If you own your own business, a business bank account is essential. By law, non-sole proprietorships need a separate bank account.

While you can use your personal bank account and a personal credit card like a National Bank World Elite Mastercard to get all of those reward points. But that works if you’re running a company solo under your own name. Otherwise, it’s a nightmare to keep your finances straight especially during tax time.

A business bank account can also help your business to build a credit profile making it easier to secure a business credit card. Plus it looks more professional when sending or requesting funds. 

What documents are needed to open a business bank account?

When opening a business bank account, the exact documents that you’ll need vary from institution to institution. You’ll also need different supporting documents based on your business structure.

Regardless of your business type, you’ll almost certainly need the following documents:
1. Proof of your identity such as government ID
2. Proof of your full name and address
3. Your social insurance number

To open a business account for a sole proprietorship, you’ll also generally need:
1. Trade name registration certificate or master business license. You get this when you register a business with your province

To open a business account for a partnership, you’ll also generally need:
1. Registered declaration of partnership
2. Trade name registration certificate or master business license (if applicable)
3. ID for your partner

To open a business account for a corporation, you’ll also generally need:
1. Articles of Incorporation/Association 
2. Name, address, and occupation for anyone that owns at least 25% of your business
3. Trade name registration certificate or master business license (if applicable)
4. Annual financial return or report (may require signature from independent accountant) if company is 12-18 months+ old
5. Canada Revenue Agency registration number

Since exact requirements vary by financial institution, we highly recommend that you check your bank’s list of required documents before trying to set up an account.

The 15 best business bank accounts in Canada

To help you narrow the search, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite bank accounts for Canadian businesses. 

Wealthsimple Save For Business Account

Monthly fee: Free
Additional fees: None
Interest rate: 0.6%

Wealthsimple’s Save for Business account is a no-brainer if you have a smaller business and are looking for a savings account. There’s no minimum balance either, so you won’t have to worry if you suddenly need to spend the cash.

Furthermore, the account is free, Wealthsimple offers impressive features and a reasonable 0.6% interest rate.

You’ll also have next-day withdrawals, making it easy to transfer money around. If your business just has a simple, low-interest chequing account, this could be a good supplement to park any extra cash that you’d like to keep liquid.

RBC Digital Choice Business Account

Monthly fee: $5
Additional fees :

  • Digital debit/credit transactions: free
  • Cheque deposits: free
  • Paper deposits/credit transactions: $2.50/each
  • Cash deposits (per $1,000): $5 in branch, $2.25 at automated teller machine (ATM), $2.25 via Night and Day drop chute
  • Interac e-Transfer: $1.50 each (first 10 free)
  • Paper statement: $3.50 without images, $4.50 with images

If you own a small-midsize business that primarily operates online, RBC’s Digital Choice Bank Account is a good pick. For just $5/month, you can process digital card payments online and submit cheque payments.

Plus, cash deposits are relatively affordable. However, if your business operates primarily in-person or receives most payments via cash, you may want to keep looking at other options.

RBC Flex Choice Business Account

Monthly fee: $6
Additional fees:

  • Cheque and draft deposits: free
  • Electronic deposits: $0.75
  • Interac eTransfer: $1.50
  • Cash deposits per $1,000: $2.50 in branch, $2.25 at ATM, $2.25 via Night and Day drop chute
  • Paper statement: $4 without images, $5 with images

While the RBC Flex Choice Business Account is slightly more expensive than the Digital Choice Business Account. However, it’s well worth it if you’re planning on occasionally depositing cash in-branch since you’ll save $2.50 per deposit.

One interesting perk is that you save 3¢/L on fuel and earn 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada locations when you pay with your linked RBC card.

You also won’t have to worry about transaction limits, so you can go about your business without having to strategically plan payments to fall in the next month’s billing cycle. 

