Startups can be a lot of fun, especially early-stage startups, where a lot of activity is happening at any given time. However, running a startup can be very time and energy-consuming. That’s why small business owners need to find one of the best banks for startups to help them manage their financial affairs.
Startups funded through venture capital, where investors and shareholders have a stake in the business, have even more to consider.
Whether you’re looking to get a business checking account, a business credit card, or small business loans, you will need to look at everything the bank has to offer.
We’ve broken down the top banks for startups based on their account options, pricing, requirements, and customer support below.
10 Best Banks for Startups in 2023
Here are the best banks for startups to open an account with today:
- 🏆 U.S. Bank: Business Checking
- Chase: Best Big Bank for Startups
- Live Oak: Best High Yield Savings for Startups
- Axos: Best for Interest-Bearing Checking & Savings
- NorthOne: Best Bank with Sub-Accounts
- Bluevine: Best Online Bank for Startups
- Novo: Best Bank with Financial Tools
- Mercury: Best Bank for Tech Startups
- Capital One: Best for Unlimited Transactions
- Found: Best Bank for Simplicity
1. US Bank
U.S. Bank is a good pick for startups that want a traditional bank. The bank has five business checking accounts, from a basic free account to specialized nonprofit and premium options.
It also offers business credit cards, payment services, savings and investing accounts, and business loans.
U.S. Bank’s Silver Business Checking Package is a great fit for startups. The account has no monthly fees, and it comes with 125 free transactions each month.
Accountholders can also make either $2,500 or 25 monthly cash deposits without incurring a fee.
All of U.S. Bank’s business checking accounts come with a streamlined mobile banking experience, check fraud prevention and mobile deposits. You can also opt into features like card payment processing, cash management services, and overdraft protection.
While it only has branches in 28 states, U.S. Bank’s business accounts are available nationwide. With its current promotion, you can earn up to $750 when you open a new business checking account.
U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking
U.S. Bank's Silver Business Checking account offers a variety of tools to help you stay on top of your businesses finances. From online banking to mobile check deposit, managing your money has never been easier.
While Chase offers several business accounts, startups will find Chase Business Complete Banking the most interesting.
With lower entry requirements, it has smaller businesses squarely in its aims.
While it might not have all of the bells and whistles that come with the other accounts, it still boasts some great and useful features.
There is a monthly service fee of $15, which can be avoided by meeting any of the following four criteria:
- Maintaining a daily balance of at least $2,000
- Make a minimum of $2,000 in purchases on Chase Ink Business Card
- Deposit a minimum of $2,000 from eligible merchant services
- Link a Chase Private Client checking account
- Show proof of military status
The account comes with access to QuickAccept®, which allows you to take card payments using the Chase Mobile app.
The app also provides same-day deposits for any payments approved before 8 PM (ET) every day except Saturday.
The account also comes with access to Bill Pay, wire transfers, and QuickDeposit, giving you even more options to make and receive payments.
- QuickAccept® to take payments on the go
- Wide range of products and services
- Upgrade account as the business grows
- Monthly fees can be relatively high
3. Live Oak
Live Oak is a digital bank that specializes in banking and lending products for entrepreneurs.
It’s one of the best banks for small businesses, with business checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and 1031 Exchange banking services.
The checking account has all the basic perks you’d expect—you can make mobile deposits, pay bills, and transfer funds. You can also accept payments via Stripe, Venmo, PayPal, or Square and enjoy fee-free withdrawals at any Allpoint ATM.
While there is a $100 minimum deposit, the account doesn’t come with any monthly fees.
Live Oak’s business savings account is a stand out. Like the business checking account, it doesn’t charge any account management fees.
For a limited time, you get a $300 bonus when you sign up for an account and make a minimum deposit of $30,000 within 15 days and maintain that balance for at least 90 days. As long as you have at least $30,000 in your account, you can earn 4.00% APY.
Funds in the account are also highly secure. Live Oak is a member of IntraFi Network Deposits, meaning your funds are FDIC-insured up to $10 million.
- Competitive interest on savings
- High FDIC insurance limit
- No monthly account fees
- No physical branches for in-person support
The account that will best fit you and your startup business will largely depend on how much bank activity you generate.
Accounts are designed for different businesses, from businesses with moderate activity to growing businesses. One important thing to note is that at the moment, Axos is running a welcome bonus promotion.
New businesses incorporated after the 1st of June 2020 that open an account with them get a free $200 bonus.
When it comes to checking, Axos offers two accounts called Basic Business Checking and Business Interest Checking. The basic account has no monthly maintenance fee and offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements when withdrawing within the US.
You also get up to 60 free remote deposit items per month. The interest-bearing checking account comes with a $10 monthly fee, which is waived if you keep an average daily balance of at least $5,000.
On the positive side, money in the account earns an APY rate of up to 1.01%
- The checking account earns interest.
- A wide range of banking services and products
- New account offers
- Monthly maintenance fee
NorthOne is a financial app with a mission to save small businesses time and money. The account does come with a $10 monthly fee, which you won’t be able to waive.
