23 Best Free Business Software Solutions for 2021

Free business software helps your company save money and become efficient. You can use free business tools to do accounting, accept payments, and pay employees. To evaluate and rank this kind of software, we analyzed features, overall quality, online user reviews, and our personal experience with the tools. Below is our list of 23 of the best free business software solutions available.

1. Wave: Free Accounting Software

Screenshot of Wave Dashboard

Wave has an easy to use dashboard that allows you to manage sales, accounting, banking, and payroll from one account.

Wave is an accounting, invoicing, and receipt tracking software for small businesses. We rank it as one of the best free accounting software available. Its free plan includes bank and credit card connections, unlimited income and expense tracking, and unlimited receipt scanning with Android and iOS apps.

Wave’s invoices have professional templates you can customize based on your business needs. The accounting software is cloud-based, so you can access it on any device with internet access.

With its free software, Wave is missing payroll abilities. For an additional monthly cost, you can do employee tasks like manage vacation time, calculate benefits, and pay your employees. Overall, Wave’s online user reviews indicate that users enjoy the software’s overall ease of use. User complaints center around tech issues and poor customer service.

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2. Square: Free Point-Of-Sale Software for Small Retailers

The Square magstripe reader is available for both Android and Apple phones and tablets.

Square is a free point-of-sale (POS) software. A point-of-sale records and processes payments from customers. Overall, we consider Square the overall best free POS software.

When you sign up for a Square account, you receive a free magstripe reader. Included with the Square software are analytics and reporting, inventory management, and a basic customer relationship management (CRM) system. Additionally, you get a free Square online store that syncs your in-store and online inventory, so you know exactly how much product you have in stock.

The costs of Square come when you process a payment. For every swipe, Square charges 2.75%. So for every $100 paid from customers, you have $97.25 deposited in your bank account. The 2.75% rate is competitive with other payment processors.

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3. Zoom: Free Video Conferencing Software

Screenshot of Zoom App on MobileZoom is a cloud-based platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars. Its free accounts provide unlimited one-on-one meetings and group video conferences limited to 40 minutes and 100 participants. All video calls are fully secured with SSL and AES 256-bit encryption.

A unique feature of Zoom is its active speaker view, which is a dynamic technology that shifts the video feed to the current speaker. With this, you don’t need active video management.

Zoom’s free version is missing reporting features. So, you can’t see how many meetings are being held in your organization or how many people are attending.

If you’re a consultant or coach doing one-on-one meetings, the free version of Zoom is all you need to have successful video calls. During video meetings, you can teach and show examples by sharing your computer screen. You can also record your screen for the client to listen to or watch at a later date. Additionally, during the meeting, you can send links from Zoom’s chat feature.

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4. Google Docs: Free Document and File Storage

Screenshot of Google Docs Personal and Business

Google Docs allows users to edit a document at the same time from two different computers and locations.

Google Docs is part of a suite of free cloud-based tools provided by Google. With Google Docs, you can create word processing documents and share them with team members. The team members can edit the documents at the same time.

All the writing and edits are saved in real time. Google Docs is a great free alternative to Microsoft Word. A downside of the free version of Google Doc is its storage is capped at 15GB.

Many business owners struggle with figuring out how to share documents, photos, and videos with co-workers or remote workers. Something unique about Google Docs is the ability to upload photos, images, and documents and share a link with whoever needs to download them. This saves time because you don’t have to share the photos or documents from a physical device like a USB flash drive. Additionally, your business documents, photos, and videos will never get lost or misplaced because they are stored in the cloud.

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5. Zoho CRM: Free Customer Relationship Management Software

Screenshot of Zoho Crm Marketing Attribution

Zoho CRM’s marketing attribution dashboard

A customer relationship management (CRM) system helps businesses and sales teams manage customer relationships. Zoho CRM is the most comprehensive free CRM solution on the market. We consider Zoho CRM to be the best free CRM available.

One of its top free features is its marketing automation, which other free CRMs typically charge for. Along with 10 email marketing templates and email marketing authentication tools, Zoho CRM includes a website visitor tracking system that tracks leads as they go through your sales pipeline.

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6. Homebase: Free Employee Scheduling Software

Screenshot of Homebase Mobile App

The Homebase mobile app allows employees to see their upcoming shifts and schedule shifts in advance.

Homebase is a software that helps you manage appointments or shift scheduling. It is one of our top-rated free employee scheduling software.

