15 Best Business Bank Accounts In Canada (Sep 2022)

Does your small business need a bank account? With all the options out there, it’s easy to feel frustrated and overwhelmed.

How do you know which is the best one for your business?

I did much of the legwork for you and narrowed down the best business bank accounts in Canada based on business volume and online options.

Now, it’s up to you to find the one that best fits your plans and enhances your business growth.

ImageProduct TitleFeaturesPrice
Best Online Option
Wise Business Account
Wise Business Account
  • Low and transparent fees
  • Free invoice and payroll payments
  • 60+ currencies
Sign Up Here
Large Business Choice
RBC Ultimate Business Account
RBC Ultimate Business Account
  • Excellent for large businesses
  • Accepted anywhere Visa is
  • Links to your bank account
Sign Up Here

Best Online Options

If you’re a digital nomad or operate your small business remotely, having an online business bank account can be very helpful. Additionally, online business banking solutions typically come with fewer maintenance fees and less headaches.

The only disadvantage of online business banks is that you can’t walk into a brick-and-mortar location and discuss issues in person.

1. Wise Business Account (Formerly Transferwise)

  • Monthly Fees: No banking fees | Small fees charged when sending and receiving money
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: Unlimited
  • How To Sign Up: Click Here
  • Why it’s a good choice: No monthly fees and cheap conversion rates for foreign currencies. Wise also links up with Quickbooks keeping your books and banking info up to date

If your business does work throughout the world, the Wise Business account can save you money. It offers low-fee transfers, and account holders can receive and hold 55 different currencies – a major plus if you’re a player in the global market.

I’ve been using Wise Business to pay people in five different countries and also to send money overseas to my international bank accounts.

As a digital nomad who works and travels around the world, Wise Business is a must-have for my business operations.

In addition, you can send payments to over 80 countries and connect various currencies to your business debit Mastercard.

Wise has an easy invoicing system that lets you make one-time, recurring or batch payments. Another huge plus is the ability to link up accounting software like Quickbooks and FreeAgent to keep your books continuously up to date.

One downside is if you need cheques, there is no chequing account, but Wise can be used in combination with another business bank account.

Wise is best used if you have any transactions in foreign currencies. The way I use my Wise account is to receive and send money internationally, then convert the money and transfer it to my other business account.

How It Works:

  1. Open a Wise business account online here in minutes.
  2. Add recipients (including any other business or personal accounts) to make money transfers easy.
  3. Start sending and receiving CAD and global transfers.

2. Alterna Business Account

Alterna Banking Logo
  • Monthly Fees: $5 per month | Free with minimum $3,000 balance
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: Unlimited | $2 for $1,000 in-branch deposit
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: Alterna is one of the few online-only banks that offer a business-specific chequing account

Alterna’s Small Business eChequing Account requires no monthly fee as long as you maintain a $3,000 minimum balance. There are unlimited debit and credit transactions as well as unlimited incoming Interac e-Transfers.

You have access to 3,300 ATMs via Canada’s EXCHANGE Network, and deposits are insured up to the max allowed by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

In addition to their chequing account, Alterna also offers small business loans and payment processing.

Customers that already have a business chequing account are more apt to get these additional services through a bank they are already comfortable with.

How It Works:

  1. Check out their website and apply online in only 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once you’re approved, you’ll be mailed a debit card.
  3. Use your Alterna business bank account just like a regular bank account.

3. Tangerine Business Savings Account

Tangerine logo
  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: Unlimited
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: High-interest rate and no fees

Tangerine offers personal savings accounts for businesses. If you’re looking to grow your money, a Tangerine Business Savings Account offers interest rates higher than traditional banks.

The Business Savings Account has no debit or deposit fees, no minimum balances or service charges.

An added bonus is that the online bank also offers a U.S. Dollar Savings Account for customers looking to grow their U.S. funds. A big negative is that it has no chequing account.

That being said, every business account should have a savings account, even if it’s just for emergencies.

This can help your business survive through the slow season, allow you to keep up with payroll, and handle any emergency repairs or unexpected investments that come up.

Most business chequing accounts offer little to no interest on your account balance, which doesn’t make them a good option for saving.

4. Manulife Business Advantage Savings Account

  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: Unlimited
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: Earn high interest on savings, access your funds quickly, and use Manulife’s online banking platform to easily file business taxes online.

Manulife Bank offers a full suite of personal and business banking solutions. The bank’s Business Advantage savings account offers one of the higher interest rates that I’ve seen on savings.

