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Best bank accounts for freelancers and the self-employed

We compared 30+ accounts to bring you the five best self-employed bank accounts.

The best self-employed bank accounts come with few fees, an easy-to-use interface and built-in tools to help you track your cash flow. We independently researched over 30+ business bank accounts to uncover the five best accounts for self-employed professionals and freelancers. This meant digging into factors like monthly fees, transaction limits, minimum deposits, application processes and account integrations.

5 best self-employed bank accounts

Here’s a closer look at the five self-employed bank accounts that are best for cash deposits, no fees, tax integrations, freelancer support and more.

Best for early deposits

Lili

Lili logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Apply now
at Lili's secure site
Up to 1%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
Lili is the best bank account for freelancers who are just starting out or need help managing their finances for the first time. You get direct deposits up to two days early, plus tools to help you automatically set aside money for taxes and emergencies. The standard version of Lili is free, but you can upgrade to the Pro tier for $4.99 per month to get unlimited invoicing, a 1% APY savings account and a debit card that earns cashback rewards.
  • No hidden fees. Open a standard Lili account with as little as $0 and enjoy no monthly maintenance, overdraft, account inactivity or card-replacement fees. The Pro tier costs $4.99 per month.
  • Tax and emergency buckets. Use this feature to have a set percentage of every deposit automatically set aside for future taxes and emergencies.
  • Supports cash deposits. Most digital banks don’t support cash deposits, but Lili lets you make cash deposits at 90,000 US retailers in the Green Dot network.
  • Limited customer support. Phone support is available weekdays from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. EST. But some customers report having trouble getting a hold of someone.
  • No interest. Unlike most two-in-one digital bank accounts, Lili doesn’t earn any interest. But you can earn cash back on debit card purchases when you enroll in the Lili Visa SavingsEdge Rewards program.
  • Application restrictions. You can’t open Lili with a business partner and you can’t use an employer identification number (EIN) to apply. You must use your Social Security number.
  • Low transfer limit. Only transfers of up to $1,000 per day are permitted from a linked account, which could be problematic if you typically “pay yourself” more than that.
APY 1%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
ATM transaction fee $0
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Overdraft fee $0

Best for cash deposits

Radius Bank Tailored Checking

Radius Bank Tailored Checking logo
Finder Rating: 3.3 / 5

★★★★★

Apply now
at Radius Bank's secure site
Up to 0.1%
APY
$10 monthly
Fees
$100
Min. opening deposit
Radius Bank Tailored Checking is the best bank account for self-employed professionals who handle cash as you can make deposits using any full-service MoneyPass or SUM ATM.
  • Earn rewards. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on online and signature-based purchases with your Radius debit card, plus 0.1% interest on account balances of $5,000 or more.
  • Free ATMs. Withdraw and deposit cash at any MoneyPass or SUM ATM worldwide. Plus, get ATM rebates if you use a machine outside of these networks.
  • Account integrations. Connect your Radius Bank Tailored Checking account to QuickBooks, Quick and Mint to keep better track of your cash flow.
  • Minimum requirements. You’ll need to keep at least $5,000 in your account to earn interest and avoid the $10 monthly fee.
  • Opening deposit. At least $100 is required to open an account. While this is lower than other business accounts that require $1,500 or more to get started, it’s still something to keep in mind.
APY 0.1%
Account fees $10 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
No monthly maintenance fee with balances of $5,000 and up
ATM transaction fee $0

Best overall

BlueVine Business Checking

Up to 1%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
BlueVine wins best overall bank account for self-employed professionals because it has no hidden fees and earns a whopping 1% interest on balances up to $100,000. You’ll also get access to a top-tier online banking platform that makes it easy to manage your money.
  • No hidden fees. Pay nothing for monthly maintenance, deposits, withdrawals, transfers, incoming wires, nonsufficient funds and more.
  • Accepts cash deposits. Unlike most online banks, you can deposit cash into your BlueVine Business Checking at over 90,000 Green Dot locations nationwide.
  • Software integrations. Sync Bluevine up to QuickBooks Online, Wave, PayPal, Stripe and more to seamlessly manage your cash flow.
  • Fee for cash deposits. BlueVine doesn’t charge a fee when you deposit cash, but most retailers charge up to $4.95.
  • No savings account options. BlueVine only has one bank account. But considering you earn 1% interest on balances up to $100,000 you may be able to treat its Business Checking account as a checking and savings account combo.
APY 1%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Insufficient funds fee $0
ATM transaction fee $0
Overdraft fee $0

Best for no fees

NBKC Business Checking

N/A
APY
None
Fees
$5
Min. opening deposit
We chose NBKC Business Checking as the best self-employed bank account for no fees because it ditches most common fees other banks typically charge. We’re talking no overdrafts, no monthly fees, no cap on deposits and more.
  • Low opening deposit. You only need $5 to open a NBKC Business Checking account.
  • Minimal fees. Enjoy no fees for overdrafts, monthly maintenance, stop payment requests, incoming domestic wires and more.
  • Unlimited transactions. With most banks, you get around 500 free deposits a month, then have to pay a fee if you go over. But with NBKC, you get unlimited free transactions.
  • Wire transfer fees. Incoming domestic wires are free but you’ll pay $5 for outgoing domestic wires and $45 to send or receive international wires.
APY 0%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Overdraft fee $0

