Wells Fargo Bank Business Checking Review 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
If you’re looking to open a business checking account with access to in-person banking services, merchant services, and a full range of bank products, Wells Fargo is a great choice. It offers three types of checking accounts: Initiate Business Checking, Navigate Business Checking, and Optimize Business Checking. You can start with Initiate and switch to the higher-tier Navigate and Optimize accounts as your business grows.
What We Like
- Waivable monthly fees
- Strong branch presence with more than 4,500 bank locations
- Access to more than 12,000 ATMs
- Requires a minimum opening deposit of $25
- Only 100 free transactions for basic Initiate account
- Charges monthly fees
- Free debit card
- Customized cards and checks
- Deposit checks, pay bills, and view balances through the mobile app
- Online and mobile banking
- Earn interest with a Navigate Business Checking
- Fraud protection controls
- Features merchant services, including point-of-sale (POS) solutions
How Wells Fargo Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Monthly Transaction Limit Before Fees
Monthly Cash Deposit Before Fees
Minimum Opening Deposit
Initiate Business Checking
100, then 50 cents per transaction
$5,000 free, then 30 cents per $100 statement cycle
Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking
200, then 45 cents per transaction
$7,500 free, then 30 cents per $100 per statement cycle
Business Complete Banking
Unlimited digital transactions; 20 fee-free paper transactions, then 40 cents per transaction
$5,000 free, then $2.50 per $1,000 per statement cycle
When Wells Fargo Is a Good Fit
- You want access to a full range of bank products: Wells Fargo offers business savings, a wide range of credit cards, merchant services, and lending products aside from business checking accounts.
- You prefer in-person banking: If your business is better served by traditional banking, you can access more than 4,500 Wells Fargo locations in the country.
- You want an affordable business checking account that can accommodate low transaction volumes: The Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking account offers 100 fee-free transactions per month for a waivable monthly fee of $10.
- Your business uses cash on a regular basis: Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking allows fee-free cash deposits up to $5,000 per month.
- You work in real estate and want to save on lender closing fees: You can save more money if you make several real estate transactions since Well Fargo doesn’t charge for closing costs, appraisals, and loan origination fees. This is why it’s one of our best banks for real estate investors.
When Wells Fargo Is Not a Good Fit
- You want a fee-free interest-earning checking account: Though Wells Fargo has an interest-earning business checking account, you need a $10,000 minimum daily balance to waive the $25 monthly fee. Bluevine offers 2.00% APY without a minimum balance requirement, provided you meet the account’s activity requirements.
- You need more free transactions and higher cash deposit limits: Even if Wells Fargo has higher-tier accounts allowing more free transactions and higher fee-free cash deposits, you might want to consider Bank of America. It features 200 free transactions and fee-free cash deposits of up to $7,500 at a lower waivable monthly fee. If you live in areas where Capital One branches exist, you can also maximize its offer of free unlimited transactions and no cash deposit fees.
- You use wire transfers regularly: Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking charges high fees for incoming and outgoing wire transfers. A more affordable alternative would be Relay, which charges no fees for incoming wire transfers, $5 for outgoing domestic wire transfers, and $10 for outgoing international wire transfers.
See more providers in our roundup of the best small business checking accounts.
