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Best POS For Small Business: 2023 Guide To Choosing The Right POS System For Your Small Business

A POS isn’t just a point of sale system; it’s a hub of operations. The best POS system for small business gives you everything you need to keep your business running smoothly.

    Nicolette Kier
  • UPDATED

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.
Best small business POS

The best POS system for small businesses is easy to use, has the right industry features for your business type, connects to affordable POS hardware, and comes at the right price. A good point of sale system for your small business will have reasonable contract terms, payment processing fees, and no hidden fees or conditions.

Keep reading our guide to the best POS for small businesses to find a system with features that can grow your business.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Lightspeed Retail POS

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  • Advanced inventory management, multilocation management, strong retail functions
  • $69+/ Month
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments
  • Advanced inventory management, multilocation management, strong retail functions
  • $69+/ Month
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments

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Square POS

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  • Free retail POS, free restaurant POS, free website builder
  • $0+/Month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.5%-2.6% + $0.10
  • Free retail POS, free restaurant POS, free website builder
  • $0+/Month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.5%-2.6% + $0.10

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Clover POS

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  • Easy setup, several hardware options, choice of payment processor
  • $0+/ Month
  • Flat-rate 2.3%-3.5% + $0.10 (dependent on monthly plan)
  • Easy setup, several hardware options, choice of payment processor
  • $0+/ Month
  • Flat-rate 2.3%-3.5% + $0.10 (dependent on monthly plan)

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Revel POS Systems

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  • Highly customizable, several niche features
  • $198+/ Month
  • 2.49% + $0.15 or custom payment processing
  • Highly customizable, several niche features
  • $198+/ Month
  • 2.49% + $0.15 or custom payment processing

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TouchBistro

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  • Offline sales mode, custom server interface, great inventory management
  • $69+/month
  • Custom payment processing rates
  • Offline sales mode, custom server interface, great inventory management
  • $69+/month
  • Custom payment processing rates

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Toast POS

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  • Durable handheld POS hardware, custom loyalty program, grows with your restaurant
  • $0+/ Month
  • 2.49%-2.99% + $0.15 for most in-person payments
  • Durable handheld POS hardware, custom loyalty program, grows with your restaurant
  • $0+/ Month
  • 2.49%-2.99% + $0.15 for most in-person payments

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Shopify POS

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  • Low-cost card reader, online store, social media/marketplace selling
  • $29+/ Month
  • 2.4% to 2.9% with Shopify Payments
  • Low-cost card reader, online store, social media/marketplace selling
  • $29+/ Month
  • 2.4% to 2.9% with Shopify Payments

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PayPal Zettle

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  • No monthly fees, no contract required, low-cost card reader
  • $0/month
  • Flat-rate payment processing at 2.29% + $0.09
  • No monthly fees, no contract required, low-cost card reader
  • $0/month
  • Flat-rate payment processing at 2.29% + $0.09

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KORONA POS

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  • High-risk payment processing, loss prevention features, ID scanner
  • $49+/month
  • Custom payment processing options
  • High-risk payment processing, loss prevention features, ID scanner
  • $49+/month
  • Custom payment processing options

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Odoo

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  • Free open-source POS, wholesaler features, free website builder
  • $0+/Month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.7% + $0.05
  • Free open-source POS, wholesaler features, free website builder
  • $0+/Month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.7% + $0.05

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Table of Contents

10 Best POS For Small Business

The best POS for small businesses has good inventory management, is customizable, is easy to use, and has good POS contract terms. Lightspeed Retail, Square, Revel, TouchBistro, Toast, Clover, Shopify, PayPal Zettle, KORONA, and Odoo are among the best POS options.

1. Lightspeed Retail: Best For Retailers

Lightspeed Retail POS


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Pros

  • Made specifically for retailers
  • Impressive inventory management
  • In-house eCommerce platform
  • Excellent multi-store features

Cons

  • Add-ons can be expensive
  • Extra fee for using an outside payment processor

lightspeed best pos system

Why We Chose Lightspeed Retail POS System For Small Business

Lightspeed Retail is easily one of the best retail POS systems at its price point. As long as you’re willing to pay a bit extra, Lightspeed has everything small-to-medium-sized retail businesses could need to sell and manage their business, with excellent customer support to guide you through it all. Lightspeed is the best POS system for any retail store that needs features, such as advanced inventory management, vendor purchase orders, built-in eCommerce, and a plethora of software integrations in case you want to make your system even more powerful.