Customers aren’t required to maintain a minimum savings balance to take advantage of the high-interest rate either.

Manulife doesn’t charge any monthly fees, allows customers to make unlimited (and free) deposits and transactions, and allows you to transfer funds to any other Canadian bank account for free.

One of the killer features of this business bank account is that it’s easy to pay your business taxes.

The Manulife online portal has simple links that allow you to easily transfer funds from your savings and pay taxes like:

Like other high-interest savings accounts, I recommend using your Manulife Business Advantage savings account alongside a separate business chequing account for daily expenses.

How It Works:

  1. Sign up for Manulife’s Business Advantage Savings plan here.
  2. Link your business chequing account.
  3. Earn interest on your savings account balance.
  4. Use your Business Advantage account to easily pay taxes.

Best Brick And Mortar Banks For Businesses

Traditional banks can often offer customer service that far outweighs that of an online bank. Small business owners might be more apt to go with a brick-and-mortar bank in case problems arise or simply because a local bank might have more to offer.

Of course, the extra customer service also comes with added service fees and monthly maintenance costs.

As a business owner, though, these fees are typically tax-deductible at the end of the year, which helps to offset their cost.

Either way, after careful consideration, here’s a list of the top traditional banks based on business volume.

Bank Accounts For Low Volume Businesses

Most large banks offer several tiers for business banking, depending on how large your business is and how much cash flow you’re working with.

Lower-volume business bank accounts don’t offer quite as many perks as high-volume business bank accounts. However, the fees are generally lower, which makes them a great place for new business owners to start.

With that in mind, here are some of the best low-volume business bank accounts in Canada.

5. RBC Digital Choice Business Account

RBC logo
  • Monthly Fees: $5 per month
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: $5 fee for $1,000 cash deposits
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: Great for small businesses that have most transactions online

If your business has simple banking needs, most of which you can do online, this account is a good choice. There’s a $5 monthly fee for unlimited electronic debit and credit transactions, as well as no minimum balance requirement.

There are fees charged for non-electronic transactions like:

  • $2.50 for paper debit and credit transactions
  • $5 for every $1,000 deposited at a local branch
  • $2.25 for every $1,000 ATM deposit.

This account also offers unlimited Moneris deposits, meaning you can accept payments however your customer wants to pay you.

How It Works:

  1. Apply online and complete the process by visiting a local branch.
  2. Use your RBC-issued debit card for daily expenses.
  3. Use your RBC Digital Choice account to receive online e-payments.
  4. Deposit cash payments into an RBC ABM or at your local RBC branch office.

6. TD Basic Business Plan

TD Logo
  • Monthly Fees: $5 per month
  • Transactions: 5 free transactions | $1.25 for each additional transaction
  • Monthly Deposits: 5 free deposits | $0.22 for each additional deposit
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: A cost-effective and simple way to manage small business transactions.

For just $5 a month, you can get a business banking account that includes five transactions and five free deposits. After the first five, it costs $1.25 per transaction and $0.22 per deposit.

This type of account is geared towards those just starting out and without tons of monthly transactions.

You’ll also have access to TD’s mobile banking app. It’s easy to use and makes it simple to keep up with your account no matter where you are.

How It Works:

  1. Most businesses can start an application online. If you own multiple businesses, you may need to apply in-branch, though.
  2. You get 5 free deposits and 5 free transactions every month. After this, you’ll be charged an additional $1.25 for transactions (debits) and $0.22 for deposits (e-deposits and cash deposits).

7. Scotiabank Basic Business Account

Scotiabank logo
  • Monthly Fees: $10.95 | No fee with a minimum account balance of $8,000 or more
  • Transactions: 1 free transaction allowed for every increment of $1,500 in your account.
  • Monthly Deposits: Unlimited | $1 – $1.50 per deposit, depending on type
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: It’s one of the largest banks in Canada, meaning lots of local branches and ATMs are scattered throughout the country.

This business account does have a fee ($10.95) unless you have a bank balance of more than $8,000, then the fee is waived. An added perk is that the account is available in both U.S. or Canadian dollars, a convenient feature for sure.

There is one free transaction allowed for every $1,500 in the account. Each additional transaction gets charged on a pay-as-you-use scale.

Scotiabank offers overdraft protection, along with access to digital banking. Submit payments, EFTs, and more.

How It Works:

  1. Open an account online in about 20 minutes or apply in-branch.
  2. Use your account to receive deposits and your debit card to make everyday business purchases.