Most other fees are waived except for domestic wire transfers, which will set you back $15.00.
NorthOne’s deposit account can be managed entirely from your phone or computer with no branches to visit. App features include Envelopes, which lets you set money aside for upcoming expenses.
You can set up daily, weekly, or monthly transfers or even save a percentage of any payments you receive directly to an envelope.
Other app features include mobile check deposits and integrations with other apps such as Amazon, Etsy, Airbnb, etc.
You can also sync your bank transactions to several accounting apps, helping you simplify your accounting without having to import transactions manually.
- Offers integration with several platforms
- Low fees
- Set money aside using Envelopes
- $10 monthly fee cannot be waived
Bluevine is a banking app that’s wholly aimed at small business customers.
They have an A+ rating from the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and are FDIC insured through Coastal Community Bank. Technically speaking, they are not a bank but still offer various financial products and services, including a checking account and several others.
The business checking account comes with no monthly fees, and there are no NSF (non-sufficient funds) fees either, something a startup facing cash flow issues will surely appreciate. Accountholders can send money to 26 countries in eight currencies.
Checking account balances also earn up to 2.00% APY interest rate on balances of up to $250,000. ATM withdrawals are also free of charge when you use any of the 38,000 MoneyPass locations.
Bluevine also offers invoice factoring, which allows you to borrow money on outstanding invoices. Applying does not affect your credit score. You can borrow up to 90% of the invoice, provided you qualify.
Once the payment of the invoice is received, you get the rest of the amount, less the processing fee. Bluevine also offers lines of credit that can go up to $250,000.
- No monthly fees
- No insufficient funds fees
- Checking accounts earn interest
- Less suitable for a growing startup
Tip: Open a Small Business Credit Card To Earn Some Easy Cash
Novo is a small business neobank offering businesses an account that comes jam-packed with features and perks.
You can open an account with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service charges. While Novo doesn’t charge any fees, NSFs, and Uncollected Funds Returned Fees are charged at $27 apiece.
You can send invoices through Novo via Stripe, which allows you to accept payments via debit card and credit card, bank account, Google Pay, or Apple Wallet. You can also accept invoice payments via Square, but this feature is still in beta at the time of writing.
You can also send ACH payments and paper checks directly through Novo, and these are free of charge. If you’re looking to send international transfers, you can do so via Wise.
The app has many other features, including mobile check deposits and Novo Reserves (to set money aside for a rainy day or expenses like taxes or payroll). Plus, integrations with over 1,500 different apps help you improve your workflows.
Accounts also come with many perks, which can help you save cash on several subscriptions and purchases, including Quickbooks, Stripe, Gusto, and many others.
- Stripe integration
- Free ACH payments
- Integrates with over 1,500 apps
- NSFs and Uncollected Funds Returned Fees cost $27
Mercury is a San Fransico-based bank squarely aimed at startups with companies incorporated in the US. They offer both checking and savings accounts and debit cards and Mercury Treasury.
Mercury’s free checking and savings accounts have no overdraft fees, and ACH, wire, and check payments are all free of charge. The accounts come with several other tools and perks, including API access, team management, bookkeeper accounts, and rewards.
The Mercury Treasury account invests your extra money into US government securities and money market funds to improve both yields as well as safety.
With Mercury being a startup-focused bank, you also get access to opportunities such as Mercury Raise, through which you can apply to get your seed round in front of investors.
- No overdraft fees
- Management tools included with the account
- Opportunity to pitch to investors
- No interest on checking and savings
9. Capital One
Capital One offers business credit cards, accounts, merchant services, lending, and many other products and services.
This wide-range offering can help startups develop an ongoing relationship with their bank as they grow.
Their basic checking account comes with a monthly fee of $15, which goes up to $35 for their Unlimited Checking account. To have this fee waived, you’ll need to maintain a balance of $2,000 or $25,000 respectively.
Neither account earns interest, but you get unlimited transactions. There is also a minimum opening deposit requirement of $250. To apply for an account, you will need to visit one of their branches, so you’ll need to make sure there is one available in your area.
- Wide range of products and services designed for businesses
- Unlimited transactions
- Access to over 70,000 ATMs with no ATM fees
- Monthly fee is higher than the competition
Found is a newcomer to the business finance world, founded in 2019. And it’s our top pick for a simplified business banking experience. The fintech (financial technology) company’s comprehensive platform provides a business checking account, bookkeeping services, and tax tools.
The business checking account has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and you can make unlimited transactions. The account is also seamlessly integrated with apps like Cash App, PayPal, Etsy, and Square.
You can also access several bookkeeping tools, like a receipt capture tool, automated expense tracking, reporting, and unlimited invoicing.
The Found business account can also automatically save money for taxes, track your tax write-offs, and provide tax estimates. You can even auto-fill tax documents and pay your taxes directly in Found’s mobile app, saving time and avoiding stress at tax time.
- 2-day pay advances with direct deposits
- No account fees or minimums
- Excellent tax and bookkeeping tools
- No cash deposits
How To Open a Startup Bank Account
Opening a startup bank account is easier than ever before. In most cases, you can do so from the comfort of your own home, with the entire process taking just minutes.
