Chase offers small business checking accounts, and a range of other business products, including business credit cards, and banking services for medium and large sized corporations.
There is a range of small business accounts available - but some of the fees and features of accounts may vary depending on where in the US you’re based. It’s worth using the tool on the Chase website, to enter your zip code and personalize the information you see - that way you can check the details for your state easily. For this article, we have used a California zip code as an example.¹
Read on to learn more about:
- How to choose the right small business account for your needs
- Chase small business checking accounts features, fees and perks
- How to apply for a business bank account from Chase
- A smart alternative to Chase small business bank accounts as a comparison - the Wise borderless account for business
Choosing the right small business account for your needs will make life easier, and could save you money, too. Each account has different features and fees, so there will definitely be a good fit out there for your business - but you may need to invest some time researching, to find it.
Here are a few key questions to answer, to help guide your choice.
This is one of the most important questions to consider. Many small business checking accounts will waive the monthly maintenance fee if you hold a certain level of balance over the statement period. Picking an account with a minimum average balance that suits your business - or choosing one with no minimum balance at all - might save you money.
The fee structure for many small business bank accounts means that you have a fixed number of eligible transactions per month included in your monthly maintenance fees. Having a realistic view of how many transactions you’re likely to make over any given month can help you choose the right package for you.
When choosing an account, you’ll notice that many products have a limit on the amount of cash you can deposit fee free over a statement period. Go above that limit, and you’ll face a charge simply to get cash into your business account. In the case of Chase accounts, this limit applies only to in branch deposits - you’ll be able to make unlimited electronic deposits with the checking accounts outlined in this article. However, some account products from other banks may cap the value of fee free cash deposits of all types, which could lead to high fees if you deal mainly in cash transactions.
Although your maintenance fee is likely to buy you a certain number of transactions per month, not all transaction types will be covered by this deal. Before you choose the right account for your business, you’ll need to check which transactions are covered by the banking package you’ve chosen. You’ll then want to consider whether there are other transaction types you’re likely to need to access, such as sending and receiving international payments. These specialist transactions can become costly, so choosing an account with low fees for the services you need will save money in fees in the end.
If you’re a business owner you’re likely looking for a balance of convenience and cost in your small business account. Think about how much time you’re willing to invest in managing your business cash flow. Some accounts can actually help you free up time, by integrating with the accounting software you already use, and offering perks like batch payments. More on that, and how smart alternatives like the borderless account for business from Wise can help save you admin time, in a moment.
A few more tips when choosing a bank account:
- Terms and conditions, as well as availability of account products can vary by state, so make sure you’re looking at the right information for your area
- Some banks offer better business account terms for customers who also hold their personal checking and savings account with them
- If you prefer to have face to face customer service, choose a bank with a branch near you, if you’d rather online or phone support, make sure these services are available at a time that works for you
- Check what’s covered by your monthly maintenance fee - if you regularly need to make a higher number of transactions than your package covers, you’ll find yourself paying more in charges than you anticipate
- Think about where your business is going to, and how you intend to grow over time, when you’re considering your options. For example - if you intend to grow internationally, how will that change the services you need from your bank?
Here are the steps you have to take once you’ve chosen the right Chase small business checking account for you.
Before you get started, you’ll need to check your eligibility. Accounts are available to sole proprietors, LLCs and corporations of all sizes. If you have any questions about whether or not you’re eligible to open an account, or which product might be best for you, you can call into your local Chase branch to talk to a team member.
The documents needed will vary depending on your business type. All applicants will need an official ID, such as a driver’s license or a state ID card. You’ll also need to give personal information for yourself and anyone else with a stake in your business of 10% or more. This will include your name, residential address, date of birth, social security or Tax ID number, and nationality.²
- Sole proprietors will need a DBA certificate if their business operates under any name other than its legally registered name
- LLCs will need to show articles of Organization or a Certificate of Formation
- Corporations need a Certificate of Formation or Articles of Formation.
It’s good to know that an account for a corporation can only be opened by the president, secretary, assistant or acting secretary of that corporation.
You’ll be able to start off your application online, to input personal details and information about your business. However, only sole proprietors will be able to complete their application online. If you run a different business type, you’ll need to visit your local Chase branch to complete your application and get your account up and running. ²
There are 3 Chase small business bank accounts to choose from. An outline of the main features follows - and there’s more on the fees and limits you need to know about, a little later.
