As a business owner, it’s considered best practice for you keep your personal and professional finances separate—even if you are doing business as a sole proprietor. Opening a checking account just for your business expenses is an important first step in managing your company’s finances, and will save you time and stress at tax time. What’s more, if you anticipate borrowing in the future there are many lenders who will not approve a business loan application if you don’t have a business checking account.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider Bank of America business checking accounts. The company offers two robust options that can work for small business owners, offering low fees and useful perks to streamline your business operations. In this Bank of America business account review, you’ll learn about the different options and how to choose the right account for you.
Bank of America checking accounts
Bank of America offers two checking accounts available for small business owners.
1. Business Fundamentals Checking
If you have a new business or if your average monthly balance tends to be relatively low, a Bank of America Fundamentals account may be for you. When you open a Business Fundamentals Checking account, you’ll get access to Bank of America’s Small Business Online Banking platform. Use it to send one-time or recurring electronic payments, receive bills from companies online, and download transactions to QuickBooks for easy accounting.
You’ll also get business and employee debit cards so you can track your business spending more easily.
With a Business Fundamentals Checking account, there is a $17 monthly fee. However, that fee will be waived in the following cases:
- You spend $250 in net purchases on a business debit or credit card
- You maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000 or more
- You maintain a minimum daily balance of $3,000
- You Maintain a combined average monthly balance of $15,000 or more in your linked Bank of America accounts
- You qualify and enroll in the Preferred Rewards for Business program
There is a monthly account management fee of $15. Incoming wire transfers will cost you $15 per domestic transfer, and $16 per international transfer.
There are no fees for your first 200 transactions, including checks paid or deposited. After that, Bank of America will charge you $0.45 per item. For cash deposits, there’s no charge for the first $7,500. After that, there’s a $0.30 fee per $100 deposited.
2. Business Advantage Checking
If your business is more established, you spend at least $2,500 per month on your business card, or maintain an average monthly balance of $15,000 or more, consider signing up for a Business Advantage Checking account.
As an account member, you’ll get access to a Business Advantage Savings Account with no additional monthly fee. And, you can open a second Business Advantage Checking account without having to pay another monthly fee.
You’ll get access to the Small Business Online Banking platform, and get business and employee debit cards to manage your spending.
As an added perk, there is a special $300 credit card offer for Business Advantage Checking account members. Spend at least $3,000 in new purchases within the first 90 days of opening an eligible business Bank of America credit card account, and you’ll get a $300 statement credit.
This business bank account has a simple fee structure: $29.95 per month. However, that fee will be waived if you meet one of the following requirements:
- You spend $2,500 in net new purchases on a business credit card
- You maintain an average monthly balance of $15,000 or more
- You maintain a combined average monthly balance in your linked Bank of America accounts of at least $35,000
- You actively use Bank of America Merchant Services or Payroll Services
- You qualify for and enroll in the Preferred Rewards for Business program
There are no additional account management fees, and there is no fee for wire transfers.
In terms of a transaction fee, there are no fees for your first 500 transactions. After that, you’ll be charged $0.45 per item. There is no cash deposit fee for the first $20,000, then you’re charged $0.30 per $100.
What Do I Need to Open a Business Checking Account at Bank of America?
To apply for a Bank of America business checking account you’re business will need to be:
- A Limited Liability Company
- A Sole Proprietor
- A Corporation
- A Limited Partnership
- A General Partnership
- An Unincorporated Association
- A Professional Association
- A Professional Corporation
If the above describes your business and you are what BoA refers to as a Beneficial Owner (who owns or controls the entity doing business with the bank), federal regulation requires financial institutions to verify and record information about you. To do that, you will need to provide the following information to apply:
- Name and title of person opening the account
- Name and address of the business entity for the account
- Name, date of birth, Social Security number (U.S. Citizens), passport number and country of issuance (for foreign individuals), residential address, country of citizenship, country of residence, and percentage of ownership for each Beneficial Owner.
