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Are you a new business owner, self-employed, or freelancer looking for a business bank account to manage your finances better? If so, this article is for you. A business bank account will allow you to manage your finances better, and it can make accounting and taxpaying easier over the long term by splitting your personal and business expenses.

Different banks have different features. Some highly sought-after features are ease of customer payments, digital banking, issuing e-invoices, managing cash flow, and getting business financing. As such, it is not rare to see established businesses switching business bank accounts.

In this article, we will go through the key factors of business bank accounts that businesses should consider when opening a business bank account in Singapore and compare the best business bank accounts in Singapore.

🔍 Tip: Check out the 5 best banks to use in Singapore in 2024. 

Key Factors to Consider When Opening a Business Bank Account

Here are some key factors businesses should take into account when opening a business bank account in Singapore. We will also use these key factors to compare between the different banks.

Key Factor What to Consider?
Initial Deposit Amount

What is the minimum initial deposit amount required by the bank in order to open a business bank account?

Minimum Monthly Balance

How much is the cash balance that you need to maintain in the bank account in order to avoid the monthly fall-below fee?

Monthly Maintenance Fee

What are the monthly charges you will incur from the bank in order to keep your account?

Digital Banking Features

What are the available digital banking features that will allow you to do transactions easily? Some sought-after features are online bill payment, account alerts, transaction history, and viewing account balances.

Transaction Limits

What is the transaction limit per day and month for the business account?

Multi-currency Features

Do you need to support multi-currency transactions? If so, does the business bank account support it?

Chequebooks

Can I receive a chequebook? What are the charges for using a chequebook and issuing a cheque?

🔍 Tip: If you are not in Singapore, check out this offshore banking guide for Singapore.

1. DBS Business Multi-Currency Account - Starter Bundle

Screenshot of DBS Mult-currency Account page

Suppose you're among many Singaporeans with a POSB or DBS account. In that case, the DBS Business Multi-Currency Account – Starter Bundle should feel familiar and user-friendly for you as a business owner.

Considering the current business landscape, preparing your business for global operations from the get-go is crucial. As the name suggests, this bank account seamlessly handles both local and international payments and collections in a single account. It allows transactions in Singapore Dollars and 12 other foreign currencies, including the Australian, Canadian, Chinese Yuan (CHN), Hong Kong, Japanese Yen, and US dollars.

It's important to note that the DBS Business Multi-Currency Account – Starter Bundle is specifically designed for businesses incorporated less than three years from the application date. If your business exceeds this timeframe, you must opt for the standard Business Multi-Currency Account, which may involve slightly more costs and procedural steps.

One of the significant perks of this account is the unlimited free FAST and GIRO transactions (excluding Bulk Payments and Payroll) if you sign up under the Starter Bundle. However, there's a notable fee of SGD3 per cheque for cheque clearing, potentially discouraging the use of cheques for transactions.

Key Factor DBS Business Multi-Currency Account - Starter Bundle Score out of 5 
Initial Deposit Amount SGD0, no initial deposit required. 5
Minimum Monthly Balance No minimum balance and no fall-below fee. 5
Monthly Maintenance Fee SGD10 per month. 4
Digital Banking Features Internet and mobile banking allow for banking transactions such as transfers, eAlerts, and viewing transaction history. 4.5
Transaction Limits Unlimited free FAST and GIRO payments, excluding bulk transactions and payroll. SGD30 flat fee for overseas transfer.  3
Multi-currency Features A multi-currency account supports up to 12 other currencies. 5
Chequebooks SGD25 per chequebook. SGD3 cheque clearing fee. 2.5
Total Score: 4.1/5

Pros of DBS Business Multi-currency Account

Pros of DBS Business Multi-Currency Account - Starter Bundle

  • No initial deposit
  • No fall-below fee
  • Internet and mobile banking
  • Multi-currency account

Cons of DBS Multi-currency Account

Cons of DBS Business Multi-Currency Account - Starter Bundle

  • Expensive cheque clearing fee

2. OCBC Business Growth Account

A screenshot of OCBC Business Growth Account page

The OCBC Business Growth Account offers a range of features and benefits designed to support business development. 

The OCBC Business Growth Account provides an affordable option for businesses with a low minimum deposit of SGD1,000. Setting up the account is cost-effective, and the online application process with MyInfo Business allows applicants to receive their account numbers quickly.