Chase describes their Total Business Checking account as the best choice for small and growing businesses. The main features are as follows:
- Monthly maintenance fee of $15
- 100 free transactions per month
- Unlimited electronic deposits, and $5,000 cash deposits per month with no fee
- Apply for business debit, deposit and ATM cards for withdrawals and purchases
- Access to 16,000 ATMs and 5,000 branches
- Convenient online and mobile banking
- Cut your monthly maintenance fee by signing up to paperless billing, managing your personal finances with an eligible Chase account, or hitting an average balance of $1,500 over the month
The Chase Performance Business Checking account has many of the perks of the Total Business Checking account, and a few more. The higher monthly fee, and higher number of free transactions per month make it better suited to medium sized businesses. The features you need to know about:
- Monthly maintenance fee of $30
- 250 free transactions per month
- Unlimited electronic deposits, and $20,000 cash deposits per month with no fee
- Free incoming wire payments, and 2 outgoing domestic wires fee free per month
- Get linked bank cards, and have access to 16,000 ATMs and 5,000 branches
- Convenient online and mobile banking
- Have your monthly maintenance fee waived by hitting an average balance of $35,000 over the month in qualifying business deposit accounts
Chase recommends this account product for larger businesses. The monthly maintenance fee is highest on this account, but may be waived if you hit the minimum balance of $100,000 across your eligible accounts in the month.
- Monthly maintenance fee of $95
- 500 free transactions per month
- Unlimited electronic deposits, and $25,000 cash deposits per month with no fee
- Free incoming wires, and the 4 most expensive outgoing wire payments per month are also fee free
- Linked bank cards, access to all of Chase’s ATMs and branches, as well as online and mobile banking
- Monthly maintenance fee waived if you hold an average balance of $100,000 over the month in qualifying business deposit and investment accounts
When you’re researching business checking accounts, it is a good idea to look at modern alternatives alongside the products available from traditional banks. While many regular banks offer business account products, they may not include handy admin-saving options, like integration with your existing accounting software, or batch payment facilities. Traditional banks may also have high fees, and add exchange rate markups when making or receiving international payments. If your business already trades internationally, or you’re set to grow into new markets overseas, this could cost you more than you expect.
The good news is that there are plenty of other choices out there. The Wise borderless account for business is a great option for companies looking to manage their money conveniently, and make simple and cheap international transactions.
The borderless account is a true multi-currency account. In fact, you can hold your balance in over 40 different currencies in the same account, switch between them using the mid-market exchange rate you’ll find on google, and send international payments easily, for just a small upfront fee. You’ll also get your own local bank details for the US, Australia, New Zealand, UK and the euro area, so you can receive payments in these major regions like a local — fee free.
And for busy business owners, there are a few other smart features, too. You’ll be able to integrate your account with Xero, and reduce the time you spend on admin by automating payments and workflow with the Wise API. You can also make batch payments, making it far easier to pay suppliers or employees, and leaving you with more time to grow your business.
Here are the fees and limits you need to know about if you’re considering opening an account with Chase. We have also added a comparison — the borderless account from Wise.
|Monthly maintenance fee||Chase Total Business Checking — $12 – 15 Chase Performance Business Checking — $30 Chase Platinum Business Checking — $95||Free|
|Minimum monthly average balance to waive the monthly maintenance fee||Chase Total Business Checking — $1,500 Chase Performance Business Checking — $35,000 Chase Platinum Business Checking — $100,000||No minimum balance|
|Fee free transactions and transaction charges||Chase Total Business Checking — 100 free transactions per month Chase Performance Business Checking — 250 free transactions per month Chase Platinum Business Checking — 500 free transactions per month Each debit and non-electronic deposit above your account agreement will be charged at $0.40, with extra charges for more complex services such as international wire payments||Receiving money in US, Australian or New Zealand dollars, euros, or British pounds — Free Sending money to an account held in a different currency - low upfront fee, no exchange rate markup Withdrawing money to an account without currency exchange — low upfront fee. You can see the international payment pricing here.|
There’s a big variety of small business accounts available - which is great news, but can feel a little overwhelming. Spend some time thinking in advance about how you’ll use your business account - both now and as your business grows - to help you find the right one. And don’t forget to see if you can save time and money by getting yourself a borderless account for business from Wise.
All sources checked 9 May 2019
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 TransferWise 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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