As I mentioned in a list on the steps in setting up a corporation, obtaining a business bank account is a good idea.  The reason being is that the customers can pay you via company name instead of personal name.  As well, it helps during tax season when business income/expenses are separated from personal income/expenses.

I’ve discovered that most small business bank accounts are expensive.  The big banks really try to scrape every penny out of business owners via business products, it’s almost nauseating.  Thankfully, I own shares in most of the big banks which helps calm my stomach.

The small business accounts offered by the big banks really vary in terms of cost and features.  I went through the lowest cost accounts possible (I don’t like bank fees) and what they offered.

Generally speaking, all the banks offered both a set monthly fee plan where you get so many transactions per month in addition to offering “pay as you go” plans.

As of August 2009:

CIBC Royal Bank TD Bank Scotia Bank BMO
Min Balance for No Fee
n/a n/a $8,000 $5,000 (paygo only) $4,000
Flat Fee / Month $11 / 10 trans $20 / ~ 20 debit 10 credit 20 deposits $12 /5 deposits 7 debits $12 – $16 / 15 trans $9.50 for 15 trans /month
Extra Cheque Dep $0.16 + $1.25 $0.20 + $0.95 $0.18 + $1.00 $0.18 + $0.85 $0.18 + $1.00
Extra Cash Dep $1.80+ $1.25 $2.15+ $0.95 $2.15 + $1.00 $2.25 + $1.00 $2.15 + $1.00
Pay Go Monthly Fee $10.00 $6.00 $7.95 $9.00 $6.00
Cheque Dep $0.16 + $0.90 $0.20 + $0.95 $0.18 + $1.00 $0.18 + $0.85 $0.90
Cash Dep $1.80 + $0.90 $2.15+ $0.95 $2.15 + $1.00 $2.25 + $1.00 $2.15
Extras 1 free trans for every $500 in account Monthly paygo fee is waived if trans fees are greater than $6 1 free trans for every $1,000 in account

For me, I was looking for something as low cost as possible, even if it meant keeping a relatively high balance.

Looking at the table, it was a no brainer to go with the BMO small business account as it offered free banking if I keep a balance of $4k.  In addition, they waive the fee for the first 3 months for new start up businesses.

Do you have a business account?  If so, who did you go with?

53 Comments

  1. Tech Consultant on January 26, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    HSBC was a great choice while it lasted. Small business accounts closed. Moving to a local credit union or BMO.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/HSBC+cuts+some+small+business+clients/9289838/story.html

  2. victoria on March 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I know this is late, but I did this same analysis and wound up with a BC Credit Union (Community Savings Credit Union) as it had the only options with no fees with a min balance. All the others were horrible.

  3. Stefanie on May 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    with whatever bank you choose don’t order cheques with your bank……. just ordered 500 cheques for $99 with http://www.chequesplus.com

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