8. BMO Business Builder 1

BMO
  • Monthly Fees: $22.50
  • Transactions: 35 free transactions per month | Unlimited Moneris transactions
  • Monthly Deposits: $2,500 cash deposits
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: A great value for a moderate-sized business.

If your business is slightly larger than the past three choices, the BMO Business Builder account is a solid way to get some bang for your buck.

The account comes with a $22.50 monthly fee but doesn’t require a minimum balance and allows 35 transactions a month.

As for deposits, the account allows 25 items a month and $2,500 cash. The account comes with access to BMO’s online platform, which provides additional features like advanced cash management services and online payments.

BMO Business Builder allows two free Interac e-Transfer transactions per month, along with unlimited Moneris transactions.

How It Works:

  1. Setup an appointment at a local branch.
  2. Use your account to manage your mid-sized business, view statements, and make purchases.

9. CIBC Everyday Business Operating Account

CIBC Logo
  • Monthly Fees: $20 self-service access | $25 full-service access | No fees with a minimum account balance of $15,000 or more.
  • Transactions: 30 transactions per month
  • Monthly Deposits: $3,000 cash | $300 coins | 25 cheques per month
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: Good account with relatively low monthly fees for small or growing business start-ups that don’t work with large amounts of cash.

CIBC’s Everyday Business Operating Account is designed for small businesses that don’t need to make more than the account’s limit of 30 transactions per month. Additional transactions will initiate a $1 fee (self-service) or $1.25 (full-service).

As the monthly deposit limit is fairly low, I don’t recommend this account for retail businesses that deal with large amounts of cash.

However, it’s great for small businesses that operate primarily online or are willing to take cheques as a form of payment.

Monthly fees are just $20 for self-service access (using online banking, ABMs) or $25 for full-service banking (working with bank tellers in person).

How It Works:

  1. Apply for the CIBC Everyday Business Operation Account here.
  2. Once approved, use your account for everyday operating expenses, deposits, and chequing.

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Bank Accounts For High-Volume Businesses

Many businesses need a bank account that can handle more volume than just a few transactions.

However, those high-volume transactions are going to cost you. Here are examples of bank accounts for bigger businesses.

10. RBC Ultimate Business Account

RBC logo
  • Monthly Fees: $100 per month | No fees with a minimum balance of $75,000 or more
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: Up to $25,000 | Unlimited Moneris deposits | Unlimited cheque deposits
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: Great for large businesses with lots of transactions.

This all-inclusive package features unlimited electronic debit and credits, as well as unlimited outgoing Interac eTransfer transactions.

There are also 25,000 in cash deposits and 100 paper transactions allowed each month. All of this comes with a fee of $100 per month.

While there is no required minimum balance, the monthly fee is waived when you keep a $75,000 minimum daily balance.

This account is the perfect hybrid solution for businesses that use both paper and electronic means. With unlimited transactions, there’s no need to worry about watching limits and going over.

How It Works:

  1. Sign up online and receive your bank account number in minutes.
  2. Use your RBC Ultimate Business Account to process unlimited transactions and deposit up to $25,000 of cash in per month.

11. CIBC Unlimited Business Operating Account

CIBC Logo
  • Monthly Fees: $65 | No fees with a minimum balance of $45,000 or more
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: Up to $15,000 cash deposits | $1,000 coins | 100 cheques
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: Offers unlimited transactions – a huge deal for larger businesses.

With unlimited transactions, including Interac eTransfers, the $65 monthly fee seems like a bargain compared to the lower-priced business accounts and their small transaction limits.

The deposit package for this account includes $15,000 in cash, $1,000 in coins, and 100 cheques.

Customers can get the monthly fee waived if they keep a minimum daily balance of $45,000.

How It Works:

  1.  Apply online and take an application and principal owners of the business to a local branch to complete the process.
  2. Use your bank to deposit up to $15,000 cash, $1,000 coins, and 100 cheques per month.
  3. Enjoy unlimited transactions for $65 per month or fee-free with a balance of at least $45,000.

12. TD Unlimited Business Plan

TD Logo
  • Monthly Fees: $125 | No fees with a minimum balance of $65,000 or more
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: Up to $25,000 cash deposits
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: Unlimited transactions. Plus, setup fees are waived up to $500 for any Small Business Banking term loans.

For $125 per month, businesses can get an account with unlimited transactions and deposits. If you keep a monthly minimum balance of $65,000, you can get a rebate on the monthly fee.

Included in the monthly fee are cash deposits of $25,000. Anything over that comes with an additional charge of $2.50 per $1,000 deposit.