The free version of Homebase is for one location and an unlimited number of employees. It includes features like scheduling, time sheets, a time clock, reporting, and the mobile app. Restaurants, hair salons, retail stores, spas, and massage businesses all benefit from a scheduling software.

What the free version is missing is SMS messaging and mobile GPS clock-in. If you need to send reminders to customers about their upcoming appointments, you have to pay an additional cost. If you have off-site employees and want to use the GPS clock-in to confirm their locations, you need to pay an additional cost as well.

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7. Freshdesk: Free Customer Support Software

Screenshot of Freshdesk Dashboard

Freshdesk gives you the ability to track customer support tickets with an analytics dashboard.

Freshdesk is a customer support (help desk) software that helps organize support request tickets in order of receipt and ticket communication with customers. This is helpful for businesses that have a product or service that customers may need assistance with.

Many business owners use a support ticket software if they find email to be too complicated to manage their customer support. A con to Freshdesk’s free version is the inability to automate tickets using time and event-based triggers.

The Freshdesk software also helps you create a “knowledge base” to display on your website. A knowledge base is similar to an in-depth frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on a website. Customers use the knowledge base to answer their own questions and resolve their issues. Additionally, if you’re communicating with the customer through email, you can link to your article, answering the customer’s question without having to type out the full answer.

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8. Mailchimp: Free Email Marketing Software

Screenshot of Mailchimp Dashboard

The Mailchimp dashboard provides easy to read analytics on recent analytics and overall email list growth.

Mailchimp is a web-based email marketing software. You need an email marketing software, in addition to using an email provider like Gmail, so you can send an email out to hundreds or thousands of customers at once.

Additionally, you can use Mailchimp to tag customers based on certain behaviors, like purchasing, and to send emails to targeted customer lists. This is helpful when you want to send a specific message to a group of customers.

For example, if you operate a residential maintenance business, you can tag customers by certain services they received, like gutter cleaning, pressure washing, landscaping, and snow shoveling. Once you tag customers according to their previous service, you can send a targeted email reminding them they can receive the service again. As a general marketing rule, the more targeted an email is, the more likely a recipient will open and respond to it.

There are a few downsides to Mailchimp’s free email marketing plan. You won’t be able to use custom branding on the emails. You also cannot A/B test different subject lines in the same email campaign; this determines which subject lines receive a higher open rate. Additionally, you don’t get access to all email templates.

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9. Payroll4Free.com: Free Payroll Software

Screenshot of Payroll4Free Features for Under 25 Employees or Contractors

These features are all free if you have under 25 employees or contractors.

Payroll4Free.com is a completely free payroll software—we rated it as the best free payroll software available for under 25 employees. The program’s free features include pack check calculations, form preparation, and reports on earnings. Payroll4Free.com also includes QuickBooks integration.

What the software is missing is that it doesn’t file your taxes or provide year-end W-2s or 1099s. Overall, the reviews for Payroll4Free.com are positive. However, there have been complaints regarding its slow customer service for free users of the software.

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10. Canva: Free Graphic Design Software

Screenshot of Canva Dashboard

Canva has dozens of photo editing tools like cropping photos to get the perfect image for your business’s marketing.

Canva is a free tool that helps you design graphic images such as logos, posters, flyers, and social media photos. Many small business owners use Canva to design social media images. Canva has preset sizes for social media images like the Facebook banner and YouTube thumbnail.

One great part of Canva is its free educational tools. You can enroll in its free online design school to watch tutorials on applying color palettes, creating animated GIFs, and designing Instagram Highlights.

Canva’s free version is missing some features like downloadable designs with transparent backgrounds. With paid versions, you receive access to over 400,000 free photos, templates, and illustrations; you can also use branding features with the ability to upload custom fonts and color palettes.

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11. Sumo: Free Website Tools to Automate Growth

Screenshot of Sumo for Desktop and Mobile

Sumo provides free tools to grow your email list like a customizable pop-up to collect emails, which is optimized for both computer and mobile.

Sumo provides a suite of free tools that help you turn your website visitors into customers. All tools come with free options that can be upgraded for additional customization, features, and analytics. One of Sumo’s appealing aspects is that it’s no cost to integrate its tools with platforms like WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.

One of the most popular tools from Sumo is List Builder, which is a pop-up that uses smart technology. The technology tracks when website visitors are most likely to enter their email address and shows the form at that time. Another popular tool Sumo created is the Welcome Mat, which is a pop-up that fits the entire screen after a page is loaded. This is a great way to direct a website visitor’s attention to a discount or freebie.

