There are a few places to open a free business checking account online with no deposit, but they are rare. Most business checking accounts, including the free ones, require a minimum deposit of $25 to $1,000 to open an account. However, if you do find one, these accounts can offer free checking with no monthly service fees and no minimum balance requirements.
Finding a bank to open a free business checking account online with no deposit may be a challenge. Although, Novo is our top pick for a completely fee-free business checking account without an initial deposit requirement. It also offers online banking with no minimum balance requirements and ATM fee reiumbursements.
To open a business account online with no deposit, follow these six steps:
1. Consider Your Banking History
Business owners who want to open a free online business account may need to review their previous banking activity first. Most banks review your banking history for unpaid overdrafts and returned checks by running a ChexSystems report under your personal name and information. Business owners who apply for an account under a limited liability partnership, company, or corporation, are usually exempt from this consumer review.
ChexSystems is a credit reporting agency that collects previous bank information that’s listed under your Social Security number (SSN). If you have a history of insufficient funds, unpaid checks, and closed accounts due to overdraft activity, it will likely show up under your ChexSystems report. Banks typically review this report to determine your eligibility before opening an account, and they can deny applications that have too many undesirable items.
If you have negative items on your ChexSystems report, you can request a copy and dispute any inaccurate information, or pay off unpaid debts to clear your record. Because of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), you can get one free copy of your ChexSystems report each year through the ChexSystems website.
2. Review Your Options
Before opening a free online business checking account with no deposit, you should be clear about what you need in a checking account. Whether you’re a struggling startup or a well-established business, you’ll need to decide which online bank account is best for you. Even with the best small business checking accounts, you should consider the bank’s terms, costs, customer service, and available tools before you commit to an account.
Terms and Costs
Business owners will need to consider a few options before opening an online business account, including any ongoing average minimum balances and transaction fees. Even when you open a free business checking account online with no deposit, you may still incur fees for some transactions like outgoing wires and out-of-network ATMs.
The bank terms you should consider before opening an account are:
- Opening deposit: If you can’t find a business checking account with no initial deposit requirement, you’ll find most online and traditional banks require a minimum initial deposit of $25 to $1,000.
- Monthly fees: Some banks require a monthly service fee of $10 to $25 when you don’t keep a minimum average balance. Minimum average balances typically range from $500 to $2,500.
- Transaction fees: Some accounts restrict the number of transactions you’re allowed to make on the account for free, including debit card transactions, deposits, and electronic transfers. The number of free account transactions typically range from 100 to 200.
Business owners who want to open a bank account with no deposit required should look out for ongoing transaction fees. Transaction fees and limits vary based on the bank and account type. If you are able to keep a minimum balance, the bank typically waives the monthly maintenance fee.
With an online business checking account, customer service is usually limited to online messaging and phone support. The best online business accounts offer customer service in the form of live chat—although this isn’t common. Live chat gives you the opportunity to get real-time assistance, similar to an in-person visit at a physical branch. Most online banks offer email-based customer support, even when there is no live chat option available.
When you open a bank account with no deposit required, you should verify the account features. Many online business banks offer online banking platforms with mobile deposits, bill pay, and integration with apps like PayPal, Xero, and QuickBooks. These tools can make it easier for your business to send invoices and receive payments from around the globe.
3. Prepare Your Personal Documents
To open a free business checking account online with no deposit, you’ll need to have your personal documentation ready, including your personal identification. As a sole proprietor, banks require your SSN. Although, most online banks won’t ask for your EIN when your business is an LLC or a corporation. When you use your Social Security number, you’ll be held personally responsible for the account activity.
Some banks require two forms of valid identification, and at least one must be a government-issued ID. Some online banks, like Novo, are able to authenticate you without documentation in some cases. However, you should still prepare to provide your personal information, including your name, address, and SSN.
4. Prepare Your Business Documents
Business owners will need to open a bank account with no deposit required with their business information as well as some personal identifiers. This includes any business registration documents like articles of organization or business licenses, along with the business address and operating information. The documents you need will also depend on the type of business you have-sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation.
