If you haven’t heard, I recently incorporated my business. I have been a small business owner for some time working on a freelance basis, but recently decided that I needed to tighten it up. I have been contemplating creating an LLC for some time and then just decided to do it. Since I have had an LLC before, I knew that all I needed was a registered agent (I don’t recommend being your own, especially if you work from home) and a few pieces of paper submitted to the state. It only took 24 hours from the time I submitted the paper work to when I was official.
One of the main reasons why I wanted to incorporate was to keep my business and personal income separate. Yes, they all flow together on the tax forms, but it is much easier to budget when you have them separate. My next step after incorporating was to score an EIN from the IRS and then get a business checking account. I wasn’t looking for an ordinary business checking account, but a free one!
Free Business Checking Accounts
I forgot how hard it was to find a free business checking account. Banks love to charge fees, but I just run a small business. I don’t want to pay for a business checking account when I don’t use it much. A fee of less than $10 a month can add up and it is just wasted money. Not cool. I was on a quest to find a free business checking account. Here is a list of the banks that I found that offer such a service. I plan on adding more banks as I come across them.
PNC Bank – This is the bank that I ended up going with. It is local and I can just go into the branch. They will attempt to sell you other services or upgrade you to a paid account, but they do offer free business checking with only a $100 deposit. (July 2014 Update: They have just sent out emails ending their free business checking. Boo!)
EverBank – They offer a free online business checking account with a $1,500 minimum deposit. They have excellent customer service and high reviews. You also earn some interest on all of your deposits and you can deposit checks from your office. This option is only available for sole proprietors, so not LLCs or Corporations.
CapitalOne 360 – Now, CapitalOne doesn’t offer free business checking accounts, but they do offer free business savings accounts. If you wan to hold your money in an interest bearing account, then try out CapitalOne 360. I use them for a personal account and have not had any issues. You can even link up your business checking account and transfer money easily.
Bank of Internet – This might not even sound like a real bank, but it is. They have a portfolio of business checking accounts, but they do offer a free one called Basic Business Checking. There is not monthly maintenance fee and you can have up to 200 transactions with no fee. You can also use mobile deposits 60 times per month with no extra fee.
Zions Bank – This bank offers a basic business checking account with no monthly maintenance fees. They do have thresholds, but you can get a free business checking account with just a $100 deposit. Check out the site to make sure you won’t be using it more than its limits.
US Bank – They offer a wide range of business checking accounts. They have a 150 transaction limit on their free business checking, but I can’t find anything about a minimum deposit amount. Check their site to compare their different accounts.
First Citizens Bank – They offer a free business checking account with two requirements. You have to deposit $100 to open the account and you have to get eStatements online, instead of paper statements, in order to get the free checking account. I think that is easy enough.
SmallBusinessBank.com – This is an online only FDIC-insured small business bank that offers free business checking accounts. They offer checking accounts and savings accounts with a business debit card and the ability to do remote deposits. I have heard their customer service is lacking a bit, but it could be worth it to check out.
Fidelity Bank – This bank is only located in Georgia, but you might be able to have an account, just like you would with an online bank. They have two types of free business checking accounts and their initial deposits are small.
Guaranty Bank – This is a bank located in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. They have a “Totally Free” business checking account. There are no minimums and no monthly service charges. See if this bank is close to you.
Huntington Bank – This is a bank that is dedicated to small business owners. They don’t charge monthly fees and you can deposit up to $5,000 each month along with 100 transactions. They handle businesses in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan. Try to locate a branch to see if they can service you.
Provident Bank – This is a bank in NJ, but they do offer a free business checking account. You get 1,000 transactions free each month and a debit MasterCard. You can call them to setup a bank account. Not sure if you have to be in NJ to qualify.
Credit Unions – It is almost impossible to name all of the credit unions out there, so just go try and find one near you. I know that some offer free business checking accounts, but not all. You just have to go and ask. Credit unions are usually a better bet than most banks.
Now, these are not the only banks that offer free business checking for their customers, but I don’t know if I have enough time to look at every bank in the US. Each of these options are FDIC insured, so you don’t have to worry about your deposits. Whenever you are looking for a free checking account, make sure you read the fine print. Many only offer it for free if you keep a minimum balance, make a few transactions per month and don’t require many of their services. Make sure that you get what you want and ask when you are applying.
Do you know of any other banks, both online and off, that offer free business checking accounts? I would love to add more to the list.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This does not affect the service you get from the bank and the opinions throughout are my own.
Image Courtesy of US Bank