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Demystifying the 7 Best Small Business Checking Accounts

Peter Thomson
Peter Thomson  |  November 26, 2019

Keeping your work and life separate is one of the most essential elements of starting your own small business.

This applies doubly when it comes to finances. Even if you are providing the initial injection of cash to get your enterprise off the ground, it’s important to keep the books around your burgeoning business well separated from the personal finances you use to, say, pay off your mortgage or buy food.

After all, a lot goes into running a small business. Let’s dive into what options will help you run you checking account.

Best small business checking accounts

There is a myriad of different services on the market for you to choose from in order to get started with your very own small business checking account. Luckily, there is a clear tier of services that will give you the best bang for your buck.

Of course, this is by no means a comprehensive list of good business checking services. It should merely serve as a starting point to help orient your search for the perfect package for your organization.

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Axos Bank Basic Business Checking

Monthly Maintenance Fee $0
Monthly Transactions 200
Minimum to Open $1,000
Other Features Axos is an entirely online bank. So, there’s no way to deposit cash with them.
bbva logo

BBVA Compass ClearConnect for Business

Monthly Maintenance Fee $0
Monthly Transactions Unlimited
Minimum to Open $100
Other Features No ATM fees; a good option if you do a lot of cash business.
capital one logo

Capital One Spark Business Checking

Monthly Maintenance Fee $0
Monthly Transactions Unlimited
Minimum to Open $0
Other Features Bonus for those who conduct a high volume of business
chase-business-checking-account-1

Chase Total Business Checking

Monthly Maintenance Fee $15
Monthly Transactions 100
Minimum to Open $0
Other Features $200 sign-up bonus
citizens bank logo

Citizens Bank Clearly Better Business Checking

Monthly Maintenance Fee $0
Monthly Transactions 200
Minimum to Open $0
Other Features Has the Citizens Bank Clearly Better Business Checking feature which allows you to grant controlled access to the account to someone else, such as your accountant or bookkeeper.
navy federal credit union logo

Navy Federal Credit Union Business Checking

Monthly Maintenance Fee $0
Monthly Transactions 200
Minimum to Open $5
Other Features Bonus for maintaining a high account balance.
radius bank logo

Radius Bank Tailored Checking

Monthly Maintenance Fee $10
Monthly Transactions 200
Minimum to Open $100
Other Features  Radius is another entirely online bank. So, there’s no way to deposit cash with them. If you maintain a monthly balance of $5,000 or more, you don’t have to pay the monthly service fee.

Before we can jump into the specific services you should look at, we need to stop and take a moment to examine just what makes a business checking account “good” in the first place.

Evaluating a business checking account

Banks make their money by earning interest off your money. This has been the baseline for the industry for a while now, and while it’s rather slow, it’s an extremely reliable cash-flow for these financial institutions. However, some services will aim to make a quick buck through hidden fees or other such rent-seeking nonsense. Let's break down the variety of extra cash you might have to fork over to keep your account running.

Monthly transactions

You might be familiar with the concept of monthly transactions insofar as they relate to your personal checking account. There is, generally speaking, an encouragement by banks to make more transactions. However, when it comes to a business checking account, the logic is flipped: most banks will put a cap on the number of transactions you can make every month.

This isn’t to say a bank will freeze your assets if you make too many transactions in a short period of time. Rather, once you hit the bank’s “limit” (usually between 200 - 500 transactions), you’ll be charged a small fee for each subsequent transaction you make that month. The average price for these fees is around 50 cents per transaction.

Deposit and balance requirements

Another thing to be aware of is how much money you’re likely to keep in your business account. Some banks will penalize you with a fee if the amount of money in your business checking account falls below a certain threshold or reward you for having a consistently high balance. While neither of these are a guarantee in the services you might select, it’s certainly something you should keep a weather eye out for.

Maintenance fee

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. These are often justified as the cost of the bank keeping your account open, but usually they’re only imposed if your particular account isn’t very profitable for the bank in terms of the interest they can earn off your money.

These fees can vary wildly, ranging from as little as $10 a month to as high as $50. Be careful about how much you could be charged simply for doing business with a particular financial institution.

Looking for a new tool to help you keep your finances in order? G2 has an entire software category dedicated to helping you find the best small business accounting software on the market. With hundreds of verified, real user reviews, you're sure to find the perfect solution to your new enterprise.

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Checking the books

Now that you know what the criteria for evaluation are for opening a checking account for your small business, it’s time to get out there and find the perfect service for your new enterprise. Make sure to balance the benefits and fees of any particular offering and you should be good to go!

Curious about what it takes to succeed in the realm of small business? Check out our overview of the 21 most profitable small business in 2019 for the inside scoop. 

Peter Thomson
Author

Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson works with G2 as a Content Marketing Associate. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, they graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in Sociology. Their interests include podcasts, rock climbing, and understanding how people form systems of knowledge in the digital age. (they/them/theirs)