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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

Finder rating 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

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on Lili's secure site
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Lili is the best banking 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.

Best overall

BlueVine Business Checking

Finder rating 4.5 / 5 ★★★★★

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BlueVine wins best overall bank account for self-employed professionals because it has no hidden fees and earns a whopping 1.5% interest on balances up to $100,000 as long as you spend $500 a month or receive $2,500 a month in customer statements. You'll also get access to a top-tier online banking platform that makes it easy to manage your money.

Best for cash deposits

LendingClub Tailored Checking

Finder rating 3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

LendingClub 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 NYCE ATM.

Best for no fees

NBKC Business Checking

Finder rating 4.5 / 5 ★★★★★

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.

Best for tax integration

Wave Money

Finder rating 4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

Wave Money is a free business bank account with built-in book-keeping 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.

What’s changed in 2021?

We replaced Radius Tailored Checking with LendingClub Tailored Checking after LendingClub acquired Radius Bank.

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.

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Fee APY ATMs Features
Lili
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Lili
$4.99 for Lili Pro
1.00% only with Lili Pro
32,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • Direct deposit up to 2 days early
  • Buckets for taxes and emergencies
  • Supports cash deposits
  • Built-in expense tracking
  • Cashback rewards with Pro plan
Small business owners and freelancers get paid up to two days early and can automatically set aside money for taxes with the Lili digital banking account.
NorthOne Business Banking
Finder Rating: 3.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
NorthOne Business Banking
$10 per month
N/A
withdraw cash at any Cirrus branded ATM location (+1,000,000 locations accross the U.S + 2m worldwide), including MoneyPass ATMs
  • Subaccounts for budgeting everything from taxes, savings and payroll
  • Cash and mobile check deposits
  • Unlimited transactions
Novo
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Novo
$0
N/A
Novo doesn't charge ATM fees and will reimburse any non-network fees you incur
  • Zero Liability
  • Accepted worldwide
  • No minimum balance
A low-fee online checking account designed for small businesses and startups.
Relay
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Relay
$0
N/A
Pull money from your account at any of Allpoint’s 32,000 ATMs nationwide without fear of getting charged fees
  • No account fees
  • No account minimums
  • No overdraft fees
  • No withdrawal fees
Relay is a no-fee, online banking and money management platform. Relay helps you stay on top of cash flow, operating costs and team spending.
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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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