Lili 2023 Review
Lili Banking Overview
Lili is banking that's built specifically for small business owners and freelancers. The lack of fees and minimums makes it easy to get started, and the built-in financial management tools can help you save time and money come tax season. Our Lili business banking review will help you decide if it’s the right bank for you.
- Earn 4.15% APY with Lili Pro, Smart, or Premium
- No minimum deposit or monthly balance requirement
- Built-in tools for managing your business’s finances
- No fees for non-sufficient funds, covers any overdraft on Visa Business Debit Card up to $200 (available for Pro and above plans), transactions, or domestic withdrawals from MoneyPass ATMs
- All business types are accepted (single member LLC, multi member LLC, general partnership, limited liability partnerships, S-Corporation, and sole proprietors)
- Doesn't support wire transfers and has lower limits for deposits, transfers, and withdrawals
Lili Business Checking Plans Overview
|Lili Business Checking Basic||Lili Business Checking Pro|
|Minimum opening deposit||None||None|
|Minimum balance requirement||None||None|
|Cash deposit limits||$1,000 per day or $9,000 per month||$1,000 per day or $9,000 per month|
|Mobile check deposit limits||$5,000 per day or $50,000 per month||$5,000 per day or $50,000 per month|
|Card limits||$5,000 purchase or $500 ATM withdrawal per day||$5,000 purchase or $500 ATM withdrawal per day|
|4.15% APY savings account available?||No||Yes|
How Does Lili Work?
Lili is designed for freelancers and small business owners who want to open a business bank account. It’s an online bank with built-in tools that can make managing your business’s finances easier.
You can easily open a bank account online and there's no minimum deposit required to get started. However, you have to use your Social Security number (SSN), even if your business has an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
As a result, a Lili account might not be a good fit for established businesses that use an EIN. Although, if you have a business as (DBA) name or a single party LLC, you can share your tax return, business license, or fictitious name registration with Lili to accept checks or payments made out to the business name.
Your Lili account will also come with a Visa business debit card — but no checks — and has routing and account numbers you can share with clients to set up direct deposits.
Built-In Tools for Small Businesses
Separating your business and personal funds isn’t a legal requirement if you’re freelancing. However, opening a separate bank account for your business makes it easier to track your business’s finances, which can be important for understanding how well your business is doing. Additionally, having a system for tracking your business expenses can save you money as you won’t accidentally forget tax-deductible expenses. Plus, you’ll have all your records in one place, which can save you time when you’re preparing your tax return.
Alternatively, you could do this by connecting a bank account to accounting software, or manually keeping track of all your deductible business expenses. However, there’s often a subscription fee for accounting software services like Quickbooks and Freshbooks.
As a small business, you could use either a business bank account or a personal bank account as your “business” account. Where Lili really shines is in the freelancer-specific tools that it offers:
- Set aside money for taxes. Small businesses often have to pay quarterly taxes, but it can be difficult to track and remember how much you have to pay. Lili won’t do the calculations for you, but you can create a Tax Bucket and choose to have a percentage of your income automatically transferred into the Tax Bucket.
- Separate emergency savings. You can also create an Emergency Bucket, which is like your Tax Bucket but for emergency expenses. You can choose an automatic daily transfer amount and move money in and out of your emergency bucket at any time.
- Expense reporting. Categorize your business expenses in real-time using the Lili app. You can also add images of the receipts to the transactions, and request quarterly and annual expense reports. The expense report can be especially helpful come tax time.
If you happen to use your Lili account for a non-businesses purchase, you can categorize it as a “life” transaction to avoid messing up your records. Additionally, you’ll want to keep track of business purchases that happen outside of your Lili account so you don’t miss out on potential tax deductions.
Lili Smart Features
Lili Smart is a new plan option that combines two operations that business owners find challenging: taxes and accounting. With Lili Smart, these features -- payment, accounting, and taxes -- are rolled into one.
For just $20/month, Lili Smart allows for smart bookkeeping and managing all business financial needs in a single platform. The invoicing tool helps customers get paid faster and keep track of payments. Tax savings are deducted from income automatically, and and income and expense transactions are sorted into the right tax categories.
Additionally, cash flow statements, profit & loss reports, and expense reports can be generated quickly.
Other features offered by Lili Smart include:
- Access to the Advanced Business Checking Account
- A Visa Business Pro debit card with cash back rewards
- Fee-free ATM withdrawals at 38,000 locations
- Fee-free overdraft up to $200
- Payments up to 2 days earlier
- 4.15% APY on savings
- Unlimited invoices and payments
How to Apply for a Lili Business Account
Applying for a Lili bank account is very easy. To start, you’ll create a login by providing your email address and password. You’ll use these credentials to access your account going forward.
You’ll then have to provide the following information:
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your phone number
- Your Social Security number
- Your address
- What industry you operate in
- Your business entity type
After you apply, Lili bank reviews your details and should give you an immediate approval. You can then start using your new business bank account immediately.
Lili Business Checking Features
Lili offers many features that can appeal to all types of business owners and you can get to know why Lili is one of the best business bank accounts for freelancers.
- Mobile Banking. Lili is a mobile-focused bank, so you can do all of your necessary money tasks while on the go.
- Debit card access. Lili gives all its customers a debit card that they can use to make withdrawals and purchases.
- Overdraft protection. Lili Pro customers get protection for overdrafts up to $200.
- Tax optimizer. A useful feature of Lili banking for freelancers is the tax optimizer. This tool tracks potential tax write offs and helps you deduct them from your taxes.
Invoicing and payment tools. You can send invoices and payments to your suppliers directly from your Lili account.
Lili Business Checking Drawbacks
While Lili's features and lack of fees could make it a good fit for many freelancers, it’s not going to be right for everyone.
For example, if you frequently handle cash, a branch-based bank would probably be better than an online or mobile option. Additionally, Lili imposes spending, withdrawal, deposit, and transfer limits that could limit its usefulness for some freelancers.
You can check Lili’s help center for up-to-date limits, but as of the time of writing, the limits are:
- Mobile check deposits: two per day (15 per month)
- Mobile check deposit amounts: $5,000-per-check ($50,000 per month)
- Transfer from Lili to your other bank accounts: $5,000 per day ($60,000 per month)
- Transfer from your other bank accounts to Lili: $1,000 per day ($5,000 per month)
- ATM cash withdrawals: $500 per day
- Debit card purchases: $5,000 per day
- You can’t use a Lili account to send or receive wire transfers.
- You can’t deposit money orders or cashier’s checks.
However, if you send a client an invoice for $5,500 and they decide to pay by check, you won’t be able to easily deposit the money into your Lili account.
You could also run up against the limits if you’re using Lili to track and hold your freelance income, and then transferring your spending money into your everyday bank account for spending. Even part-time freelancers might find the $5,000 daily and $60,000 monthly transfer limit too low.
Terms and Requirements
Lili has relatively few requirements for its customers. To qualify for an account, your business must be organized as a:
- Sole proprietorship
- Single-member or multi-member LLC
- General or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
Freelancers are also eligible for Lili bank accounts.
Lili Bank Fees
Big banks may charge fees that can be difficult to avoid if you have a small side gig or don’t maintain a large balance in your account. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about many fees with Lili.
There are no:
- Monthly service fees
- Minimum initial or monthly balance requirement
- Overdraft fees
- ACH bank transfer fees
- Foreign exchange rate adjustments
You can also withdraw cash for using your debit card at in-network MoneyPass networks in the U.S. However, there’s a $2.50 fee for withdrawing cash at out-of-network ATMs, and a $5 fee for withdrawing cash outside the U.S. (The ATM operators may charge additional fees as well.)
The only other fees that Lili charges are $5 for debit card replacements (beyond the first replacement), $25 for deposited check returns, and $20 for express mail.
For Whom is Lili Good?
Whether you call yourself a freelancer, contractor, gig worker, solopreneur, or something else, Lili takes some of the pain points out of running a small business. Dealing with quarterly taxes and separating personal and business transactions are important aspects of managing your finances. And the tools that Lili creates can make this easier.
Additionally, the low (or no) fees can also offer significant savings compared to other banks' offerings. However, the transaction limits mean Lili likely won’t be a good fit for anyone who’s freelancing full-time, makes large business purchases, or sells high-cost products or services.
Lili Business Banking Alternatives
Lili is one of the many business bank accounts out there that appeals to entrepreneurs and freelancers. While many consumer Lili bank account reviews are positive, you should shop around to see if you can find a better deal.
If you need a business bank account, consider these alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I open a separate account when freelancing?
Opening a separate account for your freelance business can help you easily distinguish between your personal and business income and expenses. It will then be easier to track your business’s cash flow.
Is Lili a real bank?
Similar to how many other online- and mobile-only banks operate, Lili partners with an FDIC-insured bank. The money in your Lili account will be held by Choice Financial Group (the bank), which also issues the Lili debit card. However, Lili created the freelancer tools, interface, app, and offers customer support.
Which bank is best for freelancers?
Lili is one of the few banks that has tools that were specifically created with freelancers in mind, which could make it a good option. However, the transaction limits might be too limiting for some freelancers.
Can I deposit cash with Lili?
You can deposit cash at over 90,000 retail locations, including participating Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and 7-Eleven stores. You can deposit up to $1,000 per 24 hours ($9,000 per month) and the retailer may charge a fee of up to $4.95 per deposit.
Is Lili good for small businesses?
Yes, Lili is good for small businesses. Lili online banking reviews are largely positive and focus on the benefits for small business owners.
How long does Lili check deposits take?
When you deposit a check, Lili business banking ank reviews the checks details and deposits the funds to your account within five days.
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Our Business Banking Partners
BlueVine Business Checking, Found, Lili, Mercury, NorthOne, Novo, Relay, US Bank
|Credit Score Required||None|
|Pricing||No service fees|
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