For anybody looking to open an online checking or savings account, a Chime account is one of the top options on offer. It has everything you would want from an online bank account.
Well, almost everything. For all its benefits, Chime has one major shortcoming. They do not offer a business bank account. They are a personal bank account.
This is bad news, especially considering the importance of having a separate bank account for your business.
To begin with, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cannot allow you to deduct business expenses when filing taxes unless you have a business bank account.
Also, it’s much easier to measure the financial performance of your business when you have a separate bank account for personal transactions and business transactions.
The good news is that there are other similar online business bank accounts to open.
Note: If you want to open the best Chime alternative for business accounts, try Bonsai Cash. Bonsai Cash has no hidden fees or minimums and
Let's review the best Chime alternative checking accounts for business.
Bonsai Cash is a new guaranteed business checking account that’s making it really easy for small business owners to manage and save their funds.
The account is free to open and run. This means no initial deposit, no minimum balance to maintain, no foreign transaction fees, and no monthly fees.
Once you open your account, you get both a virtual and physical card. The virtual card can be used for all your online payments including subscriptions. It can also be added to mobile payments by scanning it with Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Also worth noting is that Bonsai Cash can be integrated with any payment software you are using for your business allowing you to receive payments directly to your checking account.
However, the feature that makes this account stand out is the envelope feature which provides a unique way to save and manage your business finances.
How it works is that you create envelopes where you can store funds for specific purposes. For instance, you can have an envelope or sub-account for tax money and another envelope for utility bills. And here is the best part. You can write rules so that anytime you receive a payment, a certain percentage of the money is automatically sent to a specific envelope.
Like every other bank, Bonsai Cash has a daily transaction limit. For ATM withdrawals, it’s $300. For card transactions, it’s $2000 and for transfers to external banks, it’s $3,000.
Nearside is another top Chime alternative and one of the things that make it attractive is the amazing incentives available to its members.
To begin with, all new members get a welcome bonus of up to $40 on their first deposit and existing members get a 2.2% unlimited cash back on every business purchase they make.
Also, with Nearside business checking, there are no hidden fees. There is no minimum balance to maintain, there are no monthly fees, and thanks to their network of 55,000 fee-free ATMs, you get to enjoy free ATM withdrawals.
Nearside Checking Account supports integration with multiple payment solutions allowing you to get paid directly to your account. The account can also be used to make ACH electronic bank transfers and direct deposit.
Once you have built up trust with the financial institution, you may qualify for a business loan of up to $10,000.
The daily transaction limit for the Nearside business checking account is $1,000 for online payments and $1,000 for ATM withdrawals.
BlueVine is a top online business checking account that’s free to use and has no daily transaction limits. It does not require that you maintain a minimum balance and thanks to its network of 37,000 ATMs country-wide, you get to benefit from fee-free withdrawals.
BlueVine is also among the few online bank accounts that allow you to write a check. They give you two free checkbooks.
The other great thing about this account is that they offer an annual interest of 1.2% for deposits of up to $100,000. There are conditions to be met though. You either need to have spent $500 with your BlueVine debit card or received $2,500 payments into your account.
The other feature worth mentioning is that BlueVine allows you to create up to 2 sub-accounts with different account numbers for better management of your business finances.
With BlueVine, you can also give another person access to your business checking account. This is perfect if you are running the business with a partner, or you have a trusted employee that is in charge of finances in your business.
You can make cash deposits to your BlueVine business checking account at any green dot location. However, the deposits are subject to a $4.95 processing fee.
Wells Fargo Checking is a great Chime alternative but unlike the other accounts on the list, they require a starting balance of $25 to open the account.
The bank has three types of checking accounts and you get upgraded as you build trust with them.
New members start with clear access checking. This account comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $5.
The second-level account is Everyday checking. Holders of this account can overdraw from their account if they have insufficient funds but they will need to pay overdraft fees. There is also the $10 monthly maintenance fee to think about.
The last tier Wells Fargo account is the Portfolio account which comes with a bunch of premium benefits including interests on your deposits. The monthly fees for this account are $25.
Current is another great Chime alternative if you are looking to open a business bank account.
One feature that makes this bank account stand out is that it allows you to earn interest on your deposits. Their annual percentage yield (APY) is 4% which when compared to the national average APY of 0.08% is quite generous.
And unlike in traditional banking, you can access the saved money in your current checking account at any time.
Current supports overdrafts of up to $200 and there are no overdraft fees. The account is also free to open and run. No minimum balance to maintain, no monthly fees, and no transaction fees.
It also supports ACH bank transfers which means you can use it to send or receive paychecks.
To secure your money, Current allows you to lock your account using your biometric information. This would mean that for anyone to access your account they need either your fingerprint or face.
Current also allows you to block transactions directly from the app which can help tremendously if you notice some suspicious activity in your account.
The importance of having a business checking account cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, not all financial institutions allow you to open a business account. All Chime accounts are personal. Fortunately, you now have other options to consider.
As you may have noticed our recommended banking services are all online. That's because online banks are simple to open and have minimal requirements. And unlike traditional banks, they approve checking and savings accounts even for people with a poor credit history.
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?