9 Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers and Side Hustlers

When I started my blog, it didn’t earn any money whatsoever. I used my Social Security Number for all my accounts, my personal bank account, and just treated my (negligible) business transactions like my personal ones.

It didn’t end up costing me any money but it was a pain in the butt to separate.

If I had the options available now, it would’ve been easier to do it right from the start.

Traditional business checking accounts can be expensive. They’re used to businesses that need a lot of merchant services and when they see “merchant services,” they see dollar signs. However, these days, the best bank accounts for freelancers and side hustlers are much leaner. They know you won’t need much.

And banking companies have finally learned that catering to freelancers and entrepreneurs is big business.

This means there are a lot of options for folks like you – and here are some of our favorite bank accounts for freelancers and side hustlers:

Table of Contents
  1. Our Picks
  2. Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers & Side Hustlers
    1. 1. Lili
    2. 2. Found
    3. 3. NorthOne
    4. 4. Novo Best Business Checking
    5. 5. BlueVine
    6. 6. Nbkc Business Checking
    7. 7. Axos Bank Basic Business Checking
    8. 8. Chase Business Complete Banking
    9. 9. LendingClub Bank Tailored Checking for Business
  3. How to Choose the Best Bank Account for Your Business
    1. Type of Business
    2. Costs and Features
    3. Growth Potential
  4. Summary

Our Picks

If you don’t want to read through all the options, here are our picks based on your situation:

If you are a new business owner, freelancer, or side hustler without a lot of income and looking for an account to help manage your business without the fear of fees dinging your earnings – consider Lili first. They charge no fees, no minimum balance or deposit requirements, and you can even get direct deposits 2 days early. There are some useful tax tools related to their debit card too.

As your business gets bigger and you earn more, you can upgrade from Lili to Lili Pro to get past the deposit limits, or consider NorthOne or Novo. NorthOne has a $10 per month fee whereas Novo doesn’t.

Novo is great if you do a lot of invoicing, because it has that feature built into the account services.

If you carry a large balance, BlueVine may be a good option because it pays interest. Very few other business checking accounts offer interest on your balances.

Finally, if you like the comfort of a national bank, with a wide variety of other services, Chase Business Complete Checking® is a nice option too (and it offers a cash bonus for new accounts).

Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers & Side Hustlers

Freelancing has become a bona fide career option in the last several years. In fact, it’s not uncommon to make big money as a freelancer.

The best bank accounts for freelancers have several features in common. First, they offer affordable fees. Second, they make it easy to conduct business online. 

And lastly, they offer other features that help freelancers run an organized business more efficiently. Check out these small business bank accounts and see which one is right for you.

1. Lili

Lili offers mobile-only deposit accounts specifically for freelancers. They have two accounts: Lili Free and Lili Pro. 

Lili has a few features that freelancers might find helpful. For example, you can categorize your expenses when you purchase something using your Lili card. 

In addition, Lili accounts offer a “tax bucket” that helps you automatically put aside money for taxes. 

Lili offers two account tiers, which is helpful for freelancers who are just starting out. It’s nice to be able to open an account, not pay any fees (or have any deposit or minimum balance requirements, which is the case for both account types) while you grow your business. We all know how important it is to separate your finances, but we don’t have to pay for it while we haven’t earned anything!

Here are the details on each of the Lili accounts:

Lili Free – $0 monthly fee

  • $0 opening deposit requirement
  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • Free Visa business debit card
  • Built-in expense tracking
  • Fee-free in-network ATMs
  • Tax “bucket” to set aside money for taxes
  • Largely unlimited transactions, with some limits on certain transactions
  • 🆕 Unlimited & fee-free domestic wires (added June 2023)

Lili Pro – $9 per month

  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $0 opening deposit requirement
  • Free premium Visa business debit card with rewards
  • Advanced expensive tracking features
  • Unlimited invoice sending
  • Savings account with 4.15% APY interest
  • Tax “bucket” to set aside money for taxes
  • Overdraft protection of up to $200
  • Largely unlimited transactions, with some limits on certain transactions

The Lili Pro account also has higher limits for ATM usage including purchases and deposits as well. 

Lili’s main transaction limit “con” is that you can only deposit a maximum of $6,000 in checks per month and you can transfer a maximum of $1,000 per month to external accounts. These limits make it best for part-time side hustlers.

Other Features

Lili isn’t a bank, but all Lili accounts are FDIC insured through Choice Financial Group (FDIC #9423). Note that Lili doesn’t offer joint accounts as of this writing. 

And you can only add your business name to your Lili account if you’re operating as a DBA or a single-person LLC using your Social Security number as a tax identifier. 

