Best Bank for Small Business: Small Business Online Banking in 2021
As you’re creating your to-do list when launching a small business, opening a small business online banking account should be on your list. Even if you already have an established business, opening one will help you separate your personal finances, making it easier when it comes to tax time. Plus, you could open yourself up to risk like liability issues for lawsuits and business debts.
Not sure what is the best bank for a small business like you? We’ve got you covered — keep reading to find out our best picks.
The Best Online Bank For Small Businesses in 2021
When it comes to choosing a bank, you want to consider the types of features you want like paper checks, mobile deposits and minimal fees. All of the banks on our list allow you to open a small business checking account online, making the entire process very convenient.
- Best for Freelancers: Novo Bank
- Best for Small Business Owners: Azlo
- Best for Earning Interest: Bluevine
- Best for One Stop Shop Banking: Axos Bank
- Best for ATM Rebates: LendingClub Bank
- Best for Mobile Banking: NorthOne
Read more: Neobanks – A new approach for SMB banking?
Best for Mobile Banking: NorthOne
Yes, you have to pay a $10 monthly fee, but you get plenty of features that banks normally charge more. That, or you need to meet stricter requirements such as having a higher amount on deposit.
Here’s what you get with NorthOne:
- Bank from your mobile device or laptop
- Unlimited funds transfers and payments
- Send invoices to clients from your account
- Ability to create sub-accounts
- Integrate with other small business apps such as Freshbooks, Quickbooks, Wave, Paypal, and Shopify
If you’re someone who likes to do all their transactions online (including invoicing) and don’t have much cash needs, then NorthOne is a great fit. However, if you need to use the ATM frequently you may want to consider another bank.
Read our full NorthOne review.
Best for One-Stop Shop Banking: Axos Bank
Small business owners who want a full-service bank without the fees found in traditional brick and mortar institutions should check out Axos Bank. This online bank offers a wide variety of products from checking and savings accounts, credit cards and lending products for small business owners.
Like much of the other banks on this list, most types of deposit accounts at Axos don’t charge maintenance fees. Also, this bank offers some of the best interest rates, helping you earn a bit of cash even if it’s just sitting in your account. Though it’s important to note these features are only available to those who have more on deposit, making it the better choice for more established business owners.
In any case, Axos provides 24/7 customer service, online and mobile banking and plenty of financial products to choose from. If you’re someone who likes to do all their banking in one place, Axos is a definite contender.
Learn more about Axos Bank with our full review.
Best For ATM Rebates: LendingClub Bank
Like Axos, LendingClub Rewards Checking is another online bank offering a suite of products and services for business owners who want to open more than a checking account. Although not all their accounts are fee-free, most charge minimal monthly fees or you have the ability to waive them with a fairly low minimum balance requirement.
What we also like about LendingClub Bank is that you can choose from different types of checking accounts — features you’ll want to depend on how far along you are and the type of business you own. For example, the Tailored Checking account offers unlimited ATM free rebates worldwide, unlimited 1% cashback on qualifying debit card purchases, and unlimited transactions. While there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee, you can get that waived if you keep a minimum of $5,000 in the account.
Aside from checking accounts, LendingClub Bank also offers savings, money markets, and CDs. If you need to borrow money to grow your business, LendingClub Bank also offers lending for a wide variety of purposes.
Learn more about LendingClub Bank with our full review.
Best for Freelancers: Novo Bank
Novo partnered with an FDIC-insured bank to offer business owners one of the best small business checking accounts with a user-friendly and powerful digital interface.
- No monthly fees
- Discounts from services such as Google Ads, Hubspot and Zendesk
- No minimum balance requirements
- Free mailed checks
- ATM fees reimbursed from third-party networks
- Integrate with popular small business apps like Quickbooks, Stripe and Slack
Novo only offers checking accounts which isn’t a problem if you’re just starting out or are a freelancer. However, if you’re interested in other products like a savings account, you might need to look elsewhere (though you can easily link external accounts with Novo).