Lightspeed Retail is also one of the best POS systems for rental businesses, specifically because of the system’s quoting, reservation, and extensive inventory management capabilities. Whether you rent out photography equipment, party furniture, or wedding venues, Lightspeed Retail has got you covered.

Note: Lightspeed Retail offers a 14-day free trial, no credit card is required.

Lightspeed Retail POS System For Small Business Pricing

Lightspeed Retail pricing starts at $89/month ($69/month billed annually) for the Lean plan, which includes core Lightspeed point of sale software, plus gift cards, an open API, and multi-store support.

You can upgrade to the $149/month ($119/month billed annually)  Standard plan to get accounting and built-in eCommerce features or the $269/month ($199/month billed annually) Advanced plan to add loyalty and analytics.

The above pricing is only for merchant who use Lightspeed’s in-house payment processor, Lightspeed Payments. No matter what subscription level you sign up for, you will pay an extra $50/month if you choose to integrate an outside payment processor instead of using Lightspeed Payments.

Additional registers on any plan cost $59/register/month.

Lightspeed Small Business POS Features

All business owners will appreciate Lightspeed’s customizable loyalty program, intensive inventory matrixing features, work order monitoring, and eCommerce capabilities.

Retailers will appreciate Lightspeed’s unique shopping features, such as purchasing online for in-store pick up, item holds/layaway, and an online customer return/exchange portal. You can also sell subscriptions and memberships with Lightspeed Retail.

If you rent out items, venues, or services, Lightspeed Retail has excellent form builders, appointment scheduling, and a dedicated reservation app.

Lightspeed is also great for wholesalers. It has a quote system, catalog builder, customer accounts, pricing adjustments/discounts by customer group, minimum order requirements, and wholesale to individual item breakdowns.

Finally, we are impressed by Lightspeed’s multi-location features, which include:

  • Stock transfers across locations
  • Pricing variations depending on location
  • Allowing customers to choose where to pick up online items
  • Loyalty points syncing across locations so customers can collect/redeem points at all stores

Hardware Cost

Lightspeed sells iPad and desktop PC hardware kits as well as individual hardware components, all of which are quote-based.

Payment Processing

In-house processing with Lightspeed Payments is included in all plans. The rate is 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments. Manually keyed-in payments are charged at a rate of 2.6% + $0.30 (including online payments).

Lightspeed optionally allows you to integrate an outside payment processor for an additional $50/month.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

To get the best prices, you have to sign up for at least an annual Lightspeed plan. However, there are early termination fees for cancelling a plan, so we recommend starting with a monthly plan until you’re sure Lightspeed Retail is a good POS for you.

Integrating an outside payment processor or paying month-to-month will cost you an extra $50 charge every month.

Also, you must verify that you have received your Lightspeed hardware within five business days of receiving it. If you don’t, the equipment is not covered under Lightspeed’s 30-day warranty (14 days for Apple products.)

Get Started With Lightspeed Retail POS

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2. Square: Best Free Option

Square POS


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Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • Feature-packed free plan
  • Works for any industry
  • Works on most mobile devices
  • Affordable POS hardware

Cons

  • Payment processing is high for higher-volume merchants
  • Account stability issues (rarely)

Square best free point of sale system for small business

Why We Chose Square POS System For Small Business

Square is one of the best free POS systems because it offers free eCommerce, free employee management, free inventory management, free appointment scheduling, and more. No other free POS provider offers as many features as Square does, or at least no provider executes these offerings as well as Square.

Square is also one of the best CBD POS systems, as Square has a CBD-specific POS program. The program allows merchants to sell CBD online and in person.

Note: Square’s free plan is absolutely free to use. There’s a 30-day free trial for paid plans.

Square POS System For Small Business Pricing

Square POS is free ($0/month) with unlimited registers/devices. You can, however, purchase paid Square add-ons, such as advanced team management ($35/month/location), email marketing ($15+/month), and loyalty ($45+/month/location). Additionally, Square has dedicated point of sale systems for specific industries, including Square Appointments (for salons and other appointment-based businesses), Square for Restaurants, and Square for Retail, all of which offer free and paid plans.

Square Small Business POS Features

Square dominates the POS market due to its completely free retail, restaurant, and service-based business POS offerings. The most notable free features include:

  • Free eCommerce/online ordering site for retail/restaurant businesses
  • Free Square Online checkout links for selling online without a website
  • Free appointment scheduling through Google, Facebook, Instagram, and your own website
  • Unlimited number of registers on free plan

Square also has unique EBT sales and CBD sales capabilities, Instagram and TikTok sales abilities, and QR code sales.

