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[2023 Edition] The Best Business Banking Accounts in Singapore

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OCBC Bank
Jun 14, 2023
[2023 Edition] The Best Business Banking Accounts in Singapore

Disclaimer: The insights shared in this article are the result of a collaboration between OCBC and Smart-Towkay.com. It's essential to note that all views expressed in the article are the independent opinion of Smart-Towkay.com, which is based on our thorough research and industry expertise.

Smart-Towkay.com cannot be held responsible for any financial losses that may occur as a result of any transactions, and we strongly encourage readers to conduct their own research before making any financial decisions.

Finding the right business banking account for your needs can be daunting. With neobanks and fintechs entering the Singapore market, there are now more options than ever before to choose from.

Nevertheless, when starting a business, it is paramount that you open a business banking account due to many beneficial reasons:

Importance Of Having A Business Bank Account

  1. Legal and Tax Requirements: In Singapore, having a distinct account for financial transactions is mandatory for all business entities, including sole proprietorships. This method of organisation makes it simpler to keep track of expenses, revenue and taxes - providing you with more time to focus on growing your business.

  2. Professionalism: Having a business banking account also goes a long way in improving the company’s image. Customers and clients perceive companies that use business bank accounts as more professional and credible than those that don’t.

  3. Bookkeeping and Record Keeping: With a business account, you can easily manage and monitor your organisation's financial transactions. This streamlines the process of preparing fiscal statements and reports as well as filing taxes - all while saving time.

  4. Credit and Financing: Having a business account can also improve your chances of getting a loan or a line of credit. Banks and other lenders often look at a company's financial history especially cash flow analysis using your business account when considering loan applications.

  5. Separating personal and business finances: By keeping your personal and business finances separate, it becomes easier to manage your business finances, track expenses and revenue, and to identify any financial issues that arise. It also makes it easier to file taxes and maintain accurate financial records.

Important Things to Look Out For When Choosing a Bank Account And Its Providers

But with so many banks in Singapore, all offering various business banking options, how does one know which is the most suitable business bank account to have?

In evaluating a business bank account, the most important things to look out for are:

        Account fees: it's important to look into the monthly fees that the bank charges for maintaining your business account. Some banks may charge a flat monthly fee while others might require you to keep up a specific minimum balance instead of charging a monthly fee.

      Minimum deposit and balance: Before you open a business account with your chosen bank, make sure that the minimum deposit or balance they require is within your financial means and something you are comfortable keeping in your account. This amount could range from just a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Ensure that it's an amount you can afford.

      Usability and ease of access: When selecting a banking institution for your business, make sure to assess how convenient it will be to access their services. This includes things like online and mobile banking, as well as ATM cash withdrawal capabilities. It's essential that the bank you choose has an intuitive platform with multiple ways of accessing your account easily.

      Limits on transfers and foreign currency conversion fees: If you have an international business, it is essential for you to look into the restrictions and charges related to transferring funds abroad. Some banks may confine the quantity that can be sent or impose higher fees on foreign currency exchanges. If your company transacts overseas often, it's worth doing some research to find a bank with favourable limits and competitive rates for international transfers.

      Customer support: When selecting a financial institution, it is critical to ensure you have access to robust customer support. This includes having a friendly and knowledgeable team that can answer your queries and resolve any issues quickly and efficiently - especially if you are starting out with little experience.

      Bank's Reputation: It is essential to conduct research on the bank's background, customer reviews, and ratings before making your decision. Additionally, you should take into account the bank's financial stability and regulatory compliance as these will provide insight into its reliability. Doing this due diligence can give you assurance that the bank has an admirable reputation for quality service.

      Deposit Insurance Scheme (DIS)- If you're a business owner, it's critical to ensure the safety of your company funds. Check if your bank account providers are Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC) insured.  All full banks and finance companies in Singapore are members of the Deposit Insurance (DI)Scheme, and provide deposit insurance up to S$75,000.

      Integration with accounting software- Some banks offer integration with popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Xero, which can save you time and effort in managing your finances.

