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Best Business Checking Accounts for Freelancers of 2022

Katie Stiner

Using a personal checking account can be a convenient option, but a business checking account for freelancers will help you manage your money on the go and make things simpler during tax season. We reviewed the top options based on their features, fees, and overall quality.

Built to optimize taxes and accounting

$0 - $4.99

Monthly Fee

0% - 1.00%

Est. APY

Overview

Lili’s business checking account was built for freelancers, sole proprietors, and single member LLC with or without a DBA. The account comes with features that help users keep their banking costs low, optimize their taxes, and manage their business’s finances.

What we like

  • FDIC insured, up to $250,000
  • Optimize taxes to pay less
  • Invoicing software included
  • No maintenance fees
  • Automatic transfers to emergency account

What we don't

  • Only for solopreneurs
  • No wire transfers
  • Interest on lili pro only

Manage funds easier with sub-accounts

$0

Monthly Fee

1.50%

Est. APY

Overview

Bluevine business checking comes with no monthly fees. Plus, the account provides an impressive list of benefits such as integration with online business tools, sub-accounts to help you manage your finances, and two free checkbooks.

What we like

  • Unlimited transactions
  • No monthly fees
  • High APY
  • Sub accounts for easier management
  • Integration with business tools

What we don't

  • No APY on balances over $100,000
  • International wire transfers not available
  • Cash deposit fee of $4.95

Business banking that streamlines bookkeeping

$0

Monthly Fee

0%

Est. APY

Overview

Relay offers a simple two-tier pricing plan. You can get started with no monthly fees and no account minimums. When you upgrade to the Pro plan, you’ll benefit from additional features such as free domestic and international wire transfers, or the ability to auto-import bills from QuickBooks and Xero.

What we like

  • Streamlines bookkeeping
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Seamless software connections
  • Set spending limits for employees

What we don't

  • No sign-up bonus or rewards
  • No physical branches
  • No interest earned on balances

Free unlimited transactions and invoicing software

$10

Monthly Fee

0%

Est. APY

Overview

NorthOne helps you manage your finances with its invoicing app, budgeting tool by creating an unlimited number of sub-accounts with the envelope functionality, and integrating with a suite of business tools and software.

What we like

  • Budgeting tool to help manage your finances
  • Smart integrations with business tools
  • Send invoices from the app
  • Low minimum deposit
  • No hidden fees
  • Unlimited transactions with no fee

What we don't

  • $10 monthly fee
  • No in persona customer support

Seamless integration with a wide range of business tools

$0

Monthly Fee

0%

Est. APY

Overview

Novo allows easy integration with third-party accounting software, including Quickbooks and Xero. You can also link your Novo debit card to your Google Pay or Apple Pay Wallet. Novo also syncs with your Stripe processing account and easily integrates with Slack to get automated updates on your bank account.

If you are looking for a business checking account that is easy to use and with almost no fees, you might want to consider Novo. The bank account is also accessible in the app store for both iOS and Android devices.

What we like

  • Free ACH transfers, mailed checks, and incoming wires
  • Minimal fees and ATM reimbursements
  • Backed by FDIC insured
  • Integration with other apps
  • Doesn’t check your credit score

What we don't

  • No APY earned on your balance
  • No cash deposit
  • No outgoing wires or checkbooks

Earn a competitive rate on your balance

$0 - $10

Monthly Fee

0.81%

Est. APY

Overview

Axos Bank business interest checking account earns a competitive rate for cash held within the account, and you'll get your $10 monthly fee waived by holding a minimum balance of $5,000. If you keep a decent amount of cash in your account, this could be an ideal account.

What we like

  • Earns a competitive interest rate
  • Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements
  • 50 free checks when opening an account
  • Low minimum deposit to open account
  • Complete digital experience

What we don't

  • Monthly $10 maintenance fee
  • Limited integration with business tools
  • Limited fee-free transactions per month

What is a business checking account for freelancers?

As a freelancer or sole proprietor, you are not legally required to have a business bank account. However, investing in one can help keep your business and personal finances separate, simplifying bookkeeping during tax season.