The Square Plus plan offers multilocation management features, automated purchase order creation, employee management functions such as employee permissions and Square Payroll, and the Square KDS (kitchen display system).

Hardware Cost

Hardware prices range from $0 (just use your mobile phone and a free Square magstripe reader) to $1,668 for a complete Square Stand Restaurant Station kit. The kit includes an iPad, swiveling Square Stand with magstripe reader, portable Square Terminal ($299 when purchased separately), Square chip and tap reader, cash drawer, kitchen printer, and USB receipt printer.

Payment Processing

Square has built-in payment processing on all plans, charging a flat 2.6% + $0.10 per tap, dip, or swipe. Manually keyed-in card payments have a rate of 3.5% + $0.15, while online payments are 2.9% + $0.30.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Square’s month-to-month contract is ideal for any business that doesn’t want a long-term commitment. After signing up, you’re not even committed to using the POS at all, as there is no monthly minimum. A caveat is that Square has an aggregated merchant account model (i.e., businesses do not get their own dedicated merchant accounts), which can lead to withheld funds on transactions that Square’s algorithm flags as high-risk or even sudden account termination for some merchants.

Get Started With Square POS

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3. Clover POS: Best Out-Of-The-Box Features

Clover POS


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Pros

  • All-in-one POS package
  • Easy to set up and customize
  • Possibility for custom payment processing fees
  • Excellent hardware choices

Cons

  • Hardware can be expensive
  • Some Clover resellers are shady
  • Possible long contract terms

Best POS system

Why We Chose Clover POS System For Small Business

Clover is a one-of-a-kind POS system that is mobile, modern, and uniquely designed for small businesses. Clover is an ideal choice of POS if you want a plug-and-play POS with strong out-of-the-box features.

Once you purchase your Clover system — you’ll buy your complete hardware setup as a package, complete with bundled software apps — you can get up and selling in minutes. You can also add additional features from a vast Clover app market to create a system perfectly tailored to you, whether you have a retail, quick-serve, full-service restaurant, or service industry business.

Clover POS System For Small Business Pricing

Clover pricing starts at $0/month for its payments-only plan. However, to get the full Clover POS feature set, most business owners will choose one of the following plans:

  • Clover Essentials: $14.95/month
  • Clover Register: $44.95/month – $54.90/month
  • Clover Counter Service Restaurant: $44.95/month – $54.90/month
  • Clover Table Service Restaurant: $74.95/month – $94.85/month

Additional terminals on any plan cost $9.95/month.

Note: The above pricing is for business owners who buy their Clover hardware upfront. Clover does offer monthly pricing for both hardware and software, but purchasing your equipment upfront will cost you less in the long run.

Read our Clover pricing guide for more information on how Clover hardware and software purchases work, and how to get the best deal for your business.

Clover Small Business POS Features

All Clover users can use Clover’s offline payment mode, customer database building, loyalty program setup, integrations with some of the best payroll software for small businesses, and 450+ add-on apps available to create the POS system that fits their business’s every need.

Restaurant and bar owners will appreciate Clover’s pre-authorization function, perishable inventory management apps, online ordering page, self-serve kiosks, and surcharges for large parties.

Retailers and grocery store ownerss will appreciate these retail-centric features:

  • Buy online, pick up in-store/delivery options
  • Integrations with scales, barcode scanners, etc.
  • Customizable inventory management and item tracking
  • Item returns via virtual terminal

Clover’s built-in ID verification, EBT capabilities, and lottery sales app make Clover one of the best convenience store POS systems.

Hardware Cost

Clover hardware starts at $49 for a Clover Go Bluetooth credit card reader, which pairs with your smartphone, but most businesses wanting a complete countertop POS will go with the $1,349 Clover Station Solo.

Other hardware options include a portable Clover Flex for $499, a Clover Mini for $799, or a Station Duo for $1,799.

You do not need to purchase any Clover hardware if you choose the “No Hardware” plan, which lets you process payments online exclusively. However, you will pay higher processing fees to process online payments. It may be worth it, in the long run, to purchase POS hardware if your business operates primarily in person.

Payment Processing

Clover plans purchased through Clover.com include built-in payment processing on all accounts, with in-person rates ranging from 2.3%-2.6% + $0.10, depending on your monthly software plan. Online processing fees are 3.5% + $0.10 on all plans.