Wells Fargo Business Checking Overview
Initiate Business CheckingSM
Navigate Business CheckingSM
Optimize Business Checking®
Required Opening Deposit
Required Minimum Balance
$500 to waive monthly fee
$10,000 to waive monthly fee
Transaction Limit Before Fees
100, then 50 cents per transaction thereafter
250, then 50 cents per transaction thereafter
$10; waivable if conditions are met*
$25; waivable if conditions are met*
$75 (up to five Optimize Business Checking accounts in a billing relationship included); may be offset by earnings allowance
Requirements to Waive Monthly Fee
Maintain a $500 daily balance or maintain a $1000 average ledger balance
Maintain a $10,000 daily balance or maintain a $15,000 average combined business deposit balance
Domestic Wire Transfer Fees
Outgoing: $30, first two wires per fee period are free
Outgoing: $30, five outgoing CEO wires per statement period are free
International Wire Fees
Outgoing: $45, free five outgoing CEO wires per statement period
Free at 12,000-plus ATMs nationwide; $2.50 per transaction out-of-network
Free access to more than 12,000 ATMs nationwide; up to two free non-Wells Fargo ATM transactions per month (operator fees apply)
Cash Deposit Fees
Up to $5,000 free per month, then 30 cents per $100 per statement cycle
Up to $20,000 free per month, then 30 cents per $100 per statement cycle
$0.0030 for every $1 deposited per statement cycle
Interest rates vary
Open an Account
Initiate Business CheckingSM
Navigate Business CheckingSM
Optimize Business Checking®
Free debit card
Price varies depending on check quantity, style, and design
Stop Payments, Cashier’s Checks & Money Orders
Online Banking, Mobile Banking & Bills Pay
RUN Powered by ADP® for payroll services
Business Payment integrations
POS: Clover Mini, Clover Flex, Clover Go, Clover Apps, Clover®, and Authorize.net
POS, ecommerce and virtual terminal/ digital invoicing, and treasury management services: Commercial Electronic Office® (CEO®)
Hotline: (800) 225-5935
Mondays to Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET
Business savings, certificates of deposits (CDs), lending, credit cards, and merchant services
Open an Account
Wells Fargo Business Checking Requirements
You can open a Wells Fargo bank account online, through the phone, or in person.
If you visit a Wells Fargo branch to open a business checking account, all owners, partners, and key executives of your business are required to appear, provide personal and business information, and present the following documents:
- Original or certified copies of your business documents
- Taxpayer identification number (TIN) for both the business and the individuals opening the account [employer identification number (EIN) for businesses and Social Security number for individuals]
- Two forms of personal identification, and one must be a government-issued ID
If you choose to apply online or over the phone, instructions are provided on how to submit the business documents. You’re also required to complete and sign these forms:
- Authorization for Information and Certificate of Authority (PDF) includes business and individual information and authorizes the bank to check your credit.
- Certification Regarding Beneficial Owners of Legal Entity Customers (PDF) certifies the beneficial owners for business customers operating as a legal entity. This form isn’t required for sole proprietorships.
Click on the tabs below for the additional business checking requirements according to business type.
- Sole proprietorship: If the business name doesn’t include the legal first and last name of the owner, you can submit a fictitious name certificate or statement or certificate of assumed name or business license or registration of trade name
- General partnership: Partnership agreement or fictitious name certificate or statement or certificate of assumed name or business license
If you have none of the documents listed above and the documents haven’t been filed yet, you need to provide a written statement signed by all partners indicating no written partnership agreement exists. If you don’t have documents issued by a government agency, then all authorized signers must be present.
- Limited liability company (LLC): Articles of organization or certificate of organization or certificate of formation
- Corporation: Articles of incorporation or certificate of good standing or certificate of formation
- Social and recreational clubs, unincorporated associations, and civic groups: Business license or fictitious name certificate or statement or certificate of assumed name or organization or association articles or bylaws or certificate of formation or certificate of organization or statement of organization or certificate of registration
If you have none of the documents listed above or comparable documents issued by a government agency, you need to provide governing documents for your business entity, such as board resolutions and meeting minutes. Without documents issued by a government agency, then all authorized signers must be present.
Before account opening, check our guide to opening a business bank account for a free checklist of required documents.
Wells Fargo Business Checking Features
Wells Fargo Business Checking account offers a debit card, online and mobile banking, business services, and fraud control systems. Note that Wells Fargo’s products and services may vary by location.
Waivable Monthly Fee
Monthly fees are waivable for Initiate Business Checking and Navigate Business Checking. To waive fees, you must meet one or more of the following conditions:
Initiate Business Checking
- Maintain a $500 daily balance or
- Maintain a $1,000 average ledger balance
Navigate Business Checking
- Maintain a $10,000 daily balance or
- Maintain a $15,000 average combined business deposit balances
Wells Fargo provides a business debit card with contactless technology that you can use at contactless-enabled merchant terminals, for transit turnstiles, and to access Wells Fargo ATMs.
Zero Liability protection ensures that any unauthorized card transactions will be reimbursed when reported promptly. Further, your debit card can be customized according to your preferred logo or an image from the Card Design Studio® library for free.
