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This website is an informative comparison site that aims to offer its users find helpful information regarding the products and offers that will be suitable for their needs. We are able to maintain a free, high-quality service by receiving advertising fees from the brands and service providers we review on this website (though we may also review brands we are not engaged with). These advertising fees, combined with our criteria and methodology, such as the conversion rates, our team of reviewer's finding and subjective experience and product popularity, impact the placement and position of the brands within the comparison table. In the event rating or scoring are assigned by us, they are based on the position in the comparison table, or according to other formula in the event specifically detailed by us. See our How we Rate page and Terms of Use for information. The reviews, rating and scoring are provided “as-is” without guaranties or warranties regarding the information contained in our website, which shall not be considered as endorsement. We make the best efforts to keep the information up-to-date, however, an offer’s terms might change at any time. We do not compare or include all service providers, brands and offers available in the market.

Lili – Business Online Banking

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Overview

Lili is a women-owned and operated financial technology company that’s been providing an alternative to traditional banking since 2018. It’s an all-in-one mobile banking app that includes various business and tax-related tools and services. It’s designed to help entrepreneurs and freelancers streamline their finances, increase revenues, and save money and time.

The app is entirely digital, has no account fees or minimum balance requirements, and is easy to set up. It can pair with external bank accounts and third-party apps like PayPal and Venmo to make online transactions convenient. Lili’s banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group, Inc., an FDIC-insured institution.

Overall, Lili strives to eliminate many of the hurdles that freelancers and small business owners face to help them thrive. It’s also known for having a customer-first approach to personal and business finances and for focusing on the individual’s financial well-being.

Account Types

Account Type Key Features Bonuses
Business Checking Account
  • No minimum balance, transaction, or account fees
  • Comes with expense categorization, reports, and tax-saving tools
  • Real-time notifications with transactions
  • With Lili Pro, the daily spending limit is $5,000; it’s $3,000 with the Basic plan.
  • Cashback rewards on business and personal purchases using the debit card (Pro plan).
Automatic Savings Account
  • 1.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
  • Option to automatically transfer money every day to an “Emergency Savings Bucket”
  • Can set customized savings amounts
Tax Bucket
  • Automatically set aside a percentage of business income for taxes
  • The money is separate from the other accounts, but it’s always available
  • Option to manually add additional funds to the account or to change the automatic amount

Lili offers two plans for customers:

  • Lili Basic: This free plan comes with several features. These include a Visa Business Debit Card, Business Checking Account, direct deposit, quarterly reports, and expense tracking for tax savings.
  • Lili Pro: At $4.99 a month, this plan includes everything from the Basic plan. It also has a Premium Visa Business Debit Card with cashback rewards and overdraft protection through BalanceUp. Plus, it comes with an Automatic Savings Account with 1.00% APY, invoicing software, advanced expense tracking, receipt scanning, and annual business report generation.

Business Checking Account

Available under both the Lili Basic and Pro plans, the Business Checking Account is designed for small businesses and freelancers. It has no monthly or annual fees, no signup fees, and no minimum balance requirements.

Other key features include:

  • Expense management to categorize business and personal expenses, track spending, and maximize tax savings.
  • Option to connect a third-party payment app or external bank accounts to the Lili account for fast transactions.
  • Direct deposit to receive money up to 2 days earlier.
  • Over 38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide (part of the MoneyPass network).
  • Up to $200 overdraft protection on debit card purchases through BalanceUp.
  • Insights into spending habits.
  • Push notifications every time money comes in or leaves the account.
  • Secure FDIC-insured banking on up to $250,000.
  • Online monthly statements through the app.

The Lili Pro plan also comes with a Premium Visa card with cashback rewards that get automatically deposited into the account.

Automatic Savings Account

Lili Pro comes with an Automatic Savings Account, or Emergency Savings Bucket. This account lets you automatically set aside regular fixed amounts, which can be changed at any time. It also comes with the option to add money manually. You may withdraw from this account up to six times a month.

Besides that, the savings account comes with easy monitoring via the app and online monthly statements. It also has up to 1.00% variable APY.

Tax Bucket

The “Tax Bucket” lets business owners and freelancers automatically set aside a certain percentage of their business income for taxes. Lili can help you determine the right amount based on things like estimated annual income and expenses. It can also help reduce the risk of tax penalties and maximize tax savings.

Other related features include:

  • Write-off tracker: This lets you categorize all transactions into personal or business to catch every possible tax break and estimate your tax savings. It also lets you make a percentage of each transaction business or personal (ex. 60% business, 40% personal).
  • Schedule C: When it’s time to file taxes, Lili can automatically pre-fill the annual 1040 Schedule C form to make the process easier.
  • Receipt scanner: This lets you scan any business or personal receipts and upload them into the app for safe-keeping.
  • Expense reports: Depending on the plan, Lili can automatically generate quarterly and annual business expense reports. It also summarizes all expenses to help you keep track of spending throughout the year.

APYs

Lili’s savings account comes with variable 1.00% APY that is subject to change. Here’s an example of what this could look like with an initial deposit of $20,000:

Term Compounding interest Total
1 year $200.92 $20,200.92
3 years $608.83 $20,608.83
5 years $1,024.98 $21, 024.98

Best For

Lili is best for independent contractors, freelancers, and small business owners located in America. It’s also good for anyone who needs help with business expenses management, invoicing, and saving for taxes. The company excels in the following areas:

  • Removing the hurdles that keep small business owners and freelancers from growing.
  • Categorizing and separating business and personal expenses.
  • Tax optimization, savings, preparation, and more.
  • Real-time expense tracking and other financial insights.
  • Having no minimum deposits or monthly fees.
  • Convenient digital transactions through pairing it with external bank accounts and third-party payment apps like Venmo.

