Whether you’re starting a new business as a freelancer or solopreneur, or you have tons of funding and are launching a fully funded startup, you want to choose the best business bank account.
But what sets the best banks for startups apart? You’ll want to find one with low monthly fees, a variety of services like online bill pay and payment processing, and support to help you scale your business.
You’re probably also thinking that you want a bank where your money is safe. It’s important to realize that all the banks on this list carry FDIC insurance for deposits of up to $250,000 per person. In the case of an online provider, the financial technology company is backed by an FDIC insured bank.
But, let’s face it. You’ve got a business to run and you don’t want to sit around waiting for insurance to pay out if your bank fails. Look for a bank with a solid, stable history. And, if you hold millions in cash reserves (a nice problem to have for a startup!) consider diversifying your cash deposits across multiple banks.
It’s okay to have two business checking accounts – or even more – to protect your money.
12 Best Banks for Startups in 2023
With recent events in mind, you may want to consider larger banks with the resources to withstand the tumultuous market. However, many of our best banks for startups are smaller banks or online banks and could still be considered safe places for banking services.
Just make sure to spread funds across multiple banks so that if your primary bank gets in trouble, you can still pay your vendors and workers, accept payments, and conduct business as usual.
Keep reading for our best banks for startups and the business banking features we like best about our top 12 picks.
1. Best for Ecommerce Businesses: Novo
One of the standout features of Novo, a fintech company backed by Middlesex Federal Savings, FDIC, is the way it helps small business owners accept payments easily online. Your Novo business checking account integrates with Stripe, Square, Shopify, Quickbooks, and other platforms preferred by small business owners.
Apply for Novo Boost, and you can get paid 95% faster than with other banks. Novo has no monthly service fee and no minimum balance requirement, although you’ll need $50 to fund your account initially. You can also enjoy unlimited ATM fee refunds.
When to Choose Novo
Choose a Novo business checking account for your ecommerce startup if you want to get paid directly into your account through Stripe and enjoy waived processing fees up to $5,000. Novo also offers its business banking customers discounts on popular online tools, including Constant Contact, LegalZoom, Stripe, Keeper, and Gusto.
Who is Novo best for?
Novo is best for ecommerce startups looking for the personalized customer service of a traditional bank with perks typically found with online banks.
2. Ideal for Freelancers and Solopreneurs: Lili
Lili gets high marks as the best bank for startup freelancers and solopreneurs. It delivers business tools to help guide you through the challenging start-up phase, including:
- Invoice templates and invoicing software
- Stripe and PayPal fee calculators
- Tax optimizer services
The online fintech, backed by Choice Financial Group, Member FDIC, makes it easy to manage your money online. Take advantage of the company’s write-off tracker, to track business expenses through the mobile app, and automated tax savings so that you won’t be caught off-guard by quarterly estimated tax payments.
Lili requires no minimum opening deposit and has no monthly service fee and no overdraft fees. Best of all, your business savings account offers an APY of 1.5%, while your business debit card delivers cash back rewards.
If you’re looking for one of the best business checking accounts to earn and save, consider Lili.
When to Choose Lili
Choose Lili if you are looking for an online bank and feel you need some guidance with business finances. The ability to save automatically for taxes, track your expenses, and do it all without a monthly service fee makes Lili perfect for most entrepreneurs.
Who is Lili best for?
Lili is best for startups and entrepreneurs who want some tax help, DIY accounting linked to your online bank, and integration with third-party business and accounting apps.
3. Best for Money Market Accounts: Mercury
Mercury is a fintech packed by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank and Trust, which means it is FDIC insured. Mercury advertises that business customers can get up to $1 million in FDIC insurance through Mercury’s partner banks, making it perfect for startups with a large bankroll or cash deposits.
Mercury offers a free business checking account, free savings, and high-yield money market accounts for start-ups, along with a business credit card that delivers 1.5% cash back. There is no minimum balance requirement for free business banking.
When to Choose Mercury
Choose Mercury if you are seeking an online bank where you can build relationships to grow your business. Since 2020, Mercury has helped fund more than 630 startups, delivering more than $1.7 billion in funding across 32 countries.
If you are looking to invest some of your business income or seed money into a money market account, Mercury offers a 4.67% yield on its money market funds.
Mercury could also be your best choice if you have multiple employees who need access to your business bank account at different levels.
Who is Mercury best for?