With that in mind, here are some of the best bank accounts for companies in Singapore:

OCBC Business Growth Account


Fees and charges

OCBC Business Growth Account

Initial deposit

S$1,000

Fall below fee

S$15 per month (if average balance falls below S$1,000)

GIRO and FAST transaction

Free FAST, GIRO and Payroll transactions

Account fees

S$10 per month (waived for the first 2 months)

Perks

- Exclusive Welcome Offer until 30 June

- Free Access to OneCollect first 3 months, a digital collection tool including Paynow and SGQR with instant notifications
- Enjoy Telegraphic Transfers (TT) first 3 months with just S$10 each
- Get S$10 cashback when you make 3 qualifying spends on your Business Debit Card in the first month

- Up to 1% cashback with OCBC Business Debit Card

- Account fee waived for 2 months (worth S$20)

- Enjoy OCBC Multi-Currency Business Account for free (worth S$120 per year) if you also have an OCBC SGD Business Account opened


Suitable For

Startups and Young Businesses with limited cashflow who do not want to pay a high monthly fee or make large initial deposits and account maintenance amount

Please note that the above table is based on the information provided and is not exhaustive, and subject to change as per the bank's discretion. It's always a good idea to check with the bank for the most current and accurate information.

With only S$1,000 minimum deposit and balance requirement, the OCBC Business Growth Account offers an attractive set-up at minimum cost. Accounts can be opened online, with applicants able to receive their account numbers almost instantly*.

In addition, OCBC offers free unlimited FAST and GIRO transactions.

A multi-currency account can also be set up together with the Business Growth Account without additional cost. Buying or selling overseas? Enjoy effortless transfers in 13 major currencies such as US Dollars and Euros, to improve efficiency and operations. Get a free Multi-Currency Account.

Overall, as the name implies the OCBC Business Growth Account is a great option for Startups and Young Businesses.

*Instant account opening is only applicable for Singapore incorporated companies opening its first OCBC Business Banking Account owned by one or two Singaporeans and PRs only, and will be subjected to approval by OCBC Bank. For others, you can still apply online and OCBC will follow up with you on your application.

 Apply online instantly

CIMB SME Account

Fees and charges

CIMB SME Account

Initial deposit

N.A.

Fall below fee

N.A.


GIRO and FAST transaction

Free FAST, GIRO and Payroll transactions

$15 per over the counter (OTC) transaction


Account fees

S$28 per month

$25/ cheque book


Perks

Preferential Remittance Rates- S$15 flat fee

First Free 3 tokens free

Free eAlerts


Suitable For

Startups and Young Businesses with limited cashflow who do not want to make large initial deposits and account maintenance amount

Please note that the above table is based on the information provided and is not exhaustive, and subject to change as per the bank's discretion. It's always a good idea to check with the bank for the most current and accurate information.

For the busy SME business owner, the CIMB SME account is an ideal solution. Not only do you not have to worry about fall-below fees or minimum balance requirements, but you also get free FAST, GIRO and payroll transactions.

If you're a more established start-up aiming to find an interest bearing account with more accessible minimum deposits, the Business Plus Current Account-i is perfect for you. This account begins at S$3,000 (minimum deposit and minimum balance) and includes a fall below fee of S$20.

One of the key features is that it offers an interest-bearing rate of 0.10 percent if the account balance is between S$30,000 to S$1,000,000, and 0.30 percent for balances between S$1,000,001 and S$2,000,000.


DBS Business Multi-Currency Account - Starter Bundle


Fees and charges

DBS Business Digital Account

Initial deposit

N.A.

Fall below fee

N.A.


GIRO and FAST transaction

Free FAST, GIRO and Payroll transactions

$40 per over the counter (OTC) transaction


Account fees

S$10 per month

S$25 per cheque book and $3 for every cheque issued

S$30 flat fee for outward TT

eAlerts: S$8 per month for account information and trade finance reports and alerts


Perks

Competitive FX rates


Suitable For

Startups and Young Businesses with limited cashflow who do not want to make large initial deposits and account maintenance amount


Terms

Note that only < 3 years incorporated company can apply.

For companies that open DBS Multi-Currency Account- Starter Bundle do not have to switch to another account after it reaches it's 4 years mark.

Please note that the above table is based on the information provided and is not exhaustive, and subject to change as per the bank's discretion. It's always a good idea to check with the bank for the most current and accurate information.

The DBS Business Digital Account in Singapore is a very popular business bank account. For an account transacting only in Singapore dollars, it only requires a low initial deposit of S$1,000 and no minimum balance, which means there are no fall-below fees.

