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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With BlueVine, you can open a business checking account online—and earn 1% interest on all balances over $1,000. In addition, the BlueVine business bank account is completely free, has no minimum opening deposit requirement, no NSF fees, no incoming wire fees, and includes two free checkbooks.
The BlueVine business checking account gives you access to unlimited transactions, the ability to pay vendors and bills by ACH, wire, or check, make transfers to and from your other accounts, as well as schedule one-time and recurring payments. Moreover, you have fee-free access to over 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs across the country.
Plus, unlike most online-based business checking accounts, BlueVine gives you the ability to deposit checks with your business debit card, using over 90,000 eligible GreenDot locations in the U.S.
Overall, if you’re looking to manage your business finances online or using your mobile device—and earn interest while doing so—BlueVine is going to be a great option.
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 .10%. 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.
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, NorthOne, 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:
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—the Complete, Performance, and Platinum—you can either open your account online or go to one of their physical branch locations. Chase has many national branches, and you might even be doing your personal banking with Chase already.
What’s the bottom line on how to open a business bank account online?
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.
Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera.
Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions.