Looking for the best business bank accounts in Canada? We have got you covered.
If you have a small business, you should get a bank account for it so you can separate your personal and business finances.
Although it can be a bit of a hassle to open a business bank account, the benefits outweigh the costs, and you will find it easier to run your business in the long run when it has its own chequing, savings, and investment accounts.
In this guide, I cover the best business bank accounts available in 2023, including several free options and those better suited to businesses requiring unlimited transactions.
Best Free Business Bank Accounts in Canada
It is no secret that banks find every means necessary to charge you a fee.
While bank charges are deducted as a business expense, a small business owner or sole proprietor can benefit from cutting their bank fees and expenses to the bare minimum.
Here are some “free” business bank accounts to consider in Canada.
1. Wise Business Account
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is one of the cheapest global money transfer services in Canada and abroad.
If you are looking for an account to send and receive money, including foreign currencies, then Wise is a great pick.
When you sign up, you receive 9 currency accounts that include the British Pound, Euro, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Hungarian Forint, Romanian Leu, Singapore Dollar, and of course, the Canadian Dollar.
And you can hold 50+ currencies at any one time without a need to exchange these currencies for Canadian Dollars.
Payments are a breeze, including batch payments to as many as 1,000 people with just one click.
This account does not have a monthly fee, and you get a physical and virtual business Mastercard (debit card).
Fee: There’s a one-time $42 fee when you set up international banking. There are also small fixed fees to send money.
Currency exchange rates occur at the mid-market rate, which means more money in your pocket.
Best for: Businesses that employ people abroad and freelancers. It’s also great if you get paid in various currencies.
2. Alterna Small Business eChequing Account
The Alterna Small Business eChequing qualifies as a free online business account if you maintain a minimum closing balance of $3,000 throughout the month.
This small business bank account includes unlimited electronic debit transactions, incoming Interac e-Transfers, and 6 free outgoing Interac e-Transfers each month.
Customers also get access to 3,300+ free ATMs that are available across Canada.
Fees: A $5 monthly account fee applies if you don’t maintain a daily closing balance of $3,000. You pay $1.50 per extra outgoing Interac e-Transfer, and $2 for every $1,000 deposited in person at a branch.
Best for: Small businesses that conduct mostly electronic transactions.
3. Tangerine Business Accounts
While Tangerine does not offer a business chequing account, it has business accounts for CAD savings, USD savings, and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs).
The Tangerine Business Savings Account can be set up online, and its interest rates are:
- $0 to $99,999.99: 2.00%
- $100,000 – $499,999.99: 2.50%
- $500,000 and more: 2.70%
Fees: This account has no monthly fees or minimum balance.
Note that you must connect a business chequing account to it during the account opening process.
Best for: Earning interest on funds you don’t need to run your business.
Learn more about Tangerine.
4. Wealthsimple Save For Business Account
Wealthsimple Save for Business is a savings account for small businesses, corporations, and other Canadian business entities.
It pays 1.10% interest on your deposits.
You can easily open an account online and upload the required business registration documents.
Since Wealthsimple does not have a chequing account, you will need to connect an external business account before adding funds.
Fees: This account has no monthly fees.
Best for: Earning more on your business savings. You can also open a business investment account.
Learn more about Wealthsimple.
5. Manulife Business Advantage Account
The Business Advantage Account from Manulife is great for small and medium-sized businesses.
Like Wealthsimple and Tangerine, this account works best if you already have a chequing account at another bank and are looking for ways to earn more on your savings.
You can open a CAD or USD-denominated savings account and earn 2.75% or 0.20% interest, respectively.
Fees: Deposits and transfers to linked accounts are free. Bill payments and Interac e-Transfers cost $1.00, and a monthly paper statement costs $2.00.
Best for: Earning interest on Canadian and US dollars you don’t need for business operations.
Visit Manulife here.
Best Small Business Bank Accounts in Canada
The free business bank accounts above may not meet all your small business needs. For example, if you routinely conduct in-person bank transactions such as wire transfers, bank drafts, certified cheques, etc., you will need an account at a brick-and-mortar bank.
The Big-Five banks in Canada offer basic bank accounts that don’t have hefty fees.
6. RBC Digital Choice Business Account
The RBC Digital Choice Business Account includes unlimited electronic debit and credit transactions for a $5 monthly fee.
You also get:
- Unlimited e-cheque deposits
- 10 free outgoing Interac e-Transfer transactions each month
- Unlimited Moneris deposits
Fees: $1.50 for each additional; cheque deposits cost $2.50 each, $5/$1,000 cash deposit at a branch; $3.50 for paper statements.
Best for: Small businesses with mostly electronic transactions (both debit and credit).
7. TD Basic Business Plan Account
The TD Basic Business Plan account cost $5 per month and includes 5 free transactions per month and 5 free deposits (i.e. cheques, money orders, etc.).
You can pair it with a TD U.S. Dollar Basic Business Plan account for a $5 monthly fee and get 5 transactions and 5 deposit items.
Fees: Extra transaction costs $1.25 each, and you pay $0.22 per additional deposit.
For cash deposits, a $2.50/$1,000 fee applies.
Best for: Small businesses requiring only a few transactions every month. You can also get a free TD Business Savings Account at the same time.
8. Scotiabank Basic Business Account
The Basic Business Account from Scotiabank is available in both Canadian and US dollars.
For a $10.95 monthly fee, you get 1 free transaction per $1,500 held in your account.
If your daily closing balance is at least $8,000 throughout the month, the $10.95 monthly fee is waived.
Fees: Additional debit purchases cost $1.25 each; $2.50/$1,000 for cash deposits and $2.50/$100 for coin deposits.
Best for: This account may be worthwhile if you intend to keep a large balance and already bank with Scotiabank.
