How To Charge For Freelance Work

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 11 minute read

Freelancers and people with multiple employment are common in the United States. Whether or not they have established a legal corporate entity and regardless of their own perceptions, these individuals are business owners.

However, this does not imply that they enjoy equivalent levels of access to the commercial banking system. Many business-friendly banks avoid working with freelancers and people with side occupations, and the world of freelancer credit cards is narrower than the universe of small-business credit cards.

Thankfully, a good many of them do. Get to know the institutions on this list if you need a checking or savings account for your freelance or side business income.

The Top Bank Accounts for Independent Contractors and Side Businesses

You can’t go wrong with any of these top-rated checking and savings accounts for part-timers and independent contractors. Each excels in some respect, but we think most people might benefit from our top option, which is why it’s our overall top recommendation.

Lili is Best Overall (Lili Account)

If you’re self-employed, whether you go by the name freelancer, side hustler, microbusiness owner, single proprietor, or whatever, the Lili Account is one of the few checking accounts tailored to your needs.

It centers on an impressive suite of applications that streamline and simplify corporate processes:

  • Software to help manage one’s taxes when one has multiple sources of income and expenditures
  • Capabilities for invoicing internally
  • Instant report breakdown of allowed expenditures
  • You can make a cash deposit at any of the almost 90,000 participating banks in the United States (fees may apply)
  • A system that can automatically save up to $1 daily in a rainy day fund that can yield up to 1.00% APY.
  • With qualified direct deposit, you can get paid up to two days early.

Even in her spare time, Lili is handling her own funds. As a sole proprietor, this account may serve as your sole financial vehicle.

Features in addition:

  • Use your business debit card anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Enjoy fee-free ATM withdrawals at nearly 40,000 locations
  • Earn cash-back rewards on eligible purchases
  • No minimum balance or hidden fees

Chase Business Complete Checking is the Best Bank Account Bonus.

Of all the institutions that are sympathetic to freelancers, Chase Business Complete Checking offers the best new account bonus potential. Simply establish a new account online or in-person to receive a $300 bonus with no minimum deposit needed.

Features in addition:

  • Avoid the $15 monthly maintenance fee by maintaining a qualifying minimum daily balance or making qualifying purchases on your Chase Ink Business credit card
  • Enjoy unlimited electronic deposits, ACH transfers, and mobile check deposits using Chase QuickDeposit
  • Access ATMs and branches in the following states; AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MI, NV, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA, WV, WI

BlueVine Is the Best Option for Checking Balance Interest.

When you fulfill a monthly activity objectively, you can earn 1.50% APY on balances up to and including $100,000 with a Bluevine Business Checking account, making it one of the few business checking accounts that pay interest on checking balances. 

All you have to do is one of the following:

  • You must either. (1) make monthly purchases of $500 or more using your Bluevine Business Debit Mastercard®, OR (2) have $2,500 or more deposited into your Bluevine Business Checking Account from your customers via ACH, wire transfer, mobile check deposit, or directly from your merchant payment processing provider.
  • With this feature, Bluevine is one of the few business checking accounts that cater to freelancers, making it an excellent option for anyone wishing to supplement their spending cash.

Numerous other benefits of Bluevine are also noteworthy:

  • No minimum balance requirements or monthly fees
  • Unlimited transaction allowance
  • Connect your account to QuickBooks Online, Wave, and Freshbooks — some of the top online accounting platforms around
  • Link with external revenue and expense management tools, including Expensify, PayPal, and Stripe
  • Add up to 2 subaccounts to your existing BlueVine Business Checking account
  • Enjoy mobile features like mobile check deposit and biometric security
  • Pay no fees at nearly 40,000 ATMs in the U.S.
  • Deposit cash at more than 90,000 Green Dot locations in the U.S.

NBKC Business Checking Is the Best Option for ATM fee Reimbursements.

The NBKC Business Checking Account offers nearly no fees, making it an attractive option for freelancers. There are zero minimum balance requirements, no account maintenance fees, and zero transaction fees associated with this account.

This is especially noteworthy because it covers ATM fees incurred anywhere in the globe, not only in the United States, up to a maximum of $12 each month. 

This is in addition to the fact that NBKC commercial clients incur no costs whatsoever when making cash withdrawals from any of the more than 30,000 ATMs located throughout the United States. NBKC is your best bet if your side hustle or freelancing business needs a regular flow of money to meet costs. 