However, Clover systems purchased elsewhere may have different payment processing fees.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

If you purchase your Clover hardware and software from Clover.com, you will need to sign a 36-month or 48-month contract, with the potential for large early termination fees if you decide to cancel your contract before your term is up.

However, by signing a merchant agreement with one of these best Clover resellers, you can get short-term contracts, no early termination fees, and better payment processing rates and fees.

Get Started With Clover POS

Read our in-depth review

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4. Revel Systems: Best Advanced & Niche POS Features

Revel POS Systems


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Pros

  • Several hardware and software integrations available
  • Lots of custom/niche restaurant and retail features
  • Choice of payment processor
  • Strong offline mode

Cons

  • Long-term and minimum two-terminal contract requirement for best pricing
  • Less-than-transparent pricing for add-ons
  • Expensive for smaller businesses

top pos system for small business

Why We Chose Revel POS System For Small Business

Despite its steep price tag and long-term commitment, Revel Systems is arguably the most advanced iPad point of sale system out there, particularly for quick-serve (though many retailers use it too). Whether you need digital menu boards, self-order kiosks, caller ID integration, or all of the above, Revel has got you covered.

With this very customizable system, it’s one of the best options for even very specific niches, which is why Revel makes our list of best golf course POS systems and best drive-through POS systems.

Revel Systems POS System For Small Business Pricing

Revel Systems POS monthly pricing starts at $99/month, billed annually, with a two-terminal minimum. This means that the minimum you’ll spend on your POS is $198/month.

There is also a $674 one-time implementation fee.

Add-ons, such as online ordering, delivery management, kiosk ordering, multilocation management, and software integrations, are offered at a premium. However, Revel does not publicly disclose the pricing for those services.

Revel Systems POS System For Small Business Features

Revel offers retail, restaurant, services, and lots of niche/custom features for business owners in virtually all industries.

For restaurant owners, Revel offers one of the best KDS screens out there, drive-through restaurant POS management, tableside/online/curbside/mobile/self-serve kiosk ordering, multilocation menu management, extensive perishable inventory management, catering capabilities, and digital menu boards.

All Revel users will enjoy these unique POS features:

  • Offline payment capabilities
  • Open API (Application Programming Interface) so you can connect Revel to any other third-party software you want
  • Real-time inventory tracking
  • Intelligent reporting suite (on ingredients sold, labor versus sales, gift card usage, and more)
  • Delivery tracking and optimized driving routes

Hardware Cost

The iPad-based Revel POS hardware sold on Revel’s website is quote-based. The company also lists several compatible hardware options that you may source yourself.

Payment Processing

Revel has an in-house flat-rate payment processing service called Revel Advantage, with a standard rate of 2.49% + $0.15 per transaction. You can also integrate an outside payment processor of your choice for an additional fee.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Revel’s $99/month package requires annual billing, with a three-year processing contract with Revel Advantage. Given the two-terminal minimum, this means you are committing to pay at least $2,376 upfront per year for the next three years (in addition to payment processing fees).

Get Started With Revel POS Systems

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5. TouchBistro: Best For Quick-Serve Restaurants

TouchBistro


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Pros

  • Great offline mode
  • Excellent POS flow for servers and kitchen staff
  • Lots of payment processor options
  • Month-to-month contracts

Cons

  • No self-serve kiosks
  • Add-ons are pricey

TouchBistro food truck POS system

Why We Chose TouchBistro POS System For Small Business

We love how TouchBistro POS is designed to be intuitive for servers and kitchen staff. Restaurant staff will have no trouble getting customers in and out the doors with a quick turnaround time, while still providing an excellent dining experience.

There are several opportunities to make lifelong customers out of infrequent visitors, such as a loyalty and gift card program, customer profile building, and an online ordering system for people who need to get in and out quickly. Plus, TouchBistro’s offline mode allows mobile food service providers to take orders and payments on the go.

Restaurant owners who want a POS that can handle a high-energy quick service/fast casual restaurant should consider implementing TouchBistro at their restaurant, food truck, or catering company.

TouchBistro POS System For Small Business Pricing

TouchBistro pricing starts at $69/month for one system with annual billing. For additional registers and/or month-to-month pricing, you have to contact TouchBistro for a personalized quote.

