When starting out as a freelancer or beginning any self-employed venture, the first topic on the agenda is—how do I properly manage my money?

Of course, there are a plethora of questions that arise, but the most pervasive one is about handling your money appropriately. There are many types of bank accounts available from many different institutions.

Let’s review the difference between entrepreneurs, their small businesses, and freelancers, along with business accounts that are suitable for each.

Although alike to some slight degree, freelancers are different in almost every regard to entrepreneurs with small businesses. The similarity, though is that they’re both independent thinkers and work for themselves.

However, freelancers primarily operate as a single entity acquiring different projects from others as a means of building their roster and maintaining a steady income. On the contrary, entrepreneurs work diligently on personal projects in an attempt to create an organization that will, in turn, produce money for them continuously.

To put it simply, freelancers must work persistently to not only make money but also to maintain it. They must ensure that they retain as much money as possible and limit expenditures. When people talk about “the hustle” it often relates to freelancing since you’re always hustling to make money.

Some may argue that entrepreneurs must do the same, which is accurate indeed. However, for freelancers, income wavers and controlling spending is critical.

It seems that when financial institutions were constructing checking accounts for small businesses, they somehow missed the freelancer seeking to make a living. Just as important as it is for a small business to have a separate business account for better manageability of funds, this also holds true for freelancers.

Small business accounts are often offered in various tiers, which is seen, for example, on Bank of America and US Bank’s website. These ranks of checking accounts allow small businesses in different stages of their business’ development, to choose accounts that are suitable for their financial needs.

Although great for small businesses, they’re not entirely appropriate for a single freelancer with a variable income. The assumption many of these accounts hold is that there is more than one individual operating the business.

Another assumption is that there will always be a consistent balance in the account and that money will be coming in regularly as opposed to periodically. This is the cause of high fees that often plague small business accounts.

This may be okay for a small business that can maintain a hearty balance. However, as a freelancer, this is not an ideal situation.

In general, the best checking account for a freelancer is one that does not require monthly service deductions. An account that enables a freelancer to retain as much hard-earned money as possible is undoubtedly an ideal bank account.

To help you retain just about every dollar that you obtain from freelancing, here are some online institutions to consider. Some of the best accounts for freelancers include:

Online accounts that are best for freelancers

Bank Novo

Bank Novo is geared toward small businesses, offering a suite of solutions designed to help you grow and thrive. With no fees and no minimum balance requirements, you can set up an account that will scale with you over the years. You can also easily transfer funds and monitor your balance using the mobile app.

Some benefits you’ll get as a Bank Novo accountholder include:

  • Free ACH transfers and mailed checks
  • All ATM fees refunded
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Business tool integration

When you sign up for a Bank Novo account, you also get access to a variety of member perks. These address the needs of business owners, including: 

  • $3,000 in Google Cloud credits
  • Free six months of Zendesk membership
  • 50% off Salesforce Essentials plan

You can apply for an account in minutes through the website or smartphone app. Once you have an account, you’ll be able to manage your payments and monitor your balance, as well as easily transfer funds between bank accounts.

Chase Total Business Checking

If you’re looking for a little cash to go with your new business checking account; Chase Total Business Checking has you covered.  To earn a $300 cash bonus, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Open a Chase Total Business Checking account
  • Deposit a total of $1,000 in new money within 20 business days of account opening
  • Maintain that balance for 60 days
  • Complete 5 qualifying transactions within 60 days – debit card purchases, Chase QuickDepositSM, ACH (Credits) and wires (Credits and Debits)

There is a $15 monthly maintenance fee associated with the Total Business Checking account but it can be waived if you meet one simple requirement: a minimum daily balance of $1,500.  If you cannot reach this amount, Chase will reduce your monthly fee to $12 if you enroll in paperless statements.

Some of the benefits of this business account are as follows:

  1. Unlimited electronic deposits
  2. 100 transactions per month at no charge
  3. $5,000 in cash deposits per statement cycle without an additional fee
  4. Convenient access to 16,000 ATM’s nearly 4,900 branches.

The information about Chase Total Business Checking has been collected independently by MoneyUnder30.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the brand.

Huntington Bank Unlimited Business Checking

With business accounts tailored to the unique needs of small businesses and startups, if you’re still growing, you may be able to stick with a Huntington Bank Unlimited Business Checking Account. Right now, the’re offering a $300 cash bonus and deposit at least $5,000 within the first 60 days. (Note the $300 will be deposited into your account after the account has been open for 90 days.)

  • *This offer is only available to applicants residing in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia

Other enticing benefits well worth noting:

  • Sweep Services
  • Remote deposit
  • Tools and resources for small business owners
  • Unlimited monthly transactions

In addition to unlimited transactions, you also choose from one of the following bonus solutions:

  •     Fraud Tool
  •     Up to 50 deposit scans per month
  •     10% off Paychex payroll services
  •     Two incoming domestic wires per month
  •     Or up to 25 returned deposit items per month

Finally, another real benefit of setting up an account with Huntington Bank is its resources. Through The Hub for Business, you’ll get tools like cashflow monitoring, financial forecasting, and alerts. Huntington also has articles to help business owners and a checklist to help you open a business account.

Spark® Business from Capital One 

For freelancers, this checking account seems as though it was made with you in mind. Spark® Business from Capital One is free to open and does not demand specific deposits and limits.

Unlike many other accounts that provide this with a hefty fee, business tools such as bookkeeping, invoicing, credit cards, and the acceptance of payments with a card is provided. Resource guides are also offered to help keep you in tune with business trends and your account.

A mobile app and access to 401(k) Sharebuilder and the IRA is available. Overall, this business solution is quite advantageous for freelancers.

Premier or Business PayPal Account

In an attempt to completely rid yourself of the traditional checking account, you can opt for the business solutions that are provided by PayPal. By electing to receive money from freelance work via PayPal, you can use the PayPal balance to make purchases.

If required, PayPal can issue a debit card that enables you to use your account as you would any bank account. The only difference is that you pay absolutely no monthly fees and you can earn a bit of interest on your money.

You can also take a picture of your checks and deposit them as you would in any other account.

Anything you do with your traditional bank can also be done using your PayPal account.

Despite the inescapable presence of banking accounts that charge questionable monthly fees, there are a couple of traditional banks that offer excellent solutions. Some of the more conventional options include:

U.S Bank Silver Business Package

The maintenance fee for this business checking account is $0. Yes, now you can jump for joy.

It offers 150 free transactions, and if surpassed, a per-transaction fee of $0.50 is charged. Clients are limited to a cash deposit of $2,500, and a fee of $0.17 is charged per additional deposit.

The U.S. Bank Silver Business Package is commendable because unlike other business checking accounts, a number of free transactions and cash handling limits are offered.

It’s also accessible, with many branches throughout the United States. A mobile app is also available.

Open a U.S. Bank business account.


Freelancing can be rewarding, as it enables you to set your own hours. Despite its flexibility, retaining money and managing it effectively is pivotal.

When shopping around for the right accounts for freelancers and side hustlers, be sure to opt for institutions that offer no fees or low-fees for housing your money. This will enable you to stay on top of your game and control your expenditures.

Read more:

  • High-Yield Checking Accounts—Are They Worth It?
  • HSBC Choice, Advance And Premier Checking—Which Is Right For You?