I love bank promotions in Canada, however, business bank accounts are a whole different ball game. Business bank accounts tend to be more costly and there are less opportunities to hold a minimum balance in order to waive the fees. I thought it would be interesting to look at some business bank account promotions in Canada. Here are some of the latest business account promotions in Canada.
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Business Vs Personal Account?
First order of business (pun intended) is to decide whether or not you should go for a business or a separate personal account.
If you have a small business that is almost a side hustle with minimal transactions, you don’t need a separate business account per se, but it would be easier and more straightforward come tax time (so you won’t have to fine tooth comb through all your transactions to find the transactions relevant for your business).
As mentioned, if you have a very small sole proprietorship, you could even use a personal bank account but just keep track of the transactions for the purposes of tax time.
Documentation Needed for Business vs Personal Bank Account
With a business account, you’ll need much more documentation to open a business bank account (as a sole proprietorship, for example), including:
- Government issued ID
- Name (trade name) of your business
- Business license if applicable
If you recently created a corporation you will have to open up a business account and you will need even more documentation, such as:
- Complete Articles of Incorporation
- Letters Patent/Company Charter
- Articles of Amalgamation
- Corporate Profile Report
- Articles of Amendment
Can You Use a Personal Bank Account for Business Expenses?
Would you be able to use a personal bank account for business expenses?
What are some common business expenses anyway?
Well some common business expenses, or tax deductions if you are a content creator or online influencer, include:
- Domain name
- Web hosting or WordPress Hosting
- Blog templates or blog design fees
- Online tools and subscriptions
- Email marketing for email subscriber acquisition (like ConvertKit or Mailchimp)
- Apps used to run your business
- Payment for freelancing writer services or services rendered to help with your WordPress
As you can see, having a separate bank account can keep things more organized come tax time, it can help you keep your paper trail clear in the event of an audit, which both equal less headache for you are a small business owner.
If you have a Canadian corporation you should get a business bank account, if you have a sole proprietorship, you could stick to a personal bank account if you so wish.
Business bank accounts typically have monthly fees (so do personal bank accounts but there are many that have no monthly fee).
These fees charged are considered expenses for your business.
Bank charges to manage your business, such as those for processing payments (for example if you have to pay Paypal fees when you get paid via Paypal, you can include those fees) can be deducted as expenses.
If you have a business bank account (or personal bank account if you are a sole proprietor and pay bank fees) you can deduct these bank fees.
Some personal online only bank accounts include:
Business Account Promotions in Canada
If you do decide to go the business bank account route, although not very common and quite limited, there are some business account promotions in Canada (or at least free accounts).
Here are a few of these account promotions.
BMO eBusiness Plan
Although the actual bank account plan isn’t a business bank account promotion per se, the BMO eBusiness Plan provides unlimited electronic transactions for $0 monthly fee.
There is also no minimum balance.
If you do everything online (like pay your business credit card online, Interac e-Transfer to pay employees or contractors, and you keep track of your bills online, the BMO eBusiness plan may be right for your needs if your business cash flow operates 100% online.
BMO does have a promotion where if you become a Moneris merchant and build your e-commerce website with Bookmark (it is an AI powered website builder), you won’t have to pay any website fees for 6 months (an almost $240 value).
Moneris is a debit and credit card payment processor (and is considered Canada’s #1 payment processor).
If you’re looking for a personal bank account they also have a BMO new account offer of $400 cash too.
Tangerine Business Account
Tangerine Bank is headquartered in Toronto Ontario. They used to be called ING Direct before they were acquired by Scotiabank in 2012. They are a mainly ‘online only’ bank that provides savings accounts within registered accounts and non-registered accounts, mortgages, and even Tangerine Investment Funds.
Tangerine has a Business Savings Account that offers up to 0.5% on your business savings. However, they do not seem to have Tangerine business chequing accounts.