9. CIBC Everyday Business Operating Account
The Everyday Business Operating Account has a $20 monthly fee for self-service access, and a $25 monthly fee if you want full-service support.
This monthly fee covers 30 transactions, including debits, Interac e-Transfers, cheques, and credits, and the monthly fee is waived if you maintain a daily minimum balance of at least $15,000.
Fees: Additional transactions cost $1.00 to $1.25; printed statements are $3.50 each; $2.25-$2.50/$1,000 cash deposit; and $2.50/$100 for coin deposits; other fees may apply.
Best for: Small business owners looking for a free bank account while maintaining a large minimum balance.
10. BMO Business Builder Account
The Bank of Montreal offers four Business Builder Accounts that consider how many transactions you need each month.
The Business Builder 1 account has a $22.50 monthly fee and includes 35 transactions and 2 Interac e-Transfers. You also get unlimited Moneris transactions.
The next tier account (Business Builder 2) costs $45 per month and includes 70 transactions.
Fees: Additional transactions cost $0.60 (electronic transactions), $1.25 (branch transactions); $2.25/$1,000 cash deposits; $2.25/$100 for coin deposits; monthly paper statements cost $4.00.
Best Business Bank Accounts for Unlimited Transactions
If you run a high-volume business and would rather not worry about staying under the transaction limits, you could save money by opting for a premium business account.
11. TD Unlimited Business Plan Account
The TD Unlimited Business Account costs $125 per month. This fee is waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $65,000 throughout the month.
It includes unlimited transactions and deposit items.
You also get a rebate on the annual fee of a TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card or TD Business Travel Visa Card (valued at $149 per year), and a $10 monthly fee rebate for overdraft protection.
Fees: Additional cash deposits cost $2.50/$1,000 (i.e. exceeding the $25,000 included each month).
Best for: Small to Medium-sized businesses with lots of transactions and deposits. Business owners looking for a free premium business credit card.
12. RBC Ultimate Business Account Package
Get the Ultimate Business Account for a $100 monthly fee, and you can forget about transaction fees.
It includes unlimited debit, credit, and e-Transfer transactions, with up to 100 paper transactions, and;
- Unlimited electronic cheque and Moneris deposits
- Up to $25,000 free cash deposits
The $100 monthly fee is waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $75,000 throughout the month.
Fees: Additional paper transactions cost $1.25 each; Extra cash deposits are $2.50/$1,000; paper statements cost $3.50 to $4.50 each.
Best for: Small- to Medium-sized businesses with lots of debit and credit transactions.
13. CIBC Unlimited Business Operating Account
CIBC’s Unlimited Business Account costs $65 per month. This fee is waived with a $45,000 minimum daily balance. It includes debit and credit transactions, with up to 100 cheque deposits per month.
Fees: $3.50 for paper statements, $2.50/$1,000 for cash deposits exceeding the $15,000 that is free monthly.
Best for: High-volume businesses looking for an affordable bank account with unlimited transactions.
14. Scotiabank Unlimited Business Account
The Select Account for business includes several plans (Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and Unlimited).
The Unlimited option costs $120 per month, and this fee is waived with a $75,000 minimum daily balance.
It includes unlimited transactions, deposit items, and cash deposits up to $30,000.
Fees: Additional cash deposits cost $2.50/$1,000.
Best for: Businesses that conduct lots of electronic and paper transactions, as well as cash deposits in the branch.
15. ATB Unlimited Business Account
If you registered or incorporated a business in 2022 and are based in Alberta, you can get the ATB Unlimited Business account free for 1 year.
This account normally has a $70 monthly fee which is waived with a $70,000 minimum daily balance.
It includes unlimited transactions- deposits, bill payments, Interac e-Transfers, and withdrawals.
Fees: $2.50/$1,000 after free $15,000; $2.50/$100 for coin deposits after free $1,500; $0.22 per cheque after 70 free items.
What is a Business Bank Account?
A business bank account is opened in the name of your company, and it helps to separate your personal finances from that of your business.
Business bank accounts come in various formats; chequing, savings, and investment accounts.
When looking to open a business bank account, you should consider the following:
- Monthly fee
- Number of transactions
- Convenience, e.g. access to ATMs, cheques, in-person support
- Other financial products such as investments, credit cards, and business loans.
How To Open a Business Bank Account in Canada
You will need to provide documentation when opening a business account in Canada.
While some banks allow you to start the process online and later validate your business documents at a branch, digital banks and online financial institutions like Tangerine and Wealthsimple complete the entire process online.
Documents required include:
Sole proprietorship: Business registration and Trade name registration (if applicable).
Corporation: Articles of incorporation, certificate of incorporation, or Articles of Amalgamation. You will also need documents listing the directors and trade name registration, if applicable.
If the corporation has been in business for longer than 12 months, you may need one of the following as well:
- Latest financial statements
- Annual government filing
- Certificate of Corporate status
- Certificate of Compliance
- Health and Safety Certificates, if applicable
Partnerships: Partnership registration or agreement; Trade name registration, if applicable.
You will also need to provide your name, address, type of business, and at least one piece of government-issued photo ID for each person listed on the account (e.g. Canadian Driver’s License).
Pros of a Business Bank Account
Providing clients and vendors with a bank account in your business name shows you are running a professional and legitimate enterprise, and they will take you more seriously.
If you are incorporating a business, you will need a separate bank account for the legal business entity.
Also, a business account means you can start building a credit history for your business and be able to access loans or lines of credit in the future.
Cons of a Business Bank Account
Business bank accounts generally have fees, which will add to your business expenses.
While some accounts waive the monthly fees with a hefty daily minimum balance, you don’t earn interest on this balance.
Also, business savings account interest rates are usually on the lower side compared to personal bank accounts.