18 Best Business Bank Accounts In Canada (Sep 2022)

August 19, 2022
Blog
Man running through Toronto's Financial District, in a hurry to do some Canadian business banking

When you're starting your business, it may seem more practical to use your personal bank account rather than opening a dedicated business account. If you do, though, you'll miss out on the distinct benefits of business banking, including simplified accounting, automatic payroll management, and the ability to build business credit.

My pick for the top business bank account in Canada is Wise, the easy-to-use online bank that offers cross-border transfers for up to 8x cheaper than traditional banks. I've had my Wise account for more than 3 years, and after making thousands of transactions across dozens of countries, I can't recommend them enough.

What Are Business Bank Accounts? 

A business bank account is a bank account that is exclusively used for commercial transactions rather than personal expenditures. It may be established in the company's name, allowing payments to be made and received using its name instead of yours.

Business bank accounts function similarly to personal bank accounts, but there are some key differences.

Why You Should Use Business Bank Accounts In Canada

When you're just getting started, it may appear more practical to conduct business transactions via your credit card or checking account, especially if the volume of transactions is low. In the long run, however, it's more convenient to use a business account.

With a business bank account, you may allow staff to write cheques or use debit cards, and you can even set expenditure limits. You certainly wouldn't want your employees to have access to your personal bank account. With an independent business bank account or even a business chequing account this becomes perfectly safe.

Other benefits business bank accounts provide:

  • Accept Credit Card Payments: The ability to accept credit cards is probably the most significant reason for opening a business bank account.
  • More Professional. When it comes to your company's image, If you're using a personal bank account to write checks, that won't help your professional image.
  • Build Business Relationships: A business banking relationship might be beneficial in the future. As your business expands, it will become increasingly important.
  • Tax: It might be difficult to separate business and personal costs in a single account. A business account makes your accountant's job easier.

The Best 6 Low-Volume Business Bank Accounts

#1 RBC Digital Choice Business Account

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$5
TransactionsUnlimited electronic transactions.
$5 fee for every $1,000 deposited (non e-deposits).
Monthly DepositsUnlimited Moneris deposits.

The RBC Digital Choice Business Account is great for small businesses that have most transactions online. You can apply online and complete the process by visiting a local branch or RBC.

This account is a smart choice if your business needs a basic business account that provides online services. There's a small $5 monthly fee for unlimited electronic debit and credit transactions. There's no minimum balance requirement.

Non-electronic transactions, such as those conducted through paper debit and credit cards or ATMs, incur additional costs. Starting with a $2.50 for paper debit and credit transactions, $5 for each $1,000 deposited in a local branch account, and $2.25 per $1,000 ATM deposit. It also includes unlimited Moneris deposits.

#2 RBC Flex Choice Business Account

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$6
Transactions$0.75 fee for electronic deposits.
Monthly Deposits$2.50 cash deposit per $1,000 in the account.
Unlimited Moneris deposits.

The RBC Flex Choice Business Account is another good option for a small business bank account. It offers unlimited deposits and has a monthly fee of just $6.

Additional fees for electronic deposits are $0.75 per deposit. You can deposit $2.5 for each $1,000 you have in your account in a local branch of RBC or an ATM. There's a flat fee of $1.25 per paper transaction.

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#3 TD Basic Business Plan

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$5
Transactions5 free transactions ($1.25 for additional transactions).
5 free deposits ($0.22 for additional deposits).

The TD Basic Business Plan is a cost-effective and simple way to manage small business transactions. For just $5 a month, you can open a small business bank account that comes with five transactions and five free deposits each month. It has an additional $1.25 fee per transaction if you go over the limit and a $0.22 fee for each additional deposit going over the limit.

This type of account is designed as an everyday business operating account. The TD Basic is perfect for businesses that are just getting started and have few monthly transactions. You'll also be able to use TD's mobile banking app, as it is included in the $5 monthly fee. It's simple to use, so you can keep track of your financials no matter where you go.

#4 Scotiabank Basic Business Account

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$10.95, or
$0 (over $8,000 balance).
Transactions1 free transaction for every $1,500 in the account.

The Scotiabank Basic Business Account is one of Scotiabank's most accessible business banking accounts. Scotiabank is one of Canada's largest banks, it has many local offices and ATMs around the country.

The standard monthly fee is $10.95, but if you have a balance of more than $8,000, the fee is completely waived.

One of the nicest features of the account is that you can hold US and Canadian dollars, which is very useful. It provides one free transaction for every $1,500 in the account – each additional transaction incurs a small fee. 