- Name, date of birth, Social Security number (U.S. Citizens), passport number and country of issuance (for foreign individuals), residential address, country of citizenship, country of residence for each controlling individual if there are more than one (this information is required even if no equity owner has 25% or greater ownership).
- Certification that the information provided on the Beneficial Owner and/or controlling manager is accurate.
Once the bank has your application and all the appropriate documents, your account could be open and available for use within 24 hours. You will have 11 days after you apply to send all the supplemental documents.
Once your account is open, you should receive a debit card and checks (if you’ve ordered them) within 5-7 business days.
Pros and cons of a Bank of America checking account
If you’re thinking about opening a Bank of America business checking account, keep these benefits and drawbacks in mind.
- Monthly fees can be waived: While there is a monthly fee, you can have that fee waived if you meet certain criteria.
- Robust banking platform: You’ll have access to the Small Business Online Banking platform, a program you can use to manage your finances, accept and send payments, and sync with QuickBooks.
- Brick-and-mortar locations: Bank of America has thousands of branches nationwide. If you need in-person customer support, you can visit a branch and speak to a live representative for help.
- Fees: While it’s possible to get your monthly fees waived with a Bank of America checking account, there are other fees to be aware of. You’ll pay transaction fees after your first 200 or 500 transactions, depending on the account you have. And, you should keep in mind that there are often cash deposit fees and wire transfer fees.
- High monthly balance minimums: To have your monthly fee waived, Bank of America requires you to have an average balance of $3,000 to $15,000. That’s higher than some other business checking account offerings. For example, Bank OZK — formerly Bank of the Ozarks — offers small business checking options with no minimum balance and no monthly service fees.
Here are the answers to some common questions about Bank of America’s checking accounts:
1. Should I get a Bank of America business credit card?
If you’re a small business owner and are signing up for a business checking account, it’s a good idea to sign up for a business credit card, as well. Having a separate credit card will help you track your spending, allowing you to maximize your deductions. And, a good credit card can help you earn valuable rewards.
Bank of America offers several excellent credit card options for business owners. For example, you’ll earn 3X points per $1 spent on travel purchases and 1.5X points per $1 spent on all other purchases with the Business Advantage Travel Rewards card.
Or, you can opt for the Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard and earn 3% cash back on your choice of one of the following six categories: gas stations, office supply stores, travel, television and wireless services, and computer services or business consulting services.
The Platinum Visa is another great option. It has no annual fee, and you can earn a $300 statement credit if you spend $3,000 on net purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account.
2. What are the Bank of America business checking account fees?
The fees for your checking account depend on what kind of account you have.
|Business Fundamentals||Business Advantage|
|Monthly Maintenance Fee||$17||$29.95|
|Account Management Fee||$15||$0|
|Wire Transfer Fees||$15 per domestic transfer, $16 per international transfer||$0|
|Excess Transaction Fees||No fee for first 200 transactions, then $0.45 per item||No fees for first 500 transactions, then $0.45 per item|
|Cash Deposit Fee||No fee for first $7,500, then $0.30 per $100||No fees first the first $20,000, then $0.30 per $100|
3. What is the Bank of America business checking bonus?
Occasionally, Bank of America will offer a bonus to new business checking customers. For example, the company previously offered a $500 bonus to customers who made $20,000 in qualifying deposits and at least 10 electronic payments within 60 days of opening an account.
The bonuses are always for a limited time, and are subject to change.
4. Can I open a Bank of America business checking account online?
Yes, you can open a Bank of America business checking account online. You can also open an account by visiting a financial center in-person or by calling 866-543-2808.
Opening a business checking account
If you’re thinking of opening a new business checking account for your company, choosing one of Bank of America’s checking accounts is a smart option. With fees that can be waived, a solid reputation, and an easy-to-use online banking platform, Bank of America can help you manage your business’ finances and streamline your bookkeeping.