Designed for startups of all sizes, Mercury is best for large or fast-growing startups with a need to issue employee debit and credit cards, pay vendors or employees in a variety of ways, and earn interest higher than the national average through money market funds.
It’s also a great choice for startups seeking venture capital.
4. Best for Business Interest Checking: Bluevine
A Bluevine business checking account offers flexible payment options for your employees, vendors, and independent contractors. Enjoy low fees on wire transfers, same-day ACH transfers, or even paper checks mailed directly from Bluevine.
The business banking platform offers a free checking account with no monthly service fee, no overdraft fees, and unlimited transactions.
Plus, the business interest checking account offers 2% APY interest if you meet certain simple conditions. To earn interest, you’ll want to use your Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard for $500 per month in transactions or receive $2,500 per month in customer payments to your business interest checking account or any sub-accounts you have set up.
Your Bluevine business interest checking account also qualifies you to apply for a business line-of-credit. You could get extra money to scale your business, invest in equipment or inventory, or pay bills in as little as 24 hours.
When to Choose Bluevine
Choose Bluevine if you are looking for a robust online checking account with no monthly fees, no minimum deposit to open an account, and high interest rates.
Who is Bluevine best for?
Bluevine is best for entrepreneurs, freelancers and startups who are looking to avoid fees, earn interest on their checking account balance, and manage money across multiple sub-accounts. Bluevine syncs with QuickBooks Online, offering easy ways to manage your money.
5. Best for In-person Banking: Chase
Chase Business Complete Banking provides the security of the nation’s largest bank, a financial institution that is literally deemed by the U.S. government as “too big to fail.”
It may not be the least expensive bank and its savings accounts offer lackluster interest rates. But it has a huge network of ATMs and local branches, top-notch fraud protection and security and highly rated rewards business credit cards like Ink Business Unlimited.
The Ink Business Unlimited business credit card currently delivers 1.5% cash back on every purchase, plus a $900 cash back bonus when you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first three months.
The bank offers three tiers of checking accounts for Chase business checking customers:
- Chase Business Complete Banking
- Chase Performance Business Checking
- Chase Platinum Business Checking
All have associated monthly fees, unless you meet certain conditions. Most smaller startups will want to consider a Chase Business Complete Banking account, which has a $15 monthly fee, waived if you have a $2,000 minimum daily balance, accept deposits from Chase QuickAccept, or use your Chase Ink business credit card.
Chase Performance Checking has a $35 monthly fee unless you maintain a combined $35,000 daily minimum balance across business checking and savings accounts.
The Platinum Business Checking account from Chase has a $90 monthly service fee, waived if you maintain a $100,000 average beginning day balance across your Chase business checking and savings accounts.
Chase Complete Business Checking offers plenty of perks and benefits for its small business customers, including unlimited transactions using your debit card or Chase ATMs. Deposit cash of up to $5,000 per month with no fees. Plus, get a free Business Total Savings account to link to your Chase business checking.
Chase business checking customers can take advantage of merchant services like Chase Payments Solutions to accept debit or credit cards online or at the point-of-sale through a Chase Smart Terminal, or using Chase QuickAccept.
When to Choose Chase
Choose Chase Bank if you are looking for a brick-and-mortar bank that offers personalized service, an extensive ATM network, and a variety of business banking options to accommodate your needs as your startup grows.
Chase Payment Solutions are also enticing to business owners, as they allow you a variety of ways to accept payments through a reputable payment processor. It’s also hard to beat Chase’s top-tier rewards credit cards to help your startup manage cash flow and earn rewards.
Who is Chase best for?
Chase business accounts are best for anyone from solopreneurs to large corporations. If you can meet the requirements to waive the monthly fee, you’ll find Chase offers one of the best business checking accounts for startups who still want to use a traditional bank.
6. Best Online Banking Platform: Relay
Relay business banking offers an easy-to-use banking app that allows your banking services to grow with your startup. The fintech company is backed by Thread Bank, Member FDIC. Its Visa Debit card is also issued by Thread.
What sets Relay apart from other business banking accounts is the ability to manage your money directly in the app across 20 checking accounts. See your deposits on one screen and then allocate funds across 20 accounts. Relay is like a budgeting and banking app all in one.
The app is completely free to use, with:
- No monthly maintenance fee
- No overdraft fees
- No minimum balance requirement
- Free cash deposits and withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs
You can receive up to 50 virtual or physical Visa debit cards, all with zero liability fraud protection, to share with your employees or use for online purchases. Pay vendors through ACH or wire transfers.
