BMO Harris Simple Business Checking Account 2023 Review
Maintaining a business checking account can help you see how your business is financially performing because it allows you to keep your personal and business finances separate.
Separating finances can also help protect your personal assets if your business is structured properly.
Finding the best business checking account takes time and significant effort due to the seemingly endless number of options available.
To help, we’ve reviewed the BMO Harris Simple Business Checking Account so you can quickly figure out if it’s a good fit for your company.
$10 Monthly Maintenance Fee
The BMO Harris Simple Business Checking Account charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee, which is typical of business checking accounts.
This fee can be waived if you maintain an average collected balance of $500 or more for the statement period. The waiver is relatively easy to achieve compared to some requirements of other business checking accounts.
100 Free Monthly Transactions
This account gives you 100 free transactions every statement period. Each additional transaction beyond this limit results in a $0.40 fee.
Transactions are defined as:
- Non-ATM deposits
- Checks deposited
- Checks paid
- ACH credits
- ACH debits
$2,000 In Free Monthly Cash Deposits
You can deposit up to $2,000 of cash each statement period without incurring any fees. Every additional $100 of cash you deposit results in a $0.25 fee.
Other Account Fees to Consider
Business bank accounts often have other fees associated with the account. Here are some of the significant fees BMO Harris charges for their Simple Business Checking Account.
Other Account Fees - BMO Harris Simple Business Checking
|Out-of-network ATM Fee||$3 per transaction|
|Paper statements||$3 per statement|
|Check images with a paper statement||$3 per statement|
|Domestic and international incoming wire transfer||$15|
|Domestic outgoing wire transfer||$30|
|International outgoing wire transfer||$50|
|Coin and currency orders exceeding 4 per statement period||$4 per excess order|
|Strap of currency||$0.70|
|Box of coin||$6|
|Account closing fee (within 90 days of opening)||$50|
|Debit card replacement||$5|
Other Features of the BMO Harris Simple Business Checking Account
BMO Harris’s business checking accounts have standard features you’d expect from this type of account. You get access to BMO Bill Connect to simplify your billing process.
The bank has both online banking and mobile app banking experiences. These allow you to quickly transfer money. Remote check deposit through the app is also an option.
The company’s software allows you to manage all of your accounts in one place. You can also create budgets, including expense tracking features.
The bank offers Zelle access for business-to-business or business-to-person payments as long as the receiving entity has Zelle.
Comparison to Other BMO Harris Business Checking Accounts
BMO Harris has three other business checking accounts that may work for your business if the Simple Business Checking Account isn’t a good fit.
BMO Digital Business Checking Account
The BMO Digital Business Checking Account focuses on businesses that don’t need many in-branch services. You get unlimited free ACH transactions and incoming wire transfers with this account, but your free monthly cash deposits are limited to $1,000.
You do have to pay a $10 monthly maintenance fee unless you have an average collected balance of $500 or more for the statement period.
BMO Premium Business Checking Account
BMO Harris’s Premium Business Checking Account offers 200 free monthly transactions and $5,000 per month of fee-free cash deposits. This account has a higher $15 monthly maintenance fee unless you maintain an average collected balance of at least $1,500.
BMO Elite Business Checking Account
Even larger businesses may prefer The BMO Elite Business Checking Account. It comes with 500 free monthly transactions and up to $20,000 in fee-free cash deposits. The monthly maintenance fee is $25.
The monthly maintenance fee can be waived with:
- An average collected balance of $10,000 or more for the previous month
- Monthly combined business balance of $25,000 or more for the previous month
This account allows your deposits to earn a negligible amount of interest.
How to Open a BMO Harris Simple Business Checking Account
BMO Harris allows you to open a Simple Business Checking Account in person or, in some instances, online.
You may qualify to apply online if you’re a C corporation, S corporation, sole proprietor, or limited liability corporation (LLC). Partnerships and non-profits likely need to visit a branch to open an account.
When you’re ready to open an account, you’ll need to provide certain information. This varies by entity type. In general, you’ll need the following types of information.
- Social Security number or employer identification number (both in some cases)
- Articles of incorporation, organization, or other similar formation documents
- Partnership agreement
- Doing business as certificate
- Letter of authorization
Additionally, business owners, key executives, and partners need to provide the following:
- Two forms of identification (one must be government issued)
- Taxpayer identification number (SSN or EIN)
- Personal information
- Physical address
- Date of birth
To complete the process, you may have to take a picture of your photo identification card and take a selfie to prove your identity. This may help you avoid a branch visit to finalize your account.
Identifying the Best Business Checking Account
Banks often offer several account types to meet the needs of different types of businesses. Finding the perfect business checking account for your company is often put off because business owners get paralyzed by the many options they have. To help you identify your ideal account, you need to focus on your business’s needs before looking at accounts. Then, you can eliminate accounts that don’t meet your requirements.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list, understanding key business fee areas can help further narrow the field of options.
You’ll want to know the following metrics for your business:
- Average monthly transactions
- Average monthly cash deposited
- Amount you can keep as a minimum balance to avoid maintenance fees
Your business likely wants to consider both fee and non-fee factors when choosing an account. Here are some common concepts to help you make your decision.
Monthly maintenance fees
Business checking accounts normally charge a monthly maintenance fee. The fee amount varies based on the services offered and the bank the account is at.
Minimum balance requirements
If you meet a bank’s minimum balance requirements, they may be willing to waive a monthly maintenance fee.
The exact method of determining the minimum balance and the amount is likely different at each bank. Understanding the calculations can help you avoid surprise fees.
Transaction limits and excess transaction fees
Monthly free transaction limits are standard on most accounts. After you exceed the limit, you start paying a fee for every extra transaction you make.
Cash deposit limits and excess cash deposit fees
Free cash deposits often are limited, too. Once you exceed the monthly cash deposit limit, most banks start charging a fee for every extra $100 of cash you deposit in your account.
Wire transfer costs by type
Companies that use wire transfers should understand which types of wire transfers they make. Banks often charge different wire transfer fees for each type. You can estimate your costs by multiplying the fee cost for each type by your estimated number of wires of each type.
Physical bank locations and hours
Banks with convenient locations and hours can help you avoid special trips to the bank. This can save you or your employees time.
Understanding a bank's ATM network can help you avoid ATM fees. That said, you should know what ATM fees you’ll have to pay if you use out-of-network ATMs often.
Convenience features help save you time and sometimes save you money, too. Look for features that can help you avoid branch visits or other tedious tasks, such as scheduling automatic transfers or mobile check deposit.
Payment processing solutions
You need a payment processor to accept debit and credit card transactions. Banks often offer this service at a fee and let you directly deposit the funds in your bank account. These fees add up with every transaction, so finding a decent fee structure is key.
Software integration options
Software integration can help reduce manual entry errors. A bank that offers this service can help save time and money by avoiding mistakes. The most common integration companies look for is with accounting software.
Other banking products may provide more cost savings if you optimize them rather than a checking account. Businesses that plan to take out large loans may be better served looking for the lowest loan rate.
If you want to keep all of your banking at one institution, you’ll have to run the numbers to see which offers the most savings.
The BMO Harris Simple Business Checking Account may fit smaller businesses well.
As long as your business doesn’t regularly exceed 100 monthly transactions and $2,000 in monthly cash deposits, you should be able to avoid excess transaction and cash deposit fees.
Most companies should be able to easily waive the maintenance fee by maintaining an average collected balance of at least $500.
Businesses that exceed these limits may want to look into BMO Harris’s higher-level business banking accounts.