Plus, many business checking accounts provide software integrations and accounting tools, such as QuickBooks, Wave, and FreshBooks at no additional cost. 

Who needs a business checking account for freelancers?

Freelancers, the self-employed, solopreneurs, and contractors can benefit from a business checking account. There are many low-cost options available that can help you easily track expenses, manage cash flow, and automate business processes.

What are the pros and cons of a business checking account for freelancers?

There are many pros and cons of opening a business checking account for freelancers. Here are a few for you to consider before applying:

Pros

  • Separation of business finances: As a freelancer, you are running a business and it’s important to keep a distinct separation between business and personal finances. A business checking account can give you a better perspective of where you stand with day-to-day cash flow and expenses. 
  • Tools and integrations: Many business checking accounts offer various tools and software integrations to help streamline your business finances. Look out for QuickBooks, Slack, Stripe, Xero, Shopify, Wise, and Zapier when applying for an account. 
  • Creditability and professionalism: A business checking account can help build your creditability and trust with customers, making your business seem more legitimate. 
  • Credit profile: As a business owner, it’s important to build a credit profile for your business. Strong credit history can give you wider access to financial products at preferential rates.
  • Business growth: With a business bank account, you can access credit lines, business credit cards, and loan products that can provide cash flow during hard times or grow your business during a period of expansion. 

Cons

  • Fees: Business checking accounts typically charge fees that can take a hit on profits, especially during the start of the business. Fees to consider when opening an account include monthly fees, ATM fees, insufficient fund fees, and transaction fees. 
  • Minimum balance: When you’re starting out as a freelancer, it can be hard to meet the minimum balance for accounts. Plus, if your minimum balance falls below the requirements, you could be charged a fee. 

What are the fees for a business checking account for freelancers?

When researching business checking accounts for freelancers, it’s important to consider the fees imposed and how they might affect you. As a freelancer, your income is likely to be unstable. Therefore, accounts with fewer fees are an important priority.

Here are a few fees for you to consider when looking into a checking account for your business:

  • ATM fees: Some banks charge fees for out-of-network ATM transactions. Look for banks that reimburse you for ATM fees or charge no fee at all.
  • Monthly account fee: Every month your business checking account will deduct a monthly maintenance fee typically between $10 – $15. Some banks waive this fee if you hold a minimum balance and others are fee-free.
  • Transaction fees: There may be limits on the number of transactions during a billing period. Types of transactions include cash deposits, electronic transfers, and ATM withdrawals. Once you reach the limit, a small fee can apply to each additional transaction, no matter the size of the transaction.  
  • Overdraft and insufficient fund fees: If you withdraw below your available balance, there may be an insufficient funds fee. 
  • Wire transfers: You can expect to pay between $10 – $35 for incoming and outgoing domestic wire transfers. International transfers are typically $40 – $50 per transaction.

Additional fees can include foreign transaction fees, paper statements fees, and debit card replacement costs. When applying for a business checking account, read the terms and conditions to ensure you understand all the charges that apply.

Alternatively, consider a low-cost or fee-free checking account for your business. As a freelancer, small fees can eat away at your profits over time, so it’s a good idea to look into online business checking accounts to avoid substantial fees. 

What are the alternatives to a business checking account for freelancers?

Alongside a business checking account, you may want to consider a business savings account that can help you put aside funds for emergencies, taxes, or future investments. You can earn interest on the cash you have in your account and offset some of the costs of running your business. A high yield savings account typically pays interest above the national average.

Alternatively, if you run a business that takes online payments, a merchant account could be a good idea. These accounts enable you to take frequent debit and credit card payments while streamlining the payment process for your customers. 

How to choose a business checking account for freelancers?

When looking for the best business checking account for freelancers, here are some key factors to consider before you choose an account:

  • Cost versus features: While many business checking accounts offer tools and integrations to help simplify and manage your business, it’s important that you are not paying for any features that you do not need. That being said, account and payment integrations can help run your business smoothly and efficiently. Consider what best fits your business needs and budget, then go from there. 
  • Business growth: If you’re looking to expand your freelancing business in the future, consider a business checking account that can accommodate your growing financial requirements.