Singapore’s strategic location in Southeast Asia makes it a natural hub for small businesses looking to expand into the Asia-Pacific region as it serves as a gateway to the rapidly growing markets of Southeast Asia and beyond. However, our previous article provided several reasons on why it is typically important to have a business bank account, especially if you intend on separating personal and business finance.
A business bank account is a financial account that allows businesses to manage their financial transactions and funds. It is distinct from personal bank accounts and serves several important functions for business owners. Key characteristics and functions of a business bank account include: legal and regulatory compliance, professionalism and credibility, auditing and bookkeeping, taxation and banking services.
Which Bank Account?
DBS Business Multi-Currency Account
The Starter Bundle (for businesses incorporated less than 3 years) offered by DBS does not require any initial deposit or minimum balances to get started. Furthermore, you are able to transact in SGD and 12 other currencies: AUD, CAD, CHF, CNH, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NOK, NZD, SEK and USD. Here are some of the features when you sign up for an account with them:
- Unlimited free FAST and GIRO transactions
- $10 monthly account fee, which equates to $120 per year
- No fall below fee
- $25 per cheque book and $3 per cheque issued thereafter
- $30 flat fee for outward TT
OCBC Business Growth Account
Another account that business owners can consider is the OCBC Business Growth Account, which as it’s name suggests, is a great option for small businesses and startups looking to kick start or scale their business.
- Unlimited free FAST, GIRO and payroll transactions
- $10 monthly account fee, first 2 months waived
- Initial deposit of $1,000 and fall below fee of $15 if average balance less than $1,000
- $25 per cheque book and $0.75 per cheque issued thereafter
- Up to 1% cashback on free OCBC Business Debit Card
- No minimum spend or annual fees on Debit Card
- Early closure fee: $50 for accounts closed within first 12 months
UOB eBusiness Account
The UOB eBusiness Account is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and businesses that prefer to manage their banking transactions online. This includes checking account balances, transferring funds, making payments, and more.
- $0.20 fee per GIRO transaction with rebate for up to 60 GIRO payments per month
- $0.50 fee per FAST transaction with rebate for up to 60 FAST payments per month
- $35 yearly account fee
- Initial deposit of $1,000 and fall below fee of $15 if average balance less than $5,000 (although this can be waived for 12 months for new accounts)
- 30 free cheques and $0.75 per cheque issued thereafter
- Early closure fee: $30 for accounts closed within first 6 months
Maybank Flexibiz Account
The Maybank FlexiBiz Account is a business banking account offered by Maybank, a regional bank with a presence in several countries, including Singapore. It is mainly targeted at businesses looking for flexible banking solutions.
- Unlimited free FAST and GIRO transactions
- $0 monthly account fee
- Initial deposit of $1,000 and fall below fee of $10 if average balance less than $1,000
- $0.75 per cheque issued
- Early closure fee: $50 for accounts closed within first 6 months
CIMB SME Account
CIMB Bank is well-established in the ASEAN region and provides access to services in multiple countries, making it a convenient option for businesses with cross-border activities. One of the types of accounts they provide is the CIMB SME Account, which is tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses
- Unlimited free FAST, GIRO and payroll transactions via BizChannel@CIMB
- $28 monthly account fee for digital account (although this can be waived for 12 months for new accounts)
- Initial deposit of $5,000 and no fall below fee
- $25 per cheque book and cheque clearing fee is waived
- Early closure fee: $40 for accounts closed within first 6 months
Any Other Bank Account?
Last but not least, we have Aspire – a fintech company that offers business banking services primarily through online platforms. The free Aspire business account lite is not associated with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. Similarly, it is primarily focused on serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups in various countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.
- Multi-currency accounts in SGD, IDR, USD with EUR, HKD and more coming soon
- No minimum balance
- Free local transfers
- Unlimited 1% cashback on card spend for digital marketing & subscriptions
Which Bank Account To Go With?
There are different features and benefits associated with the various business bank accounts listed above. You should consider the business banking options that aligns best with your business’s financial requirements and objectives before making a decision. These key factors should include: minimum initial deposit, fall below fee, monthly account fee, transaction options and fees, cheque book charges and multi-currency features.