Scotiabank also provides overdraft insurance and digital banking access, so you can pay bills and make transfers with ease.

#5 BMO Business Start Account

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$6
Transactions7 free transactions.
2/monthly Interac E-transfer.
Unlimited Moneris transactions.

BMO offers various banking services for small businesses with its BMO Small Business Account. It is one of the best bank accounts in Canada, with no minimum monthly balance.

The BMO Business Start Account targets small companies and businesses. The monthly charge is $6, with seven free monthly transactions and no minimum monthly balance required. BMO allows for more transactions than its competitors. Additionally, it gives customers the option of changing their business accounts types without paying additional fees.

#6 CIBC Basic Business Operating Account

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$6
Monthly Deposits$2.25 cash deposit per $1,000 in the account.
$2.50 coin deposit per $100 in the account.
$0.22 fee per cheque deposit.

The Basic Business operating Account is CIBC's entry-level business account. Like its competitors, it has a low monthly fee of $6 and has no minimum monthly balance required.

You can make cash deposits of $2.25 for each $1,000 you have in your account. Coin deposits of $2.50 per $100 in your account. There is a small $0.22 fee per cheque deposit.

The 6 Best High-Volume Business Bank Accounts

#7 CIBC Unlimited Business Operating Account

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$65, or
$0 (over $45,000 daily balance).
TransactionsUnlimited electronic transactions.
Unlimited Interac e-Transfers.
No fees.
Monthly DepositsUp to $15,000 cash deposits.
Up to $1,000 coin deposits.
100 cheques.

The CIBC Unlimited Business Operating Account is Canada's best business bank account for high-volume businesses. 

Unlimited transactions are available, which is a huge benefit for businesses of all sizes. You can apply online for an account.

The $65 monthly fee for unlimited transactions – including electronic and Interac eTransfers – is a bargain compared to the lower-fee business accounts with very limited transaction amounts.

Similar to CIBC's Basic, this account includes a deposit package: $15,000 in cash, $1,000 in coins, and 100 monthly cheque deposits. Customers can get the monthly fee completely waived if they maintain a minimum $45,000 daily balance during the month.

#8 RBC Ultimate Business Account Package 

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$100, or
$0 (over $75,000 daily balance).
TransactionsUnlimited electronic transactions.
Unlimited Interac e-Transfers.
No fees.
Monthly DepositsUp to $25,000 cash deposits.
Unlimited cheque deposits.
Unlimited Moneris deposits.

The RBC Ultimate Business Account Package has a monthly fee of $100, and like the CIBC Unlimited, it can be completely waived if you maintain a daily balance of $75,000 or more.

As part of the business account package, you receive unlimited electronic transactions and Interac eTransfers. It includes a $25,000 cash deposit package, unlimited cheque, and unlimited Moneris deposits.

This account is ideal for businesses that use both paper and electronic methods. There's no need to worry about going over because there are no limits to the number of transactions.

#9 Scotiabank Account Unlimited

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$120, or
$0 (over $75,000 daily balance).
TransactionsUnlimited electronic transactions.
Unlimited Interac-e transfers.
No fees.
Monthly DepositsUp to $25,000 cash deposits.

The Scotiabank Account Unlimited is one of the best business bank accounts, perfect for keeping personal finances separate from business.

The Unlimited plan costs $120 per month, but the monthly fee is waived if you maintain a balance of at least $75,000. The account includes monthly cash deposits of $25,000. Some perks include unlimited electronic transactions Interac e-transfers, and ScotiaConnect Digital Banking.

You can use ScotiaConnect Digital Banking to manage your company activity, pay employees, file business taxes, and receive EFTs.

Scotiabank also provides basic business savings account for small and medium-sized businesses. The basic account comes with credit cards, and funding alternatives. If you're looking to expand and already have a business account, you may receive a better deal.

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#10 TD Unlimited Business Plan

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$125, or
$0 (over $65,000 daily balance).
TransactionsUnlimited electronic transactions.
Unlimited Interac-e transfers.
No fees.
Monthly DepositsUp to $25,000 cash deposits.

The TD Unlimited Business Plan allows businesses to open business banking accounts for $125 per month. It comes with unlimited transactions and deposits. Like most business accounts on this list, the monthly fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $65,000.

The Unlimited Business Plan includes up to $25,000 cash deposits at any branch. There is an additional charge of $2.50 for each $1,000 deposit over that amount.

TD Unlimited accounts received rebates on other services, such as the TD Business Visa Card, the Business Travel Visa Card, and credit and cash management services. The account offers unlimited Interac e-Transfers.