Lili does have an extensive list of FAQs on the website, as well as a customer service center that is available Monday through Friday. 

You can deposit money to your Lili account via PayPal, Venmo, Direct Deposit, ACH transfer, or mobile check deposit. 

But note that you have to have a minimum $200 monthly Direct Deposit into your account if you want to use the mobile check deposit feature. You can make cash deposits using a Lili cash deposit partner such as Walmart. 

See the Lili website for additional information regarding features and limitations on ATM usage, deposits, and external bank transfer transactions.

Lili Pros

  • No monthly fees
  • No overdraft or returned check fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Tax “bucket” to help you set aside money for taxes
  • Expense categorization

Lili Cons

  • No joint accounts
  • Mobile only
  • No check writing
  • Limited external bank transfer limits
  • Only available in the United States

Best for: Freelancers with limited banking needs

Here’s our full review of Lili.

Learn more about Lili

2. Found

Found was designed for the self-employed, freelancers, and side hustlers. It has a lot of features designed to make your life as easy as possible. Sign up is fast and easy, they do not require a license or DBA as part of the sign up process.

The beauty of Found is that you can get a customized debit card for free and they will categorize all your expenses and integrate it with their tax tools. You get unlimited ACH transfers, unlimited transactions, get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit, and easy integration with Stripe, Quickbooks, Venmo, Cash App, PayPal and other apps.

There is also a very nice tax feature where Found can help you calculate your quarterly estimated tax payments and automatically set aside that money inside your account. It goes into a “tax account” (that you have full access to) so you aren’t caught short when it’s time to send in the payment.

In addition to those features, you can auto-generate your Form Schedule C as well as generate Profit & Loss statements and expense reports easily. If you need to send invoices, you can send those for free too.

All of that is available to all users for free. They also offer a Found+ service that costs $19.99 per month or $149.99 per year. This is what is included with Found Plus:

Found Plus Features ($19.99 per month or $149.99 per year)

  • 1.50% APY that compounds monthly based on the Monthly Average Balance of up to $20,000.
  • Capture and save receipts- add customized notes
  • Create custom expense categories
  • Create custom rules to further automate expense categorization
  • Pay quarterly taxes through the Found app
  • Export bookkeeping details / reports
  • Add tags and filter by tags in expense tracking
  • Import expenses from Venmo & Paypal

Learn more about Found

Found is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Piermont Bank, Member FDIC. The Found Mastercard ®️ debit card is issued by Piermont Bank pursuant to a license from Mastercard Inc. and may be used everywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted. Direct deposit funds may be available for use for up to two days before the scheduled payment date. Early availability is not guaranteed.

Need a way to win new clients, organize projects, get paid, and manage your finances in one place?

If so, you may want to check out Bonsai – one of the easiest to use all-in-one product suite for freelancers and small businesses.

Bonsai offers a complete financial management solution. It includes accounting, taxes, invoices, payments and banking.

Besides financial optimization, Bonsai also offers integrated client and project management: contracts & e-signing, proposals, scheduling, CRM, client portal, client forms & questionnaires, and hundreds of free legally vetted customizable templates. So you can manage all aspects of your business in one place.

>> Learn more about Bonsai

3. NorthOne

NorthOne helps you open a business deposit account in under three minutes. Although NorthOne isn’t technically a bank, it is backed and FDIC insured by Bancorp Bank. 

NorthOne doesn’t offer branch locations, but it is accessible via your computer or mobile device.

Here are some of the features NorthOne offers business owners.

  • $10 monthly fee
  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $50 opening balance requirement
  • Unlimited sub-account envelopes for taxes, payroll, and more
  • Deposit checks with the mobile app (some limitations)
  • Deposit cash at designated Green Dot locations
  • Unlimited app integrations
  • Unlimited transactions (some exclusions apply)

Wire transfer fees are low at $15 each. You can pay invoices directly from your NorthOne account. 

New Account “Bonus” – $20

The $20 bonus is structured as a waiver of the NorthOne Deposit Account monthly fee (which is $10 per month) for two months.

This offer expires 6/6/2023.

Other Features

You’ll get a free Mastercard debit card with your account as well. NorthOne has 7-day-a-week customer service by phone as well. 

NorthOne does not allow check writing with this account. 

NorthOne Pros

  • Unlimited sub-account envelopes
  • Unlimited integrations
  • Expansive fee-free ATM network
  • Convenient mobile banking tools

NorthOne Cons

  • $10 monthly fee
  • Limited external transfers
  • No check writing

Best for: Businesses with simple banking needs, a need for sub-accounts, and no need for check writing

Here’s our full review of NorthOne.