To open a free business checking account online with no deposit as a sole proprietor, you’ll need your personal identification as well as proof of business registration. This includes a certificate of assumed name (often referred to as DBA or “doing business as) if your business isn’t operating under your personal name.
The items you’ll need to present to open a sole proprietor account are:
- Personal identification
- Business license
- Certificate of assumed name (DBA)
You don’t need to provide a certificate of assumed name if you are using your first and last name as your operating business name. For example, John Smith can open a business account as John Smith and can receive checks payable to John Smith without a DBA. Business owners who open a sole proprietorship will be held personally responsible for the account, even when an EIN was provided.
To open a bank account with no deposit required under a partnership, you’ll need more than just your business license and EIN. You’ll also need the partnership agreement drawn up by you and the partners listed under the business. For the best results, ensure the agreement has both the business and partner names with all business titles listed clearly on the agreement.
The items you’ll need to present to open a partnership account are:
- Personal identification
- Business license
- Certificate of assumed name (DBA)
- Partnership agreement
- Limited liability partnership (LLP) registration documents
If the bank can’t automatically verify your EIN, they may request a copy of your IRS EIN assignment document. If you’ve misplaced this document, you may be able to provide another form of verification like a previously filed tax return. Another option would be to contact the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 for further assistance.
LLC and Corporations
LLCs and corporations are protected against certain liabilities. When you apply to open a free business checking account online with no deposit under either of these, you won’t need to provide your SSN in most cases.
The items you’ll need to present to open an LLC or corporation account are:
- Personal identification
- Business license
- Certificate of assumed name (DBA)
- Articles of incorporation for S-corps and C-corps
- Articles of organization for limited liability companies (LLCs)
Most business bank accounts require basic business information and documentation. You’ll also need to provide your EIN for any online business account that’s an LLC or corporation. Some online banks only allow sole proprietorships to open business accounts. Check the bank’s account terms before submitting an application.
5. Complete the Online & Mobile Setup
Now that your documents and ID are in order, you’ll need to visit the bank’s website to complete an online application. Most online banks have an easy online application, and you’ll usually get your decision within 24 hours. When you open a free business checking account online with no deposit, you’ll find it’s easy to set up the mobile app as well.
The online application to open a bank account with no deposit required has a variety of steps, but most online banks include just a few. To start, visit the bank’s website and enter your business information.
This application process typically takes anywhere from five to 15 minutes, depending on the bank. Once you’re approved you’re usually able to use your account right away. Some banks will have you set up an online ID and password during the application process. You can then use that information to access your bank account after approval.
Setting Up the Mobile App
After you’ve set up an online account with a username and password, you can then download the mobile app. You can visit your bank’s website to get specific instructions on where to download the bank app on your phone, however, most bank apps can be installed from your mobile app store. You’ll be able to make mobile deposits and electronic transfers through the mobile app.
Once you sign into the bank app using your online ID and password for the first time, you’ll be able to select for an easier login process for future uses. Some bank apps allow biometric options like fingerprint or eye and facial scans to sign into the mobile app account. This is a good option if you don’t want to use your online credentials each time you sign into the mobile app.
6. Make Your First Deposit
Even when you open a free business checking account online with no deposit, you will eventually need to make your first deposit. The first deposit marks the beginning of your account activity and helps to establish your banking relationship. Banks usually have a “watch” period of 30 to 90 days before your account is considered trustworthy, so it’s best not to wait too long. Some transactions, like deposits and transfers, may also be limited during this time.
First deposits can be made by transferring funds from an already existing account or by using your debit card. You can also fund the account by depositing a check through your mobile app. It’s best to make your initial deposit with collected funds from your own account to ensure that you won’t have issues with returned payments.
Open A Free Business Checking Account Online With No Deposit
The best place to open a bank account with no deposit required is an online bank with little-to-no fees. Not all online banks are free, and even fewer have no initial deposit requirement. The best business checking accounts either have no minimum balance required or they make it easy to waive the monthly service fee. Accounts that require a small initial deposit with no monthly fees are also worth considering.