#11 BMO Business Builder 4

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$120, or
$0 (over $80,000 daily balance)
Transactions160 electronic transactions.
Unlimited Moneris transactions.
Monthly Deposits$12,000 cash deposits.

The BMO Business Builder 4 business account has a $120 monthly fee that can be waived for users with a daily balance of over $80,000. This plan provides 160 electronic transactions, and there are no minimum monthly balance requirements. 

The BMO business Builder 4 includes up to $12,000 cash deposits at any branch and unlimited Moneris transactions.

#12 National Bank Business Package 100

InfoDetails
Monthly Fees$77.99
Transactions100 transactions per month.
Monthly DepositsUp to $15,000 cash deposits.
Up to $500 coins deposits.
90 cheques.

The National Bank Business Package 100 is somewhat different than most business accounts on this list. It offers 100 bank transactions per month instead of unlimited and has monthly fees of $77.99. It also allows cash deposits for up to $15,000, coins deposits up to $500 and up to 60 cheque deposits per month.

The 6 Best Online Bank Accounts For Businesses

Online banking is an online payment system that allows customers of a bank or other financial institution to make various financial transactions through the financial institution's website. Compared to traditional banks, some of the benefits included in a digital account package: they provide reduced everyday banking fees and usually come with unlimited free transactions.

There are many online business banking account options. Here are the four best online bank accounts in Canada

#13 Tangerine Bank (our full review)

Since being bought by Scotiabank back in 2012, Tangerine Bank has become one of the best online banks Canada offers by delivering its customer's competitive interest rates and no monthly account fees. Tangerine is a very thorough online bank that offers many bank account types and brings their customer's investment accounts and options with five different portfolios that aim to adapt to the customer's needs. 

The accounts offered by Tangerine are:

  • Tangerine Chequing Account – Interest rate: Up to 0.65%
  • High-Interest Savings Accounts – Interest rate: 2.75% for six months (1.10% regular)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account 
  • RSP Savings Account 
  • US$ Savings Account 
  • RIF Savings Account

Additionally, something pretty neat about Tangerine that stands out from traditional banks – and other financial institutions – is their Sign-Up bonuses. All account holders get 2.75% Interest on your savings account for the first six months when you sign up with them. You can also get a $50 referral bonus for you and a friend if you use their Orange Key. These perks flow and vary depending on the time of the year, but they do offer them often. Just google it beforehand and check if you can find some of these promotions.

#14 EQ Bank (our full review)

EQ Bank is the online version of Equitable Bank, so it launched in 2016 with the backup of Canada's ninth-largest independent Schedule I Bank. Equitable Bank is arguably the best online bank, tied with Tangerine. It has over 900 employees across Canada.

The only account offered by EQ bank is their Savings Plus Account with a high-interest rate of 2.0% that is calculated daily and paid monthly. This account has one of the highest savings rates among online-only banks. 

You can read more about the Best High-Interest Savings Account and the best Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GIC) available in Canada here

Some of the features of this account include:

  • Zero Minimum Balance
  • Zero Monthly Fees
  • Unlimited Free Interac e-Transfers®
  • Unlimited Bill Payments
  • Free Electronic Funds Transfer
  • Free and Unlimited Day-to-Day Transactions
  • 10 Free Linked Accounts
  • Free Mobile Cheque Deposits
  • Mobile Banking App
  • EQ bank savings.

#15 Oaken Financial (our full review)

Oaken Financial is another Canadian online bank that offers a high-interest savings account and GICs to its customers. It was launched in 2013 by Home Trust, giving customers both a long-established tradition of good service along with a fresh perspective on what they need to make the most out of their money. All Oaken deposits are insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

Like EQ Bank, Oaken Financial only offers one account type: The Oaken Savings Accounts that have an interest rate of 2.30% along with some other cool features such as: 

  • Zero monthly fees
  • Free unlimited transactions
  • No minimum balance
  • It helps you build your savings
  • Setting up automatic contributions
  • Establish an emergency fund.

