As an entrepreneur and LLC owner, you have a lot on your plate. Ideally, the correct business bank account will reduce that burden rather than add more stress.
Fortunately, plenty of business banking options can actually streamline your day-to-day. In this post, we’ll review some of the best accounts available today and discuss why finding the best business bank accounts for an LLC are a must-have.
What Type of Account is Best for an LLC?
An LLC is a business structure that protects business owners against becoming personally responsible for any business debts or liabilities. Basically, an LLC is there to keep business liability, personal banking, and professional expenses separate.
Keep this in mind as we think about what sort of bank account best suits your LLC. And if you’re thinking of forming one, you definitely want a bank account that’s able to function well alongside it. This means flexibility, online access, and customer support if you need it.
Here are some factors to consider when picking your LLC’s bank account.
Online-Only vs. Brick-and-Mortar
Your first decision is what type of bank you want to work with. Are you comfortable with a modern, online-only bank, or do you prefer to do your banking in person? There’s no definitive answer here, so it comes down to your business’s needs.
Online-only banks are usually less expensive and offer higher-than-average savings rates. On the other hand, brick-and-mortar banks usually offer vast branch networks, along with in-person support when you need it. Also, if you need to frequently deposit or remove cash, you’ll probably need to work with a brick-and-mortar.
Neobank vs. Traditional Bank
Neobank is a term that’s commonly interchanged with an online bank, although there’s a slight difference. While both types describe a banking option that exists completely online, the distinction is that a neobank is technically not a bank. Neobanks are tech companies that partner with chartered banks to provide digital bank accounts.
Of course, the benefit of a neobank is that the software is usually top-tier. These banks tend to have high-performing, innovative mobile platforms. Plus, they almost always include the same benefits as online banks, with lower fees and higher interest rates.
On the other hand, traditional banks will seem a lot more familiar. Traditional banks still have online banking, but they also usually offer a wider array of services and in-person locations.
Another important consideration is if your bank limits the number of transactions you can process each day or month. Some smaller online-only accounts will limit the amount of money you can take out from the ATM, deposit via check, or send via ACH.
Larger banks, typically, don’t have as many transaction limits. This is where it’s important to know your own business. If your business frequently processes ACH, cash, or check transactions of $1,000 or more, make sure to verify that your bank will be able to keep pace.
Do you want to be a freelancer forever? If so, you’ll probably be fine with a bank like Bluevine, for example. However, if you plan to scale and hire employees, you may want to start with a more established bank, such as one of the “Big Four” (Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citibank).
That said, you can always switch banks down the line. So don’t worry about starting with a simple online-only option and stepping it up down the road.
9 Best Business Bank Accounts for LLCs
Now, let’s review our top contenders for LLC bank accounts this year:
1. Chase Business Complete Banking
Chase Bank offers a full suite of business banking products for organizations of all shapes and sizes.
Chase Business Complete Checking is its entry-level business checking account. It’s by far Chase’s most accessible for most businesses.
The account has a $15 monthly service fee, but you only need $2,000 in your account to avoid it. Alternatively, you can get the fee waived by accepting Chase QuickAccept deposits or spending with your Chase Ink Business credit card.
Chase Business Complete Checking comes with unlimited debit card and Chase ATM transactions. If your business deals in cash, you can add up to $5,000 in fee-free cash deposits each month. Also, you won’t have to worry about paying the fee for a linked savings account.
It’s also a great time to open a new account. Right now, new Business Complete Banking customers can earn a $300 sign-up bonus.
2. Bank of America Business Advantage Fundamentals
Bank of America offers some of the best business checking accounts you can find, along with the support and security of a big national bank.
With Fundamentals Banking, you get access to dedicated small business specialists, along with intuitive tools like a cash flow monitor and Erica, BoA’s virtual assistant. The account does have a $16 monthly fee, but you can get around it by maintaining a balance of $5,000 or more. Plus, if you enroll in BoA’s rewards program, most of its other typical fees are waived as well.
Overall, BoA is a good bet for LLC owners who like having all their finances in one place. BoA rewards business customers for a deeper relationship, so you get boosted rewards on any connected business credit cards and savings accounts.
3. Capital One Basic Checking
Capital One offers two different business checking accounts: Basic and Unlimited.
For new or smaller LLCs, Basic Checking should do just fine. If your business is more established and deals in higher transactions, Unlimited comes with some expanded tools and features.
There’s a $35 monthly maintenance fee, and you need a $25,000 minimum balance to avoid it. However, there’s no fee for cash deposits and incoming wires are always free.
In a nutshell, Capital One is an appealing blend of a high-quality online banking platform and a big-name bank.
4. Wells Fargo Initiate
Wells Fargo offers more branch locations than any other brick-and-mortar bank. For those who are just getting their LLC off the ground, Wells Fargo’s Initiate checking account is a solid place to start.
Initiate comes with all the basics: a business debit card, online and mobile banking, bill pay, and the minimum opening deposit is just $25. There’s a $10 monthly fee, but you won’t pay it if you keep a daily balance of $500 or more. Also, there’s no fee for your first 100 transactions with an Initiate account, and Wells Fargo offers widespread fee-free ATM access with 12,000 cash machines nationwide.
As your business grows, your Wells Fargo account can grow with it. Remember that Initiate is the entry-level account. Once things pick up, you can upgrade to Navigate and Optimize, which are designed for higher-volume businesses.
