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As an independent contractor, finding the right financial solution is important to running a business. With the right financial solution or bank, independent contractors can focus on their work without spending time on financial management.
This article will look at some key considerations that independent contractors should consider when looking for the best bank accounts for independent contractors. It will also discuss smart alternatives to business banks, such as the Wise Business account.
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Wise Business is specially designed for independent contractors looking to take control of their business finances. The Wise account has a suite of features to make business finance management much easier. Wise Business also includes tools such as invoice management, batch payments, and more to make sending and receiving payments easier.
Wise Business also integrates with tools such as QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, and Wave for independent contractors seeking one solution for comprehensive financial management.
Biggest advantage: Wise Business offers tools to streamline sending and receiving international payments. Contractors can hold up to ten currencies in their Wise account, enabling them to manage their funds more easily. For instance, customers get local account details for easy payment management across different countries. Plus, Wise has competitive mid-market rates when converting to different currencies to make currency conversion more cost-effective.
Wise Business does not charge an account fee, but there are charges for using certain Wise Business services, such as a nominal fee for currency conversion.
|Fee Type||Wise Business Transparent Fees|
|Opening balance requirement||No|
|Opening cost on US account||No (Price in other locales may vary)|
|Sending money across currencies||From 0.41%|
|Receive money across currencies||One-time fee to receive in 10 major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, and more) without the currency conversion costs|
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The Lili Business Checking account is useful for independent contractors looking for easier ways to manage their finances.² Lili Business Checking includes features such as smart bookkeeping, invoicing, financial reporting, and tax planning tools. The Lili Business Checking account also has automation functionalities and other capabilities for independent contractors.
Chase has a broad range of solutions for independent contractors and small businesses, including accounts such as Chase Business Complete Banking. A few different types of accounts are available with Chase Business depending on the business size, average number of transactions, and average balance earned by the independent contractor. However, Chase Business accounts do come with monthly transaction fees depending on the account type chosen, so it’s crucial to explore the options thoroughly before opting for a Chase Business account.
NBKC offers free checking accounts for independent contractors and includes straightforward and valuable features to manage business finances.³ The nbkc business account does not have a minimum monthly balance requirement, fees, or any limitations on the types of transactions that can be completed using the business account.
Found offers simple, easy tools for independent contractors seeking a business bank account.⁴ Found business accounts do not have any associated fees, nor is there a monthly minimum balance that needs to be maintained. In addition, Found includes various financial management tools, including income and expense tracking, real-time profit and loss statements, invoicing, and more to help independent contractors manage their businesses.
Bank of America has many solutions for small businesses under the Business Advantage umbrella.⁵ With Business Advantage Fundamentals™ Banking includes the essential tools an independent contractor needs to manage their business. The Bank of America Business Advantage Fundamentals™ Banking comes with checking and saving accounts, integrations such as QuickBooks and Zelle, and other customizations. The account comes with a $16 fee but can be waived depending on minimum balance and average balance requirements.
Axos Bank Basic Business Checking Account is a no-frills business bank account for independent contractors.⁶ There are no initial deposits, minimum balance requirements, or monthly maintenance fees. Additionally, the Axos Bank® Basic Business Checking comes with QuickBooks integration, unlimited processing for debits, credits, and deposits, and reimbursements for some types of transactions and fees.
Depending on business income, the LendingClub Tailored Checking account for independent contractors can be of great value.⁷ With the Tailored Checking account, independent contractors can earn up to 1% cashback on transactions and also earn interest on their checking account balances.
LendingClub Tailored Checking also integrates with financial bookkeeping tools such as QuickBooks, Quicken, and Mint to provide a consolidated overview of business finances. Additionally, the LendingClub Tailored Checking account is fee-free, which means account holders are not charged for debit card transactions and ATM deposits. Furthermore, there are no monthly maintenance fees if average bank balances remain over $500, and no minimum balance requirements with LendingClub Tailored Checking.
Oxygen Business Banking is designed specifically for independent contractors and entrepreneurs looking to take control of their business finances.⁸ Oxygen Business has many helpful features for independent contractors across different areas of financial management. Some features of Oxygen Business banking include 5% cashback on transactions for everyday business purchases, no monthly account maintenance fees, and additional features such as virtual cards and savings accounts.
First Internet Bank offers independent contractor bank account solutions with easy and flexible digital solutions in place.⁹ The First Internet Business Banking solution can be used on both mobile and desktop and includes financial management and reporting features to make it easier to understand and control business finance.
NorthOne simplifies business banking for independent contractors with streamlined solutions to simplify managing business finances.¹⁰
The NorthOne business banking account includes helpful features for independent contractors, such as cash flow management, multiple payment options, invoicing capabilities, custom integrations with other financial tools, and automatic budgeting tools for comprehensive financial management.
QuickBooks is a complete financial solution for financial management and bookkeeping and also includes business banking accounts for independent contractors.¹¹ QuickBooks business accounts feature easy spending buckets to manage payments and finances, with options to earn interest on balances. QuickBooks also includes fast deposit options and automatic bookkeeping for independent contractors based on incoming payments and spending.
PNC has a range of account options available for small businesses, including independent contractors.¹² PNC offers basic accounts for independent contractors with limited transactions and other account options for independent contractors with higher volume transactions.
For independent contractors, the PNC Basic Banking Account is likely the best fit, but it is worth exploring the transaction limits on other PNC accounts and looking at your average transactions per month when deciding. The PNC Basic Banking Account includes cash rewards and online banking options. While the PNC Basic Business Account does have a monthly maintenance fee, it can be waived depending on minimum and average balance requirements.
