How to Open a Business Bank Account Online in 3 Easy Steps
As a small business owner busy running just about everything, you’re not alone if you feel insanely frustrated by the prospect of having to haul yourself all the way to a bank branch to open a business bank account. That’s why it’s certainly worth looking into how to open a business bank account online from the comfort of your own office or home.
Because, hey, why not? If you can figure out how to open a business bank account online, you can save yourself time, money, and agony. And that sounds pretty great!
Surprisingly, though, opening a business bank account online isn’t 100% straightforward. Odd, especially these days when it’s easy to feel almost entitled to be able to perform essential financial duties completely online. Any business owner can easily apply for a business credit card and even a business loan online—so why is figuring out how to open a business bank account online so much different?
We’ll explain. Read through this guide to learning how to open a business bank account online, and afterward, you won’t have any trouble at all.
What to Know First About How to Open a Business Bank Account Online
We said it before, but we’ll say it again: As you navigate the process of how to open a business bank account online, be ready to find out that it won’t necessarily be easy.
Even now, many banks tend to be hesitant to allow anyone off the street to open a business bank account online. And that’s simply because that kind of openness would allow identity thieves to open bank accounts virtually. As a result, the process of getting a business bank account remains crystallized in amber. In most cases, you’ll have to visit a bank branch with hard copy identification along with various other documents in order to open a business bank account. (More on that in a sec!)
That said, some major players have realized how far behind business bank accounts have fallen in their processes—and that insanely busy small business owners ain’t got time for that. The good news for you is that a few big banks have digitized the steps for how to open a business bank account.
How to Open a Business Bank Account Online
Step 1: Figure Out What Kind of Account Business Bank Account You Want to Open
Your first step in getting that a business bank account open online is taking a moment to figure out what kind of business bank account you need. You have two choices—a business checking account or a business savings account.
Why Get a Business Checking Account
- A great, accessible home for your business’s working capital
- The ability to access your cash easily through a debit card, checks, or electronic payments
- If business is primarily handling working capital
Why Get a Business Savings Account
- A more lucrative, less accessible home for your business’s savings
- You’re looking for a place to stow away money your business has beyond the working capital you handle from day-to-day
- Capital stored here won’t be as easy to access, but it’ll earn interest over time, making your business’s savings worth more with each passing moment
The goals that you want to meet by opening a business bank account online should align with the three bullets in one of these columns. If you feel a bit all over the place, take a good look at those goals again and figure out what, exactly, you’re looking to do with this cash. (And just maybe you need to open both accounts.)
If you’re still confused, talk to your business accountant, who’ll be more than happy to help advise you—and will be thrilled that you’re separating your business and personal finances.
Step 2: Find Your Options for Business Bank Accounts to Open Online
Once you know the kind of account you want to open, the next step for how to open a business bank account online is to find the banks that offer what you need.
This is twofold: First, you have to find banks that offer the option to open a business bank account online. And then, within those options, you’ll have to find the type of bank account—whether it be checking or savings—that your business needs. (Here’s what we meant when we said it’s not quite so straightforward.)
We’ll be 100% straight with you—there aren’t a ton of traditional banks that’ll let you open a business bank account online, however as technology has evolved, more online-based banks have made it possible for you to open a business bank account completely online.
Step 3: Once You’ve Found Your Match, Fill out Your Info
After you take care of steps one and two, you’ll be relieved to find out that the next step of how to open a business bank account online is actually smooth sailing. (Finally, we know.)
All you’ll need is to fill out a bit of information, confirm your identity, and make an initial deposit.
The Best Business Checking Account to Open Online
Azlo Business Checking
As an online-based bank, Azlo allows you to open their business checking account quickly and easily—and completely online. With an Azlo account, you’ll have no minimum opening deposit, no account fees, no transaction limits (or fees), and you’ll be able to manage your account online or using the Azlo mobile app.
Azlo also allows you to make free ACH payments and transfers, send and receive instant payments with other Azlo members, pay bills electronically, mail checks, and create and send digital invoices. Additionally, if you open your business bank account online with Azlo, you’ll receive a free business debit card that you’ll be able to use fee-free at over 55,000 in-network ATMs.
This being said, however, Azlo does have some limits. You won’t be able to make cash deposits with an Azlo business checking account and you won’t be able to send wires. You will, on the other hand, be able to receive both international and domestic wires for free. Along these lines, Azlo also doesn’t offer checkbooks with their account and they only support one user per account.
All in all, however, if you’re looking to open your business checking account online, Azlo is going to be one of your best options.
How to Apply for a Business Checking Account Online With Azlo
- Visit the Azlo homepage.
- Click “Get started.”
- Provide your business email and password to create an account.
- Verify your email with Azlo’s verification code.
- Provide your personal information to verify your identity.
- Provide your business’s information such as formation documents, DBA information, and EIN number.
- Submit your application and wait for approval from Azlo.
The Best Business Savings Account to Open Online
NBKC Business Money Market Account
For a business savings account, the NBKC Business Money Market Account is going to be your best online option. This savings account can be opened quickly and easily online—plus, it requires no minimum opening deposit and has no monthly account fees.
With the NBKC business savings account, you’ll earn an APY of .90% as long as you have a minimum balance of $0.01. Additionally, your account will include up to six monthly withdrawals, free online and mobile banking with eStatements, $0 transaction fees, $0 check deposit, and $0 incoming domestic wires. If you want to send an outgoing domestic wire, however, you’ll have to pay a $5 per wire fee. International wires, either outgoing or incoming, will also cost a fee—$45 per wire.
Other than these fees, however, this NBKC account is essentially a fee-free, high-yield business savings account.
How to Apply for a Business Money Market Account Online With NBKC
- Go to the NBKC business account landing page.
- Click “Open now.”
- Click “get started” and choose the accounts you want to apply for.
- Enter your email address and phone number.
- Verify that you’re the business owner and that you agree to receive account notifications electronically.
- Provide your personal information to verify your identity.
- Provide your business information.
- Submit your application and wait for approval from NBKC.
Alternative Business Bank Account Options
If you don’t want to apply to either of these business bank accounts, a contingency plan is in order.
Although both of these options do make it easy to open a business bank account online, they might not meet your needs, and that’s okay. There are other options, like Novo, Wise, and Axos that also allow you to complete a business bank account application online. On the other hand, there are also more traditional bank account options that might suit your business better.
Ultimately, your next course of action is to find the account that’s the next best fit for you, and what that option looks like will be will depend on your business’s needs and on your preferences.
Here’s a thought—or at least a place to start:
Chase Business Checking
For many small business owners looking for business bank account options, Chase Bank has a lot of business checking account options that fit a whole range of needs.
With the three Chase Business Checking accounts—Total, Performance, and Platinum—you won’t be able to open your business bank account through a fully online process. However, you will be able to take your first steps online in order to move toward opening your account. And, since Chase has many national branches, and you might even be doing your personal banking with Chase, anyway, heading to a Chase branch might not seem like such a hassle.
The Bottom Line
What’s the bottom line on how to open a business bank account online?
- It’s not as seamless as it looks because the options, especially with traditional banks, are limited.
- Generally, a business bank account that you can open wholly online will come from an online-based bank.
- In the end, learning how to open a business bank account online will only save you one trip to the bank.
So, look around at all of your options. If you decide that an online-based bank account isn’t for you and instead, you’re willing to make that trip to the bank, you’ll open up the remainder of your business bank account options—and hopefully, find the very best account for your business.