Other products by Oaken Financial are their GICs. These are the options available:

  • Non-registered GICs
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Retirement Savings Plan (RSP)
  • Retirement Income Fund (RIF)
  • Commercial GICs

#16 Motusbank (our full review)

Motusbank was launched in April of 2019, and it's one of Canada's newest digital online-only banks. Launched by the popular Meridian Credit Union has been around for over 75 years. Motusbank is also a federally chartered bank in Canada and a Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) member. It is a completely digital bank with no physical location, and it is available in all provinces except Quebec. These are the accounts offered:

  • High-interest savings accounts – 2.25%
  • RRSP savings accounts – 2.10%
  • TFSA savings accounts – 2.53%
  • No fee-chequing – 0.25%

Other products include:

  • GICs
  • Personal loans
  • A personal line of credit
  • Secured Line of Credit
  • Mortgages

#17 Motive Financial 

Motive Financial is an online-only Canadian bank, a direct bank arm of the Canadian Western Bank founded in 1984 in Edmonton. This bank was launched in 2008 but rebranded in 2017. Currently, it offers one of the highest interest savings accounts in Canada and some of the best TFSA, RRSP, and GIC rates in the country. These are the account and products offered:

  • Chequing Account Motive Cha-Ching Chequing Account 
  • The Motive Savvy Savings Account™
  • Motive Savings
  1. Simplii financial

#18 Simplii Financial (our full review)

Simplii Financial was launched in 2017 as a direct banking brand of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Like other online banks, Simplii Financial comes to the scene offering services that are just a click away while maintaining the good service tradition of its parent company. These are the accounts offered by Simplii Financial:

  • No-fee Chequing Account – Interest rate: 0.05-0.50%
  • High-Interest Simplii Savings Account – Interest rate: 1.05%

Other products include:

  • The Simplii Financial Credit Card
  • Mortgages
  • Investments (TFSA, RRSP, RRIF and RESP or a non-registered investment account)
  • Personal Loans

In Summary

When you're starting your business, it may seem more practical to use your personal bank account rather than opening a dedicated business account. If you do, though, you'll miss out on the distinct benefits of business banking, including simplified accounting, automatic payroll management, and the ability to build business credit.

My pick for the top business bank account in Canada is Wise, the easy-to-use online bank that offers cross-border transfers for up to 8x cheaper than traditional banks. I've had my Wise account for more than 3 years, and after making thousands of transactions across dozens of countries, I can't recommend them enough.

Canadian Business Banking FAQs

How To Choose The Best Business Bank Account For You

We have covered some of Canada's best banks and online banking options. When looking for the best bank for you, these are some of the questions you should be asking:

  • Fees: Are you willing to pay a premium to have your money stored in a bank? On the other hand, a no-fee chequing account might be all you need if you do most of your banking online. If you want to take advantage of additional features or require access to a branch from time to time, it might be worthwhile to keep the minimum balance to avoid paying an account fee at your bank.
  • Availability: Check if the account offers free ATMs at convenient sites. You don't want to save money on the monthly expenses only to pay it in transaction fees later.
  • Insurance Safety: All the banks listed here are active Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) members. Your deposit accounts are fully protected up to $100,000.
  • Interest Rates: What minimum deposit amount is required to open an online savings account with your chosen bank? When you put money in traditional bank savings accounts, do you get paid anything for doing so? You may earn ten times as much on interest alone while waiving most monthly and everyday banking fees on an online bank.
  • Bonuses: A package that includes a free business chequing account, a free business savings account, drafts, safe deposit box rentals, credit card fee rebates, loyalty points, and other perks that may influence your decision.
  • Watch out for misleading promotions: Banks and credit unions frequently run special promotions to attract new clients. While these sign-up bonuses may sound very attractive, they are usually short-lived.

How To Open A Bank Account In Canada

You have the legal right to open a bank account at a bank or a federally regulated credit union in Canada as long as you show valid identification.

To establish an account, you must usually go in-person to a financial institution and provide a valid form of identification.

Some acceptable forms of identification include:

  • Your driver's license.
  • Your Canadian passport.
  • Birth certificate (issued in Canada).
  • Your Social Insurance Number card.

You can usually head to the bank's official web page to read the full list of requirements.

Are Business Bank Accounts Mandatory?

No. However, if your business requires regular merchandise purchases, owns vehicles or other property that needs maintenance regularly, or pays staff, it's considerably more convenient to maintain distinct accounts.

With a business bank account, staff can write cheques or use debit cards using company cash. You certainly don't want your personal bank account given to employees, but it's perfectly safe if you have a separate business account.

How to Open a Business Bank Account in Canada

It's not difficult to open a business account in Canada, but you need some key documents before beginning the process.

  • Sole Proprietorship Document: You'll need a photo ID, a government-issued identifying document to confirm your identity, and any corporate licenses necessary to run your single proprietorship for tax purposes.
  • Partnership Business Document: To verify identity and tax purposes, you'll need your registered trade name, partnership documents, a photo ID, and government-issued papers.
  • Corporations Document: You'll need your articles of incorporation, a business number for tax purposes, any necessary company licenses, identification cards for the signing authorities of the corporation, and certificates of existence and compliance.
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