National Bank of Canada Package 20

Monthly fee: $15.99 for 20 transactions and 15 cheques

Additional fees:

  • Assisted in-branch transactions: $2.50
  • Branch services including telephone or advisors: $1.30
  • Around-the-Clock Depository Service Deposit: $1.30
  • Withdrawal or payment by cheque: $1.25
  • Inter-account transfer: $1.30

The National Bank of Canada has six business bank account packages to suit your needs and business size. Each account gets you a free subscription to their Internet Banking Solutions.

If you have an eligible National Bank business credit card, you get overdraft protection for cash advances made on it. That comes with any of the six packages.

The only thing to think about is whether is how many excess transactions you make each month. With the Package 20, you have 20 free debit or credit transactions and 15 cheques. You can also deposit up to $500 in coints and $1,000 in banknotes. If you do a handle more cash depoits or do a lot of transactions, it might pay to pay a higher monthly fee to get more free perks.

TD Basic Business Plan

Monthly fee: $5
Additional fees

  • Transaction fee: $1.25 (first 5 free each month)
  • Deposit fee, which apply after the first 5 transactions, for cheques, money orders, “and all other clearing items”: $0.22
  • Cash deposit fee: $2.50 per $1,000

TD’s Basic Business Plan is a solid option for a side hustle business if you already bank with TD. The account automatically archives all of your cheques for seven years, making it easy to keep records.

Plus, the fees are relatively affordable. That being said, if you’re hoping to grow your business, the restrictive limits may force you to switch accounts down the line.

ICICI Business Chequing Premium

Monthly fee: $5
Additional fees

  • Direct deposit, transfer money to Canadian bank account: free
  • Bill payments, Interac point of sale (POS) transactions, in-branch credit or debit transactions: free
  • Cash deposits: $2 per $1,000
  • ATM fee: $1.50
  • Outgoing wire transfer fee (no currency exchange): $25 if sending up to $20,000, $50 if sending between $20,000.01-50,000, $75 if sending over $50,000
  • Outgoing wire transfer fee (with currency exchange): $10
  • Incoming wire transfer fee: $10

While ICICI doesn’t have the same name recognition that brick-and-mortar banks do, its Business Chequing Premium account is still a solid pick with extremely low fees. The account is available in CAD and USD.

Plus, ICICI is Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) insured, so you won’t have to worry about losing out on your money. All in all, the Business Chequing Premium account is a great pick for most small or midsize businesses that have outgrown completely free options. 

BMO Business Builder 1

Monthly fee: $22.50
Monthly limits:

  • 35 transactions
  • 25 deposits
  • $2,500 in cash deposits
  • Unlimited Moneris transactions

Additional fees (if over monthly limits):

  • Electronic transactions: $0.60
  • In-branch transactions: $1.25
  • Cash deposits (notes and coins): $2.25 per $1,000
  • Cheque or money order deposit: $0.20

If you’d rather pay a flat rate every month for a certain number of transactions (rather than paying for each individual transaction), you may want to look into BMO’s Business Builder accounts. Business Builder 1 comes with 35 transactions per month and allows up to $2,500 in cash deposits, but you can always select a higher tier if the limits feels restrictive. Depending on your business’s financial habits, a flat-rate account ike BMO’s Business Builder plans can be a great way to save money. 

Scotiabank Basic Business Account

Monthly fee: $10.95, waived when balance is over $8,000
Transactions per month: 1 free transaction per $1,500

Additional fees:

  • Branch or ATM deposit: $1.25
  • Cheque deposit: $1.50
  • Bill payment: $1.25
  • Debit purchases: $1.25

Scotiabank’s Basic Business account includes a lot of small fees, but it comes with a major perk, too: charities receive a 50% discount on all fees, while some community groups get 35% off fees. You’ll need to register in-person to qualify for the deal, but depending on the nature of your business, the Basic Business Account may end up being significantly cheaper than expected.

