Running an online business is a lot of work. There are so many things to think about – from creating great content to driving traffic to your website, to making sales and fulfilling orders. One thing that you don't want to worry about is your bank account.
Here are some of the best business checking accounts for e-commerce:
Note: If you want to open the best business checking account for eCommerce stores, try Bonsai Cash. Our bank has no hidden fees or monthly minimums, is easy to set up (we don't require an application), and helps you separate your business from personal earnings for taxes. Open an account today.
Designed specifically for small business owners and entrepreneurs, Bonsai offers a simple, intuitive online banking experience with all of the features you need to manage your finances.
One of the best things about Bonsai Cash is that there are no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, or transaction costs associated with the business checking account. This can be a huge relief, especially when you're just starting out and every penny counts.
That said, while Bonsai’s fee-free offer is a standout feature on its own, it’s the little things that truly make it a reliable business checking account for any small business owner.
One of those little details is Bonsai Envelopes – a feature that offers you the opportunity to save and manage your business funds more efficiently. Envelopes work as sub-accounts within your main business account. They allow you to save money for specific business purposes such as employee wages, quarterly tax payments, and rainy day funds.
The most impressive part is that you don’t have to manually add funds to your envelopes. Bonsai Cash makes your life much easier as it allows you to automate the entire process – meaning you can set the account to send a certain percentage of your incoming funds to specific envelopes. For instance, if you’re saving for taxes, you can set the account to send 20% of any money you receive to the “Taxes” envelope.
Bonsai’s daily transaction limit is also relatively high compared to other online bank accounts:
This translates to a limit of $5300 every day, which is enough to keep your e-commerce business in good shape.
The account’s interface is also clean and easy to navigate, and you can easily view all of your account activity in one place. Setting up an account is also a straightforward process, and you can do so in minutes. You'd get hooked up with a virtual card and physical debit card for business.
Here are the three simple steps you need to follow:
Axos is the oldest and most well-known online bank in the United States.
The online bank offers two options that may be ideal for e-commerce business owners:
Basic Business Checking has no monthly charges and requires no minimum deposit to open, but you won't earn interest.
The Small Business Interest Checking account, on the other hand, earns interest on your balance, but it requires you to pay a monthly fee. You can, however, qualify to get the fee waived.
With the Basic Business Checking account, you'll receive your first 50 checks for free and up to 200 free transactions (deposits, credits, and debits into the account) each month when you open it. There is a $1,000 minimum deposit requirement, though, which is relatively high compared to other banks.
The Business Interest Checking account has an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.81% on balances up to $50,000. If you maintain a balance of over $50,000, you can still earn interest, albeit at a lower rate.
With a balance of $50,000 to $250,000, you'll earn an interest of 0.20%. And if you maintain a higher balance ($250,00 40 $5 million), the account will pay out interest of 0.10%.
To open the Business Interest Checking account, you'll have to make a minimum deposit of $100, which is rather modest compared to other bank accounts. Also, if you maintain an average balance of $5,000, you can waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee that the bank charges.
Relay is a fully digital business banking service that offers free business checking. There are no minimum balance requirements, transaction limits, or overdraft fees with Relay, and it also includes free incoming wire transfers, as well as the ability to create many accounts.
For $30 a month, you can get access to Relay's premium account, Relay Pro, which provides same-day ACH availability and free outgoing wire transfers, as well as accounts payable features such as the ability to automatically import bills from accounting platforms.
That said, Relay has no physical branches, so all financial transactions are completed on the website or mobile app.
TIAA's Small Business Checking account – which was designed particularly for sole proprietors and single-owner LLCs – comes with a number of benefits to help you manage your business's finances more effectively.
It’s a 0.10% APY interest-bearing checking account that requires a $1,500 minimum deposit to open. The bank, though, doesn't require you to pay any monthly maintenance fees.
The account balances the benefits of online banking with the convenience of having an ATM machine just around the corner, as it has one of the most extensive ATM networks in the nation.
This account reimburses you for any ATM fees you incur when making withdrawals at an out-of-network machine. The catch, though, is that you need to maintain a balance of at least $5,000 in your account. If you have a balance of $5,000, TIAA will only reimburse you up to $15 every month.
BlueVine is an online-based, FDIC-insured bank that provides its clients with a business checking account as well as a line of credit. Some of BlueVine's most attractive features include:
Even with all these features, what makes this account stand out is its high APY. BlueVine offers a 1.2% APY on balances ranging between $1 and $100,000.
Given that the national average for interest checking accounts is 0.03% and savings accounts rates average 0.06%, it's evident that BlueVine's 1.2% interest rate is remarkable and is ideal for most e-commerce business owners.
Mercury is an online-only banking platform that requires no monthly service fee, no transaction costs, no minimum deposits, and no minimum balances. To top it off, Mercury provides fee-free access to withdraw cash through the Allpoint network and does not charge for out-of-network ATM usage, although you may be charged by the ATM provider.
You can use the account’s built-in digital tools to send and receive online payments, monitor transactions and cash-flow stats, and track spending. The iOS app from Mercury allows you to manage your debit card — edit spending limitations, freeze it, add it to your mobile wallet — as well as create virtual debit cards through its software.
