Wells Fargo is a decent traditional bank for affordable business checking. It provides in-person banking services, merchant services, treasury management services, and a full range of business bank products. It also offers three business checking options:
- Initiate Business Checking offers 100 fee-free transactions, a $5,000 cash deposit allowance, and a waivable monthly fee of $10.
- Navigate Business Checking draws interest and has 250 fee-free transactions, a $20,000 cash deposit allowance, and a waivable monthly fee of $25.
- Optimize Business Checking has a monthly fee $75 Includes up to 5 Optimize Business Checking accounts in a billing relationship. Beyond five, an additional $30 fee per account applies. and provides banking relationship benefits and an earnings allowance that can reduce banking costs.
Wells Fargo is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured bank with branches in Washington, D.C., and 36 states
Wells Fargo has no physical branches in Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.
. You can open a business account online, over the phone, or at a local branch. Some industries or businesses are restricted
Wells Fargo cannot open an account for
- ATM operator/owner
- Commodity contracts related business
- Financial institution/ private equity fund/firm
- Foreign government
- Hedge fund
- Lending business
- Marijuana dispensary, dealer, producer, distributor
- Pornographic materials/activities distributor, brothel, or escort services provider
- Protected cell company, shell or shelf company, or issuer of bearer shares
- Securities broker pr dealer, deposit banker, or an account used for 1031 exchanges
- Telemarketing, debt collection agency
- Virtual or internet currency business from opening a Wells Fargo business account.
- Only 100 free transactions for basic Initiate account
- $10,000 or $15,000 required balance to waive the monthly fee of Navigate Business Checking
- No free wires for lowest-tier checking
- $2.50 ATM transaction fee at out-of-network ATMs
- Free business debit card
- Customized cards and checks
- Online and mobile banking; Bill pay
- Earn interest with a Navigate Business Checking
- Free incoming wires and two free monthly withdrawals at nonnetwork ATMs for Navigate and Optimize Business Checking
- Features merchant services, including point-of-sale (POS) solutions
- Treasury management services
- Business savings and certificates of deposits (CDs)
- Credit cards and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
- Healthcare practice financing, lines of credit, and letters of credit
How Wells Fargo Stacks Up With Its Competitors
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 regularly: Wells Fargo Initiate Business Checking offers a fee-free cash deposit allowance of up to $5,000.
- You want to maximize benefits from additional accounts: With Wells Fargo’s Optimize Business Checking, you pay a $75 monthly fee for up to five accounts, which gives you more fee-free transactions, including free incoming wires, stop payments, cashier’s checks, and money orders.
When To Consider Wells Fargo Alternatives
- You want a fee-free interest-earning checking 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 Standard Checking offers a 2.0% APY without a 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, 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. We recommend Mercury, a more affordable alternative that offers free wire transfers. Our Mercury business checking review can help you determine whether it’s right for you.
Wells Fargo Business Checking Overview
Wells Fargo Business Checking Requirements
You can open a Wells Fargo bank account online, over the phone, or in person.
Part of the Wells Fargo business checking requirements is verifying your business and the individuals associated with it. The bank prefers that all owners, partners, and key executives of the business be present to provide personal and business information during branch account opening. Individuals who are not present must complete and notarize the required forms for bank submission so the account can be opened.
Trust businesses, government agencies, Indian Tribal Government, or publicly traded companies must apply at a local branch. Certain industries or businesses are ineligibleⓘ from opening an account with Wells Fargo.
The following documents must be presented:
- 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 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
Business Checking Accounts
- Initiate Business Checking is ideal for businesses with a low balance and transaction activity. The account offers 100 fee-free transactions and charges 50 cents per transaction beyond the limit. A cash deposit allowance of $5,000 is also provided. The $10 monthly fee is waivable.
- Navigate Business Checking suits established businesses with higher balances and transaction volume. The account has 250 fee-free transactions, a cash deposit allowance of $20,000, and interest earnings. The $25 monthly fee can be waived.
- Optimize Business Checking fits seasoned business owners seeking banking relationship benefits. You get an earnings allowance to offset eligible expenses, including monthly fees.
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 Combined business deposit balances include the average ledger balance in your Navigate Business Checking, including other accounts: Initiate Business Checking and additional Navigate Business Checking plus Business Market Rate Savings and Business Platinum Savings plus Business Time Account and Business Step Rate Time Account (check the website for exceptions).
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
- Review business transaction history up to 18 months
- Check current balances and pending transactions
- View business check images (front and back)
- Access and download online statements and documents
- Print images of deposit slips and returned checks
- Set up and customize card alerts for easy tracking of transactions
- Control user account access
- Integrate accounts with QuickBooks and Xero
- Order checks
The app has an excellent rating of 4.8 on both App Store (based on more than 8.6 million reviews) and Google Play (based on more than 2 million reviews). Reviewers praised the app for its user-friendly interface, reliable system, and convenient biometric feature. However, a few users reported issues when depositing their checks through the app.
