If you own a business, you should absolutely consider getting a business checking account to separate your personal finances from your business finances. But your business checking account offers more than just that! Business checking accounts may come with a list of perks that make the account less expensive and easier to use. When you are busy running a business, saving time and money is a big deal. Here are some of the best business checking account perks to look for.
No Monthly Fees
The first place to look for a perk on a business checking account is the monthly fees. Most traditional brick-and-mortar banks require a monthly maintenance fee on business checking accounts. You may be able to avoid the fee by maintaining a minimum balance or meeting specific activity requirements, but it shouldn’t be that much work.
The best business checking accounts charge no fees even without keeping a specific balance or jumping through hoops. Your business checking account should be there for you when you need it, and like your personal checking account it shouldn’t cost you anything to hand your cash over to a bank.
This rule applies primarily to newer, smaller businesses. Once you reach a high volume of cash deposits or other transactions, fees are the norm for business checking. For businesses with a consistently low volume, however, you should be able to keep a fee-free option for a very long time.
Free ACH Transfers
In the old days, sending checks in the mail was pretty much the only way to send money from one business to another, or from a business to a person. But in the age of Venmo, PayPal, and Square, there has to be something better, right?
There is! The humble automated clearing house (ACH) transfer allows you to send money from one bank account to another at an extremely low cost. In fact, the cost is so low that some accounts give you the option to transfer money to external accounts for free.
In your business checking account website, look for an option to transfer funds. If your bank is part of the Zelle network, you can send payments instantly for no cost. But even if your bank doesn’t work with Zelle, it may offer free ACH transfers.
Your bank makes money when it lends out deposited funds. When your business keeps money at the bank, it can lend it out to earn a profit. Interest is your share of that profit.
While most business checking accounts don’t offer any interest payments to the account holder, some do. And while the interest rates might not be all that high, your business is better off having more money than less money.
Do keep in mind, however, that because interest earned is often less than fees on a business checking account, you should focus on the fees first. Unless you have a huge balance, your checking account interest won’t offset fees that some accounts charge for business checking.
Large corporations and small businesses alike give every user a unique username and password for critical business systems. This separation allows tracking, auditing, and monitoring how each employee uses each system. This is a helpful feature at the bank as well.
Giving employees access to your business checking account login information opens your business up to fraud, and there is not much of a way to track it. When each user has a unique login, you know exactly who did what.
Giving your staff the same access that you have to a bank account is a big security risk. Business checking accounts should offer individual accounts, cards, and limits for users to protect your most liquid business asset: your cash.
Finding the Right Account
I manage an online only business and get most of my payments through direct deposit, plus a few checks here and there. For me, an online-only account with a low transaction limit works just fine.
If you need to deposit cash or have a huge volume, your account needs are different than a small online enterprise. You need a physical bank branch and other services to keep your business running.
Look out for expenses and fees when hunting for the best business checking account, but don’t forget the perks!
This article was originally written on May 28, 2018 and updated on February 2, 2021.