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The best business bank accounts for Australian businesses

Joe Romeo
6 mins
Finance
In this article

Choosing the right business bank account can have a big impact on how you manage your finances. So it’s important to choose the right one from the start.

So let’s look at what a business bank account actually is, how it benefits you as a business owner, and what to look out for when choosing the best business bank account for your current financial situation.

What is a business bank account?

A business bank account is a type of bank account that can be opened in the name of an entity. While some people operate their personal and business affairs from the same account, this can get complex as your business grows, hence why specialised business bank accounts exist. They’re designed to provide business owners with the support and tools they need to manage their business.

Businesses registered as a company, partnership, or trust in Australia are required to open a business bank account in order to meet their tax obligations, so they’re also a legal requirement in some circumstances.

Business bank accounts versus personal bank accounts

There are some key differences between personal and business bank accounts that differentiate the two.

Where personal bank accounts are typically no- or low-fee, business bank accounts will likely have fees attached. It’s typically only around $10 a month, but it’s there to cover the extra services they provide.

And speaking of services, when compared against personal bank accounts, business bank accounts provide an expanded service offering. You’ll likely find specialised merchant services, business loan and overdraft facilities, term deposit functions, invoicing tools, and increased reporting and accounting features. Some even have connected foreign currency accounts to enable international banking.

Due to the nature of the account, business bank accounts have higher daily spend limits, too. You’re not just paying for your groceries or paying off your credit card—you’re paying vendors and clients.

The benefits of a good business bank account

It’s not hard to see the benefits of a bank account for small businesses.

  • They’re made specifically for businesses, so they have more functionality built into their service.

  • They’re safer. A business bank account clearly separates your personal finances from your business finances, adding that extra layer of security between personal and professional dealings.

  • It’s easier to track your business dealings. With a business bank account, it’s all there in one place, so can easily see your incoming and outgoings.

  • You spend less time on admin. A separate business bank account keeps all your business financials in one place. You don’t have to rummage through your e-receipts to separate tax from personal payments.

  • It prepares you for the future. A business bank account makes it easier to manage scaling your business. 

How to evaluate the best business bank account for your needs

Here are some key things to think about when comparing your choices, to help you find the best business bank account for your small business. It’s not exhaustive, but it can help make the process easier.

  • Account fees. Have a look at the account fees and see if they match the service level offering. And keep in mind that some business bank accounts have a fee-free option.

  • International fees. As a growing business you might be doing business with international entities, so it’s important to find a bank that offers competitive rates to send and receive money internationally.

  • A strong branch network. Some international banks don’t have any branches in Australia, so if you need to deal directly with that bank, make sure they have a partner bank in Australia that you can visit.

  • Does it have an online platform or portal? A comprehensive online business banking portal will make it much easier to manage your finances.

  • Overdraft facility. You won’t always need overdraft facilities, but it’s comforting to know it’s there when you do.

  • Account limits. Some business bank accounts limit the number of people able to use the account, so check this first.

  • Staff-assisted transactions. Check for staff-assisted transaction fees. If you regularly receive cash payments, find a bank that doesn’t charge for in-branch staff-assisted deposits.

Airwallex Business Account

We’ve included the Airwallex Business Account as a comparison, so you can see what a better alternative looks like.

Fees

  • None. Airwallex doesn’t charge any monthly account fees, international fees, withdrawal fees, telephone enquiry fees—nothing. Just pay a small FX margin whenever you convert funds into different currencies, which is either 0.3% or 0.6%.

Features and benefits

  • Create multi-currency business accounts. Create individual foreign currency accounts for 11+ currencies so you can send, hold, and receive international currencies, and avoid double conversions.

  • Global FX & International Payments. Transfer funds to 130 countries, in over 30 different currencies with no minimum transfer fees.

  • Access virtual debit cards. Create multiple virtual debit cards in seconds, and start using them immediately.

  • Xero integration. Your Airwallex Business Account syncs seamlessly with Xero, so you can keep all your financial information up to date, making reconciliation a breeze.

  • Low FX rates. We only ever charge 0.3% or 0.6% above the interbank FX rate, so you always get the best rate possible—up to 90% better than what the Big 4 can offer.

  • Get started right away. As soon as your account is verified, you can use it right away. No waiting around for authorisation.

A snapshot of the Big Four Banks’ best business bank accounts

With that tongue-twister out of the way, let’s look at the key features for each of the Big Four Banks’ business bank account offerings.

ANZ Bank Business Transaction Account

Fees

  • $22 monthly service fee

  • 3% international transaction fee

  • $0.80 fee for staff-assisted transactions, merchant deposits, and cheque transactions

  • $5 international ATM fee

Features and benefits

  • Syncs with accounting platforms like Xero and MYOB

  • Syncs with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

  • Access to an ANZ Business Visa Debit Card

  • Overdraft facility available

  • ANZ Falcon security protection

Limitations

  • There are only 50 free transactions included with the fee.

  • High international transaction fees

  • No option for local international payments (SWIFT only)

Commonwealth Bank Business Transaction Account

Fees

  • Switchable $0 - $10 monthly account fee option

  • $3 per assisted transaction

  • $15 overdraw fee

  • $5 + 3% international ATM fee

  • 3% international transaction fee

Features and benefits

  • No minimum account balance

  • Comes linked with a Visa Debit Card

  • Syncs with accounting platforms like Xero and MYOB

  • Syncs with Apple Pay, Google Pay

  • Real-time banking alerts

  • No transaction limits

Limitations

  • High international transaction fees

  • No option for local international payments (SWIFT only)

  • Only one business debit card per account

NAB Business Everyday Bank Account

Fees

  • $10 account fee

Features and benefits

  • Linked NAB Business Visa Debit Card available

  • Free assisted transactions

  • No ATM fees

Limitations

  • This option has fewer features than other business bank accounts.

  • High international transaction fees

  • No option for local international payments (SWIFT only)

Westpac Business One Low Plan

Fees

  • $10 monthly account fee

  • $1 for in-branch deposits or withdrawals

  • $0.25 - $0.25 telephone banking enquiry

  • $5 + foreign surcharge for foreign ATMs

  • 3% international transaction fee

  • $15 overdraw fee

Features and benefits

  • Unlimited electronic transactions

  • 25 assisted transactions

  • Complimentary online invoicing tool

  • Business Mastercard included

  • Syncs with accounting platforms like Xero and MYOB

Limitations

  • There are a few more fees associated with this account—the charges for telephone banking enquiries is an unusual one.

  • High international transaction fees

  • No option for local international payments (SWIFT only)

Discover the no-limit account made for Australian businesses

Airwallex Business Accounts are made to provide the best business account experience to Australian small businesses, without any of the limitations of the big banks. Open, operate, and send and receive foreign currencies transaction fee-free. Manage your business financials from one central hub. And never pay any bank teller or phone enquiry fees ever.

Get in touch with us today to book a demo and see how an Airwallex Business Account can help you grow.

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Joe Romeo
Senior Digital Marketing Manager

Joe Romeo is responsible for scaling our Airwallex's product adoption in Australia and the world. An all-round growth enthusiast, Joe's speciality lies in SEO, organic acquisition and making lasagna.

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