- Clover: Wells Fargo offers more payment options for your customers with the POS system Clover, which accepts credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallet payments. See our Clover POS review for more information about the solution.
- Authorize.net: 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. Read our Authorize.net review for more information.
- RUN: Wells Fargo uses RUN Powered by ADP® for automatic payroll processing and simplifying small business payroll taxes. Check out our ADP Run review to learn how its features can benefit your small business.
Treasury Management Services
- Wire transfers
- Automated clearing house (ACH) payments
- Remote check deposit
- ACH fraud filter
- Zero balance account
- CEO mobile® administration service
Other Wells Fargo Business Products
Wells Fargo features specialized checking accounts, business savings accounts, CDs, credit cards, and lending options.
- Analyzed Accounts: This account is for businesses with large balances and high transactions. It has a monthly fee of $30, an earnings allowance, and does not bear interest. The minimum opening deposit is $25.
- Federal Agency Checking/US Government Checking/State or Local Government Checking: This government account has a $10 waivable monthly fee, 200 fee-free transactions, $7,500 cash deposit allowance, and variable interest.
- Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA), Analyzed IOLTA, and Real Estate Trust Account (RETA) RETA product is exclusive to Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. : These trust accounts have no monthly fees but require a $25 opening deposit. The interest is variable.
- Business Market Rate Savings: With a minimum opening deposit of $25, you can earn interest from this account. The $5 monthly fee is waived if you maintain a $300 daily balance. The first 20 deposited items and $5,000 cash deposit are free per fee period.
- Business Platinum Savings: Business Platinum Savings offers tiered interest and requires an opening deposit of $25. The $15 monthly service fee is waived by meeting a $10,000 daily balance or linking to a Navigate or Optimize Checking account. The transaction and cash deposit allowance are similar to Business Market Rate Savings.
- Special Fixed Rate CDs: California-exclusive CDs that offer an APY of 4.75% The APY rate is applicable as of December 2023 and subject to change at any time. for seven-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 APY rates between 0.01% and 4.50% The APY rate is applicable as of December 2023 and subject to change at any time. . Terms range from one month to 12 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.
- SBA 7(a) loans: Loan amounts of up to $5 million and 25-year terms for commercial real estate and 10-year terms for other purposes. Read our guide on SBA 7(a) loans to learn the rates and requirements.
- SBA 504 loans: Loan amounts of up to $10 million for the bank’s side and up to $5 million funded by a certified development company. Terms can last up to 25 years for commercial real estate and 10 years for machinery or equipment. Learn more from our SBA 504 loans guide.
- Lines of credit: The bank offers unsecured and secured business lines of credit.
- Wells Fargo BusinessLine® line of credit offers $10,000 to $150,000 revolving credit lines with an annual fee waiver for the first year for new clients
- Wells Fargo Small Business Advantage® line of credit provides $5,000 to $50,000 revolving credit lines with no annual fees
- Wells Fargo Prime Line of Credit is available for businesses with $2 to $10 million in annual sales. This line of credit needs to be secured by business assets, and range from $100,000 to $1 million
- Healthcare practice financing: Financial services are available for dentists, optometrists, physicians, and veterinarians
- Letters of credit: Wells Fargo’s commercial letters of credit and standby letters of credit are available
Wells Fargo Business Checking Reviews From Users
Wells Fargo business checking reviews have low to average ratings on third-party sites. Several customers said that the bank’s support team failed to resolve disputes and fraudulent claims. Some also complained about sudden account freezing that lasted several weeks and resulted in missed payments and investment opportunities.
Other users expressed dissatisfaction with the long check-clearing period and multiple in-person banking trips caused by additional piecemeal information requests each visit. Positive feedback came from loyal clients who have been with the bank for decades and found the bank’s service straightforward, quick, and pleasant.
The bank has the following ratings on third-party sites:
- WalletHub: 3.7 out of 5 based on over 12,000 reviews
- Trustpilot: 1.3 out of 5 from around 1,100 reviews
- ConsumerAffairs: 1.9 out of 5 based on more than 3,300 reviews
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Both Wells Fargo and Chase are among the largest banks in the U.S. and provide various banking products and services, including multiple branch locations and convenient ATM access. Each offers benefits and drawbacks to businesses. You can read our comparison of Chase vs Wells Fargo business checking to see how the features of each bank stack up against each other and determine which one fits your business needs.
The minimum account opening deposit for a Wells Fargo business checking account is $25.
Yes. Wells Fargo charges a monthly fee of $10 under the basic account, Initiate Business CheckingSM. The fee can be waived if you maintain at least a $500 daily balance or a $1,000 average ledger balance in your account.
Yes. Wells Fargo deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor and account ownership category.
Wells Fargo’s business checking accounts provide flexible options for business owners seeking a traditional bank with a strong branch presence. Small businesses with a low transaction volume can start with Initiate Business Checking and switch to Navigate or Optimize Business Checking as the business scales. Wells Fargo also provides relationship benefits the more business accounts you open, which makes it a convenient choice as your business evolves.