Best for tax integration

Wave Money

N/A
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
Wave Money is a free business bank account with built-in bookkeeping and personalized financial insights — two features that make it easy to prepare for tax season and keep a finger on the pulse of your business.
  • Built-in bookkeeping. This means no more worrying about reconciling accounts, double-checking balances or waiting on transactions to import. It’s all in one place.
  • Free instant payouts. You’ll get instant access to your money as soon as someone pays you through Wave Payments. Other platforms charge up to 1.5% for this feature.
  • Third-party app integrations. Accept payments quickly by connecting Wave Money to your Shopify, Stripe, PayPal or Square accounts.
  • No joint accounts. You’re only eligible for Wave Money if you have a single-owner business. Wave is hoping to support partnerships in the future, but it doesn’t offer this feature as of April 2021.
  • No other bank accounts. Wave Money doesn’t come with a savings component, so you’ll need to open an account at another bank if you want to earn interest.
  • Not available yet. Wave Money is slowly rolling out over the coming months. Hop on the waitlist to reserve your spot, but it’s not fully available as of April 2021.
APY 0%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
ATM transaction fee $0
Overdraft fee $0

5 factors to consider when choosing the best bank for self-employed professionals

Compare these five major factors when shopping around for the best self-employed bank account for you.

  1. Opening deposits. Banks like BlueVine let you open an account with as little as $0 while Axos Bank requires $1,000 for some of its accounts. Find an account with a minimum deposit you can comfortably meet.
  2. Fees. Look for a self-employed bank account with no monthly fees and no cap on the number of free deposits you can make each month.
  3. Early direct deposits. Accounts like Lili deposit invoices into your account up to two days earlier than normal. Accounts like Chase Business Complete Checking give you “early deposits” in the form of instant transfers when you use payment-accepting tools.
  4. Tax integrations. Choosing a bank account that integrates with Quickbooks, Shopify, PayPal, Stripe and all your other accounts will save you a lot of work come tax time.
  5. Application process. Traditional banks are notorious for making you visit a branch to open a business bank account, while online banks typically let you get started online.

Compare more self-employed bank accounts

Use this table to compare business bank accounts by fees and minimum deposit.

Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Axos Bank Business Savings
Finder Rating: 3.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Business Savings
0.20%
$5 per month
(can be waived)
$1,000
A business savings account with a low minimum deposit.
Axos Bank Business Money Market
Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Business Money Market
0.20%
$10 per month
(can be waived)
$1,000
This money market savings account comes with the added benefit of check writing privileges.
NBKC Bank Business Money Market
NBKC Bank Business Money Market
0.80%
$0
$0
The NBKC Bank Business Money Market Account is a breath of fresh air with its simple fee structure and low opening deposit.
First Internet Bank Regular Savings
First Internet Bank Regular Savings

0.70% on $0 to $10,000,000
0.40% on $10,000,000+
$2 per month
(can be waived)
$100
First Internet Bank's Regular Savings account for businesses is online-only and available nationwide.
Live Oak Bank Business Savings account
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Live Oak Bank Business Savings account
0.50%
$0
$0
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open ATMs
NorthOne Business Banking
$10 per month
$50
withdraw cash at any Cirrus branded ATM location (+1,000,000 locations accross the U.S + 2m worldwide), including MoneyPass ATMs

A digital bank account featuring free cash deposits, on-demand customer support and streamlined bookkeeping integrations.
First Internet Bank Small Business Checking
$0
$0
Up to $10 ATM fee reimbursements a month, plus free access to the ATM Plus Network
No minimum balance and no monthly service fee. Make unlimited deposits. Get reimbursed up to $10 per month in ATM fees
Chase Business Complete Banking
$15 per month
(can be waived)
$0
over 16,000 in-network ATMs
This Chase business checking account has built-in card acceptance using a smartphone card reader. $300 bonus offer
Brex Cash account
$0
$0
Brex Cash is an innovative cash management account that lets business owners choose whether to save or invest funds.
Lili
$4.99 for Lili Pro
$0
32,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
Freelancers get paid up to two days early and can automatically set aside money for taxes with the Lili digital bank account
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Compare up to 4 providers

Do I need a separate bank account if I’m self-employed?

You’re not legally required to open a separate bank account if you’re self-employed, but the pros of doing so far outweigh the cons.

Pros

  • Easy bookkeeping. Having a dedicated bank account for self-employed professionals and freelancers helps you keep an eye on your cash flow, so you can clearly see how much you’ve earned and how much you’ve spent.
  • Simplifies taxes. The IRS wants a clear picture of what income and expenses were personal and which ones were for your business. Save yourself the headache of having to sort a years’ worth of transactions by keeping it separate from the beginning.
  • Good for growth. Establishing a business bank account can help you gain access to business credit cards, loans and other tools you may need to expand.
  • Account integrations. If you use invoicing, accounting or payment-processing software for your business, a self-employed bank account makes it easy to connect all those together so you can manage everything in one place.

Cons

  • Have to make time to apply. It’s easy to let the money roll into your personal bank account because it’s already there. But taking time to set up a separate bank account if you’re self-employed will help your business run a lot smoother.
  • Good for growth. Establishing a business bank account can help you gain access to business credit cards, loans and other tools you may need to expand.
  • Could have monthly fees. Business bank accounts are notorious for having monthly fees and per-transaction fees. Avoid these fees by choosing an option on our list or doing your research to find another alternative.

What if I’m a sole proprietor?

If you’re a sole proprietor, you’re still self-employed and therefore encouraged to open a business bank account. It’s not required, but it’ll help keep your personal and business expenses separate, making tax time a whole lot easier.

Bottom line

The best bank account for self-employed professionals and freelancers has all the features you’re looking for — whether that’s all-around A+ features, early deposits, tax software integrations or cash deposits. As always, take time to compare all your business banking options, so you make the right choice for you.

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