Comerica Business accounts are for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business and gain more control over financial management.¹³ The Comerica business account includes bill and payment options, integrations such as Zelle, and 24/7 self-service business banking to ensure that independent contractors have full access to their funds. Comerica business accounts also include business debit and ATM cards to ensure independent contractors have full access to funds and flexible payment options.
PayPal is a financial solution with a range of tools and features for small businesses, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs. With a PayPal business account, independent contractors can send and receive business payments, online checkout that you can integrate into your website, POS systems, and much more. Additionally, PayPal also offers currency exchange and the ability to receive and send payments all over the world, although these transactions may incur a fee.
Cash App started as a peer-to-peer payment app but has quickly expanded into business banking and transactions.¹⁴ Cash App for Business can be used by independent contractors to quickly and seamlessly receive and send payments through email addresses, phone numbers, or through a QR code.
However, Cash for Business is limited to sending and receiving payments and does not offer other business account features, such as financial management tools. Additionally, Cash for Business will charge a nominal 2.75% processing fee for transactions, which is important to bear in mind when evaluating options.
TD Bank might be the right fit for small businesses and independent contractors seeking an easy-to-manage business banking account.¹⁵ With TD Bank, independent contractors can send and receive payments, manage their finances online, transfer funds, and gain access to TD Accounting tools. Additionally, TD Bank integrates with other financial tools such as QuickBooks and Quicken, making consolidating finances easier and streamlining financial management for independent contractors.
US Bank is a simple banking solution for independent contractors looking for basic cash flow tools.¹⁶ With US Bank, independent contractors bank accounts can send and receive payments, manage their business online, and gain access to loans and other services to help grow their business. The Silver Business Checking Account Package is best for independent contractors with lower volume transactions.¹⁷ It does not have a monthly maintenance fee for accounts and includes up to 125 free transactions a month.
The Grasshopper Business Checking Account has an array of features for independent contractors wanting to drive their business forward.¹⁸ The Grasshopper Business Checking Account includes 1% cashback on transactions, no monthly account maintenance fees, and unlimited transactions. With Grasshopper business banking, independent contractors can earn interest on their checking amount balances.
Another major banking institution independent contractors should consider for their business finances is Capital One.¹⁹ Capital One offers independent contractor bank accounts that include checking and savings accounts and additional financial products such as business credit cards and loans. Independent contractors can manage cash flow and send and receive payments with a Capital One business checking account. The Capital One Basic Business Checking Account includes unlimited transactions and financial management tools. The Basic Business Checking comes with a $15 monthly maintenance fee but can be waived depending on the average balance in the business account.
There are a few different factors that independent contractors should keep in mind when evaluating financial solutions:
|Cost to open||Some banks may charge upfront fees to open accounts, which may not need to be financially viable for independent contractors.|
|Monthly fees||Most banks charge a monthly fee for any accounts opened, and it is usually a small sum. However, fees can be waived in certain instances (e.g., by maintaining an average balance or opening an account with a minimum balance). However, fees will vary depending on the bank as each one will have different conditions.|
|Monthly transactions||Certain banks may limit the number of incoming and outgoing transactions completed in a month and charge fees for additional transactions.|
|Average account balance||There may be requirements for independent contractors to keep an average amount of money as a balance in their accounts, depending on the account type.|
|Minimum balance requirement||Some banks for independent contractors require a minimum balance to open an account and to maintain the bank account without fees.|
|International and currency conversion costs||For independent contractors working with suppliers and clients worldwide, it’s essential to factor in charges for international transactions and currency conversion costs.|
|Location||Another factor to consider is where the bank is located and whether it offers services online or only at specific locations.|
|Additional tools||Depending on the type of account, banks may offer special tools and features to help independent contractors maintain and grow their businesses.|
|The size of the bank||The size of the bank may be an important consideration depending on the types of services and features you’re looking for, as smaller banks may be limited in what they can offer.|
|Convenience||Considering how busy independent contractors can be, it’s crucial to consider how convenient the bank is and its services to ensure it can meet your needs.|
|Transparency||Not all banks are transparent in terms of fees, services, and what they offer - so it’s important to do research beforehand to ensure that banks are being fully transparent about what they can do for you and how much it will cost.|
|Saving potential||If you are looking to manage finances and grow your business, choose a bank that gives you the potential to save and offers tools to help you achieve that.|
|Loans||For independent contractors seeking to expand their business and grow, you may look for banks offering small business loans with competitive repayment terms and interest rates.|
No matter which platform you decide to use for your freelance work, Wise Business can help you save on outgoing and incoming payments.
A recent study has shown that Wise Business can help users save 19x when sending payments compared to PayPal. And with our local account details feature, you can get paid in 10 currencies, such as USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, and more for free after paying a one-time payment of 31 USD. You’ll see your savings adding up in no time!
With our business accounts and debit cards, you can get the real mid-market rate when transferring between different currencies. This means that more of your hard-earned money stays in your pocket.
|Some other features Wise Business users love|
|Account Software Integration: QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, and Wave|
|Batch Payment Tools: Pay up to 1,000 invoice in one instance|
|The Most International Account: Hold 40+ currencies at once|
|Transparency: Wise Business is trying to get rid of all your business account fees|
Looking to save while sending and receiving payments?
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Wise is not a bank, but a Money Services Business (MSB) provider and a smart alternative to banks
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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