All in all, Mercury makes it very easy for you to get started with low-cost business banking. You can quickly set up a business bank account with little effort. This, combined with Mercury's online tools and user permissions, make the account an appealing choice for many e-commerce small business owners.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive business banking solution, Chase Business Complete Banking is a great option. With this account, you’ll get access to business checking, savings, and merchant services.
Chase's entry-level checking account, Chase Business Complete Banking, offers a $300 bonus to new customers, the most of any account in this list. Aside from a bonus, the Business Complete Banking account combines online, mobile, and in-person banking with a user-friendly digital platform and a vast network of physical offices.
Another standout feature of this account is QuickAccept which allows you to use a mobile card reader or the Chase app to receive payment via debit or credit cards. Even though you might incur some transaction fees, this feature can be a great addition to your e-commerce business.
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all your business banking needs, Chase Business Complete Banking is a great option.
Taking the time to do your research when looking for an ideal business bank account can help you avoid many headaches down the road.
That said, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a bank account for your business, but these eight things are a good place to start.
There are a lot of banking options for new business accounts. The process of opening an account can be time-consuming with traditional banks. You will need to provide the bank with a lot of documentation, and the bank will also likely run a credit check on you and your business which can take a couple of days.
Luckily for you, online banks offer a much simpler and more streamlined process. All you need is your basic information and to be able to link your checking account to the new account.
In terms of time, it should only take a few minutes to open an online account as opposed to days or weeks with a traditional bank. This is a huge benefit for business owners who need to move fast.
While most banks will offer some type of incentive to open an account, it’s important to consider what exactly they are offering and if it’s something your business can actually use.
For example, a bank may offer a sign-up bonus in the form of cash back or points. But if you don’t use the bank’s credit card, then that perk is essentially useless to you.
It’s also important to read the fine print on any incentives offered. There may be restrictions or requirements that make it difficult to actually receive the bonus.
You should also find out if the bank offers any discounts on services that your business uses. For example, some banks will offer discounts on PayPal or Square processing fees.
This is an important consideration, especially for e-commerce businesses that have a lot of transactions or high sales volumes.
You will want to find a bank that can handle your account without charging you extra fees. To do this, you will need to find out the average monthly balance requirements and the fees charged if you go below that amount.
You will also want to find out what the bank’s policy is on holds and how long they last. This can be a problem if you need access to your funds right away.
Banks make money by charging fees—it’s how they stay in business. But some banks are more fee-heavy than others.
When you’re evaluating different banks, make sure to ask about all the fees to open a bank account or what they charge—including monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, transaction fees, ATM fees, etc.
You should also find out if there are any ways to avoid these fees. For example, some banks waive monthly maintenance fees if you maintain a certain balance in your account.
It’s also important to find out if there are any hidden fees not listed on the bank’s website. The best way to do this is to talk to a representative and ask about all of the potential fees you may be charged.
By getting a full understanding of all the fees you’ll be charged, you can avoid some nasty surprises down the road.
You should be able to count on your bank for help when you need it. After all, they’re handling your money.
In your search for a suitable account, try to find out what a bank’s customer service is like. See if you can get in touch with a representative easily and see how long it takes for them to respond to your inquiry. Some banks only offer phone support, while others also have email and live chat.
Find out what the customer service hours are for the bank you’re considering. Ideally, they should offer 24/seven customer support.
You should be able to get a loan from your bank without any hassles. After all, that’s one of the primary reasons you have a business account, right?
Look for banks that have an easy and fast loan application process with minimum documentation. Also, inquire about the interest rates and repayment options in advance.
It would be helpful if the bank offers pre-approved loans, so you know exactly how much you can borrow and at what interest rate before you even apply.
Banks are not all the same when it comes to how they treat small businesses.
Some banks offer special products and services for small businesses while others make it difficult for small businesses to open an account.
You should find a bank that understands your needs as a small business owner and offers products and services that can help you grow your business.
Here are a few things to look for:
Also, note that banks have different areas of expertise, so it’s important to find one that has experience working with businesses like yours.
For example, for an e-commerce business, you might want to consider a bank that has prior experience with online businesses and is comfortable working with the unique needs of an e-commerce business, such as merchant services and payment processing.
You can check this by reading reviews or asking for referrals from other business owners.
In today’s digital world, it’s important that your bank offers mobile and online banking.
Mobile and online banking allow you to do your banking from the comfort of your home or office—or even on the go.
Mobile and online banking features may include:
Some banks have more user-friendly platforms than others. When you’re evaluating different banks, take some time to test out their online banking platforms. See how easy it is to use and navigate.
A minimum balance is the least amount of money that you are required to keep in your account by your bank. If at any time, your account falls below this limit, the bank may charge you a fee.
For example, let’s say the minimum balance requirement for your business checking account is $500. If your account balance falls below $500 at any point in time, the bank may charge you a fee of $25.
It’s important to understand the minimum balance requirements of the bank before making a decision. Some banks like Bonsai Cash, have zero minimum balance requirements.
E-commerce businesses have different needs than traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, so it’s important to find a bank that understands those needs. The right bank will help you grow your business and avoid costly mistakes. Do your research and ask around before making a decision – it’s worth taking the time to get it right.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?