Overdraft fees

The Lili Pro plan comes with an optional feature called BalanceUp. This is essentially fee-free overdraft protection on debit card purchases. Once enabled, Lili automatically covers up to $200 of purchases that exceed the account balance. The app then notifies you of the overdrawn amount. The next time you receive a direct deposit, the amount gets automatically deducted from it.

BalanceUp is free. To be eligible, you must:

  • Receive at least $500 in direct deposit from an employer, gig economy payer, client, or payroll provider.
  • Be currently enrolled in the Lili Pro plan.
  • Bring the account current within 30 days of overdrawing.

Lili’s overdraft protection is only valid for debit card purchases. Any ACH payments, payment app transactions, or ATM withdrawals are not covered.

Additionally, if you don’t have BalanceUp enabled, you’ll need to bring the account current within 3 business days of overdrawing. You may use the tax bucket, savings account, or an external account to do this. Or you may make a separate deposit into the checking account.

Opening an account at Lili

Opening an account with Lili is fast and easy – in fact, it only takes about 3 minutes. The first step is to create an email and password. From there, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • First and last name as shown on your legal documents
  • U.S. mobile number for two-step authentication
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Mailing address (U.S. only)
  • Industry for your business (ex. Business Consultant or Photography)
  • Business entity (ex. Single Member LLC, Sole Proprietor, or Freelance on the side)

Next, choose either the Lili Pro or Lili Basic plan, depending on your needs. Review and confirm the information and agree to the Terms & Conditions. Then, submit the application.

Although opening the account only takes a few minutes, it can up to 2 weeks for the debit card to arrive. Fortunately, you don’t need to wait for the physical card to arrive before using it. Once it shows up in your account on the app, you can activate it and start using it for digital transactions.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Business checking, emergency savings, and tax bucket accounts to streamline finances
  • No hidden fees, no account maintenance fees, and no minimum balance requirements
  • Great starter services for small business owners and freelancers, such as tax optimization, invoice templates, and expenses management tools
  • Automatic savings with cashback rewards

Cons

  • Not enough features for those looking for more advanced tax prep or for people who are running larger businesses
  • Only one business debit card per account
  • The Pro Plan with its more advanced features costs $4.99 a month
  • Although there’s a large network of fee-free ATMs, each out-of-network transaction costs $2.50 (excluding provider fees)

Comparison to similar bank accounts

Bank Promotions Fees & Minimums APY Main Benefits
Chime
  • $100 referral bonus for you and a friend
  • $0.01 minimum (Savings & Spending Accounts)
  • No monthly fees
  • 0.50% APY (Savings Account)
  • Offers three accounts: Savings Account, Spending Account, and Credit Builder Account.
  • Good for building credit
  • Can link Chime’s SpotMe app to a Visa card for access to 38,000+ fee-free ATMs
Novo
  • $40 referral bonus
  • Discounts on certain business tools (ex. Google Cloud and Intuit QuickBooks)
  • No ATM fees and unlimited refunds for using out-of-network ATMs
  • $27 insufficient funds fee
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • None
  • Business checking account only
  • Offers business tools, including a Novo Mastercard debit card, Novo app, third-party app integration, mobile check deposit, unlimited invoicing, and more.
  • Discounts on certain business services and software

Customer Service

Lili’s business hours are Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 7 PM EST. There’s also a 24/7 chat bot on the mobile app.

On Trustpilot, Lili has 4.7 stars and 897 reviews. Most customers are satisfied with the service they receive, stating the representatives they speak with are polite, informative, and helpful. There’s also a lot of praise about the app’s ease of use.

Final Thoughts

Lili takes a customer-first approach to mobile banking. It’s dedicated to making it easier for small business owners and freelancers to run their business, cut tax costs, and manage their expenses. The app has only been around for a few years. However, it offers a streamlined, inexpensive way to handle expenses and taxes so you can focus on growing your income and business.

Lili has highly positive reviews on Trustpilot, especially when it comes to customer service and the app. Since it is a newer company, it’s still somewhat limited in the different financial planning and business services it offers. It does, however, have many of the tools needed for small businesses and freelancers.

Disclosure
This website is an informative comparison site that aims to offer its users find helpful information regarding the products and offers that will be suitable for their needs. We are able to maintain a free, high-quality service by receiving advertising fees from the brands and service providers we review on this website (though we may also review brands we are not engaged with). These advertising fees, combined with our criteria and methodology, such as the conversion rates, our team of reviewer's finding and subjective experience and product popularity, impact the placement and position of the brands within the comparison table. In the event rating or scoring are assigned by us, they are based on the position in the comparison table, or according to other formula in the event specifically detailed by us. See our How we Rate page and Terms of Use for information. The reviews, rating and scoring are provided “as-is” without guaranties or warranties regarding the information contained in our website, which shall not be considered as endorsement. We make the best efforts to keep the information up-to-date, however, an offer’s terms might change at any time. We do not compare or include all service providers, brands and offers available in the market.
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Lendstart aims to simplify complicated topics in the personal finance field. Gain insight from our thought leaders, seasoned industry experts, who strive to provide timely and practical information on current market trends.
This review is based on the writer's personal opinion.