The Multi-Currency Account allows for transactions in Singapore dollars as well as 12 other foreign currencies, including Euros, British pounds, Australian dollars, and of course, US dollars.

DBS charges an affordable S$10 a month to maintain the Business Multi-Current Account. It also charges a minimum of S$30 for outward TT and S$8 for eAlerts which is kind of costly given other banks providing this alert for free.

UOB eBusiness Account

 

Fees and charges

UOB eBusiness Account

Initial deposit

S$1,000

Fall below fee

$15/mth fall-below fee if average balance falls below $5,000 (first 12 months waived for new accounts)


GIRO and FAST transaction

GIRO transaction fee: $0.20 rebate for up to 60 GIRO payments & Collections per month via UOB Infinity

FAST transaction fee: $0.50 rebate per transaction (receive rebate for first 60 outgoing FAST/PayNow FAST transactions per month via UOB Infinity)

$20 per over the counter (OTC) transaction


Account fees

S$35 per year

30 free cheques, thereafter S$0.75 for every cheque issued

S$30 flat fee for outward TT


Perks

Free eAlerts


Suitable For

Startups and Young Businesses with limited cashflow who do not want to make large initial deposits and account maintenance amount


To open an UOB’s eBusiness Current Account, an initial deposit of S$1,000 is required. Unlike DBS and OCBC, setting up a business bank account in Singapore with UOB requires a minimum daily balance of S$5,000, with a S$15 fall-below fee.

On the plus side, UOB only charges an annual fee of S$35. Up to 60 outgoing FAST and PayNow FAST transactions per month will be free through UOB Infinity, their digital business banking platform which is more than enough for most SMEs monthly transaction needs.

Maybank Flexibiz Account

Fees and charges

Maybank Flexibiz Account

Initial deposit

S$1,000

Fall below fee

$10/mth fall-below fee if average balance falls below $1,000


GIRO and FAST transaction

Free FAST, GIRO and Payroll transactions

$40 per over the counter (OTC) transaction


Account fees

S$0 per month

S$0.75 per cheque (if average daily balance is above $30,000 for the month, total cheque charges will be credited back into your account


Perks

Complimentary all-in-one business debit card

For First S$50,000, enjoy attractive interest rates of up to 0.018% p.a.

For Next S$450,000, enjoy attractive interest rates of up to 0.028% p.a.
After S$500,000, total attractive interest rates will be up to 0.038% p.a.


Suitable For

Startups and Young Businesses with limited cashflow who do not want to make large initial deposits and account maintenance amount


Another popular option for companies prioritising the minimisation of cost and would like an interest bearing account with low account maintenance amount, the Maybank Flexibiz Account requires a minimum initial deposit/monthly maintenance amount of S1,000 and S$10/mth fall below fee. Most noticeably, it also does not charge any monthly or annual maintenance fees.

The only potential bad news is for companies who deal with many foreign transactions; at 0.91% Maybank charges the highest Forex mark-up rate – almost twice as high as the other banks listed here.

Maybank provides an attractive, economical solution for local businesses dealing solely locally. Though its online banking interface could use some improvements and doesn’t allow customers to download their bank statements directly, the cost savings may make it a worthwhile consideration.

So, Which Bank Account Should I Go For?

There's no one size fits all bank account as it depends on the specific needs and requirements of your business.

When evaluating business bank accounts, it's important to consider factors such as monthly fees, minimum deposit and balance, usability, and ease of access, limits on transfers and foreign currency conversion fees, customer support networks, and the bank's reputation.

Start-Ups and companies with a tight budget will be delighted to know that OCBC's Business Growth Account and DBS' Business Multi-Currency Account - Starter Bundle require minimal deposits yet offer impeccable customer service support as well as an easy banking online banking interface.


When evaluating business bank accounts, it's important to consider factors such as account fees, minimum deposit and balance, usability, and ease of access, limits on transfers and foreign currency conversion fees, customer support networks, and the bank's reputation. It's also important to compare the different options available to you and to choose a bank that offers a combination of features and services that will benefit your business.

Read also: Unlock the Potential of Your Unpaid Invoices with OCBC Short-Term Invoice Financing
Read also: What You Need To Know Before Applying For A Business Term Loan
Read also: Guide to Start-Up Business Loans in Singapore 2023 Edition

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UPDATED AS OF 01 Oct 2023
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