Are you trying to grow a side hustle into a small business? Or perhaps you’re finally starting to see some passive income from online book royalties or from your online courses.
Whether you’re just getting started with a side hustle, or you’re already earning decent income, one of the most important steps you can take as an entrepreneur is to separate your business and personal income.
Using a business checking account for depositing your business income and making your business expenses can help you take your business to the next level. But what bank should you use for your small business checking account?
One company to consider is Novo. Novo is a fintech company that is making it easier for small business owners to open checking accounts. See how they compare to the other top small business checking accounts.
Here’s what you need to know about the company in our Novo Bank review.
- No-fee digital checking platform for business owners
- Mobile friendly, online check deposit, and more
- Integrations with top small business providers
Novo Business Checking
Min Opening Deposit
Min Balance Requirement
What Is Novo?
Novo isn’t a bank. It is a tech company that’s working to bring small business banking into the digital era. Its goal is to create a compelling banking experience by allowing small business owners to quickly open accounts and to use their banking data for bookkeeping and reporting.
Right now, Novo only offers online business checking accounts. Its accounts are offered through the company’s financial partner Middlesex Federal Savings.
What Makes a Checking Account from Novo Special?
For someone with no experience with business checking accounts, a business checking probably seems plain vanilla. However, opening a business banking account can be a frustrating experience. Additionally, business banking accounts often carry hefty monthly fees.
Novo’s business checking account differentiates itself on several points:
- The account is easy to open. You can open your business account as a sole proprietorship if you haven’t filed documentation for an LLC (or another corporate structure) in your state. The documents you need to upload are quickly identified.
- There are no ongoing fees. You won’t pay for debit cards, a monthly fee, a statement fee, or any other ongoing fee. You may have to pay a $27 fee for non-sufficient funds (if you overdraft) or a $27 fee for a returned item. However, these costs are reasonable compared with the high cost of other business checking accounts.
- Invoicing: Novo users can create, send, and manage invoices right in their checking account. Users that connect with Stripe will be able to accept credit and debit card payments directly from their customers via invoices. Support for integrations with Square and Paypal are coming soon.
- Reserves: You can section off funds within your account to budget for an expense or pay themselves. This is great for tax planning and is similar to Lili.
Novo also allows you to export your statements, so you can easily upload a spreadsheet to QuickBooks or other bookkeeping software.
These features really make Novo a solid online business bank, especially if you follow business budgeting systems like Profit First.
How Does Novo Compare?
While Novo was one of the first fee-free business accounts to focus on online businesses, it's not the only one today. In fact, the competition for best business checking account is heating up all the time.
Here is how Novo compares to some of the other top accounts:
Should I Open My Business Checking Account at Novo?
Opening up a small business checking account at a local bank shouldn’t be expensive or difficult. But for whatever reason, it is.
Few brick-and-mortar institutions offer free business checking accounts. And those that do require you to stand in line, bring a bunch of documentation, and fill out paperwork to officially open the account. For entrepreneurs who only earn a few hundred dollars in profit each month, the normal rigmarole is excessive.
Novo clearly eases the process. Since Novo’s accounts have no monthly fees, the business checking account seems like a good idea, especially for side hustlers and entrepreneurs who don’t have a business checking account yet.
That said, I have one word of caution about opening a Novo checking account. Novo is not an established business. If it folds, or if it gets acquired, you may have some headache figuring out how to use a new banking system.
It is really annoying to deal with bank closures when you have your account at the institution. Consider that as a possible risk before you move forward with Novo.
Fees and Charges
Products and Services
Ease of Use
Tools and Resources
Novo is an online business bank that offers free business checking.
- Fee-Free Business Checking (which is rare)
- Easy to use online and app-based mobile banking
- Free ACH Transfers
- No ability for cash deposits
- No checkbooks
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.