Opening a TD Unlimited account qualifies you for rebates on other services, like the TD Business Visa Card, the Business Travel Visa Card, and credit and cash management services.

The account offers free Interac e-Transfer transactions, and the monthly fee is waived for TD Merchant services.

How It Works:

  1. Start online, but some businesses need to complete the application process in one of the branches.
  2. Once your account is approved, you’ll be able to take advantage of unlimited monthly transactions and deposit up to $25,000 in cash.
  3. Use your account for everyday business expenses, transactions, and more.

13. Scotiabank Account Unlimited

Scotiabank logo
  • Monthly Fees: $120 | No fees with a minimum account balance of $75,000
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Deposits: Up to $30,000 cash
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: Like the other accounts, this one features unlimited transactions as well as other perks like ScotiaConnect Digital Banking.

The Unlimited plan has a monthly fee of $120 but is waived with a minimum balance of $75,000. In addition to unlimited transactions and deposits, the account features cash deposits of $30,000 per month.

With ScotiaConnect Digital Banking, a complementary service, you can manage your business activity, pay employees, file business taxes and receive EFTs.

Scotiabank also offers credit cards and financing options for businesses. If you already have a business account opened, you might find a better rate when you’re looking to expand your growing business.

How It Works:

  1. Apply online in only 20 minutes or visit a Scotiabank branch and speak to a banker in person.
  2. Once you’re approved, use your account to process unlimited transactions and deposit up to $30,000 in cash every month.

14. BMO Business Builder 4

BMO
  • Monthly Fees: $120 | No fees with a minimum account balance of $80,000 or more
  • Transactions: 160 transactions per month | Unlimited Moneris transactions
  • Monthly Deposits: Up to $12,000
  • How To Sign Up: Link
  • Why it’s a good choice: BMO Business Builder 4 offers the highest number of monthly transactions and deposits, compared to BMO’s lower tiers.

The BMO Business Builder 4 account allows you to make up to 160 transactions per month, which is enough for most mid to large-sized businesses.

However, this could be a problem if your business primarily operates online and does large volumes of transactions.

You’re allowed to deposit up to $12,000 worth of cash and 90 items per month, which makes the Business Builder 4 account best for businesses that don’t work with large amounts of cash.

How It Works:

  1. Book an appointment with BMO to begin your application for the BMO Business Builder 4 account.
  2. To avoid additional fees, stay below the $12,000 monthly cash deposit and 160 transaction limits.

15. National Bank Business Account Package 50

Monthly Fees: $39.99
Transactions: 50 transactions per month
Monthly Deposits: Up to $5,000 in bank notes and $500 in coins.
Why it’s a good choice: It’s an affordable choice for a more mid to high-volume business.

Requirements To Open A Business Account In Canada

Opening a business account doesn’t take much time and effort. Most banks let you fill out an application online. Other times, depending on your business setup, you might have to visit a local branch to complete the process.

Either way, there are certain documents you need to keep handy whether you’re applying online or in person.

Usual Documents Needed During The Application Process

Most applications, either for online or brick-and-mortar banks, will ask for the following information:

  • Personal info – Name, address, birthdate, phone number, and email.
  • Business info – The business name, address, how long it’s been in operation, its business registration number, basic financial information, and a brief summary about it.

As the person opening the account, you need two forms of identification, at least one of which is a photo ID. Proof of residence might be required as well, so try and bring some type of bill with the business address on it.

Additional documents are necessary, depending on your business type.

Sole Proprietorship

  • Bring two forms of identification and any business licenses required.

Partnerships

  • Legal paperwork for your partnership
  • Photo ID and government paperwork for identity verification
  • The registered trade name paperwork

Corporations

  • Articles of incorporation
  • The business number for tax purposes
  • Any business licenses needed
  • Two forms of identification
  • Certificates of Existence and Compliance

Do You Need To Use A Business Bank Account In Canada?

Technically speaking, most businesses don’t need to use a business bank account. Unless your business is incorporated, sole proprietorships aren’t required to have a separate business bank account.

Just because you aren’t legally required to have a separate business bank account, though, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.