Top Free Online Business Checking Accounts
Benefits of a Free Online Account With No Deposit
You get a variety of benefits when you open a free business checking account online with no deposit, like easy account access. These accounts have fewer fees than traditional business checking accounts. No initial deposit requirement also means that you don’t need to fund the account right away.
The benefits of a free online account with no deposit are:
- Fewer fees: A free business account usually means there’s no monthly fees and no transaction fees. Some accounts may require a minimum average balance to avoid the fee.
- No opening deposit: When you open a bank account with no deposit required, you’ll have access to your business account and you can fund it when you’re ready.
- Separated business and personal finances: Free online accounts are great for keeping your personal and business finances separate.
- App Integration: Online banks often work well with online payroll and invoicing apps like PayPal and QuickBooks.
No deposit checking allows business owners who may need an account number for legal purposes to open an account without the need of immediate cash. Startups that are low on cash will appreciate being able to access a business account while making the opening deposit later.
Why You Should Open a Bank Account With No Deposit Required
If your business is a startup and you don’t have access to cash, you may want to open a free business checking account online with no deposit. Free online banks with no opening deposit can remove some of the pressure of funding a business checking account and buy your business some extra time. Business owners who have had bad experiences in the past may also feel that online banks are easier to bank with over traditional banks.
Other Low-cost Business Checking Account Options
Finding a bank to open a free business checking account online with no deposit can be a challenge. In this case, a low-cost alternative might be a better option. You can still open a free business bank account with as little as $25 to start. If the bank doesn’t require an initial deposit, the account may require a minimum average balance of $500 or more to avoid a monthly fee.
Online Banks With Low Opening Deposits
Because there aren’t many business accounts with no deposit requirement available, a business account that requires a small deposit may be your next best option. Some online banks only require a relatively small initial deposit, between $50 and $100, when compared to other banks. A low minimum deposit business account will give you access to a free account with no monthly maintenance fees.
Businesses looking to open a bank account with a low opening deposit should consider LendingClub Bank. LendingClub Bank offers completely free checking with no minimum balance requirements. LendingClub Bank charges no transaction fees and is a completely online-based business checking account. It also offers app integration with apps like Xero and Slack. You’ll only need a $50 deposit to open this account.
Traditional Banks With Online Access
You can also open a business checking account with most traditional banks like Chase. Chase requires minimum opening deposits of only $25 to start a business checking account, however, you’ll need to keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more for free checking. Plus, you can get a suite of business products that includes payroll services, invoicing, and remote deposit capture.
Traditional banks also offer other business accounts like savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts, which can add value to your banking relationship and an opportunity to earn interest. These banks often reward customers for having multiple-account relationships with higher returns on savings accounts and rewards-based credit cards.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Today we covered a lot on how to open a free business checking account online with no deposit. There may be some additional questions that you have, and we will try to cover them here in our FAQ section. If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment below and we’ll provide an answer.
Can I open a checking account without a deposit?
Yes, you can open a checking account without a deposit. Not all bank accounts require an opening deposit, but those that don’t typically have monthly fees between $10 and $25 when you don’t keep an average minimum average balance.
Which banks don’t require a deposit?
Novo and NBKC are two banks that offer online business accounts with no deposit. While both banks are mainly online-based, NBKC bank has physical branches located in Kansas. However, all accounts require personal identification and information in order to apply for an online account.
Can I open a business checking account online?
Business checking accounts can be opened online with most banks. However, some banks require an in-person visit to open a business checking account. You can view the bank’s requirements by visiting the official website, or by contacting the bank’s customer support number.
To open a free business checking account online with no deposit, you’ll need to do your research. These accounts aren’t the easiest to find, but there are a few available. Opening deposits help establish your banking activity and solidify your relationship with the bank. So, when you do open a bank account with no deposit required, you will still need to make a deposit at some point.