This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
Wells Fargo is a decent traditional bank for affordable business checking. Its lowest-tier account, Initiate Business Checking, offers 100 fee-free transactions per month for a waivable monthly service fee of just $10. Its higher tier accounts, Navigate Business Checking and Optimize Business Checking, raise the monthly transaction limit to 250 and offer lower fees for cash deposits. The bank also provides access to in-person banking services, merchant services, and a full range of bank products.
How Wells Fargo Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Monthly Transaction Limit Before Fees
Monthly Cash Deposit Before Fees
Initiate Business Checking
100, then 50 cents per transaction
$5,000 free, then 30 cents per $100 statement cycle
All states except Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia
Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking
200, then 45 cents per transaction
$7,500 free, then 30 cents per $100 per statement cycle
All states except Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
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
All states except Alaska and Hawaii
When Wells Fargo Is a Good Fit
- You prefer in-person banking: There are approximately 4,500 brick-and-mortar Wells Fargo branches across 36 states and Washington D.C.
- 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 offers a fee-free cash deposit allowance of up to $5,000.
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 a 2.0% APY without a minimum balance requirement, provided you meet the account’s activity requirements. Read our Bluevine business checking review for more details.
- 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. See if the provider’s a good fit by reading our Bank of America business checking review.
- 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 Mercury, which charges zero fees for wire transfers. Our Mercury business checking review can help you determine whether it’s right for you.
See more providers in our roundup of the best small business checking accounts.
Wells Fargo Business Checking Overview
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; 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 two forms:
- Authorization for Information and Certificate of Authority form: Includes business and individual information and authorizes the bank to check your credit.
- Certification Regarding Beneficial Owners of Legal Entity Customers form: Certifies that the beneficial owners for business customers are operating as a legal entity.
Click the links below to view each form:
- Authorization for Information and Certificate of Authority (PDF)
- Certification Regarding Beneficial Owners of Legal Entity Customers (PDF)
You may also be required to submit additional requirements based on your business entity type. Click on the tabs below for the list of additional requirements.
Before opening an account, check our guide on how to open a business bank account for a free checklist of documents banks typically require.
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 $1000 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 app has a rating of 4.8 stars on both the App Store (based on more than 2 million reviews) and Google Play (based on more than 8 million reviews). The majority of recent reviews highlight that the app is convenient and easy to use. However, a few customers complained of unreliable mobile check deposit functionality. See Wells Fargo on the App Store or Wells Fargo on Google Play for more information.
- 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 waivable $5 monthly service fee applies.
- Business Platinum Savings: Like Business Market Rate Savings, Business Platinum Savings offers interest and requires a minimum opening deposit of $25. It has a waivable $15 monthly service fee.
- 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.
Wells Fargo offers credit cards with flexible rewards, including cash back and redeemable points. Our articles below provide more insight into each card:
You can also check out our guide on the best Wells Fargo credit cards for a detailed comparison of the two cards.
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 User Reviews
Wells Fargo business checking reviews are low to middling. Multiple users said that the bank offered no help or solutions when their accounts had been hacked or scammed. Customers who had reported fraudulent transactions said that Wells Fargo takes too long to respond to fraud claims. Some even said that it had labeled the fraudulent transactions as legitimate.
Other complaints include long hold times for check deposits and poor, difficult-to-reach customer service. Positive reviews typically come from customers wanting to single out and praise individual Wells Fargo employees.
The bank has the following ratings on third-party sites:
- WalletHub1: 3.8 out of 5 based on more than 11,000 reviews
- Trustpilot2: 1.3 out of 5 from around 900 reviews
- ConsumerAffairs3: 3.8 out of 5 based on more than 1,300 reviews
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.
User review references: