First Republic Bank Business Account Review, Plus Top Alternatives

Sally Lauckner

Sally Lauckner is the managing editor at Fundera. Previously, she was senior editor at SmartAsset, a Y Combinator-backed personal finance startup. She has a decade of experience in digital media and has held various editorial roles at the Huffington Post, AOL.com, and Glamour magazine. Sally has a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Columbia University.
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Having a personal checking account allows you to easily access your money for purchases and transfers. Why wouldn’t you want the same for your business? A business checking account can allow you to make your necessary purchases for work. It can also help you pay your employees quickly and conveniently by keeping all your funds together and accessible.

First Republic Bank offers three different business checking accounts, each with varying features for different kinds of business owners, whether you want a simple approach to banking or you want to earn interest on your balance. Opening a First Republic Bank business account will work best for business owners near a bank branch. The bank has locations on both the East Coast—in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida—and the West Coast—California, Oregon, and Wyoming.

Choosing the Best Business Checking Account for Your Small Business

It’s important to determine what you and your business need from a checking account before you open one. For example, if you’re just starting out and need to save on certain expenses, a free business checking account would be better for you. That way, your new budget won’t take a hit each month by an unnecessary fee. Or perhaps your business is ramping up and you need more room to make transactions and pay more employees. In that case, a more premium account with higher transaction and balance limits could be more appropriate.

Fees

When running a business, you’re not going to want to lose money due to silly things like fees. It’s important you check out an account’s fees before opening. That way, you’ll know what’s coming instead of getting blindsided. Look for monthly service fees, ATM fees, and overdraft fees, as those tend to be pretty common.

The First Republic Bank business accounts all charge high monthly fees. You can pay down the fee or waive it by meeting certain balance requirements, so it helps to have high balances in these accounts. Otherwise, you might find your budget coming up short each month.

Transaction Limits and Balance Minimums

Business checking accounts often limit you to a certain number of transactions per statement cycle. Typically though, banks range their limitations between accounts so you shouldn’t find yourself too restricted. You can also run into balance minimums required to waive a monthly fee or snag a higher interest rate. First Republic Bank does have a relatively high minimum balance you need to meet to waive the high monthly fee. You’ll also need at least $5,000 to open a business checking account with the bank.

The 3 First Republic Bank Business Accounts, Reviewed

Each First Republic Bank business account includes either a business debit card or a deposit-only ATM card. You can use your debit card worldwide for both withdrawals and deposits, but the ATM card allows only deposits at First Republic ATMs. You can also use remote deposit capabilities and take advantage of free incoming wires.

First Republic provides business account customers with several features to help you run your business. This includes cash vault/armored courier services, lockbox services, foreign exchange assistance, and Corporate Online banking for convenient 24/7 online access. You’ll also have various safety features at hand like the bank’s Internet Security Health Check Program, an on-site assessment of your computers, and Positive Pay, which monitors for check fraud.

First Republic Bank Business Analyzed Checking

The Business Analyzed Checking account from First Republic offers Earnings Credits, which you can use to pay for or offset the account’s monthly fee or other charges like for payroll processing. This can come in handy since the account does charge a hefty monthly fee of $30. The amount of Earnings Credits you receive are determined by your balance and the bank’s Earnings Credit Rate. You can link this account to other eligible checking accounts to increase your earnings, too. It’s not like earning interest on a regular deposit account, though. You can only use these credits to pay for certain account-related charges.

Monthly fees and limits:

  •      $30 monthly fee
  •      $5,000 minimum opening deposit

Best for:

  •      Accounts with larger balances to earn more credits and offset the high monthly fee

First Republic Bank Simplified Business Checking

Like its name suggests, the Simplified Business Checking account offers an easy approach to business banking. It doesn’t include any frills or require any hoops to jump through to snag perks. It comes with 100 checks and the ability to make up to 21 free deposits each month. Otherwise, deposits made at branches cost $1.50 per deposit and each check deposited costs $0.10 each.

Even for a simple account, though, there’s a pretty big monthly fee of $30. If you can maintain at least $15,000 in the account, you can waive the fee.

Monthly fees and limits:

  •      $30 monthly fee, waived with $15,000 minimum average balance
  •      $5,000 minimum opening deposit

Best for:

  •      Accounts with at least $15,000 to waive the high monthly fee
  •      Business owners who make fewer than 21 deposits each month

First Republic Bank Business Interest Checking

To grow your business checking balance a bit, you can open the Business Interest Checking account. The interest rate is minimal, though, so it won’t boost your savings substantially. If you really want to grow your business’ funds through interest, consider opening a savings account, too.

This account includes unlimited check writing, which is handy for business owners who need to make several payments each month.

Monthly fees and limits:

  •      $30 monthly fee, waived with $15,000 minimum average balance
  •      $5,000 minimum opening deposit
  •      Unlimited check writing

Best for:

  •      Business owners who write checks
  •      Business owners with high account balances

Top Alternatives to a First Republic Bank Business Account

For Internet-Savvy Business Owners: Azlo

If you don’t live in First Republic Bank’s serviced areas or are ready to move your business banking online, Azlo Business Checking makes a great choice. Azlo operates entirely online, without brick-and-mortar branches. You can open and manage an account online with free bank-to-bank transfers and easy mobile check deposit. You’ll also have free access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs with an Azlo debit card. This ATM access allows you to make withdrawals, but you cannot make cash deposits into an Azlo business checking account.

The Azlo Business Bank Account itself is pretty impressive as there is no monthly fee nor minimum deposit/balance requirements. This makes it easy for any kind of business owner to open. Azlo also includes unlimited in-app invoicing abilities.

For New or Small Businesses That Want Versatility: Chase Total Checking

The Chase Total Business Checking account offers a bit more wiggle room when it comes to making transactions. Its limit of 100 free transactions can be a perfect amount for new or smaller businesses that aren’t making a ton of transactions just yet. Chase includes debits and non-electronic deposits as transactions. You can also deposit up to $5,000 in cash each month for free. Any deposits made after you hit that threshold will charge a fee, so watch out if your business deals mostly in cash.

You’ll need a lot less cash to open a Chase Total Business Checking account than with a First Republic Bank. Chase requires only $25 to open (compared to First Republic’s $5,000). The monthly fee is also cut in half and it requires a much smaller balance to waive. Plus, you can snag a $200 welcome bonus when you open the account and deposit at least $1,000 in new money within 20 days of opening (and maintain the balance for 60 days) and complete five qualifying transactions within 60 days. If you can responsibly meet those requirements, then this might be a good fit for you.

For Well-Established Businesses: Chase Platinum Checking

Moved past the beginner stages of your business? Chase has a business account for that, too. The Chase Platinum Business Checking account still only requires at least $25 to open, but comes with a whopping $95 monthly fee. If you wanted to waive the fee, you’d need at least $100,000 in your account to do so.

That high price tag offers up several handy features and wide limits for you to spread your business’s wings. This includes 500 fee-free transactions (teller deposits and debits) and the ability to deposit up to $25,000 in cash into your account. These high minimums are great for business owners with high balances and transaction frequency. The account also makes wiring money easy by allowing unlimited incoming domestic and foreign wires each month. You’re still limited to sending four wires per month, though.

You can also snag a $200 welcome bonus when you open the account and deposit at least $1,000 into the account within 20 days after account opening, keep at least $1,000 in the account for 60 days, and make five qualifying transactions in 60 days.

Is a First Republic Bank Business Account Right for You?

When it comes to business banking, you might want a bank that’s nearby so you can reach a representative quickly and conveniently in case you ever need help with your account or your business services. Don’t forget that First Republic Bank is pretty limited in its geographical spread, with 74 locations in seven states, but mostly concentrated in California.

All in all, First Republic Bank Business Checking accounts are best for business owners who can meet the accounts’ balance requirements. Without a high enough balance, you’ll end up paying a pretty big monthly fee for a checking account, especially for the Simplified Business Checking account. A higher balance will do you more good with either the Business Analyzed or Business Interest checking accounts, by earning more interest or earnings credits. Still, the Business Analyzed earnings credits may not cover your whole monthly fee, even with a high balance.

Editorial Note: Fundera exists to help you make better business decisions. That’s why we make sure our editorial integrity isn’t influenced by our own business. The opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations in this article are those of our editorial team alone. They haven’t been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the companies mentioned above. Learn more about our editorial process and how we make money here.

Sally Lauckner

Sally Lauckner is the managing editor at Fundera. Previously, she was senior editor at SmartAsset, a Y Combinator-backed personal finance startup. She has a decade of experience in digital media and has held various editorial roles at the Huffington Post, AOL.com, and Glamour magazine. Sally has a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Columbia University.

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