Personally, I recommend that all businesses open and maintain a business bank account, even if you’re just running a small operation. There are several reasons why opening a business bank account is beneficial, including:

  1. Taxes: When you and your accountant are filing taxes at the end of the year, going through your personal bank account and trying to separate personal expenses from business expenses is a nightmare. Keeping a separate account for your business makes accounting a breeze (or, at least, easier).
  2. Payroll Solutions: While personal bank accounts allow you to transfer money to others, they don’t offer payroll solutions. Many business chequing accounts provide direct deposit and payroll solutions for business owners to pay their employees and subcontractors.
  3. Business Records: If you ever want to apply for a business loan, sell your company, or add a partner to your company, you’ll need to have detailed business records that show your revenue, expenses, and cash flow. Keeping a separate business bank account makes mutual trust a lot easier.
  4. Business Credit Cards: Once you have an established business bank account and business credit history, the business banking organization that you’re enrolled with may offer business credit cards that can help you earn cashback on everyday business expenses.
  5. Incorporation: Incorporating your business can help you take advantage of special tax breaks and reduces your personal liability to your business. To incorporate your company, though, your business must have its own separate bank account.

Is It A Good Idea To Use A Personal Bank Account For Business?

While you technically can use a personal bank account to conduct business, most professionals don’t recommend it.

Having a separate business bank account will make it easier to separate your personal life from your business life and will make your accounting and taxes so much easier.

Pros and Cons Of Business Bank Accounts

Pros
  • Helps you keep up with your business accounting.
  • Makes CRA audits easier
  • Payroll solutions are often available with business bank accounts.
  • Helps you separate your personal and business expenses.
  • Incorporated businesses are required to maintain a separate business bank account.
  • If you want to sell your business one day, the buyer will want to see bank statements.
Cons
  • Business bank accounts generally come with extra fees.
  • There are often limits on monthly transactions.
  • Business bank accounts typically don’t earn much interest.

While there are pros and cons to business accounts, the pros tend to outweigh the cons in most situations.

Final Thoughts

Best Business Bank Accounts In Canada

With 90% of the banking market controlled by five banks, Canada has a very centralized and stable banking industry, which is why many businesses are eager to open accounts there.

There are plenty of banking options available to your business, but the devil is in the details. It’s important to skim all the features and figure out how they can fit into your business.

You don’t want to pay high monthly fees if you don’t have many transactions – there are lots of other options available to save you money and keep your business on track.

The bottom line is to make sure you do your homework and know what each bank offers.

From there, it’s just a simple process of nixing the ones that don’t fit your business. If you’re looking for other banking options, check out these top online banks.

Photo of author
Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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10 thoughts on “15 Best Business Bank Accounts In Canada (Sep 2022)”

  1. My very small (but incorporated) business is basically on hiatus these days. The only banking activity in fact is the monthly $5 fee that Meridian charges to maintain the account. While it’s a tiny amount of money, why waste even $60 a year unnecessarily? So I am looking for a free business banking option. Here are my observations on your suggestions.

    WISE. while I agree it is excellent for FX and overseas payments (I have used WISE for years for my european travel business), I don’t believe WISE is an actual bank a la Canadian banking system. so it’s a good tool but not a bank.

    Tangerine. Looking at their “Products” I only see a Business Savings account, not a chequing account. that doesn’t make business banking very practical.

    Motusbank. does not have actual business banking for corporations.

    Alterna – that actually seems to work. $5 per month waived if a balance of $3000 is maintained.

    though one that you missed that I am looking at is FirstOntario Credit Union. which appears to have a Free-Free business account (though I am still in the process of setting up my account and so cannot report on how practical it is

    Reply
  2. Hi Chris – Very informative article! Do you happen to know if I can pay myself in USD from my incorporation as a salary to my personal USD account? Especially if the personal USD account is at a different bank?

    Reply
    • Currency stuff does get a bit complicated to track, I don’t see any problem with that, but I would highly recommend getting software like Quickbooks and tying it to your bank accounts, as it tracks multi-currency and you can get a CAD amount to show your accountant at the end of the yeara.

      Reply
  3. Wise looks like a great option, I am just wondering what on earth would I do if someone pays me with a cheque? I know it is unlikely but if they make it out to my company I won’t be able to deposit it

    Reply
    • You’re right, Wise is not able to deposit cheques. I use my RBC business account to deposit cheques, and if I need it in my Wise to pay vendors I’ll transfer it there. But if you have lots of cheques it is not ideal.

      Reply
      • Thanks Chris for the clarification, I think I will set up with a tangerine accout and then get a wise account if I need to do international.

        Reply
  4. I wasted an hour setting up a Motus acct and was later told by them you cannot do this online but must visit a branch to setup a BUSINESS account!

    Reply
    • Hey Mark sorry to hear that, I will look into this, there is a way you can use the online bank if you only have a sole prop, but a strict business account might be a bit tougher. They don’t have branches at motusbank, so not really sure how you can visit one.

      Reply

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