Do keep in mind that requirements can vary from one bank to another. As such, it always pays to read what the requirements are before starting the signup process, short as it may be.
Things To Consider When Choosing a Bank For Your Startup
No bank account is going to be perfect for every startup. Each startup is different.
As a first step, you’ll need to sit down and make sure you understand what banking options your business needs now and what it might need down the line.
Doing so will help you choose the right bank and account for you and help you make sure that you can grow your business and your relationship with the bank.
Here are the top factors to consider:
Monthly Fees and Balance Requirements
Many accounts come with a monthly maintenance fee, which varies from one bank to another. In most cases, you can waive the fee by meeting a preset requirement every billing cycle, which runs for a month.
Others don’t offer a waiver, so if you want the account and all its perks, you’ll have to pay the fee. Some neobanks and online banks don’t charge any monthly fees at all.
The main reason these banks can offer lower fees is that they do not have any branches and, as such, have lower overheads.
FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insures account holders up to $250,000 per account category.
When a bank offers FDIC-insured accounts, your money is insured, and you are guaranteed to get it back (up to the insured amount) should something happen to the bank. Most banks are FDIC insured, but it’s always worth checking.
Many online banks and neobanks do not offer insurance themselves but work with other banks to provide insured accounts.
Fees can be a sore point on the best of days but even more so for a startup where cash flow issues can hinder growth.
Be sure to check the fee schedule when choosing the bank account to see what kind of fees you might be liable to pay.
These can eat away at your profits and are not necessarily something you can do without.
Some banks focus on low fees and might even offer several free transactions every month or billing cycle.
With many startups being technology-friendly, integrations can go a long way in making your life easier and ultimately cutting down your costs.
From integrations with accounting software to integrations with payment systems and gateways, having everything play nicely together can help you focus more on your business.
Other Banks and Financial Institutions to Consider
Startups and entrepreneurs can have very different requirements making it highly unlikely that one bank will accommodate every business.
To help you make the best choice for you and your business, here are some other options that you might want to consider.
Bank of America
Bank of America’s small business banking arm offers a wide range of products and services aimed at helping small businesses grow.
From the all-in-one checking account to credit cards, merchant services, and cash flow tools, the comprehensive package on offer can help any startup succeed.
The Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking has a monthly service fee of $16, which you can avoid by maintaining a combined average monthly balance of $5,000, making $250 of qualifying debit card purchases, or being a Preferred Rewards for Business Member.
At the same time, the Business Advantage Relationship Banking package comes with a monthly service charge of $29.95, which can be avoided by maintaining a combined average monthly balance of $15,000 or becoming a Preferred Rewards for Business Member.
Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks in the US, offers a wide range of personal bank accounts and business accounts. Their Initiate Business Checking Account is aimed at startups looking for a solid banking foundation to build their business.
The account comes with many of the features we have expected from business accounts with a monthly fee of $10. To have the fee waived, you will need to maintain a daily balance of at least $500 or an average ledger balance of $1,000.
While Stripe is not a bank, it offers a simple way to receive and make payments with its APIs making it easy to accept payments from various platforms.
Several banks and fintech companies that offer business accounts for startups offer Stripe integration.
If the account you choose does not offer this out of the box, they are still worth checking out.
Brex is a fintech company aiming to offer business owners a one-stop-shop solution to their financial requirements. Accountholders get access to a business account, expense management, travel management, a corporate card, bill pay, financing, and expense modeling software.
The account has no fees and minimum requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which bank is best for small businesses?
Because each startup and each bank is different, no one bank’s the best for everyone. Instead, consider what’s essential for you and your business, such as online banking, cash management functionality, number of monthly transactions, and account options.
Which bank is best for LLC?
While you can set up most business banking accounts under an LLC, this might not be true for every bank. Mixed-use accounts can only be set up under the owner’s name, with the LLC set up as a tax identifier.
However, there might be some restrictions in such cases, so you will need to check if you can still operate within such parameters. Either way, consider what the account has to offer since these can vary a lot from one bank to another.
Features such as unlimited transactions, online bill pay, free domestic wires, and many more can help you choose the right bank for you.
What kind of bank account do I need for a small business?
If you have a small business, you should open a business bank account to meet your company’s needs. Many of these accounts come with checking, savings, corporate credit or debit cards, and features like merchant services and bookkeeping tools.
Be sure to choose a business bank account from a reputable bank or financial institution that is FDIC insured so your funds are protected.
Choosing The Best Banks for Startups is Crucial to Your Business
Whether you’re running a tech startup, a freelance business, or anything in between, selecting the proper business bank account can be essential to your success.
After all, no business can function without sound financial management, and this is what business banking is all about.
When looking for a business bank account, make sure you first understand your requirements.
Also, remember to look at your projections to see how fast your business is likely to grow. After all, you might not want to look for a new bank account as you’re expanding rapidly, as this might make you lose your focus.
Whether you’re looking for unlimited transactions, low fees, a variety of accounts, or financial help, we’re pretty confident that you’ll find a bank that meets your needs.