5 Best Banks for Startups in 2023

Sections of this topic

    Dealing with the headaches of a startup company is no one’s idea of fun. Fortunately, certain banks make the process a little more bearable through helpful features and low fees. This article reveals the best five banks for startups ready to work with you.

    Best Banks for Startups

    • Bluevine – Best Overall Startup Bank
    • Lili Banking – Best Startup Bank for Tax Optimization
    • NorthOne – Best Startup Bank for Integrations
    • NBKC Bank – Best Startup Bank for Customer Service
    • Novo – Best Startup Bank for Low Fees

    Our Methodology for the Best Banks for Startups

    When sifting through the best banks for startups, it was evident fees and interest rates play an important role. We also looked at lending options to cover big expenses or future expansion and the effect transactions would have on a business model. Lastly, we took note of any rewards or benefits banks offer to help set a fledgling business on the right path.

    Check out a more detailed explanation of our methodology here.

    Startup Bank

    Fees

    Interest Rates

    Lending

    Transactions

    Transactions

    • Cash deposits: $4.95
    • ATM fees: $2.50 out of network
    • Outgoing wires: $15

    Up to 1.5% APY

    Up to $250,000 line of credit

    Unlimited

    Can deposit cash and checks at Green dot locations

    • Pro service: $4.99 per month
    • ATM fees: $2.50 out of network

    Pro service: 1% APY

    No lending options available

    Unlimited

    Up to $200 overdraft coverage, tax optimizer

    • Service fee: $10 per month
    • Domestic wires: $15

    0% APY

    No lending options available

    Unlimited

    Virtual envelopes to categorize funds, free cash and check deposits, multiple integrations

    • Outgoing domestic wires: $5
    • Outgoing international wires: $45

    0% APY

    Loans ranging from $25,000 to $75,000; lines of credit

    Unlimited

    ATM reimbursement, some physical locations, BIll Pay

    $27 overdraft fee

    0% APY

    No lending options available

    Unlimited

    Perks with popular financial apps, unlimited ATM reimbursement, Reserve accounts

    BlueVine logo

    Bluevine: Best Overall Startup Bank

    Interest rate: Up to 1.5% APY

    4.7

    For a business checking account, Bluevine offers up to 1.5% interest on your hard-earned cash with minimal fees to drain the pot. This proves fruitful, as Bluevine doesn’t offer any savings accounts with interest rates of their own. There’s no minimum deposit required to start your service, but you will need to plan for costs for depositing cash. Bluevine has over 37,000 in-network ATMs for you to use but won’t reimburse you for using an out-of-network one.

    Why we chose it: Bluevine’s high interest rates coupled with few fees and no minimum deposit make it the best bank for startups. Check out our Bluevine review for a more in-depth look at the service.

    • High interest rates
    • Very few fees
    • No minimum deposit required
    • No business savings account
    • No ATM reimbursement
    • Fee for cash deposits

    Fees

    Most of what you do in Bluevine, including money transfers and paying bills, is totally free. This also makes Bluevine our top pick for the best free business checking accounts on the market. If your business deals with cash, you will have to pay $4.95 each time you use a Green Dot location to deposit funds into your account. Similarly, out-of-network ATMs will set you back $2.50 a pop and outgoing wires another $15 each.

    Interest Rates

    It’s possible to earn 1.5% APY on your business checking account on balances up to and including $100,000. You simply need to spend at least $500 per month on your included debit card or receive at least $2,500 into your account from customers each month. If you miss the goal, you won’t earn any interest for the month.

    Lending

    Bluevine offers a line of credit up to $250,000 to use as you see fit if approved. Payback amounts see a 4.8% interest rate for any amount you spend. To qualify, you’ll need at least a 625 FICO score, six months in business, $10,000 in monthly revenue, and a business operating or incorporated in the United States.

    Transactions

    There’s no need to worry about maxing out monthly deposits or payments with Bluevine. The company even throws in two free checkbooks every year and waives NSF fees.

    Rewards and Benefits

    The online business checking account alone is enough to give Bluevine the top spot without rewards or benefits. You can make use of any Green Dot location around the country to deposit cash or checks to your account, and Bluevine sends two free checkbooks your way each year so you can stay on top of payments.

    Lili bank logo - Lili Review: All-Purpose Business Bank Account for Sole Proprietors

    Lili Banking: Best Bank for Startups With Tax Optimization

    Interest Rates: Up to 1% APY

    4.5

    Lili Banking’s stellar tax optimizer helps ensure you’re not over or underpaying when the season approaches. To help stay organized, you can drop money into self-created savings buckets designated for various purposes. The free service doesn’t generate any interest though, and Lili’s best features are only accessible through the platform’s paid Pro tier. While you won’t see any fees, Lili also doesn’t give the option to wire money.