Relay also integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero to make your startup accounting easy.
For $30 per month, you can choose a Relay Pro account, which offers online bill pay, same-day ACH transfers, and free outgoing wire transfers.
When to Choose Relay
Choose Relay if you are looking for an easy way to manage your business finances through a mobile app.
Who is Relay best for?
Relay is best for small businesses looking for a free checking account with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
7. Built for Venture-Backed Startups: Brex
Brex is called “the #1 spend platform for strategic finance teams.” But what does that mean as it relates to business bank accounts for startups? Brex provides one of the best business checking accounts and much more in the way of banking and finance services.
Brex stepped up to support Silicon Valley Bank customers, expressing a willingness to work with SVB customers on upcoming Brex credit card payments and offering emergency credit lines for former Silicon Valley Bank customers.
Brex also responded to the crisis situation by increasing FDIC insurance on Brex business bank accounts from $1 million to $2.25 million, by spreading deposits across nine partner banks and a money market fund fully backed by the U.S. government. Also, Brex never lends your money, and keeps 100% of deposits available for withdrawal at all times.
Brex and Silicon Valley Bank were competitors in many ways. The added FDIC insurance and Brex’s rapid response to the situation earns it a spot on our list of the best financial institutions for startup banking.
Let’s dig into what Brex offers venture-capital-backed startups and small businesses in the tech field and beyond.
Described as a “financial stack for startups,” your Brex business account provides business credit cards, ACH and wire transfers, online bill pay, and more. Financial modeling tools help you forecast the financial future of your startup. Plus, hold funds in up to eight separate accounts to make it easier to track expenses.
Brex has some features you might not expect from such a robust banking platform.
- No minimum balance requirements
- Thousands of software integrations to help you run your business
- Unlimited debit and credit cards
- The Brex credit card may be a lesser known, but it rivals Chase Business Ink in many ways, with robust rewards, including:
7X points on rideshare
- 4x on travel
- 3x on restaurants
- 2x on software
- 1x on everything else
Plus, earn additional savings when you use your card on purchases from top tech and business companies like AWS, Apple, QuickBooks, and UPS.
When to Choose Brex
If you are a former SVB customer looking for another tech-startup friendly online banking platform, consider Brex. Your money is protected across FDIC-insured U.S. banks like JPMorgan Chase, with funds over $2.25 million held in a money market account backed by the federal government.
Brex offers no fee business checking, a robust rewards credit cards, and tools to help you run and manage your business.
Who is Brex best for?
Brex is best for small to large tech start-ups, former SVB banking customers, and anyone who wants the peace-of-mind of knowing their venture-backed capital is stored safely.
8. Go-to Solution for SBA loans: U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank is a traditional U.S. bank with more than 3,500 branches across the U.S., including more than 550 in California and a large network of nationwide ATMs, including those in the MoneyPass Network.
U.S. Bank offers numerous banking products for businesses, including:
- Business checking
- Business savings
- Business money market
- Business CDs
Like Chase and other larger banks, U.S. Bank offers several tiers of business checking accounts. Choose from:
- Silver business checking account
- Gold business checking account
- Platinum business checking account
- Premium business checking account
The Silver Business Checking Account has no monthly maintenance fee, while Gold and Platinum carry $20 and $30 monthly fees, respectively. Beyond that, the different accounts vary in their transaction limits, transaction fees, and other options.
U.S. Bank also has lending options to help you scale your business. If you are looking for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, U.S. Bank is a preferred lender. That means the bank can process your SBA loan faster and even help you with the application process.
When to Choose U.S. Bank
Choose U.S. Bank if you are looking for a brick-and-mortar bank that can grow with your business. If you plan to apply for an SBA loan, it might be best to establish a relationship with the bankers at U.S. Bank now.
Who is U.S. Bank best for?
U.S. Bank’s Silver Business Checking Account is best for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for basic business checking with no monthly fee and no ATM fees at a wide network of ATMs. Business owners looking for SBA loan support can also benefit as a U.S. Bank customer.
9. Best Online Business Bank Account for Small Businesses: Bonsai Cash
Bonsai Cash is a new, easy to use business checking account for small businesses and freelancers. A solution tailored to freelancers and solopreneurs, Bonsai Cash integrates the Bonsai Payments platform with an online checking account.