With Wells Fargo Business Online® and Wells Fargo Mobile®, you can access your business checking account securely using a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Through digital banking, you can do the following:
- Pay invoices and bills
- Transfer funds
- Explore online payment services
- Update account information
The Wells Fargo mobile banking app is well-received, with a rating of 4.8 stars on both the App Store and Google Play. Past users remark that the app is easy to use. However, several reviewers have complained that the app constantly requires you to update your personal information upon logging in, which can be inconvenient when you need quick access to your account.
- Merchant services: Wells Fargo offers more payment options for your customers with the POS system Clover, which accepts credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallet payments. Depending on your business, you can pick among Clover products—from compact devices, hand-held devices, card readers, or available apps you can find on the Clover App Market. The bank also provides ecommerce solutions through Authorize.net by integrating shopping carts on your website or accepting payments by keying in card information into a web browser.
- Payroll services: Wells Fargo uses RUN Powered by ADP® for automatic payroll processing and simplifying small business payroll taxes.
For security against fraud, the bank features Control Tower® and Account Access Manager. Control Tower lets you turn your cards on and off to restrict purchases, view recurring payments, and track the digital wallets linked to your account. Meanwhile, Account Access Manager allows business owners to review and change user access in their business accounts.
Other Wells Fargo Business Products
- Business Market Rate Savings: For a minimum opening deposit of $25, you can earn interest. A $5 waivable monthly service fee applies.
- Business Platinum Savings: For a minimum opening deposit of $25, you can earn interest. A $15 waivable monthly service fee applies.
- Special fixed-rate CDs: A California-exclusive CD that offers an APY of 3.50% for seven-month terms and 3.75% for 13-month terms. The minimum opening deposit is $5,000.
- Standard fixed-rate CDs: For a minimum opening deposit of $2,500, you’re guaranteed fixed interest rates between 0.01% and 2.00%. Terms range from one month to six years.
Business Credit Cards
You can choose flexible rewards, either cash back or points, when you open a Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card, Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card, or Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card.
The bank offers Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, business lines of credit, commercial loans, real estate financing, and healthcare practice financing for additional funding.
Wells Fargo Business Checking Pros & Cons
|Offers multiple payment solutions for your business||Monthly fees|
|Full suite of banking products (savings, CDs, credit cards, and lending)||Only up to $5,000 free monthly cash deposits for Wells Fargo Initiate account|
|Access to more than 4,500 branches nationwide||No welcome bonus|
Wells Fargo provides in-person banking convenience at more than 4,500 brick-and-mortar branches nationwide. It also offers waivable monthly fees and more checking account options as your business grows. Furthermore, you can access its merchant services with a wide array of business payment solutions. In addition, lending, credit cards, and business savings are available to boost your funds and finance your expansion plans.
On the other hand, Wells Fargo offers only up to $5,000 free cash deposits every month under its Initiate Business Checking account—other banks offer higher free cash deposit limits at lower monthly fees. Wells Fargo also doesn’t have any welcome bonus for newly-opened accounts.
Alternatives to Wells Fargo Business Checking
Although Wells Fargo offers excellent business checking accounts, choosing an online-only provider might help you save on costs. Today’s online-only banking solutions offer higher interest rates, unlimited fee-free transactions, lower fees, and additional cost-saving features.
- Bluevine* is best for earning interest on checking deposits. Qualified business checking accounts earn 2.00% interest on balances up to and including $250,000.
- Novo* is best for fee-free ATM usage as it reimburses all ATM fees at the end of each month.
- Oxygen* is best for cash back on debit card purchases. When you use the Oxygen debit card with partner retailers, you can earn up to 5% cash back.
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms backed by and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured through a supporting bank partnership (Coastal Community Bank for BlueVine, Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo, and The Bancorp Bank for Oxygen)
Wells Fargo Business Checking provides flexible options for business owners seeking a traditional bank with a strong branch presence. When starting with a low transaction volume, you can open an Initiate Business Checking account. Once business growth increases your transaction and cash deposit volume, you can open a Navigate or Optimize checking account. All business accounts also have access to multiple bank products—from savings and credit cards to lending and merchant services—making Wells Fargo a great choice for convenience as your business evolves.