A plethora of extra features that add value are also available to you:

  • Seamless mobile and desktop check deposit
  • Use mobile bill pay to cover expenses on the go
  • Take advantage of NBKC’s courtesy overdraft sweep (see its account disclosures for details)
  • Enjoy unlimited free transactions
  • Pay no monthly maintenance fee
  • No minimum balance or deposit requirements

Integrating P2P Money Transfer Apps and Payments Best Novo

Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. backs the Novo checking account, another option for freelancers. There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly service charges. Value is maximized by its ability to work with a wide variety of other applications that are useful for running a small business.

  • Pay and send money directly between friends and family with Zelle.
  • Easy bookkeeping may be attained with the help of services like Freshbooks, Zoho, and QuickBooks.
  • In addition to being an internal invoicing solution that interfaces with Stripe and
  • PayPal makes it easy for clients to pay you with a few taps or clicks on your invoice, Novo also has a few other notable features.

Some other great things about Novo:

  • The easy application process takes just 10 minutes to complete
  • Thousands of dollars in exclusive perks (see Novo’s website for details)
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • Virtually no fees other than an overdraft and returned item fee

LendingClub Bank Tailored Checking Is the Best Option for Earning Checking Account Rewards.

If you hold a monthly average amount of $5,000 or more in your LendingClub Bank Tailored Checking account, you’ll receive 1% cash back on purchases made with your signature-based debit card.

For the first 30 days after opening an account, you will not be eligible to receive rewards. Moving forward, though, your earning potential is unlimited.

Features in addition:

  • Earn interest on balances over $5,000
  • No transaction limits or fees
  • Make check deposits and lock your debit card on the go using the LendingClub Bank app
  • Maintain a minimum daily balance of $5,000 or more to waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee
  • Enjoy unlimited ATM fee rebates

Savings With the Highest Returns for Small Businesses Are Found in Banks.

Financial institution Small Business Bank is a good fit for its namesake demographic of sole proprietors, microenterprises, and expanding small businesses. The Business High Yield Savings account lives up to its name, as it provides a competitive rate of return on deposits of any size. 

Because of this, it’s a fantastic option for self-employed people who have found success in their side businesses and want to take the next step in their careers.

Tiered annual percentage returns are offered on Business High Yield Savings accounts, starting at 0.20% APY for balances under $25,000 and increasing to 1.00% APY for balances of $500,000 and beyond.

Features in addition:

  • Free mobile check deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Rapid online approval
  • Link to a free checking account with a Mastercard debit card and other great features

When it comes to savings subaccounts, NorthOne Business Banking is your best bet. NorthOne Business Banking is one of the rare banks that provides savings subaccounts, making it ideal for freelancers. 

These accounts within accounts simplify the administration of large sums of money set aside for discrete functions, such as estimated taxes, payroll, or the purchase of new equipment. The NorthOne Business Banking service comes with a monthly cost of $10. 

There are a lot of extra features that make up for the price:

  • Withdrawals, deposits, and other debit card transactions are not capped.
  • With over 300,000 participating ATMs, this network is second to none.
  • It’s possible to pay bills and deposit checks using your mobile device.
  • One month of free business banking is available to Money Crashers readers who sign up for a new account with NorthOne through the link below, but only for a limited time.

Axos Bank Basic Business Checking is the best for free checks.

There are many business checking accounts out there, but only Axos Bank Basic Business Checking gives you free shipping on your first order of business checks. That’s enough for up to 50 checks to be written and mailed to suppliers and freelancers who still prefer paper checks.

In addition, One of the best aspects of Axos Bank’s basic business checking account is the incorporation of:

  • Unlimited free transactions
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Get a free debit card when you open your account
  • Make mobile check deposits and bill payments with the mobile app
  • No minimum balance requirements 
  • New account bonus offer worth up to $200 if you’re a new business incorporated after June 1, 2020, or $100 if you’re an established business new to Axos Bank

The Best Bank Accounts for Freelancers and Side Hustlers; Our Selection Process

We evaluate the finest checking accounts for those who also do freelance work based on a number of criteria. All have something to do with the account’s overall price, its use, its adaptability, or its capacity to provide value to the account holder.

Daily Maintenance Charge

In terms of the costs associated with a checking or savings account, the monthly maintenance fee isn’t often the most significant or expensive. If you aren’t careful, you could end yourself paying a lot in overdraft fees.

However, the monthly maintenance cost is the one that prospective account holders remember the most and the one that is typically the hardest to avoid. 