Opening an account takes a few minutes — you’ll need to make a $50 minimum deposit.
Best for Business Automations: Azlo
Azlo is an online-only bank and like Novo, offers a fee-free small business checking account aimed at small business owners who manage a point of sale.
- No maintenance fees
- No minimum balance requirements
- No monthly transaction limits typically imposed by traditional bank
- Integrate with services such as Kaggage, PayPal, Strike and Square in order to view transactions and accounts in one place
- Send invoices directly from your account for your clients to conduct a bank transfer, mail a paper check or pay with their credit card
If your business is online-only as well, you don’t need to worry about cash deposits — Azlo doesn’t accept those. For business owners who need to use the ATM, Azlo has partnered up with the Allpoint network, offering over 55,000 machines across the U.S.
Best for Earning Interest: Bluevine
Bluevine started out primarily as a lender now has branched out to offer checking accounts. It’s great for all types of business owners looking for a simple setup since it doesn’t charge fees you’ll see with most banks.
- No monthly fees
- No incoming wire fees
- No fees for non-sufficient funds
- No account minimums
- Two free checkbooks upon account opening
- 1% interest on balances over $1,000
The best part is that BlueVine allows you to earn interest on a low deposit amount for a small business account. This is one of the most competitive rates out there. Their intuitive app also lets you easily schedule one-time or recurring transfers and pay your contractors, bills, and vendors via wire, ACH transfer, or check.
If you need to make cash deposits you can! Simply, visit a Green Dot location like Walgreens to do so.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Small Business Bank Account
If after looking at the list above you’re still wondering what is the best bank for small business, the short answer is that there isn’t one. Instead, it comes down to what your business needs such as the types of transactions you’ll conduct, how much it makes and your personal preferences. For example, if you like online banking but hate using a mobile app, banks that are mobile-only will probably be off your list of contenders.
Other factors you’ll want to consider:
- The number of transactions you’ll make: The more transactions you have, the more you’ll want to find a bank account that doesn’t charge you for excess transactions. Many traditional bank accounts charge you per transaction after a predetermined amount.
- How much you intend on keeping in the account at any given time: While many of the bank accounts we mentioned above will waive monthly maintenance fees, you’ll need to meet requirements such as having a minimum amount in your account. That means if you’re just starting out, your business is a side hustle or you’re having a slow month, you could be paying bank fees. Instead, consider ones with lower fees or none at all. However, you’ll want to look at whether these accounts also have the features you want.
- Whether you want one account for all your transactions or multiple ones: If you’re a freelancer, it might make sense to only have one account to ensure you’re separating your personal and business transactions. Plus, having one account might make things simpler. However, if you’re the type that wants a checking and a savings accounts, or to create sub-accounts, then you’ll want to find a bank that allows for those options. Plus, there are bank accounts that also allow you to send invoices, eliminating the need for extra software, further simplifying your business operations.
- Types of business integrations you want: Most banks offering small business bank accounts feature some sort of integration, such as ones for popular invoicing software, eCommerce tools, and more. If you have an online shop or run your business from multiple apps, having built-in automation will make your life a lot easier.
- How many cash transactions you’ll have: If you’re someone who deals with a lot of cash or tends to use the ATM often, then looking for a bank account that offers ATM access or cash deposits should be a priority. That, and one that doesn’t charge ATM fees, minimal ones for third-party machines. Better yet, ones that reimburse you for using out-of-network ATMs.
Once you know what features you’re after, then you can narrow down your list of small business banks and do a side by side comparison.
Which Bank Will You Pick?
Seriously, you can’t go wrong with any of our small business online banking choices above. As a business owner, you have a lot of power in terms of where you want to bank, though the wide range of options may seem overwhelming at times.
That being said, just because you pick one bank (or type of bank account), doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind later. It’s not a bad idea to try out and if you’re not satisfied, then go ahead and change to a bank that is a better fit.