So you have incorporated, and that is a significant step in the right direction.  All is well in the world, but now you need a place to do financial transactions.  Part of registering your business to do work for the federal government involves having a bank account to transfer money back and forth.  Choosing a business bank account is harder than choosing a personal bank account because of all the options.

The choice of business bank accounts boils down to whether you are going to carry a large balance and how many transactions you have each month.  That will determine your monthly fees. 

To establish a bank account you need the following:
  • Articles of Incorporation for Corporation or LLC
  • If a Sole Proprietor or Partnership you will need one of the following:
    • Fictitious Name Certificate or Statement
    • Certificate of Assumed Name
    • Business License
    • Registration of Trade Name
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

You have choices between banks.  You can choose a big nationwide Bank, a community bank, a credit union or an internet bank.  I wanted a nationwide bank because of my business with the federal government.  Currently, I have contracts in several states, and I needed the ability to have a bank that was not local.  To compare all options, including local credit unions, NerdWallet provides an extremely handy tool called “Compare Business Checking Accounts.”  I provided my experience in the table below of three nationwide banks.

Minimum Opening Deposit
No Charge Transactions and Deposits
Interest Bearing
Online and Mobile Access
Wells Fargo (Simple Business Checking)
Includes 50 transactions and $3,000 in cash deposited monthly
The have both.  However, their online system is not as friendly as other banks.  It is somewhat difficult to use.
They have online statements and access to check images.
Chase (Total Business Checking)
$10 when you are enrolled in Paperless Statements (or $12 for paper statements); waived when you maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance
Includes 200 transactions per month without a fee and
$7,500 in cash deposits each month without a fee
Chase has the best online banking and mobile access system.  If this is important to you, then choose them.
Bank of America
No monthly fee first two months, then $17/month
500 transactions per month at no cost. Additionally you can deposit up to $25,000 cash to the account without a fee.
I have not used their online or mobile access, but they do provide it.

If you know me, Linda Rawson, I am commonly called she-geek.  So the relatively small difference in cost made me want the high-quality online banking.  We use Quickbooks Online, and it synchronizes with Chase.  Don’t make the decision for a business bank account quickly but analyze your true needs as a business owner.