Once you have the account, you can access OCBC Velocity, the Digital Business Banking platform. This platform allows you to efficiently manage your accounts, initiate payments and collections, handle cash flow, and even create e-invoices without any charges.

There is a SGD10 monthly fee waived for the first two months for the OCBC Business Growth Account, but the account also offers the option to set up an additional OCBC Multi-Currency Business Account. This extension allows you to conduct transactions in 13 foreign currencies, including the US Dollar, Euro, Australian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, and Chinese Yuan. Interestingly, both accounts share the same SGD10 monthly fee as long as you have the OCBC Business Growth Account.

OCBC states that it is the only bank that provides free unlimited FAST and GIRO transactions, further enhancing the cost-effectiveness of managing your business finances.

Key Factor OCBC Business Growth Account Score out of 5 
Initial Deposit Amount SGD1,000 4
Minimum Monthly Balance SGD1,000 minimum balance, SGD15 a month of fall-below fee 3
Monthly Maintenance Fee SGD10 per month, waived for the first two months 4
Digital Banking Features Digital banking to efficiently manage your accounts, initiate payments and collections, handle cash flow, and even create e-invoices without any charges. 4.5
Transaction Limits Unlimited free FAST and GIRO payments. Save on transaction fees for overseas transfers with International Automated Clearing House (IACH) 5
Multi-currency Features SGD only has the option for a free add-on of an OCBC Multi-Currency Business Account, supporting 13 foreign currencies. 4
Chequebooks SGD25 per chequebook. SGD0.75 per cheque deposit fee and SGD0.75 per cheque clearing fee. 3
Total Score: 3.9/5

Pros of OCBC Business Growth Account

Pros of OCBC Business Growth Account

  •  Great digital banking features
  • Unlimited free FAST and GIRO payments
  • Free transaction fees for overseas transfers
  • Free add-on for multi-currency support

Cons of OCBC Business Growth Account

Cons of OCBC Business Growth Account

  •  SGD15 fall-below fee

3. UOB eBusiness Account

Screenshot of UOB eBusiness Account page

The UOB eBusiness Account comes with a minimum average daily balance requirement of SGD5,000 and an annual account fee of SGD35 (equivalent to about SGD3 per month).

The UOB eBusiness account offers the UOB BizSmart Digital Solution, a comprehensive platform assisting with essential processes such as invoicing, HR, and accounting, allowing easy accessibility and financial management. Through UOB BizSmart, you can seamlessly import bank account feeds for automatic reconciliation and provide convenient payment options to customers using PayNow QR or NETS PayCollect.

For businesses engaged in cross-border transactions, UOB provides a team of FX specialists to assist with foreign exchange services like FX Spot and FX Forward. You can secure fixed FX rates when remitting funds from Singapore to Malaysia. Additionally, there are zero remittance charges for currencies such as Vietnamese Dong, Taiwan Dollar, Burmese Kyat, and Korean Won.

Key Factor UoB eBusiness Account Score out of 5 
Initial Deposit Amount SGD1,000 4
Minimum Monthly Balance SGD15 per month fall-below fee if average balance falls below SGD5,000 (new accounts are waived for first 12 months) 2.5
Monthly Maintenance Fee SGD35 per year 4.5
Digital Banking Features Internet and mobile banking allow for banking transactions such as transfers, eAlerts, and viewing transaction history. 4.5
Transaction Limits SGD0.20 per GIRO transaction, rebates up to 60 GIRO monthly payments and collections.

SGD0.50 per FAST transaction, rebate for the first 60 outgoing FAST/PayNow FAST transactions monthly.

100% rebates for Bulk Payroll fees via UOB infinity.
2.5
Multicurrency Features Dedicated support from UOB FX specialists 4.5
Chequebooks SGD0.50 per cheque, free for first 30 cheques.

SGD0.75 cheque clearing charges.
3.5
Total Score: 3.7/5

Pros of UOB eBusiness Account

Pros of UOB eBusiness Account

  • Low maintenance fee
  • Great digital banking features
  • Dedicated support from UOB FX specialists

Cos of UOB eBusiness Account

Cons of UOB eBusiness Account

  • High fall-below fee with high average balance and fees for GIRO and FAST transactions after using up the limited number of free transactions

4. CIMB SME Account

Screenshot of CIMB SME Account screenshot

Another choice catering to SME business owners is the CIMB SME Account, which was rebranded from the CIMB BusinessGo Lite Account after 28 July 2023. With the absence of fall-below fees, maintaining a minimum balance becomes stress-free. The account also allows for free FAST, GIRO, and payroll transactions.

