Best business account for Start-Ups and SMEs

Jes , 4 Comments

I am on an investigative mood nowadays.

After comparing the prices of diapers, milk powder, Integrated Shield Plans and kids' savings accounts, I am now trying to find out the best business account for my own business, SnackFirst

Why do we need a business acount?
This is the top question especially for companies with only 1 person, aka One Man Show. The obvious reason is because we need to separate our personal and business finances. This is to ensure accountability and tracking of your finances.

Business account for Start Ups
Most of us thought we would definitely have to pay to maintain a business account, but that's not true. There are some free, non-paying options below. Let's take a look at the comparison of business accounts for start-ups.

Highlighted boxes are the best in each category

When I mention Start-Ups, it assumes this group would be more strapped for cash as the business has not taken off yet. The best account would be a free account, that has low minimum balance to maintain. Other benefits are not really necessary yet. In this aspect, both UOB ebusiness and Maybank FlexiBiz would be better than OCBC Business Growth, OCBC Business Entrepreneur and DBS Digital Account.

To be fair, the OCBC Business Entrepreneur and DBS Digital account are in a different category because the high annual fees are to justify for the free monthly transactions that you can get.

Business account for SMEs
For SMEs who have a higher cash flow of more than $10,000, these accounts would be more suitable.

The blank boxes are left out intentionally as I could not find the information

The OCBC Business Entrepreneur Plus has a lower minimum balance than UOB BizTransact and Standard Chartered Business Saver. All these 3 accounts are free compared to DBS Entrepreneur's account and MayBank PremierBiz. However, the DBS Entrepreneur's account is the account I would upgrade to because of the lowest minimum balance.

A point to note is that Maybank FlexiBiz and PremierBiz and Standard Chartered Business $saver both have interest rates for the balance kept in the bank and that is good to earn some cash too.

What this means for me
I do not want to put my money in a foreign bank with limited branches so Maybank is out for me. However, I do know they are popular among start-ups. For me, it is between UOB ebusiness and OCBC Business Growth account. I went with the more expensive OCBC Business Growth instead. It is because the minimum balance at $3,000 is more manageable to me than $5,000. The $38 annual fee is a small amount compared to the additional $2,000 I have to deposit in the account.

I might upgrade to DBS Entrepreneur's account or OCBC Business Entrepreneur Account Plus if necessary in the future.

It has always been that OCBC and DBS are the best banks for businesses. It's up to you to choose the best account that benefits your business.

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  1. Hi,

    Just want to point out some inaccuracies in your table for the UOB eBusiness account.

    The debit card is not free. However the ATM card is.
    Cheque book is provided FOC.
    TT charge is 1/16% subject to minimum of $10.

    I did a similar comparison for my business before and eventually chose the eBusiness account.

  2. Hi JASS,

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake, I have indeed forgot to correct it to include ATM and have done so now.

    However for the TT charge, here is the document that I pulled it from. ( Not sure why I got different rates as you, maybe mine is not updated? Let me know if you see more mistakes, thank you so much! :)

    Oh, why did you close it if it's free?

  3. Hi Jes,

    I just did a TT recently and the charge was based on the rate that I mentioned above.

    One think I realised about the eBusiness account is that UOB doesn't seems to promote it. So not much people knows about this account.

    UOB itself doesn't even have much materials about this account too.

    When I went to open the account I specifically asked for a brochure to see all the different types of charges. However the staffs search high and low before they printed an A4 size document for me. And it's not even a product brochure.

    There's one thing that I want to share about this account.

    Apparently there's a charge for interbank money transfer using the ibanking.

    That's weird considering this is an 'e' business account.

    I brought this up and even the staff thinks it's weird.

    I am still using this account.

    1. Hi JASS,

      Oh, that's weird. Why are the rates different? Yeah, I think it's quite frustrating to deal with UOB sometimes, I have the same problem. Maybe the front end staff do not handle a lot of business accounts queries.

      For interbank money transfer, they do charge business accounts under the GIRO fees. I don't know if it's weird or not since all the other banks also charge the same rates. Anyway, really appreciate you sharing your experience. I guess it's good that I have gone with OCBC and not UOB.