You can use “envelopes” to divide your money into different online accounts for different purposes. Bonsai Cash has no monthly fee or transaction fees, beyond what you are paying for the Bonsai integrated business platform.
You can use your Bonsai Cash debit card to withdraw up to $300 per day from ATMs.
For $17/month, $32/month, or $52/month, you’ll gain access to a full suite of business tools, including invoicing, accounting, and CRM software.
When to Choose Bonsai Cash
Choose Bonsai Cash if you already use the Bonsai stack of small business tools and are looking for a basic business checking account to help you manage your money, make debit card purchases and use ATMs for withdrawals.
Who is Bonsai Cash best for?
As a new online app for business banking, Bonsai Cash is best for early adopters and startups who already use Bonsai small business management software.
10. Easy Payment Processing Integration: NorthOne
NorthOne offers business checking accounts for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startups. NorthOne integrates with payment systems like Stripe, Venmo, QuickBooks, Cash App, Shopify and more for easy payment processing and faster payments.
NorthOne is an online only bank backed by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. But, unlike some online banking services, NorthOne offers the highest levels of customer support through live chat, phone, or email.
NorthOne offers Envelopes within your account to allocate money for different purposes. You can automatically transfer funds based on a percentage of deposits or a set amount. This can help you be prepared to cover quarterly estimated tax payments, monthly bills, or even accrue emergency savings for your business.
A NorthOne account has a monthly maintenance fee of $10, but this covers most services, including ACH transfers, debit card purchases, deposits, and app integrations. Wire transfers cost an additional $15.
Make cash deposits or withdrawals with no ATM fees at MoneyPass ATMs or use your secure Mastercard Debit card for purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
When to Choose NorthOne
Choose NorthOne if you are looking for a low-cost online bank with personalized phone or chat service and a wide network of ATMs with no ATM fees. Also, take note of business app integrations that can help you manage invoicing, accounting and more.
Who is NorthOne best for?
NorthOne is best for startups looking for an easy way to manage their money and budget for spending and saving within one account. If you don’t mind a small monthly fee to receive personalized service, NorthOne is worth considering. NorthOne’s integrations with other business and finance apps sets it apart.
11. Best For All-in-One Small Business Banking: Bank of America
Bank of America’s Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking offers all the services startups need to manage their money and customize account access for employees.
Bank of America also offers a Business Advantage Relationship Checking Account for business owners who want to avoid wire transfer fees and require more than 200 teller transactions, such as the ability to deposit cash in a branch.
You can link a Bank of America Business Advantage Savings account, as well, to earn interest. The business savings account requires a minimum opening deposit of at least $100.
Bank of America offers tools to help you manage your business, including QuickBooks integration, a Cash Flow Monitor, and Bank of America’s Erica, personal AI assistant.
When to Choose Bank of America
Choose Bank of America if you are looking for a national bank with local branches. If your personal account is with Bank of America, it can make sense to open checking and business savings accounts at the same branch.
Who is Bank of America best for?
Bank of America is best for business owners seeking a traditional bank and plan to make cash deposits at the branch.
12. Best for Merchant Services: Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is the fourth-largest bank in the U.S. and, like Bank of America and Chase, offers a wide variety of business checking and savings accounts, as well as merchant services for faster payment processing.
Wells Fargo business accounts are:
- Initiate, for start-ups, freelancers and entrepreneurs
- Navigate, for established businesses with greater needs
- Optimize, for larger businesses seeking relationship banking services
You can avoid monthly fees with Initiate and Navigate accounts by maintaining the a $500 or $10,000 minimum daily balance, respectively.
Wells Fargo stands out for its merchant services, with multiple payment processing options for businesses of all sizes.
When to Choose Wells Fargo
Choose Wells Fargo if you want the security of a big bank and in-person service.
Who is Wells Fargo best for?
Wells Fargo is best for mid-sized or larger startups seeking payment processing solutions and looking to build a relationship with a national bank with local branches.
Other Banks and Financial Institutions to Consider
Many startups and entrepreneurs find it easiest to open a business checking account at the same institution they use for their personal banking services. You might consider your bank – especially if it is a larger bank like Capital One or Citi.
Credit unions are known for their personalized, friendly service. If you already bank at a credit union or there is one in your area that supports small businesses, you may want to consider a credit union for your startup banking needs.
Borrowing Options for Startups: Does Your Bank Matter?