    Why we chose it: Lili Banking helps business owners stay financially savvy with tax optimization tools and buckets for tracking funds. Our Lili Banking review dives even deeper into what the service offers.

    • Tax optimizer
    • No minimum balance or monthly fees
    • Can place money in savings buckets for future use
    • Several features are locked behind Lili’s paid membership
    • No APY in the free account
    • No wire transfers

    Fees

    Lili Banking has two tiers of service, a free Standard option and a Pro plan costing $4.99 per month. Both keep fees low, but you will have to watch for out-of-network ATMs that can cost upwards of $5 per use.

    Interest Rates

    Anyone working with Lili Banking’s Standard tier won’t see any interest on funds in either checking or separate savings buckets. To unlock this feature, you’ll have to spend $4.99 each month to become a Lili Pro member.

    Once at the Pro level, the money in your checking account will earn 1% interest. Savings buckets can also earn 1% interest if you can deposit at least $1 daily while saving for taxes or another big expense.

    Lending

    There’s no way to borrow money with Lili through a loan or line of credit. Should your organization need some extra cash, you’ll have to look elsewhere for funds.

    Transactions

    Lili Banking doesn’t place limits on the amount you can buy or sell from month to month. You’re also free to place money into a savings bucket any time you wish.

    Rewards and Benefits

    The tax optimizer tracks your income and spending, giving you the option to declare write-offs right from the app. You can even split purchases between business and personal to ensure you don’t miss a single item on your tax form. The software builds expense reports and pre-fills your annual 1040 Schedule C form to save time.

    If you ever overdraft your account, Lili Banking protects you for up to $200 at a time. Such a buffer offers a little more peace of mind when funds get tight.

    Novo logo

    Novo: Best Bank for Startups With Low Fees

    Interest Rates: 0% APY

    4.3

    You’ll need $50 to put into your account when you sign up, but Novo doesn’t mess around with standard fees or minimum balance requirements. You don’t even need to worry about ATM charges from other banks, as Novo will pay you back for those. The only place you’ll see a charge is if you overdraft your account. There are no savings accounts nor a means to deposit cash, but the bank has a fantastic mobile app on top of already great features.

    Why we chose it: Novo is one of the few banking locations available today that you can use completely fee-free.

    • Zero monthly fees or minimum balance required
    • Stellar mobile app
    • Refunds all ATM fees
    • Cannot deposit cash
    • Fee for overdrawn accounts
    • No savings accounts

    Fees

    As long as you’re keeping tabs on your account, you’ll never experience a fee while using Novo. If you try to pull from an account with insufficient funds, Novo will hit you with a meaty $27 charge. Even if you draw funds from another bank’s ATM, Novo will pay you back for any expense you incur.

    Interest Rates

    Fees are off the table with Novo, but unfortunately interest rates are as well. Interest rates on a Novo checking account are a resounding 0%.

    Lending

    Novo doesn’t have the means to lend money or provide lines of credit to business owners. You’ll have to establish a connection with another institution if you’re looking for a small business loan.

    Transactions

    You can send and receive money from just about anywhere with Novo without having to worry about fees or limitations on your account. It’s even possible to deposit checks and send money into your Reserves.

    Rewards and Benefits

    Novo’s Reserves allow you to set aside money for routine needs such as payroll or monthly rent. You can move funds to and from Reserves with a click and have up to ten open at a time. The bank makes use of Perks; special incentives with other financial institutions that you can’t find elsewhere.

    If that wasn’t enough, Novo will pay you back for any ATM fee you incur when using machines from other banks around the country.

    NorthOne logo

    NorthOne: Best Bank for Startups With Integrations

    Interest Rates: 0% APY

    4.2

    NorthOne Review

    Whether you’re on Shopify, Etsy, or flying solo, NorthOne integrates with financial software and payment apps to facilitate the flow of money through your business. The bank doesn’t place a limit on transfers or transactions but does have a monthly fee that’s off-putting for some. There’s unfortunately no way to wire funds internationally or earn interest on your account. If you need help along the way, NorthOne has instant support from actual human beings.

    Why we chose it: In an ever-changing digital world, NorthOne works hard to streamline financial data between the applications you use.

    • Integrates with popular business apps
    • Unlimited free transfers each month
    • Instant support from actual humans
    • Monthly fee
    • No international wire transfers
    • No interest rate

    Fees

    NorthOne does charge a $10 monthly fee that may place some business owners on pause. However, the online bank doesn’t charge for transactions, deposits, integrations, or ATM fees. All domestic wires, both incoming and outgoing, do cost $15 per event.

    Interest Rates

    Despite NorthOne’s many perks, there’s no way to accrue interest on your account. The bank fancies itself as a hub for your money transfers but doesn’t help your funds grow.