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12. Hootsuite: Free Social Media Management

Screenshot of Hootsuite Providing a Content Calendar

Hootsuite provides a content calendar so you can visually and easily see what type of social media content will be posted.

Hootsuite is a social media management platform that lets you plan social media content in advance of posting. Manage posts and interact with comments from social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Hootsuite’s free plan is limited to one user, three social media profiles, and 30 scheduled posts. However, that is plenty of in-advance content for the average small business. Once you see results, you can upgrade to the professional plan with unlimited scheduling.

Something unique about Hootsuite is its mobile app. If you’re away from your computer, you can still schedule social media posts in advance through your phone. You can also reply to comments on any social platform and assign inbound messages to team members.

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13. WordPress.com: Free Website and Blog Builder

Screenshot of WordPress Free Website Builder

WordPress.com has dozens of free website templates for you to choose from.

WordPress.com is a free website builder and content management system. This is different from WordPress.org, which is a more complicated (and robust) website platform. WordPress.com is a great free option for a small business on a budget.

If you start with the website builder, you can eventually transition your content to WordPress.org. With its free option, WordPress.com offers 3GB of storage, which is more than enough for the average small business.

Free hosting (space on a server where your website information is stored) is included with WordPress.com. The only required cost is purchasing a domain name, which is the www.(yourcompanyname).com or your web address, and this is around $12 a year. Additionally, you can choose to create a blog instead of a business website. A blog organizes content in chronological order, whereas a website has more flexibility but is less organized.

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14. Trustpilot: Free Tool to Get Online Reviews

Screenshot of Ancestry.com Reviews on Trustpilot

Get a profile page from Trust Pilot that showcases your business’s online reviews in one place.

Trustpilot’s free version comes feature-rich to help you obtain and share online reviews from customers. You will be notified of every new review that comes through Trustpilot’s review link. If there is a negative review, you have the ability to respond.

Every month, you can send up to 100 verified invitations for customer reviews, which means customers are asked for documentation proving they bought your product or service.

Integrate product reviews on ecommerce websites such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. Additionally, you can embed Trustpilot’s review form on your website and direct customers to visit your website to leave a review.

There are sharing features included in Trustpilot’s free software plan. Once your business gets a positive review, share it to Facebook, Google My Business, LinkedIn, or Twitter directly from the Trustpilot dashboard.

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15. Nav: Free Business Credit Reports

Screenshot of Nav Business Credit Score

Nav has an easy to read dashboard for reviewing your business’s credit score.

Nav provides free personal and business credit reports. Business credit can affect whether you qualify for loans and leases, get favorable terms from suppliers, or win bids on government contracts. You can establish business credit by opening a business bank account and getting a D-U-N-S Number with Dun & Bradstreet. You can also build business credit by using its credit cards and working with vendors that report payments.

In addition to the credit reports, Nav provides free fraud monitoring with 24/7 alerts. You also have access to a one-on-one consultation with a lending specialist. Nav provides this consultation, because once you know your business credit and build it up, you can eventually purchase one of Nav’s business lending products like a loan, line of credit, or invoice financing.

What you can get in Nav’s paid version is $1 million in identity theft insurance protection.

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16. Trello: Free Visual Project Management Software

Screenshot of Trello Boards

Trello allows you to create project management cards containing information like to-dos, attached documents, labels, and messages.

Trello is a Kanban-style project management solution, which focuses on balance of work load. You can use it to organize several aspects of your business such as clients, projects, and to-do lists. We consider Trello as one of the best free project management software available.

You’re able to add due dates to Trello’s individual cards to keep on top of deadlines. The software can be used on web, mobile, and desktop.

Online user reviews for Trello are generally positive. Users say they like the user-friendly and intuitive interface. They also enjoy features like the card activity history, and third-party app integrations like Slack and Jira.

Negative user reviews centered around the software being too simple for more complicated project management and difficulties with finding a specific card on the activity board.

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17. Evernote: Free Note Taking and Organizing App

Screenshot of Evernote Individual Project

Evernote provides note taking templates for business related tasks.

Evernote is an app that allows you to record and organize notes, files, photos, and voice memos. It’s cloud-based, which means it can be accessed on any device. A unique feature that Evernote has is that it integrates with the Google and Siri digital assistant, so you can record notes by voice and without having to open the app. Additionally, once you record a note in Evernote, you can send it to employees even if they don’t have the app.

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18. Hunter: Free Email Address Finder

Screenshot of Hunter Search Results

Hunter provides email addresses in an easy to read pop-up screen.

