Found Business Checking: A Free Account Built for Freelancers
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The bottom line:
Built-in invoicing, bookkeeping and tax-planning tools are useful for freelancers and gig workers, but Found business checking lacks some basic banking functions.
Pros & Cons
No monthly fees or minimum opening deposit.
Unlimited fee-free transactions; no overdraft fees.
Free, built-in invoicing, bookkeeping and tax-planning features.
Integrates with popular business apps, including Stripe, Etsy and PayPal.
Can’t deposit cash; can’t deposit checks or pay by check.
Weekend and after-hours support via email only.
Have to open account in your name, not business name, and use your SSN to apply. (Business EIN can be added later.)
How does Found compare?
Grasshopper Business Checking Account
Lili Business Checking
Deposits are FDIC Insured
With $0 min. balance for APY
Requirements to qualify
Found is a relative newcomer to a crowded field of online business checking accounts. Launched in 2019, Found — a fintech company — partners with Piermont Bank to offer an FDIC-insured business checking account souped up with freelancer-friendly features like automatic tax withholding, built-in invoicing and integration with popular gig working apps.
For all those bells and whistles, Found’s free business checking account lacks some basic banking functions. First, you can’t deposit checks or pay by check. You can’t deposit cash, either. And wire transfers? Found only supports incoming domestic wires.
Those gaps in service may not be an issue for rideshare drivers, Etsy shop owners and Instacart shoppers — or other business owners who transact primarily via apps. But it will be a deal breaker for some business owners, like those who pay vendors or employees by check.
Found business checking is best for:
Rideshare drivers and app-based gig workers.
Freelancers and sole proprietors who want a one-stop shop for checking, invoicing, bookkeeping and tax planning (and don’t need the ability to write or deposit checks).
Found business checking at a glance
Minimum opening deposit requirement:
No cash deposits.
How to open a Found business checking account
You can open a Found business checking account on the Found website or via the app.
Found business accounts are opened using just your personal name and Social Security number, making these accounts best suited for freelancers, gig workers and other sole proprietors. If you have an EIN, you can add it once the account is open.
This is a departure from the typical process for opening a business bank account, which customarily goes in your business name and requires formation documents, like a business license or registration.
What you need to open a Found business account
Here’s what you need to apply for a Found business checking account:
Legal name, home address and cell phone number.
Social Security number and date of birth.
Basic business details, including industry and date started.
Estimated business income, tax filing status and total expected income (to estimate your tax bill).
While you can apply for an account in minutes, it can take up to seven business days for your Found debit card to arrive. Your card details are available in the app, though, so you can use a virtual card while you wait.
Where Found business checking stands out
Built-in invoicing, bookkeeping tools: Found’s free business checking account includes unlimited invoicing, including scheduled and recurring invoices. You can customize invoices to include your company logo or to add a personal note. Invoices sent using Found can be paid by ACH or payment apps like Venmo, PayPal or Zelle. You can also accept card payments if you have a Stripe account, though there’s an additional processing fee.
Found also has integrated bookkeeping tools that automatically categorize expenses when you use your Found business debit card. Plus, you can save and annotate receipts in the Found app, and create multiple reports based on account activity.
Automated tax planning tools: Tax planning can be a pain — or a full-on shock — for the self-employed, especially those otherwise accustomed to W-4 tax withholding through an employer. Found aims to simplify the process.
The Found app includes a tax estimate that updates as you spend and earn, and it automatically sets aside money for your tax bill. It also helps you keep track of deductible business expenses and automatically creates a Schedule C, which you’ll use to file your taxes. Plus, you can pay your quarterly estimated taxes from the Found app.
Where Found business checking falls short
Lacks basic banking functions: Mobile check deposit is a basic feature offered by almost every business checking account — except for Found. In fact, you can’t deposit checks or pay by check with Found’s business account. You can’t send wire transfers, either. (Found does support incoming domestic wire transfers.)
Found also doesn’t support cash deposits. While that’s not entirely unusual for an online business account, it will be a non-starter for some business owners. If you need a business bank account that accepts cash deposits, consider NBKC business checking or LendingClub’s Tailored Business Checking account, which allow unlimited cash deposits at compatible ATMs. Brick-and-mortar banks also take cash deposits, though there may be a cap on how much you can deposit each month.
So how do you get money into and out of your Found business account? Found does offer ACH transfers (incoming and outgoing) with one-time, scheduled and recurring payments. You can send or request payment via the app, or send an invoice to collect payment via credit card, debit card, ACH transfer or payment app. Debit and credit card payments are processed by Stripe, and you’ll have to pay Stripe's transaction fees.
Limits on deposits, transactions: Found doesn’t charge transaction fees, but it doesn’t offer unlimited transactions. Daily and weekly limits apply to money going into and out of your account. Note: You can request an increase in your limits via the Found app.
Money coming in: Transfers to your Found account from a linked bank account are capped at $500 per week. That’s significant, considering other avenues to deposit funds (checks, cash, incoming wire) are unavailable. There is no limit on direct deposits and transfers from payment apps like PayPal or Cash App.
Money going out: Purchases using your Found debit card are also capped, at $4,000 per day. ATM withdrawals are limited to $550 per day. There’s also a daily ceiling for transfers from your Found account to linked bank accounts ($5,000) and payment apps ($2,000).
These types of limits aren’t unusual, but Found’s are low compared with competitors. Bluevine business checking, for example, allows up to $10,000 in debit card purchases and $2,000 in ATM withdrawals per day. Bluevine customers also have more ways to send and receive funds, including mobile check deposit, ACH and wire transfers, and cash deposits (via Green Dot).
Found account holders can request a limit increase using the Found app. These requests are reviewed by customer support, which Found says is typically quick to respond but keeps rather limited hours.
Limited customer support hours: Currently, Found only offers live customer support Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. Weekend and evening support is only available via email. That means rideshare drivers and other gig workers who don’t keep traditional hours could be left in the lurch if something goes awry outside that support window.
While Found does offer support by phone, good luck finding the phone number, which isn’t listed on Found’s website or social media channels. Instead, Found funnels account holders to email or the app to communicate issues such as transfer delays, transaction disputes and the like. If you email customer support, take note of the phone number in the signature when they reply. That will get you to a live person, during available hours.
Business owners looking for more accessible customer support should consider Axos business checking, an online bank that offers 24/7 customer support. American Express Business Checking also offers 24/7 customer support, but that account is only available to existing Amex customers.