This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
If you’re looking to open a business checking account in a traditional bank with waivable monthly fees, access to merchant services, and a full range of bank products, Wells Fargo is an excellent 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.
How Wells Fargo Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Cash Deposit Fee
Minimum Opening Deposit
Initiate Business Checking
Up to $5,000 per month free, then 30 cents per $100 per statement cycle
Free at 12,000+ ATMs nationwide; $2.50 per transaction out-of-network
Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking
Up to $7,500/ month free, then 30 cents per $100 per statement cycle
Free at 16,000+ ATMs nationwide; $2.50 per transaction out-of-network
$100 to open; no requirement to maintain
Business Complete Banking
Up to $5,000 per month free, then 2.50 per $1,000 per statement cycle
$2.50 per transaction at any non-Chase ATM, plus ATM operator fees
When Wells Fargo Is a Good Fit
- Business owners who want 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.
- Businesses that 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.
- Businesses with low transaction volumes seeking low-cost banking: Wells Fargo’s Initiate Business Checking provides small businesses with 100 free transactions every month and permits free monthly cash deposits up to $5,000. This low-cost banking solution is why Wells Fargo is part of our list of the best banks for nonprofits.
- Real estate investors who don’t want to pay for 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 the reason it’s one of our best banks for real estate investors.
- Businesses that require merchant services: Wells Fargo provides convenience by offering payment processing options, such as point-of-sale (POS) terminals.
When Wells Fargo Is Not a Good Fit
- Businesses that want to open a free interest-earning account: Although 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 2.0% APY without a minimum balance requirement, provided conditions are met.
- Business owners who 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.
Wells Fargo Business Checking Overview
*To waive fees, account holders must meet at least one 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 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, the owners, partners, and key executives 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, such as an employer identification number (EIN) for businesses and Social Security number for individuals
- Two forms of personal identification, with one being 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.
Prior to account opening, check our guide on how to open a business bank account to download 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.
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. It’s also covered by Zero Liability protection so 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.
Online & Mobile Banking
With Wells Fargo Business Online® and Wells Fargo Mobile®, you can access your business checking account securely using a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Paying invoices and bills, transferring funds, and exploring different online payment services are convenient. You can also update your account information without going to the branch. Download Wells Fargo Bank’s mobile banking app via the App Store and Google Play store.
- 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 to simplify payroll taxes of small businesses.
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 Banking 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.
- Business time accounts/certificates of deposit (CDs): For a minimum opening deposit of $2,500, you’re guaranteed fixed interest rates at flexible terms ranging from a month to 12 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.
- Lending: 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, 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.
Meanwhile, 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
Wells Fargo has excellent business checking accounts but if you want free unlimited transactions, a digital-only bank that earns interest, or a higher cash deposit limit with a lower monthly fee that you can waive, you can consider these alternatives:
- Capital One: Best for business owners that want free unlimited transactions. Wells Fargo’s checking accounts limit transactions from 100 to 250 items and charge beyond that.
- Bank of America: Best for businesses wanting higher free cash deposit limits and low monthly fees. Bank of America offers a free cash deposit limit of $7,500 at a monthly fee of $16.
- Bluevine: Best for business owners that don’t mind a digital-only bank and want to earn interest on a basic checking account. Bluevine gives out 2.0% APY for qualified balances.
See more providers in our roundup of the best small business checking accounts.
Wells Fargo Business Checking provides flexible options for business owners seeking a traditional bank with a strong branch presence. When starting out with a low transaction volume, they can open an Initiate Business Checking account. As the business expands and needs more free transactions and higher cash deposit limits, it 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.