Hunter is a software that searches for emails listed on a particular website. This tool saves you time by not searching the website looking for available email addresses, which are sometimes hidden. When searching for emails, you can filter by the type of email, for example, “contact@…”

Additionally, you can search by a person’s name, which can be a huge time saver if thousands of emails are available on the company’s website. Hunter’s features benefit anyone in public relations or business development who needs to get in contact with a specific person.

Something unique Hunter provides is the most common email structure the company uses. This helps you accurately guess an email address that isn’t publicly available. For example, Hunter will say “{first}@company.com” to indicate most emails at this company are simply the person’s first name. When Hunter does provide an email address, it indicates if the email is verified with a green check badge so that you can email the recipient with confidence.

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19. AND.CO: Free Proposal & Invoice Software

Screenshot of And.Co App for Mobile and Desktop

AND.CO has a desktop and mobile version so you can track time worked from your phone.

AND.CO is an invoicing, proposal, and expense tracking software. In its free pricing plan, you are able to add one active client and only use AND.CO’s standard contracts. If you’re a startup or new to contracts, this is a great opportunity to learn more about important sections and clauses in business contract agreements.

There are several other tools you can take advantage of with AND.CO’s free plan. You can create invoices for your client and receive payments at a competitive payment processing rate in addition to managing and organizing your projects with its task management software.

If you’re working for a client by the hour, you can use AND.CO to track your time and easily send invoices for the time your work was recorded. Something missing with AND.CO’s free plan is the ability to edit contracts.

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20. JotForm: Free Online Forms

Screenshot of JotForm New Customer Registration Form

JotForm has dozens of pre-made business related templates to use, like New Customer Registration.

JotForm is an online form builder that can generate leads, collect payments, and distribute surveys. The forms are fully customizable to fit your brand, so you can add colors and your logo.

Additionally, you can use JotForm as a way to collect payments from clients. It integrates with over 30 payment processors. JotForm also integrates with online apps, like Mailchimp, Salesforce, and Google Drive, so you can automatically import information collected from the forms.

Online user reviews for JotForm are generally positive. Customers say that the form builder is easy to use and that they enjoy using the premade forms. Other customers like that they didn’t have to learn code to create the forms and are happy with the ability to add as many form conditions as they want. Complaints for JotForm were about how the collected information was unorganized and the low quality of PDF-based forms.

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21. Mailtrack: Free Email Tracking for Gmail

Screenshot of Mailtrack Last Opened Emails on Laptop

Mailtrack has an easy to use dashboard interface that tells you what emails were opened or unopened.

Mailtrack is a free software that integrates with Gmail. It tells you when an email was opened by a recipient and how many times it was opened. You can enable real-time notifications that tell you the moment that an email was opened. Mailtrack’s free option allows for unlimited email tracking.

If you are doing a lot of networking and pitching through email, Mailtrack is indispensable. Many business owners believe that a potential customer or client is not interested in their product or service because they did not receive an email response. Before a business owner makes that assumption, they need to know if the email was ever opened. Mailtrack gives you the ability to know that firsthand for free.

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22. SurveyMonkey: Free Online Surveys

Screenshot of SurveyMonkey Mobile App

Survey Monkey comes mobile friendly.

Before rolling out a new product, service, or feature, it’s common for businesses to survey their customers. SurveyMonkey provides free online surveys that you can customize and send to customers. Its free plan is limited to 10 questions or elements per survey and is limited to 100 responses. This is still a great option for a startup to get feedback from early customers on their experience using its products or services.

Surveys on SurveyMonkey come fully customizable. You can also choose from the templated surveys like customer satisfaction, event surveys, job satisfaction, and employee engagement.

SurveyMonkey has a mix of positive and negative user reviews. There have been complaints about the limited features with the free software. Other users enjoy the robust mobile app and numerous integrations it has with other software applications.

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23. Evite: Free Online Invitation Software

Screenshot of Evite Custom Invitation

Evite allows you to customize the content of your e-invitation like Title, Type, Host, Time, and Description.

Evite is software that provides free online invitations and helps manage the guest list. There are pre-designed e-invitations that are customizable for occasions like networking events, retirements and farewells, fundraisers, real estate open house, and general meetings. Evite also has a mobile app available for both Apple and Android. You can use the app to create and manage your event.

With Evite, you can also encourage event attendees to take photos and upload them to the event’s private feed. This is a great way to gather social media content for future use. Evite has a unique feature that allows you to encourage event invitees to contribute to a crowdfunding campaign with a link in the e-invitation. This is an excellent option if you need to raise capital before opening your business.

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