Earn 80,000 welcome bonus Membership Rewards® points
Business Platinum Credit Card | American Express
  • Annual fee: $499
  • Interest rate on purchases: n/a
  • Interest rate on cash advances: n/a
Offer: Earn a welcome bonus of 80,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend $6,000 in purchases within the first three months of Cardmembership. That’s $800 in statement credits that can be reinvested in your business
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Scotiabank Unlimited Account

Monthly fee: $120 (free with balance of $75,000)
Monthly limits

  • Unlimited transactions and deposits
  • $30,000 in cash deposits

Additional fees:

  • Cash deposit: $2.50 per $1,000

If you’re managing lots of incoming payments (especially if you have an online store), Scotiabank’s Unlimited Account might be worth the fee. You’ll have unlimited transactions and deposits, and will only have to worry about a modest surcharge if you deposit over $30k per month. The account also comes with software that helps you manage company finances, paystubs, and taxes, potentially saving money on other expenses.

Motusbank chequing account

Monthly fee: free
Additional fees:

  • ATM fee: $2 in Canada, $3 in USA, $5 in other countries
  • POS transactions: $0
  • Interac eTransfer: $1.25
  • Cheque image with statement: free for e-statement, $1.50 for paper statement

As a sole proprietor, you can open a Motusbank chequing account and exclusively use it for business to keep finances separate. On top of unlimited deposits and withdrawals, you’ll have free unlimited access to Motusbank’s Price Drop program.

As part of the program, you’ll email the bank your receipts and they will scour the net for deals on the items you’ve purchased. That way you can request request cash back! This can be a great way to save on business expenses when starting a new business.

If you like getting cash back, read more about the best cashback credit cards

Manulife Business Savings Account

Monthly fee: Free
Additional fees

  • Deposits and certain transfers: free
  • Bill payment: $1
  • Sending an Interac eTransfer: $1
  • Cheques: $1.50
  • Pre-authorized withdrawal: free

Interest rate: 2.25% (3.25% promotional rate for 6 months, may change in future)

Manulife’s Business Savings Account is another great savings account option to complement your business’s chequing account. The 2.25% interest rate is very impressive, though Manulife’s website does not say how long transfers take.

In a pinch, you may be able to eTransfer the money to yourself, but this would cost $1. Since the account doesn’t have any fees, it’s a great way to earn some extra cash if your business has liquid funds that aren’t immediately needed.

CIBC Unlimited Business Operating Account

Monthly fee: $65/month (waved with $45,000 balance)
Monthly limits

  • $15,000 cash deposit
  • $1,000 coin deposit
  • 100 cheques

Additional fees:

  • Cheque deposit: $0.22
  • Cash deposit per $1,000: $2.25 at CIBC ATM, $2.50 otherwise
  • Coin deposit: $2.50 per $100
  • Deposit error adjustment: $5
  • Assisted transfer between accounts: $5 ($0 for self-service)
  • ATM withdrawal: $2 in Canada, $3 in USA, $5 in other countries. Figures do not include transaction fee, ATM’s surcharge, 2.5% international administration fee
  • Interac eTransfer: $1.50

CIBC’s Unlimited Business Operating Account offers unlimited transactions, a major perk if you own a medium or large business. Plus, the monthly limits are very generous, making this a strong account option. 

TD Unlimited Business Plan

Monthly fee: $125 (free with balance of $65,000)
Monthly limits:

  • Unlimited transactions, including POS transactions and cheque/money order deposits
  • $25,000 in cash deposits

Additional fees:

  • Cash deposit: $2.50 per $1,000

While TD’s Unlimited Business Plan has slightly lower limits than the Scotiabank Unlimited Account, TD will wave merchant service account fees and provide a $149 rebate on the TD Business Aeroplan Visa Business Card or the TD Business Travel Visa Card, which can lead to even more savings. If you’re already sticking with TD and manage a large company, this account is a good contender.

TD Business Savings Account

Monthly fee: Free
Additional fees:

  • Transfers to or from TD Canada Trust account: free
  • Deposit: $1
  • Withdrawal: $5
  • Cash deposit: $2.50 per $1,000
  • Cheque or money order deposit: $0.22

Interest rate: 1.50% to 2%

If your business’s chequing account is at TD, the Business Savings Account may be a good supplement. The interest rate is tiered depending on your balance. Any blanace under $500,000 earns 1.50%! If you have deposits over $2,000,000 you earn 2%.