Learn more about NorthOne

4. Novo Best Business Checking

Novo Bank Logo 2022

Novo is a fintech company that is geared toward freelancers and small business owners. The company’s Best Business Checking has several features that might be good for your business checking needs.

  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • Refunds all ATM fees
  • Free incoming wire transfers
  • Invoicing 
  • Business Mastercard debit card
  • Some limits on certain transactions, but largely unlimited transactions

One great thing about Novo is that they have features that allow you to create and send invoices. You can even accept payment on those invoices through ACH transfer and Stripe. 

Other integrations include Zoho, FreshBooks, Quickbooks, Zelle, and more. 

Other Features

Novo deposit accounts are FDIC insured through Middlesex Federal Savings. You can deposit checks via mail or mobile deposit. 

And you can fund your account using an ACH transfer, Direct Deposit, PayPal, Venmo, and other avenues.

Novo does offer joint accounts and you can use your business name to open the account as well. 

Novo will write and mail checks on your behalf (for free) if you request that service. Or you can order your own checks and checkbook through a third-party check printing service. 

Novo Best Business Checking Pros

  • No minimum balance requirement 
  • No monthly service fees
  • Generous ATM and deposit limits
  • Check writing privileges
  • Ample integrations
  • ATM fees refunded

Novo Best Business Checking Cons

  • Non interest-bearing 
  • No savings accounts
  • No in-network ATMs

Best for: Business owners and freelancers who don’t need a savings account

Learn more about Novo

5. BlueVine

BlueVine’s biggest attraction is that it doesn’t charge any fees – including NSF fees. And if that doesn’t grab you, how about earning 2.00% APY interest on your balance? 

You won’t get charged for incoming wire transfers either. Here are some other BlueVine business account features.

  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $0 opening balance requirement
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited fee-free transactions
  • Fee-free in-network ATMs
  • Check writing privileges
  • Mobile app
  • Mobile check deposit

Other Features

BlueVine is a simple account that doesn’t offer much in the way of integrations. However, it does offer a line of credit to qualified business customers. 

And you can’t beat the 1% interest earnings on balances up to $100,000. You can deposit cash at Green Dot locations or use the mobile app to deposit checks. However, Green Dot will charge you fees. 

Weekday phone customer service representatives are available for any questions you have that can’t be answered in the FAQ section. 

BlueVine Pros

  • No monthly fees
  • Interest bearing
  • Check writing privileges
  • Line of credit availability

BlueVine Cons

  • No sub-accounts or envelopes 
  • Fees for depositing cash

Best for: Those who want to earn interest on balances and/or those who want a line of credit

Here’s our full review of BlueVine.

Learn more about BlueVine

6. Nbkc Business Checking

Nbkc’s Business checking account is a free account that operates primarily online. If you live in Missouri or Kansas you can visit in-person bank branches. 

Basic features of this account include:

  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $0 opening deposit requirement 
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • Free business Mastercard debit card
  •  No NSF fees

Other Features

Nbkc bank also offers free incoming domestic wire transfers. You’ll pay just $5 for outgoing domestic wire transfers; international wires cost $45. 

You can get a free business savings account when you open your nbkc business checking account. One thing to note with this bank is that the approval process takes a few days. 

You can expect a 5-7 day wait after you complete your account application. Also, there are no integration tools with this account. 

Nbkc Pros

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed up to $12 per month

Nbkc Cons

  • No integrations available
  • Limited in-person branches

Best for: Business owners looking for a free account and not in need of integrations

Here’s our full review of nbkc.

Learn more about nbkc

7. Axos Bank Basic Business Checking

The Axos Bank Basic Business Checking is a great account for freelancers and solopreneurs. However, if you’re operating a growing business you might like Axos as well. 

This is because Axos offers commercial business accounts too. That means that if and when you move up from “small business” to “bigger business” you won’t have to change banks if you don’t want to.

Some of the features of the Axos Basic Business Checking account include:

  • $0 monthly fees
  • $0 minimum balance requirements
  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit  
  • 200 free transactions each month, $0.30 per item after that
  • First set of 50 checks for free
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements

Other Features

Axos Basic Business Checking is QuickBooks compatible and offers free Bill Pay. Customer service is available by phone Monday through Friday. 

You get a free Visa debit card with your account. ACH payments are also accepted. Axos has a comprehensive mobile app you can use to make deposits, check balances, and more. 