If you have a simple low transaction sole proprietorship an are open to using a personal account for your business account transactions, the Tangerine chequing account have promotions where you can get 5.00% interest on your first 5 months, and $400 cash back (spending $2000 after you get your Tangerine client card on online purchases or online bill payments within the first 60 days, you’ll get 20% cash back).
The cash back will be paid out one month after the 60 days.
Here’s more information on the Tangerine chequing accounts.
For more information on other Tangerine promotions, click here.
Alterna Business Account
Alterna Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Alterna Savings which is a credit union based out of Ontario.
There is an introductory offer for new clients of Alterna Bank who are small businesses.
The Alterna Bank Business Account promotion is worth up to $380.
The breakdown of this bank account promotion in Canada is as follows:
- 6 months monthly fee waived for the Small Business eChequing Account
- Worth $30 ($5 per month x 6 months, but it is waived with a minimum balance of $5000)
- Payment Solutions from Global Payments (worth $350):
- Point-of-sale (POS) terminal rental for the first three months free
- Or up to $150 off a POS terminal purchase
- FREE Global Payments Merchant Portal and Analytics reporting for up to 1 year (Up to $200 value)
This Alterna Bank Business Account promotion ends on December 31, 2022 (there’s nothing new in 2023 right now)
HSBC Small Business Welcome Bonus
Right now there is an HSBC Small Business welcome bonus of up to $600 cash. This is probably the most generous business bank promotion in Canada right now.
- For $200 of the $600, open up an HSBC Small Business Chequing and Savings Account
- The lowest tier HSBC Small Business Chequing Account is $5 a month
- You have to maintain a minimum of $5000 per month for 3 months in this account
- To get the $5 a month fee waived, you will need an HSBC Total Relationship Balance (TRB) of at least $10,000.
- The HSBC Small Business High Rate Savings does not have a minimum balance
- Another $100 of the $600 can be achieved if you open up these aforementioned HSBC Business Chequing and Savings accounts online
- The other $100 of the $600 can be unlocked if you register for HSBCnet and login within the first 30 days after you open the HSBC Small Business Chequing Account
- Finally, the last of the $200 of the $600 can be achieved when you sign up for the HSBC Business Vantage Mastercard and spend $2000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of card opening. The HSBC Business Vantage Mastercard has an annual fee of $35.
The HSBC Small Business Welcome Bonus Promotion ends on November 30, 2022 (nothing available right now)
CIBC Business Banking Offer
Right now, you can get $400 cash when you open up a CIBC Basic Business Operating Account. You can create an account online but you have to go into a CIBC branch to verify your additional documents and show your picture ID.
- For new CIBC Business account owners only
- You have to keep the account open for 90 days
- You have to open up one of these CIBC business accounts before the deadline
- CIBC Unlimited Business Operating Account
- CIBC U.S. Dollar Current Account
- CIBC Not-for-Profit Operating Account
- • CIBC Basic Business Operating Account
- CIBC Everyday Business Operating Account
- CIBC Advanced Business Operating Account
- The monthly fee is $6.00.
- The deadline to apply for the CIBC Business Banking offer is September 15, 2022 (nothing available right now), for more information about the Basic Business Operating Account Cash bonus click here
Business Bank Account Promotions Recap
Which Canadian banks are offering an incentive to open a business account?
There are in fact, a few!
In summary, there are a number of business account promotions in Canada to consider if you are in the market for a business bank account.
Some of these business account promotions in Canada are:
- BMO eBusiness Plan- Free website building up to $240 in value
- Tangerine Account- $400 in cash back for personal accounts with promo code EARNMORE but for personal accounts.
- Alterna Business Account- 6 months of monthly fees waived worth $30 and Point of Sale terminal discount or free rental, and Global Payments analytics for one year, with $350.
- HSBC Small Business Account Promotion- Up to $600 in cash.
- CIBC Business Banking- $400 Cash Back
You might also be interested in:
- The Best US Dollar Accounts in Canada
- How to Save Money on Personal Cheques in Canada
- How to Write a Cheque in Canada
- Wise (Transferwise) Canada Review
Do you have business account promotions in Canada that you are a fan of?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.