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7 Best Business Bank Accounts for Freelancers, Self-Employed of May 2021

Kelsey SheehyApril 14, 2021
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Self-employed can mean anything from running your own brick-and-mortar business to picking up contract gigs as a side hustle.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, it’s wise to keep your business finances separate from your personal affairs. Doing so will streamline your bookkeeping and make it easier to calculate self-employment taxes.

Which business account is best for you depends on your specific business needs. But generally, the best accounts are easy to open, easy to access and charge minimal fees. Here are some of the top options.

Novo Business Checking

at Novo, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Novo Business Checking

Not yet rated

Novo Business Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

at Novo, Deposits are FDIC Insured


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

This free online business bank account has invoicing services built in, so freelancers and contractors can easily create, send and track invoices directly from their Novo account.

Benefits:

Novo business checking has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. Customers can use any ATM, including international ATMs, and Novo Bank will automatically refund any fees at the end of the month.

Integrated invoicing makes it easier for freelancers and other self-employed professionals to get paid. You can also connect your Novo Bank account to tools like QuickBooks, Stripe and Shopify.

Applying for a Novo Bank business checking account takes about 10 minutes, and you’ll have your account up and running in two to three business days.

What to keep in mind:

Novo Bank is entirely online, so there are no physical branches. You cannot deposit cash into your Novo account, but you can add funds via ACH transfer, mobile deposit, PayPal or Venmo. Business checking accounts require a $50 minimum opening deposit. You can also mail checks to be deposited into your account.

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Lili Account

at Lili, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Lili Account

Not yet rated

Lili Account

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

at Lili, Deposits are FDIC Insured


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Lili is designed specifically for freelancers and independent contractors, offering digital tools that allow you to sort your business and personal expenses, save for taxes and accept payments from customers within a single account.

Benefits:

The mobile-only Lili bank account has no monthly fees, no minimum opening deposit and no transaction fees. This account includes fee-free ATM access through the MoneyPass network and allows you to deposit cash through Green Dot locations.

What to keep in mind:

You are required to apply for a Lili account with your social security number (and cannot apply with an employer identification number), so although it may be a worthwhile option for freelancers, more established businesses will likely need to separate their finances with a dedicated business checking account.

Moreover, the Lili bank account has low monthly limits for mobile check deposits and external bank transfers.

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Oxygen Business Account

Not yet rated

Oxygen Business Account

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Chase Business Complete Banking℠

at Chase, Member FDIC

Chase Business Complete Banking℠

Not yet rated

Chase Business Complete Banking℠

Monthly Fee

$15.00

Waived with $2,000 minimum balance

APY

N/A

Bonus

$300

Requirements to qualify

at Chase, Member FDIC


Bonus

$300

Requirements to qualify

Why we like it

Payment processing through the Chase mobile app is a convenient feature for self-employed professionals on the go and those just setting up shop.

Benefits:

Chase Business Complete checking includes QuickAccept, a payment-processing feature built into the Chase mobile app. You can accept tap-to-pay transactions via card or digital wallet, enter credit card information manually or purchase a Chase card reader to process credit cards via swipe, tap or chip. You can open a Chase business checking account online or at one of nearly 5,000 branches across 39 states.

What to keep in mind:

Chase Business Complete checking has a $15 monthly fee, which is waived if you maintain a daily minimum balance of $2,000 or meet other spending or deposit requirements. You are limited to 20 free “physical” transactions per month, which includes paper checks written from the account and in-person deposits and withdrawals. Additional physical transactions are 40 cents each.

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nbkc Business Account

Not yet rated

nbkc Business Account

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

NBKC offers a truly free business checking account, with no monthly fees, overdraft fees, stop payment fees or transaction fees.

Benefits:

In addition to its practically nonexistent fee structure, NBKC also offers mobile check deposit, as well as free cash deposits via certain MoneyPass ATMs, a rare feature among online business bank accounts.

What to keep in mind:

NBKC does charge for outgoing wire transfers ($5 for domestic, $45 for international) and invoicing software, an optional add-on, is $10 per month after a free 60-day trial.

NBKC business bank accounts are primarily online accounts, but the bank does have four brick-and-mortar branches, all in the Kansas City area.

Applying for an account online only takes five minutes, according to the NBKC site, but it can take five to seven business days for that application to be processed. On new accounts, deposits made during the first 30 days may be held for up to nine business days to help combat fraud.

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Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking℠ Account

Not yet rated

Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking℠ Account

Monthly Fee

$10.00

Waived with $500 minimum balance

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Wells Fargo has more than 5,000 retail branches across 37 states — more than any other bank in the United States — which is ideal for self-employed professionals who prefer to bank in person. And you can open an account online, over the phone or in person.

Benefits:

Three business checking accounts make it easy to find one that fits your needs. The entry-level account, Initiate Business Checking, has a $10 monthly fee that can be avoided if you meet the minimum balance requirement ($500 average daily or $1,000 average monthly balance).

All Wells Fargo business checking accounts include online bill pay, mobile deposit and other digital banking tools. The bank also offers business savings accounts, credit cards and small-business loans.

What to keep in mind:

Wells Fargo business checking accounts are limited to 100 to 250 free transactions per month, depending on the account type. All deposits and withdrawals, with the exception of purchases made using your debit card, count toward that limit.

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BlueVine Business Checking

Not yet rated

BlueVine Business Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

1.00%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

It’s a free business checking account that earns 1% interest on balances up to $100,000.

Benefits:

A free, interest-bearing business checking account is a rarity, never mind one that also offers unlimited fee-free transactions and does not require a minimum balance or opening deposit.

Mobile deposit and integration with payment services like PayPal and Stripe make it easy to get money into your account. Fee-free access to more than 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs makes it easy to get money out, too. BlueVine online business checking also syncs with accounting tools like QuickBooks Online and Wave.

What to keep in mind:

BlueVine business checking pays interest on balances up to $100,000; anything above that threshold does not earn interest. You can use your BlueVine business debit card to deposit cash via participating Green Dot partners (think CVS, RiteAid, 7-Eleven and Walmart), but there is a $4.95 fee for each cash deposit.

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Last updated on April 14, 2021

You may also like these

People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.40%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

APY

0.61%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Methodology

We took a close look at the 10 largest U.S. consumer banks based on assets, large and notable online banks and notable brick-and-mortar banks with business accounts. Financial institutions surveyed: Axos Bank, Bank of America, BlueVine, BBVA, BB&T, BMO Harris Bank, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Consumers Credit Union, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, NBKC, Navy Federal Credit Union, Novo, PNC, Radius Bank, Service Credit Union, SunTrust, TD Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Summary of Best Business Bank Accounts for Freelancers, Self-Employed in 2021 of May 2021

Frequently asked questions