Unique to other business bank accounts, the CIMB SME account provides complimentary eAlerts, keeping you almost instantly informed about new transactions in your account. Although each chequebook has a SGD25 charge, cheque-clearing fees are waived.

It's worth noting that there is a monthly account fee of SGD28, but this fee is waived for the initial 12 months for account holders.

Key Factor CIMB SME Account Score out of 5 
Initial Deposit Amount SGD5,000 3
Minimum Monthly Balance No minimum monthly balance and fall-below fee 5
Monthly Maintenance Fee SGD28 (waived for first 12 months) 2
Digital Banking Features Internet and mobile banking allow for banking transactions such as transfers, eAlerts, and viewing transaction history. 4.5
Transaction Limits Free FAST, GIRO, and Payroll transactions via BizChannel@CIMB. SGD15 flat fee for overseas transfers. 4
Multi-currency Features SGD only 2
Chequebooks SGD25 per chequebook. Free cheque-clearing fee. 3.5
Total Score: 3.4/5

Pros of CIMB SME Account

Pros of CIMB SME Account

  • No fall-below fee,
  • Great digital banking features
  • Free FAST, GIRO, and payroll transactions

Cons of CIMB SME Account

Cons of CIMB SME Account

  • High monthly maintenance fee
  • Supports SGD only
  • SGD15 flat fee for overseas transfers

5. Maybank FlexiBiz Account

A screenshot of Maybank's website

The Maybank FlexiBiz Account is a convenient and cost-effective option for businesses, with a reasonable minimum initial deposit of SGD1,000, making it accessible for newer ventures. While there's a modest SGD10 fall-below fee for balances below SGD1,000, there's no monthly maintenance fee, adding to its affordability as a business bank account.

Especially beneficial for businesses in their early stages of development, the Maybank FlexiBiz Account stands out by offering interest on balances. Although the interest rates are relatively modest—0.018% for the first SGD50,000, 0.028% for the next SGD450,000, and 0.038% for balances exceeding SGD500,000—it adds a unique feature to this business banking option.

Additionally, by switching to e-payments, customers can enjoy rebates of local and overseas transaction fees if they maintain a minimum of SGD30,000 average daily balance in their Maybank FlexiBiz Account.

Key Factor Maybank FlexiBiz Account Score out of 5 
Initial Deposit Amount SGD1,000 4
Minimum Monthly Balance SGD10 fall-below fee if the average balance falls below SGD1,000 4
Monthly Maintenance Fee No maintenance fee 5
Digital Banking Features Internet banking allows for banking transactions such as transfers, eAlerts, and viewing transaction history. 3.5
Transaction Limits Instant FAST transaction at SGD0.50 per transaction 2
Multi-currency Features SGD only 2
Chequebooks SGD0.75 per cheque. However, if the average daily balance exceeds SGD30,000, total cheque charges will be credited back to your account. 3
Total Score: 3.4/5

Pros of Maybank FlexiBiz Account

Pros of Maybank FlexiBiz Account

  • No monthly maintenance fee

Cons of Maybank FlexiBiz Account

Cons of Maybank FlexiBiz Account

  •  Supports SGD only and transaction fee for FAST transactions
A woman holding an ACRA Incorporation form for Singaporean companies.

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing your first business banking account is important. Depending on what matters to you and your business most, the scores above are merely for your consideration. According to the scores, DBS ranks the highest due to requiring no initial deposit, no fall-below fee, low maintenance fee, great digital banking features, and support for up to 12 other currencies. However, if cheques and payroll transactions are your priority, you might want to choose other business bank accounts. 

FAQs

What should businesses consider when opening a bank account in Singapore?

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Businesses should consider factors like initial deposit amount, minimum monthly balance, monthly maintenance fees, digital banking features, transaction limits, multi-currency support, and chequebook availability and fees.

What bank accounts offer digital banking features in Singapore?

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What are the initial deposit requirements for opening a business bank account in Singapore?

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Can non-residents open a bank account in Singapore?

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