Therefore, if all else is equal, we favor banks that are accommodating to freelancers by charging either no monthly maintenance fees or very modest maintenance fees that are waived with a certain account balance or certain types of activity.

Fees for Other Accounts

Overdraft and NSF costs are another typical type of bank account charge, along with print statement fees, ATM withdrawal fees, and wire transfer fees. There aren’t many accounts out there that don’t charge you anything, but we give priority to the ones that don’t, before moving on to those that charge significantly less.

Limits on Transactions

Business checking accounts are more likely to have transaction limits than personal checking accounts. These caps are sometimes relatively low, sitting at 50 or 100 transactions each month, for organizations that incur a lot of outlays.

It’s common for freelancers to be slower at making payments than smaller and medium-sized firms. However, successful dropshipping enterprises and other complicated side hustles can easily push budding entrepreneurs over their monthly transaction limits. 

That’s why we recommend financial institutions and accounts where the transaction limit is either nonexistent or so large that it won’t affect the vast majority of independent contractors and part-timers.

Requirements for Deposit and Minimum Balance

Banks often require a large opening deposit or minimum balance for business accounts, which can be prohibitive for lone owners. While failure to complete these requirements may not preclude you from opening an account, doing so may result in the imposition of costs.

We lean toward no-minimum-balance institutions. Whenever possible, we try to use a bank that doesn’t charge excessive fees for things like regular direct deposits if we want to avoid meeting their minimum balance requirements.

Account Yield (Interest Rate)

In most cases, interest on a company checking account is negligible at best. Compared to personal savings accounts, business savings accounts are more likely to generate interest, but you still shouldn’t bank on your return keeping pace with inflation. 

However, we assess financial institutions and accounts based on the principle that any yield is preferable to none.

Mobile Functions and Features

Many self-employed people and those with side businesses rely heavily on their mobile devices. For example, if you run a profitable dog-walking or handyman service, you probably won’t be spending much time at the office. 

You probably use your phone for everything from talking to customers to making purchases to keeping notes. You shouldn’t have to rely on a computer you barely use. For this reason, we recommend looking for a bank with a fully featured mobile app or account dashboard.

Features for Saving and Budgeting

The value of a budget and living within one’s means can be understood without merging personal and professional funds. If you want to succeed in your side business, you should keep careful financial records and spend less money than you bring in.

This is when things like automatic savings plans and internal budgeting systems come in handy. Many of the options on this list are available at no extra cost from banks that are accustomed to serving freelancers.

Features of Accounting and Taxes

You can find freelancer-friendly bank accounts with additional accounting and tax management tools, either within the app itself or as a separate third-party add-on. 

Integrations with popular third-party apps like Xero and QuickBooks are a common external feature. The banks who go the additional mile to make things easy for customers around tax time have our full support.

How to Pick the Right Bank Account for Your Side Business or Freelance Work

Picking a bank account to manage your money for a freelance gig or a side business isn’t that dissimilar from picking a personal account. 

Keep in mind the following when you weigh your choices:

  • Charges are Applied to Your Account. Bank account fees are a nuisance for everyone. You should look for a checking account that doesn’t impose a monthly maintenance fee or allows you to easily avoid paying one by maintaining a certain amount or making regular deposits unless there’s a good reason to do otherwise. Don’t forget the small expenses, such as overdraft and ATM charges.
  • Restrictions on Financial Deals. Limits on the number of withdrawals and deposits you can make each month or statement cycle are common for commercial bank accounts. This could become a significant issue if you routinely make numerous little withdrawals or payments.
  • Standard Required Minimal Balance. If you’re a freelancer or have a side business, you probably won’t be rolling in the dough right away. And depending on your income, your balance could change every week or every month. Consequently, you’ll be on the lookout for a bank account that doesn’t impose a minimum balance restriction.
  • Financial Gain. Low-interest rates are the norm for business bank accounts. However, if you’re a freelancer or run a side business and want to save money for the future, it’s worth your hunt for a reward checking account or high-yield savings account that accepts your business type.
  • Improved Functionality and New Features. Do you wish for a banking app that works well on your mobile device, allowing you to handle your money wherever you happen to be? Do you rely on services like Venmo and PayPal for a sizable portion of your income? Do you seek an organized method of keeping track of business funds that may be used independently of your own personal funds (budgeting and accounting)? These inquiries, along with others like them, might help you hone in on the most suitable checking account for your side gig or freelance work.
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