    Lending

    There’s also no option to borrow money from NorthOne to supplement a purchase or expense. For lending solutions, you’ll have to look to other enterprises.

    Transactions

    NorthOne makes the transaction process a breeze, linking up with many of your favorite companies and apps to send and receive money with little to no effort on your part. If some of your customers pay in cash, you can even deposit funds into your account for no extra charge.

    Rewards and Benefits

    Within your NorthOne deposit account are virtual envelopes designed to hold money for specific purposes. Each envelope can hold funds indefinitely and help set aside amounts you’ll need for rent, payroll, and other costs of doing business.

    The bank has relationships with most major financial applications from Amazon Pay and PayPal to Quickbooks and Wave. It also connects with payroll solutions and ecommerce marketplaces to save time and prevent errors.

    NBKC bank logo

    NBKC Bank: Best Bank for Startups for Customer Service

    Interest Rates: 0% APY

    4.0

    Dealing with money can be a headache, but NBKC Bank helps shoulder the burden with live support staff during the work week. You can also reach out via email during weekend hours, although responses are slower. There’s little in the way of fees, and you can grab a loan or access a line of credit should you need the financial boost. The account itself doesn’t earn interest, and there are high international wire transfer fees to contend with.

    Why we chose it: Issues happen, but NBKC Bank works to limit blocked transactions and downtime with a top-tier human customer service team.

    • Few fees to contend with
    • Loans and lines of credit available
    • In-person assistance available
    • High international wire fees
    • Zero APR for business checking account
    • Weekday support only

    Fees

    NBKC Bank is free to sign up for and most interactions won’t cost anything either. Even returned checks and overdrafts don’t come with a charge. Domestic outgoing wire transfers cost $5, but it’s international outgoing wires that really hurt at $45.

    Interest Rates

    You won’t find many fees with NBKC Bank, but there’s no way to generate funds, either. A 0% interest rate makes sure of that.

    Lending

    Lending options are plentiful with NBKC Bank, so startups can rejoice when looking for a little green to supplement that next big purchase. It’s possible to borrow between $25,000 and $75,000, with repayment rates as low as 5.95%. Your company must have at least two years in business in the Kansas City area, a credit score of 700 or higher, and a recent history of profitability.

    The bank also has several lines of credit you can set aside and use as you see fit. There’s a fast approval process with competitive rates and a team equipped to help you find the best one.

    Transactions

    You’ll never have to worry about reaching a transaction ceiling while using NBKC Bank’s services. Everything you do outside of outgoing wires won’t cost a thing, either.

    Rewards and Benefits

    NBKC Bank lets you use Bill Pay right from the app and doesn’t charge for depositing checks either online or in-person. If you’re in the Kansas City area, you can find a handful of physical locations to take care of your banking needs. When using other ATMs, NBKC Bank will reimburse you for up to $12 in charges per month.

    Ranking Methodology for the Best Banks for Startups

    We studied several criteria when analyzing the best banks for startups. Below are the factors we considered most important when making our decisions. These are quite similar to the ranking methodology we used to rank our best business bank accounts for LLCs.

    • Fees: Every penny makes a difference when getting a startup off the ground. Any fees from banks can eat away at hard-earned profits and funds that could otherwise go toward growing the business. The best business banks for startups avoid such fees, allowing you to maximize your potential.
    • Interest Rates: Some banks are willing to put funds into your account in the form of quarterly or annual interest rates. While rarely more than a few percent, it never hurts to add a little to the bottom line.
    • Lending: Few startups make it solely on their own efforts. When the time comes to take things to the next level, loans or lines of credit provide money to kick off that big expansion or project. It is possible to obtain loans outside of banking institutions, but having a rapport makes the process that much easier.
    • Transactions: Even if your customer base isn’t extensive right now, you don’t want to reach a point where you can’t make or receive a payment because of monthly limits. The best banks for startups avoid such restrictions, allowing you to do business as often as need be. Furthermore, having the freedom to transfer money within your own bank account helps keep things organized.
    • Rewards and Benefits: Tapping into a bank’s bonus features could save you money on things like ATM withdrawals or overdraft coverage. Other benefits include integrations with popular apps or sub-accounts to categorize funds into.

    Best Banks for Startups Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Picking the right bank for your startup isn’t easy. The answers to the questions below should help point you in the right direction.

    Bottom Line on the Best Banks for Startups

    Creating a startup can be a messy process, but a business bank account can greatly reduce the stress on the financial side of things. When checking out your options for the best banks for startups, consider institutions with few fees, free transactions, and those offering a little interest to help you along. The road ahead may not be easy, but being in firm control of your finances is as sure a way as any to find success.