Startups often rely on business loans or lines of credit as a source of funding to launch their business or move toward the next stage of growth.
Because a startup doesn’t have a performance history of showing profits or a credit history, it can be hard for lenders to evaluate whether the startup represents a good risk.
Banks might look at your personal finances and credit score, and other factors to decide your interest rate, terms, and how much to lend you. They will also use these factors to determine if they should give your startup business a loan, at all.
Banks will evaluate your business plan, credit history, collateral, and even how much you’ve already invested in your business. Lenders will also assess your character.
- Does the lender trust you?
- Do they believe you have the capacity and skills to run a successful business?
- Does it seem like you will pay the loan?
It can help if you have already established a relationship with the bank or credit union, since you will have a chance to show them your character and build trust.
For this reason, you might want to choose a bank that offers small business loans and walks borrowers through the process. While it’s not mandatory to bank at the same financial institution where you are applying for a loan, it won’t hurt – and may help!
Things to Consider When Choosing a Bank for Your Startup
Small business loan support is one consideration when choosing a business bank account for your startup. But there are many other factors you should compare.
Monthly Maintenance Fee
Small business owners and startups want to run a tight ship. That means saving money everywhere they can. You don’t want to pay monthly maintenance fees for your business accounts.
Monthly Fees and Balance Requirements
In addition to monthly the monthly maintenance fee, you don’t want to waste money on other monthly fees, such as:
- ATM fees
- Overdraft fees
- Withdrawal fees
- Fees for wire transfers
Often, you can wait the monthly maintenance fee and other fees by meeting minimum balance requirements. If you are confidence you can maintain that balance, and you like the other features the bank has to offer, that monthly fee or other fees may not be a dealbreaker.
Annual Percentage Yield
If you’re looking at savings accounts for your business, look for one with a high APY. You can often get a higher interest rate from online banks. Some banks even offer an interest bearing checking account.
Branches or Online Banking
Do you want a bank with brick-and-mortar branches for more personalized service? Or do you prefer the convenience and potentially higher interest rates of an online financial technology company?
Most traditional banks today offer online and mobile banking, so even if you prefer one of the “big four” banks in the U.S., you can still have the convenience of online banking services.
Fraud Protection and Customer Support
Beyond this basic protection, you want to find a startup bank with $0 liability fraud protection. Customer support, whether you suspect fraud or just have questions about your account, is also important.
Payment Processing Solutions
Many banks for startups integrate payment processing solutions and invoicing software. Some also integrate with your bookkeeping software, like Quickbooks. NorthOne stands out for its easy integration with accounting, e-commerce and point-of-sale software.
Other banks, like Chase, make it easy to accept credit card payments directly to your business checking account.
How to Open a Business Checking Account Online
Opening a business checking account online is easy, even with traditional brick-and-mortar banks. You’ll want to be mindful of any minimum opening deposit requirements. Find out whether the bank accepts an ACH transfer from another account or requires a debit card to transfer funds into your new account.
Then, gather all the information you’ll need to open your new business account and visit the bank’s website to get started. Keep an eye out for sign-up bonuses you may earn by opening a bank account and completing certain actions, such as setting up direct deposit or making a certain number of debit card purchases.
What You Need to Open a Business Bank Account as a Startup
Opening a business bank account requires specific information, which is similar to the information you might provide to open a personal account.
- Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN) for your business
- Business address and phone number
- Business owner’s government ID, such as a driver’s license
- ID for any other account holders
- Your deposit, usually transferred via ACH or debit card for an online bank
You can open a business account for a startup even if your business is not incorporated and does not have its own tax ID number. You can use your Social Security number, instead, as a freelancer or solopreneur.
Which bank is best for a startup business?
We’ve explored dozens of business bank accounts to reveal 12 of the best banks for startups. The bank you choose will depend on the features they offer, including online and mobile banking, interest bearing checking, and personalized customer service.
Some of these banks are best for those who want to integrate their accounting and payment processing solutions. Others are best for startups seeking small business loans. The largest banks on this list, including Chase and Wells Fargo, may not offer the best interest rates, but they provide security at a time when startups may be concerned about smaller banks.
Can I use my personal bank account for my small business?
If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur or freelancer, you are legally allowed to use your personal bank account for your small business. But it’s good to get in the habit of keeping your business income and personal finance separate.
If you have a startup corporation with its own tax ID number, you must have a separate business bank account to keep your corporate and personal expenses and income separate.