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Best bank accounts for freelancers and the self-employed

We independently researched over 30+ business bank accounts to uncover the best accounts for self-employed professionals and freelancers.

Compare self-employed bank accounts

1 - 5 of 5
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
  • Early direct deposit
  • Tax and emergency buckets
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.
Found
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Found
$0
N/A
You can use your Found card at any ATM
  • No monthly fees
  • No account fees
  • No minimum balance
  • No sign-up fee
This free account not only offers a place to put revenue, but also features bookkeeping, tax withholdings and payments, invoices and more. Features accessible via its app.
NorthOne Business Banking
Finder Rating: 3.4 / 5: ★★★★★
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

  • Live-chat support
  • Company debit cards
  • Mobile check deposits
NorthOne Business Banking is an all-in-one solution for small business owners, startups and freelancers. It boasts unlimited free transactions, subaccounts, and robust bookkeeping integrations.
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
Relay
$0
N/A
  • 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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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.

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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