Axos Basic Business Checking Pros

  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly fees
  • Easy transition to commercial accounts if your business grows

Axos Basic Business Checking Cons

  • Limited fee-free transactions
  • Limited integrations

Best for: Growing businesses that have aspirations to transition out of freelance status

Learn more about Axos

8. Chase Business Complete Banking

The Chase Business Complete Banking account can be a great option if you’re looking for in-person banking capabilities. 

This account comes with a mobile app too, giving you plenty of flexibility for your business banking needs. 

It also offers a cash bonus if you can meet some deposit requirements.

Here are the basics:

  • $0 minimum balance requirements
  • $0 opening deposit requirements
  • $15 monthly fee (waived if you meet certain criteria)
  • 16,000+ fee free ATMs
  • Signing bonus may be available
  • First 100 transactions are free, $0.30 per transaction after that

Other Features

You can get the $15 per month fee waived if you meet one of the following qualifications:

  • $2,000 minimum daily balance
  • $2,000 in monthly Chase Ink Business Card purchases
  • $2,000 in monthly eligible deposits
  • You link to a Chase Private Client account

Bonus: Chase will waive the fee requirements on this account entirely if you’re a military member.

You get check writing privileges with this account as well as access to over 5,000 branch locations. Online bill pay is available with this account as well. 

Chase Business Complete Banking Pros

  • Convenient online banking app
  • In-person banking available
  • Check writing privileges
  • Large number of branches and ATMs

Chase Business Complete Banking Cons

  • $15 monthly fee if you can’t meet the waive requirements
  • Limited fee-free transactions

Best for: Those who want in-person banking capabilities

Learn more about Chase Business Complete Banking

9. LendingClub Bank Tailored Checking for Business

LendingClub Bank’s Tailored Checking for Business will pay you an unlimited 1% cash back on all business debit card purchases if you meet the minimum balance amount of $5,000. 

And you’ll earn interest when you keep at least $5,000 in your account. Other features of the Tailored Checking account include:

  • $0 monthly minimum balance requirement
  • $100 opening deposit requirement
  • $10 monthly service fee (free when you have a minimum $5,000 balance)
  • Unlimited free-free transactions
  • Unlimited fee-free ATMs
  • Reimbursement for other vendors’ ATM charges

Other Features

The Tailored Checking account will also allow you to generate reports and create digital invoices. 

You can get business checks and you can also use Bill Pay to pay your bills. The LendingClub mobile app has a host of features including debit card lockdown (in the event your card is lost or stolen). 

Your account is FDIC insured and you can reach customer service specialists seven days a week. LendingClub Bank has business savings accounts available as well.

Note that you must have a website or social media account for your business to be approved for this account. 

LendingClub Tailored Checking Pros

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursement
  • Interest earned on balances over $5,000
  • Cash back rewards available

LendingClub Tailored Checking Cons

  • Monthly fees/loss of other benefits for accounts with balances below $5,000
  • Online presence required

Best for: Those who can keep a minimum balance of $5,000 in their account to take advantage of cash rewards and earned interest. 

Learn more about LendingClub Tailored Checking.

How to Choose the Best Bank Account for Your Business

When deciding on the best bank account for your business there are a few factors you can take into account. 

The bank account you choose should be able to accommodate your business financial needs in the following manners.  

Type of Business

The type of business you’re running is an important factor to take into consideration as you choose a bank account.

If you’re running a solopreneurship with only yourself to be accountable for, you may be able to choose the simplest of bank accounts with a minimum of features. 

For instance, you won’t need payroll services, but it would be nice to be able to have a sub-account for taxes. 

Choose a bank account that is geared toward your type of business. 

Costs and Features

Also, do the costs and features of the account meet your business ownership needs? It’s important to be sure you’re not paying for a long list of features you don’t need in a business bank account.

That being said, you don’t want to miss out on features that could make running your business easier and more efficient. 

As an example, if your business deals in a lot of cash you’ll want a bank account that makes it easy for you to deposit cash without high fees. 

Integrations are important too. So, if you’re running all of your records on QuickBooks, a business bank that integrates with QuickBooks will save you time when doing your books. 

Take all of the features and costs of each checking account option you have into account, and choose the account that best fits your needs. 

Growth Potential

Lastly, take the growth potential of your business into account as you choose a bank and/or business checking account. 

As an example, you may be a solo virtual assistant right now. However, do you plan on adding staff in the near future and having other virtual assistants work under you?

If that’s the case you may want to choose a business bank account that can accommodate payroll services so that you don’t need to switch banks in the near future. 


As a freelancer or side hustler, you’ve got plenty of choices for great bank accounts. And you no longer have to pay high fees to get a great business checking account.

Peruse your options and take advantage of the best bank account for your business. 

If you’re a freelancer or side hustler, what is your favorite business bank? 

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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