Best Small Business Software

Best Free Software for Small Businesses in 2021

Finding the right free small business software can be a game changer. We've scoured the market to bring you the very best free software tools to help your business grow.

Good software is expensive, and free software is typically full of bugs or not secure. However, high-quality, free software tools do exist. They're hard to find, but worth searching for – these solutions can provide a big boost to your business at an unbeatable ROI.

Most often, software vendors offer these free plans as a way to acquire new customers. They hope that you'll enjoy their products, and eventually decide to pay for a more advanced, full-featured version of their software.

We've tested each of the free plans listed below. In fact, we use many of these small business tools ourselves. While you might choose to upgrade to a paid plan in the future, these free plans provide enough functionality that you likely won't need to.

Table of Contents

What Software Do Small Businesses Need?

Software is quickly becoming a necessary ingredient to running any small business. Today, software exists to support every major business function. In addition, small businesses have been increasingly forced to use software to acquire & engage customers through the Internet and digital communication channels. The major types of software used by small businesses are:

Is There Any Free Accounting Software?

Accounting software is one of the most universally used among small businesses. Fortunately, there is high-quality, free accounting software. The best free accounting software plan is offered by Wave. Here's an overview of the features available in Wave's free plan:

Accounting software
  • Unlimited income and expense tracking
  • Track sales tax on income and expenses
  • Fully functional double entry system. Generate financial statements for year-end
  • Powerful reports on Overdue Invoices & Bills, Cash Flow, Profit & Loss and more
  • Unlimited bank and credit card connections
  • Instantly see how your business is performing on your dashboard
  • Unlimited invoices: make and send as many as you'd like
  • Accept credit card and bank payments right in the invoice (fees as low as 1%)
  • Get more time back with recurring billing
  • Automatically sync your invoices and accounting all in one place
Receipt Scanning
  • Unlimited receipt scanning with our free mobile app
  • Integrate seamlessly with the accounting software by Wave
  • Capture receipts even when you’re offline
  • Available on Android and iOS
  • Incorporate receipts into your accounting reports
  • Scan multiple receipts all at once

The Best Free Software For Small Businesses

Below is our list of the best free software for small businesses. Our team of analysts has reviewed hundreds of software products – those below are highly rated, and happen to be 100% free. In fact, we use the majority of these tools ourselves.

Podium Starter

Podium is a highly popular customer engagement tool that is used by over 50,000 small businesses of all types. Major features include two-way text messaging, web chat, customer review management, and payment processing.

The full product is expensive – it starts at about $400 per month. However, Podium recently launched a free version of its product, known as Podium Starter. Podium Starter includes most major features found in Podium's paid plan – each is just more limited. For example, Podium Starter only includes 250 review invites.


PandaDoc is one of the leading electronic signature software vendors in the world. They also happen to offer the best free plan in their market. PandaDoc's free plan allows you to create and send an unlimited number of documents each month. We take advantage of this plan ourselves.


SEMrush is one of the most popular software platforms used by search marketers. If you invest in search engine optimization (SEO) or paid search ads on Google, SEMrush can help. The software comes with many useful features to help you find target keywords, build search ads, track your performance in online search, and learn about your top competitors.

The company doesn't really advertise its free plan – but it exists. Read our guide on how to get a SEMrush free plan.


SMSBump is a popular SMS marketing tool ideal for Shopify and BigCommerce stores looking to build powerful campaigns centered around customer retention and engagement. Over 90,000 businesses have used SMSBump for their ecommerce stores. Standout features like campaign flows, segmentations, and diverse automations help both new and experienced ecommerce businesses build successful SMS marketing campaigns.

SMSBump's free plan includes features like SMS campaigns and automations, primary subscription tools, audience segmentation, ROI and performance analytics, a Yotpo integrations and 24/7 email and chat support.


Gist is a leading live chat application. Gist offers a host of support and marketing features. Support features include live chat, chat triggers, chatbots, and agent performance reports. The marketing features include contact management, email marketing, and website popups. The free plan includes two seats and basic live chat capabilities. is another leading live chat application. Installing its live chat widget on your website will allow you to engage your website visitors in real time. gives away its software for free – you only need to pay if you want to remove their branding, or use one of their value-add services. For example, you can hire an agent to chat with your web visitors for as little as $1 per hour. is one of the world's most popular HIPAA compliant video conferencing solutions. Over 200,000 healthcare professionals use for telemedicine. If you're a medical professional, or just want a well-built, secure video conferencing tool, we recommend trying's free plan.

Google Drive

You've probably heard of Google Drive. It's the cloud storage and document product that contains Microsoft competitors such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. The business plan starts at $8 per person per month. However, Google Drive is completely free for individuals.


Slack is a widely-used team collaboration software platform. Organizations use it to streamline person-to-person communication – you might think of it as similar to AOL Instant Messenger, if you're old enough to remember it.

Slack's free plan comes with all of its major features – team chat, 1:1 voice and video calls, 10 integrations with other apps like Google Drive or Office, and 10,000 saved messages. We are satisfied customers of the free plan at SoftwarePundit.


Trello is a highly popular project management software used by organizations around the world. Its product helps teams stay organized and finish projects on schedule. We use the free plan's kanban-style board to track the progress of tasks for various projects.


Avail is built specifically for property managers. While it's not for all small businesses, this property management software is a good tool to be aware of. The free plan does not include payment processing fees, property marketing tools, or credit checks.


Wave is a freemium accounting software that’s ideal for service-based small businesses. The accounting reports, invoicing, and business bank accounts are offered for free; services like payroll and bookkeeping must be purchased. With a streamlined dashboard, easy-to-navigate interface, and add-on features like payroll and tax filing, Wave is a fantastic choice for any small business with standard accounting needs.


HubSpot is an intuitive, advanced CRM solution that is best suited for larger companies with complex workflows. We also recommend it to those who would prefer to use an all-in-one platform and prioritize having in-platform digital marketing tools in their CRM.

Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit. He leads the team's research and publishes content about software products and trends. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed technology companies, and launching new businesses. You can connect with Bruce on LinkedIn.

Bruce is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Dental software
  • Mental health software
  • SEO software
  • Social media software

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