Tangerine Business Savings

Monthly fee: Free
Additional fees:

  • Deposits, debits, Interac eTransfer: free
  • ATM withdrawal: free at Scotiabank machine, $1.50 at other Canadian machines, $3 internationally
  • Currency conversion fee: 2.5% (plus exchange rate)

Interest rate: 1.00% to 1.50%

Like TD’s Business Savings Account, Tangerine’s Business Savings option provides higher interest rates depending on your account balance. You’ll want to compare the banks’ rates with your expected balance before opening an account.

The takeaway

Business is never one-size-fits-all, and the same can be said of business bank accounts. All of the major brick-and-mortar Canadian banks offer several business bank accounts, each with its own requirements and perks.

You need to pick the plan that best suits your needs. Many online banks also offer business bank accounts, making it tough to choose the right plan.  

Frequently asked questions about business bank accounts in Canada

Still have some questions about business bank accounts? Check out our most frequently asked questions for more help:

What documents are needed to open a business bank account?

When opening a business bank account, the exact documents that you’ll need will vary from institution to institution. You’ll also need different supporting documents based on your business structure.

Regardless of your business type, you’ll almost certainly need the following documents:
1. Proof of your identity (government ID)
2. Proof of your full name and address
3. Your social insurance number

To open a business account for a sole proprietorship, you’ll also generally need:
1. Trade name registration certificate or master business license (if applicable)

To open a business account for a partnership, you’ll also generally need:
1. Registered declaration of partnership
2. Trade name registration certificate or master business license (if applicable)
3. ID for your partner

To open a business account for a corporation, you’ll also generally need:
1. Articles of Incorporation/Association 
2. Name, address, and occupation for anyone that owns at least 25% of your business
3. Trade name registration certificate or master business license (if applicable)
4. Annual financial return or report (may require signature from independent accountant) if company is 12-18 months+ old
5. Canada Revenue Agency registration number

Since exact requirements vary by financial institution, we highly recommend that you check your bank’s list of required documents before trying to set up an account.

Can I use my personal bank account for business?

If you operate a sole proprietorship, you can use your personal bank account for business. However, you’ll find it much harder to track business expenses and file taxes. You’ll likely find yourself staring at spreadsheets for hours while trying to determine who—you or your business—is responsible for each purchase. Unless your business is just starting out or you operate a sole proprietorship with 0 expenses, chances are that it’s much simpler to open a business bank account.

For all other types of businesses, you must open a separate business account.

Which bank has the best business account?

The “best” bank account is the one that offers the most useful features for a reasonable price. Since each business is different, every business owner must find a bank account that fits their needs. While we can’t tell you which bank account is the best match, we can point you in the direction by highlighting various business bank accounts that are particularly impressive.

Can you have 2 business bank accounts?

Yes, you can open as many business bank accounts as you’d like. Some accounts—like those offered by Tangerine—are even intended to function as a supplement to your primary business bank account. However, to keep your finances easily manageable, we’d caution against opening too many bank accounts (especially if you don’t have a specific purpose for each additional account).

How much does a business bank account cost?

There are many different business bank accounts, each with their own fees and payment structures. Some bank accounts have no monthly fees, while the most expensive account on this list costs $125/month (and others may cost even more). Likewise, many accounts have fees when you deposit cash, receive online payments, pay bills, and more. With so many variables, you’ll need to carefully compare your chosen plan’s fee structure against your business’s monthly finances to figure out how much it’ll ultimately cost (though you should also plan for occasional outlier months where you receive more payments than expected or do not meet your account’s minimum balance requirement, resulting in an unexpectedly higher bill).

Can you open a business bank account online in Canada?

Yes, most banks allow you to open a business bank account online. However, this may come with a slight delay depending on how busy the bank is, whereas opening a bank account in person is relatively instant once you gain access to the right employee. Think of the longer delay as the equivalent of waiting in line in-person before an employee can help you. That being said, some brick-and-mortar banks may require you to submit your application in-person.

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