank account, you can:

  • Download expense reports and income statements for accounting purposes, including profitability tracking.
  • More effectively manage cash flow and enhance profit.
  • Smooth out cyclical operating expenses with better access to lines of credit.
  • More easily track business expenses and income receipts for tax filing purposes.
  • Develop simplified financial statements using data from your downloadable bank account records.
  • Transition to corporate or LLC status more easily should you decide to formalize your business operation for further growth and protection.

Top 5 Options for a Business Bank Account

To help you open the best business checking account online (or in person), we’ve done some research and identified five top choices for you to consider based on costs, benefits (including the rate of return on your deposited funds), and other factors. Of course, business conditions are always changing, so be sure to check the current status of any of these banks’ business checking account offerings before signing on the dotted line to open an account online.

Bank

Main Features

Novo

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Refunds your ATM fees

BlueVine

  • High-yield 1% interest
  • Must join a waiting list
  • Not a traditional bank

Chase Bank

  • Thousands of physical locations
  • $300 sign up bonus
  • Face-to-face service

Bank of America

  • Account options tailored to businesses of various sizes
  • Includes virtual financial assistant
  • Thousands of physical locations

LendingClub

  • Pays interest on checking accounts
  • Offers rebates on debit card transactions
  • Primarily online

Option #1 – Novo

Novo charges no monthly fees, requires no minimum balance and refunds ATM fees. Other key benefits:

  • FDIC insured
  • Mobile app functionality
  • Free transfers, mailed checks, inbound wires
  • Integrates with Shopify, Slack, QuickBooks, Zapier, Stripe and more

Novo is a non-bank FinTech company that offers business banking services. Calling itself an “independent technology company,” Novo partners with an old-school banking institution Middlesex Federal Savings to offer high-value benefits to small business customers through its Novo bank account.

Its “Novo Reserves” account type makes it easy to set aside funds for specific purposes like taxes, payroll, expenses and more. Plus, you can generate invoices (and track when they’ve been paid) via the Novo bank account portal.

Option #2 – BlueVine

BlueVine’s high-yield 1% interest checking account became so popular that they’ve hit “pause” on applications, but you can still join their waiting list. Other key benefits:

  • FDIC insured
  • Unlimited transactions
  • No minimum balance or opening deposit
  • No monthly fees

Another FinTech company bringing business banking into the 21st century, BlueVine offers a 1% rate of return on up to $100,000 deposited into its BlueVine bank account. But BlueVine isn’t really a bank. Instead, it’s a financial technology company that’s partnered with Coastal Community Bank to provide FDIC insurance for its customers.

In addition, BlueVine has no-fee access at 38,000 ATMs, charges nothing for insufficient funds transactions, and provides account holders with two free checkbooks. All those benefits contributed to why BlueVine has established a waiting list you can join to be contacted when new accounts are once again available.

business bank account

Option #3 – Chase

With thousands of brick-and-mortar locations, Chase offers face-to-face service — and a $300 sign-up bonus. Other key benefits:

  • FDIC insured
  • Monthly fee waived for veterans
  • Fraud protection services
  • Free online bill payment
  • Zelle business money transfer service

With more than 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs, Chase bank accounts make personal and business banking highly accessible. While Chase business bank accounts require a $15 monthly fee, it can be waived by either maintaining a $2,000 minimum balance, receiving $2,000 in deposits, or spending $2,000 with a Chase Ink credit card. Fulfilling those requirements (and conducting five qualifying transactions) also makes you eligible for a $300 signing bonus through January 2, 2022.

Option #4 – Bank of America

Bank of America has options tailored for all sizes and types of business banking customers. Other key benefits:

  • FDIC insured
  • Zelle business money transfer service
  • Cash flow monitor
  • Virtual financial assistant

Small business customers can access Bank of America’s Business Advantage Fundamentals accounts, which have no monthly fee if you either maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000, spend $250 or more on new debit card purchases, or become a Preferred Rewards Business member. Business-friendly services are also included with this account: mobile check deposit capability, dedicated small business specialists and fraud protection, among others.

Larger businesses might find Business Advantage Relationship Banking more beneficial, with no monthly fee assessed if they maintain a $15,000 average monthly balance or join Preferred Business Rewards. This tier includes all the benefits of the Fundamentals account, plus QuickBooks® integration, no fees for incoming wires, free stop payments, no charges for electronic deposits, and the ability to open an extra Bank of America business bank account and Business Advantage Savings account with no added fees.

Option #5 – LendingClub

LendingClub Tailored Checking pays interest on checking and offers rebates on debit card transactions. Other key benefits:

  • FDIC insured
  • Mobile check deposits
  • Digital invoice service
  • Unlimited no-fee transactions

LendingClub Banking operates primarily as an online institution with a single, Boston-based branch open to the public. However, LendingClub also has more than 20,000 free ATMs as well as online capabilities to serve small business customers coast to coast. When you maintain a balance of $5,000+ in your LendingClub Tailored Checking account, you’ll earn 0.1% return on checking balances. And debit card transactions from that account earn 1% unlimited cash back.

What You Need to Open a Business Checking Account Online

At this point you might be wondering, “What do I need to open a business bank account?” To open an account online (or in person), gather the right documents to verify your business operation’s legal status and to help prevent identity theft. Among the most important are:

  • Your Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Your current driver’s license or passport
  • Your business license (which should include the legal name of the business and the owner’s or owners’ names)
  • Certificate of an assumed name (DBA) if you are a sole proprietor not using your personal name for the business
  • A partnership agreement indicating the name of your business and its partners
  • A notarized copy of your organizational documents filed with the state (if you run a corporation or LLC)

With these handy, you’ll be ready to open a business account online. It may take only a few minutes to enter your information on the bank’s website, but keep in mind that you might need to wait a few days for the application to be processed and your account to be approved.

Choosing the Right Business Checking Account

Whether you prefer a traditional brick-and-mortar bank with nearby branches or one that’s entirely online, there are many good options. Both traditional banks and innovative FinTech companies are competing to win your business. As technology, legalities, business conditions, and economic factors change, these institutions’ product offerings continually evolve. So, always verify that what you see here (or anywhere online) is the most current product offering available.

Choosing the right business bank account can provide your company with far more than just the ability to write checks and safeguard your operating funds. Just as there are benefits to finding the right bank, there are real advantages to choosing a small business insurance partner that’s intimately familiar with the trials and tribulations involved in running a small independent business. If you’re in the market for the right insurance coverage, we’d love to understand how we can help protect you and your business.

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2 Responses to "The Best Online Business Bank Accounts"
    • Nat | January 11, 2022 at 10:38 pm

      Brex is super awesome. Also a fan of Novo…

      • Small Biz Ahead | January 12, 2022 at 10:19 am

        Thank you for sharing, Nat!

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