5. Bluevine Business Checking Account
Bluevine is a simplistic, online-only business banking platform. These two attributes alone make it stand out from the above-mentioned pack of traditional banks.
Bluevine only offers one free business checking account, and it’s intended to support every financial aspect of your LLC. With Bluevine, you can take care of everything from bookkeeping to online bill pay to invoicing — all from the mobile app or website.
There’s no minimum deposit requirement, no monthly fee, and you get unlimited transactions. You also won’t pay a thing for overdrafts or ACH transfers, and incoming wire transfers are included. Bluevine is part of the MoneyPass ATM network, which provides 37,000 fee-free ATM locations.
And, maybe best of all, a Bluevine account comes with one of the best interest rates in all of business banking. When you keep a balance of at least $500 or receive at least $2,500 in customer payments, you earn a up to 1.50% APY on your balance (up to $100,000).
The only downside of Bluevine is the lack of physical branches. Some small business owners might not be comfortable with an online business checking account, in which case a more traditional option makes more sense. Also, if your LLC deals a lot in cash (e.g., if you own a retail shop, or food services establishment), you will most likely not be able to practically operate with Bluevine. On the other hand, if you run an online business, Bluevine is an awesome option.
6. Axos Business Interest Checking
Axos is one of the best online banks in the business. Unlike many of its digital-only competitors, Axos is a chartered, FDIC-insured financial institution. This means Axos serves its customers directly, unlike its neobank rivals.
Business Interest Checking does come with a $10 monthly fee, but you can avoid that by maintaining an average daily balance of $5,000 or more. You can also count on unlimited ATM withdrawal fee reimbursements (up to 100 free transactions per month) and your first set of 50 checks are on the house.
The thing that really sets Axos Business Interest Checking apart is its APY. At the moment, you can earn up to 1.01% APY on your checking balance if your account balance is under $50,000. Unfortunately, the APY drops to 0.10% above $50,000. But for most balances, the APY outpaces its business savings accounts.
There’s plenty to like about Axos, however, just like Bluevine, the trade-off is the lack of in-person support. As long as you’re comfortable with things like mobile check deposits and online account maintenance, Axos is a noteworthy option.
Novo is another digital bank that focuses on business finance. At the core of everything Novo does, there’s simplicity. That means a user-friendly platform paired with automated tools to help your business along the way.
It only takes a few minutes to open an account online, and, like Bluevine, Novo is almost entirely fee-free. While it doesn’t have the wide range of account options as a traditional bank, Novo makes up for it by packing its lone account with cool features and free transactions.
For example, Novo allows you to organize your money with Reserves. You can have up to five Reserves per account, which will come in handy while you’re planning ahead for payroll, taxes, and other expenses.
Novo also works with a wide variety of optional integrations. You can easily connect business software like QuickBooks, Stripe, and more to your Novo account. Plus, Novo encourages its users to take advantage of these integrations and offers some pretty sweet discounts for signing up.
8. U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking Account
U.S. Bank is arguably the most popular financial institution in the American Midwest, and it offers a bunch of great options for small business banking. As a U.S. Bank account holder, you can choose from three different business account packages: Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
For most new businesses, Silver is your best bet. There’s no monthly maintenance fee, and you don’t pay a fee on your first 125 monthly transactions. Overall, Silver is the best value, but if you have a business that has a lot of transactions, you can always upgrade.
With every U.S. Bank business checking account, you can enjoy online banking and bill pay, overdraft fee protection, and card payment processing.
To get started online, all you need is an Employer Identification Number, Social Security number, or a Tax ID, and you can open your new account in just a few minutes.
Oxygen is a business-focused neobank in the same wheelhouse as Novo, Mercury, and Bluevine. While Oxygen is far from a household name, the fact that it offers 5% cash back on qualifying purchases makes it worth a look.
Also, if you haven’t formed your LLC yet, Oxygen features a handy in-app tool that can help you get the process started. What’s more, there are no minimum balance requirements, and you’ll never pay ATM fees or transfer fees.
Finally, if you plan to open a business savings account (never a bad idea) get ready to take a breath of fresh air. At the time of writing, Oxygen account holders can earn 1.0% APY on business savings balances up to $20,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an LLC have a bank account?
Yes. Every LLC can and should have a bank account to separate business and personal expenses. While you might use a personal account when you’re just starting out (e.g., as a freelancer), you should set up a separate bank account once you officially form an LLC.
Do you need a separate business account for an LLC?
It’s not mandatory. However, a major point of establishing an LLC is to separate business liability and debt from your personal finances. If you don’t have a separate account for your LLC, it cannot serve these important functions.
What bank offers the best business accounts?
It depends on your business needs. For example, some business owners might do fine with an online-only account, like one from Axos or Bluevine. On the other hand, traditional banking options like Chase, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank make more sense for businesses that require in-person support and the ability to deposit cash.
Always consider your primary needs first and the rest will fall into line. Furthermore, even if you don’t need a business loan, merchant services, or payroll assistance immediately, you might want to choose a bank that offers them just in case. Hopefully, you’ll get there one day!
Which bank is best for a startup business?
Again, it depends. Every startup is different, so each one will need something a little different. Factors like the number of transactions, cash deposits, monthly fees, transaction limits, and savings rates come into play here.
Make a list of everything your LLC needs out of a bank account. From there, figuring out which one is the best for your startup should be a lot simpler.