If you’re an independent professional or own a very small business with just a handful of employees at most, you probably don’t need to overthink your business finances. You can get by with a simple, straightforward business bank account, preferably one that doesn’t cost you anything out of pocket.
Small Business Bank Free Business Checking is such an account. It’s a truly free business checking account with a very low opening deposit requirement and no ongoing balance requirements. It lacks the bells and whistles that many other freelancer-friendly banks offer, but it makes up for that with an easy-to-use app and access to one of the best business savings accounts around.
Take a few minutes to learn more about this account and see if it’s right for you.
What Is Small Business Bank Free Business Checking?
Small Business Bank Free Business Checking is a small-business checking account with no maintenance fees and basically no minimums. It’s designed for freelancers, independent professionals, and owners of very small businesses with just a few employees at most.
Small Business Bank comes with a free debit card and boasts a user-friendly mobile app that can handle remote check deposits, bill and contractor payments, and other core banking functions. It also comes with an optional customer/client payment processing tool known as SmallBizPay, which has sign-up and per-transaction fees. It lacks built-in financial management tools or external integrations with third-party business software.
What Sets Small Business Bank Free Business Checking Apart?
Small Business Bank Free Business Checking doesn’t have any truly revolutionary features, but it does stand out from some competitors thanks to:
- No maintenance fees. This account has no monthly or annual maintenance fees. It has very few other fees besides, so many users pay nothing at all.
- Robust mobile app. For a small online bank, Small Business Bank has a surprisingly robust mobile app. There’s nothing the traditional web dashboard can do that the mobile app can’t.
- Access to an excellent business savings account. Small Business Bank has one of the best high-yield savings accounts for businesses, with yields up to 4.48% APY on balances above $500,000. It’s an excellent place to park your company’s cash cushion.
Key Features of Small Business Bank Free Business Checking
Now that you’ve seen what sets Small Business Bank Free Business Checking apart, explore the details a bit more to confirm that it’s right for you (or not).
Account Fees & Minimums
This account has no monthly maintenance fee or ongoing minimum balance requirement. The minimum opening deposit is $5.
This account comes with a Mastercard debit card that’s accepted at millions of merchants online and in the real world. There are no transaction limits or fees associated with the card.
Small Business Bank charges no ATM fees at U.S. ATMs. However, it doesn’t reimburse fees charged by ATM owners, so you should expect to pay a fee for cash withdrawals.
SmallBizPay is an optional payment processing service that you can sign up for after opening your checking account. It comes with some unavoidable fees:
- $25 one-time application fee
- 2.90% of the transaction value for Visa, Mastercard, and Discover payments
- 3.25% of the transaction value for American Express payments
- $0.30 per transaction fee for all payment networks (charged on top of the percentage fee)
- $25 fee for each chargeback
Small Business Bank has a robust mobile app for Android and iOS. It has all the capabilities and features of the desktop account interface, including:
- Remote check deposit
- Electronic funds transfers
- SmallBizPay management (if opted in)
- One-time and scheduled bill payments
- Contractor payments
You need to download the app to apply for this account, so there’s little downside to using the mobile banking interface once it’s open.
Small Business Bank Business High Yield Savings Account
Small Business Bank’s High Yield Savings Account requires a separate application, but it’s definitely worth signing up for. Balances under $25,000 yield 1.70% APY, while balances above $500,000 yield 4.48% APY.
Intermediate balances have intermediate yields. All in all, this is one of the most generous free business savings accounts on the market.
Pros & Cons
This account has some important positive and negative features worth knowing about before you apply.
- No monthly maintenance fee
- Virtually no minimums
- Robust mobile app
- Proprietary payment system
- No debit card rewards
- No ATM fee reimbursements
- No built-in business software tools
- No third-party integrations
This account is user-friendly and costs nothing to keep open, which makes it a strong choice for small, frugal businesses.
- No monthly maintenance fee. This account has no monthly maintenance fee. That means it’s free to keep open even if you don’t use it as your primary business bank account.
- Virtually no minimums. After you make the token minimum opening deposit (just $5), there’s no ongoing minimum balance requirement to worry about.
- No transaction fees or limits. Unlike many small-business bank accounts, this account has no transaction fees or limits for ordinary items. The only exceptions concern the per-item and percentage-based transaction fees charged by SmallBizPay.
- Robust mobile app. Small Business Bank has an impressive mobile app for such a small institution. That’s excellent news if you prefer mobile to desktop banking.
- Access to a high-yield savings account. Small Business Bank has one of the best high-yield business savings accounts around, with yields as high as 4.48% APY.
- Proprietary payment processing system. SmallBizPay is a useful payment processing system if your business doesn’t have one already. It accepts all major credit cards at competitive pricing.
This account lacks many of the features and capabilities of bigger, better-known small-business bank accounts.
- No debit card rewards. Small Business Bank has no debit card rewards program, which is a bummer for businesses that make lots of purchases on their cards.
- No ATM fee reimbursements. Small Business Bank doesn’t charge ATM fees of its own, but it doesn’t reimburse third-party fees either. So if you withdraw cash from the ATM, you’re likely to pay a few dollars for the privilege.
- No built-in invoicing or tax management tools. Small Business Bank lacks built-in business software, including invoicing and tax management tools. These features are increasingly common elsewhere.
- Limited third-party integrations. Small Business Bank doesn’t directly integrate with any third-party business software. That’s another downside relative to more feature-rich competitors.
How Small Business Bank Free Business Checking Stacks Up
Before you sign up for Free Business Checking with Small Business Bank, see how it compares to the competition. Here’s how it stacks up against one popular alternative: LendingClub Bank Tailored Checking.
|SBB Free Business Checking||LCB Tailored Checking|
|Monthly Fee||$0||$10, but easy to waive|
|Minimum Balance||$5||$0 or $500 to waive the monthly fee)|
|Yield||None||Up to 1.50% APY|
|ATM Fees||None charged by SBB, but no reimbursement||None (unlimited reimbursement)|
|Tax Management||No||External integration|
|Rewards||None||Unlimited 1% back on eligible purchases|
LendingClub Tailored Checking has far more features and capabilities than Small Business Bank Free Business Checking, which makes it a better fit for growing businesses that want them. But Small Business Bank is more cost-effective without sacrificing any core banking functions.
Small Business Bank Free Business Checking is a no-nonsense business checking account that’s ideal for independent professionals and very small businesses. With no monthly maintenance fee and a surprisingly useful mobile app, it’s capable of handling straightforward money management needs.
It’s not the best choice for businesses with big plans though. If you hope to grow your company (or professional practice) beyond a handful of employees, look elsewhere for a banking partner.