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Lili Business Checking: No Fees and Fast Online Payments, but No Checks

This business bank account offers early access to select payments to help small-business owners manage their cash flow.
By Kelsey Sheehy, Rosalie Murphy
Last updated on January 30, 2024
Edited byRyan Lane
Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Expedited payments (up to two days faster) is the standout feature for Lili Basic. But if you’re willing to pay a monthly fee, you’ll get tax planning, invoicing and other tools with Lili Pro.
Full review

Lili Basic Business Checking

Checking
Deposits are FDIC Insured
Monthly fee
$0
Learn more

at Lili, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No monthly fees or transaction fees.
  • No fees at MoneyPass ATMs.
  • Cash deposits via Green Dot network (fees and limits apply).
  • Early payment feature allows you to receive funds up to two days sooner than with a traditional bank account.

Cons

  • Fee for using out-of-network ATMs.
  • Cash deposits limited to $1,000 per day, $9,000 per month. Service fee of up to $4.95 per deposit.
  • No checkbooks; can’t send wire transfers.

How does Lili compare?

Lili Basic Business Checking

Deposits are FDIC Insured

Bluevine Business Checking

Deposits are FDIC Insured

at Lili

at Bluevine

at Grasshopper Bank

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

APY

2.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

APY

2.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Full Review

Lili is a financial technology company whose business checking accounts are a good choice for digitally savvy business owners who rarely use analog payment tools like checks. Llli partners with Choice Financial Group for its banking services and to insure deposits up to $250,000 via the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Lili was designed for freelancers when it launched in 2018. Since then, the company has expanded availability for its online business checking accounts to include most business entity types. It’s also introduced higher deposit and transfer limits to support bigger businesses.
That evolution also means that Lili has moved some once-free features to paid plans. For example, tax-planning and expense-management tools were initially on the free Lili Basic plan. You’ll now have to subscribe to at least a Lili Pro account for those, which costs $9 per month.
Across all its accounts, Lili has no minimum opening deposit, overdraft fees or monthly fees. But Lili also lacks some basic business features. You can’t write checks, for example, or send wire transfers from your Lili account. If you need those tools, a brick-and-mortar business bank might be a better fit.

Lili business checking accounts

Lili offers four business accounts: Lili Basic (free), Lili Pro ($15 per month), Lili Smart ($35 per month) and Lili Premium ($55 per month). This review discusses Lili Basic and Pro in detail, but the corresponding star rating focuses on Lili Basic.
Lili Basic: Lili’s free business checking account has no minimum opening deposit and an early payment feature that allows you to receive certain ACH payments up to two days early.
Lili Pro: The Pro version includes BalanceUp, which covers up to $200 in debit overdrafts for no charge (terms apply). You’ll get a business savings account that, as of this writing, earns a 4.15% annual percentage yield, or APY, on balances up to and including $100,000. This account also includes a host of digital tools, including the ability to categorize expenses, generate expense reports and estimate and save for taxes.

Lili business checking is best for small-business owners who:

  • Make minimal cash deposits.
  • Don’t write checks. 
  • Don’t need access to a physical branch.
  • Want built-in business management tools.
Are you especially interested in those software tools? Compare Lili with Found Small Business Banking. Like Lili, Found is a neobank that offers a free business checking account. But Found includes automated tax withholding, expense tracking and Schedule C creation, plus invoicing and bookkeeping tools, for free.

Lili business checking at a glance: Basic, Pro

Lili Basic
Lili Pro
Monthly fee
$0.
$15.
Minimum opening deposit requirement
$0.
$0.
APY
None.
Lili Pro Checking: None.
Lili Savings*: 4.15% APY on balances up to $100,000.
*Lili Savings is available for Pro account holders and higher.
Transactions
Unlimited.
Unlimited.
Bonus
None.
None.

How to open a Lili business checking account

Originally designed specifically as a bank account for freelancers and independent contractors, Lili is now available to the following entity types:
  • Sole proprietors.
  • LLCs.
  • S-corps.
  • Partnerships (general and limited liability).
Lili does not support B corporations, C corporations and nonprofits. It also doesn’t support certain types of businesses, including trusts, crowdfunding and cryptocurrency operations, and those in the gambling or cannabis industries.
You can open a Lili bank account online or via the mobile app in minutes. After you submit your application, you should receive approval and account access almost instantly. If you apply for an account online, Lili will send a verification code via text message or email to pair your account to the mobile app.
Regardless of how you sign up for Lili banking, you will use the mobile app to fund your account and manage your expenses. You can fund your account using direct deposit, ACH transfers or mobile check deposit and by linking external bank accounts or platforms like Venmo and PayPal.
Although it can take up to two weeks for your Lili Visa business debit card to be delivered, you’ll be able to use a digital version of your card through the Lili app. You’ll also be able to track the progress of your physical card on the main screen of the mobile app. Once you receive your card in the mail, you’ll need to activate it within the app before you can use it.

What you need to open an account

To apply for a Lili account, you'll need to provide the following information and documentation:
  • Personal information: Name, mobile phone number, date of birth, home address and Social Security number. This information is required for anyone who owns 25% or more of the company.
  • Business information: Industry and business entity type, physical mailing address (no P.O. boxes allowed), state your business is registered in and employer identification number, or EIN (if applicable).
Business owners may also need to provide an IRS EIN letter and other documentation, such as articles of organization or partnership agreement, depending on the business type.

Where Lili business checking stands out

No fees (mostly): Lili Basic has no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, no minimum opening deposit and no transaction fees (aside from cash deposits). Lili also doesn’t charge for returned items or stop payments, incidental fees that are charged by online and brick-and-mortar competitors. And Lili does not charge a foreign exchange rate adjustment fee, meaning there’s no additional charge to make debit card purchases outside the U.S.
Lili isn’t fully fee-free, though. There is a charge for using out-of-network ATMs: $2.50 at domestic non-MoneyPass ATMs and $5 at international ATMs.
Fast access to ACH payments: Getting your money faster is always a bonus. And Lili account holders can get select funds up to two days earlier than they would with a traditional bank. Lili’s early payment feature applies to direct deposits, ACH transfers and transfers from Cash App (when linked to your Lili account).
Free overdraft protection: Lili Pro users can qualify for up to $200 in free overdraft protection through Lili’s BalanceUp program (terms apply). To qualify, you need at least $500 in qualifying monthly deposits. Overdraft coverage applies only to debit card purchases, and you need to resolve any negative balance within 30 days.
Integrated tools for expenses and taxes: Upgrade to Pro and you can unlock tools to help manage expenses and plan for freelancer taxes, including the ability to estimate your tax bill and automatically set aside a percentage of funds every time you get paid. You can also categorize expenses, add receipts to transactions and generate monthly expense reports. (Note: Many of these tools were previously available with the free Lili Basic account.)

Where Lili business checking falls short

Limited tools for transferring funds: Lili business accounts have a lot of useful tools but still lack some basic business-related features that competitors offer. You can’t use your Lili account to pay by check or to send wire transfers. (You can receive incoming domestic wire transfers, but not international wires.)
If wire transfers are essential to your business, consider the
Mercury Business Bank Account
, which offers free domestic and international wire transfers. You can also add multiple users to your Mercury business account and can issue (and manage) multiple virtual debit cards.
Limited weekend support: Lili offers customer support via phone and email during the week (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time), but if you have an issue over the weekend, your only option is email support. If accessible customer support is a high priority, consider
American Express® Business Checking
, which offers 24/7 customer support.
Deposit fees and limits: While Lili customers can deposit cash at participating Green Dot locations, deposits are capped at $1,000 per day and $9,000 per month, and each deposit carries a $4.95 fee. That may be tolerable for the occasional deposit but is hard to stomach with frequency. If your business makes regular cash deposits, consider an
nbkc Business Account
or
LendingClub Tailored Checking
, which offer unlimited cash deposits, for no fee, via compatible ATMs.
Mobile check deposits via the Lili app also come with some restrictions. Depending on your business entity type, you'll need to wait 30 days and complete at least $200 in ACH transfers before you can use mobile check deposit.
Once approved, you can deposit a maximum of $10,000 per day ($50,000 per month). While these limits aren’t unusual, they are worth comparing if you process a decent volume of checks.
Axos Bank® Business Interest Checking
is more generous: Account holders can deposit up to $25,000 per business day and $200,000 per month.
The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Lili Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of September 1st, 2023. Must have at least $0.01 in savings to earn interest. The APY applies to balances of up to and including $100,000. Any balance over $100,000 will not earn interest or have a yield. Available to Lili Pro, Lili Smart, and Lili Premium account holders only.

Learn more

at Lili, Deposits are FDIC Insured

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