There are also add-ons available at the following prices:

  • Online Ordering: $50/month
  • Loyalty Program: $99/month
  • Marketing: $99/month
  • Gift Cards: $25/month
  • Reservations: $229/month

TouchBistro POS System For Small Business Features

TouchBistro is a POS system designed by and for servers and kitchen staff to thrive in a fast-paced environment, which is why you can completely customize the server and KDS interfaces. It’s also great for caterers and food truck owners who need to take orders and payments on the go, since there’s a great offline payments mode.

TouchBistro offers the following best features for small restaurant owners:

  • Your choice of payment processor (so you can save money on processing fees)
  • Upselling reminders for servers
  • Ingredient-level inventory tracking
  • Great customer relationship management system
  • Online ordering suite

Hardware Cost

TouchBistro is an iPad-based POS system, so you can use iPads as registers and kitchen display systems. You can purchase a TouchBistro POS kit but must contact the company for a quote.

Payment Processing

TouchBistro has its own in-house payment processing solution powered by Chase that you can use, or you can integrate the POS with a number of payment processors including Moneris, Square, TSYS, and Worldpay.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

TouchBistro offers month-to-month contracts. However, people who get a custom plan report getting stuck with a year-long contract. Make sure you get a monthly contract before committing to anything in the long run.

Get Started With TouchBistro

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6. Toast: Best For Midsize & Multilocation Restaurants

Toast POS


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Pros

  • Restaurant-grade Android hardware
  • Complete restaurant management ecosystem available
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Excellent tableside and online ordering features

Cons

  • Must buy Toast hardware
  • Complicated pricing structure
  • High online payment processing rate

Toast pos hardware bundle starter kit

Why We Chose Toast POS System For Small Business

Toast’s features hold their own with pretty much any other restaurant POS system out there, and in many instances, outperform other restaurant-focused POS systems. Toast’s tailor-made restaurant hardware, which includes the handheld Toast Go 2 mobile POS (one of the best mobile POS systems), is a great solution for fast-paced midsize restaurants that need to take orders and payments, and send kitchen orders, to several locations.

Toast has also beefed up its digital ordering extras to include eGift cards, contactless delivery, and even a mobile delivery app.

Plus, Toast offers some of the best customer service we’ve come across in our reviews. Toast has a thorough onboarding and training process, walking you through every step of setup, and it doesn’t end there. Even after you get up and going, Toast customer support is available 24/7/365 via call, email, or web chat.

Note: Toast offers a Pay-As-You-Go plan that requires no upfront purchases or monthly fees. However, you will still need to sign a multi-year contract to use Toast.

Toast POS System For Small Business Pricing

Toast pricing starts at $0/month for the Pay-As-You-Go plan. However, since this plan comes with a high payment processing rate (2.99% + $0.15), most businesses should choose the $69/month Starter POS subscription ($59/month billed annually) or $165/month Essentials plan to include online ordering and delivery.

Note: The Starter plan is only for single-location restaurant owners who need a maximum of two POS systems. Once you exceed two POS terminals, additional charges apply.

Toast Small Business POS Features

Full-service restaurant owners will appreciate Toast’s floor planning, tipping functions, large party charges, and durable handheld POS so servers can take orders and payments from anywhere in the restaurants.

Quick-serve restaurant owners will appreciate that a single POS device can convert from register to self-serve kiosk to customer-facing display. Toast is also generally easy to use and train employees on, which eases the pain associated with the high turnover rates of quick-serve restaurants.

Toast’s best add-on features include:

  • Tableside ordering and online ordering (with delivery management)
  • Highly customizable loyalty program
  • Third-party delivery integrations
  • Multilocation management, including menu variations across locations
  • KDS designed to handle in-store, online, and delivery app orders

Hardware Cost

Toast hardware starts at $0 if you choose a Starter Kit on the Pay-As-You-Go plan. The kit includes Toast’s proprietary countertop POS or handheld Toast Go 2, which is one of the best mobile POS systems on the market.

Alternatively, you can pay for your Starter Kit upfront for $609 (with Toast Go 2) or $799 (with Toast countertop POS). The company has recently added a Guest Self-Service kit for $999 (or as part of the $0 down Pay-As-You-Go plan).

If you want to purchase a Starter Kit, you can build one on Toast’s website to figure out exactly how much you’ll pay per month. If you need more than two POS terminals, contact Toast for custom hardware pricing.

Payment Processing

Toast payment processing fees vary depending on your plan. On the Starter plan, you’ll pay 2.99% + $0.15 for most in-person payments. On the Standard plan, you’ll pay 2.49% + $0.15 for most in-person payments. You’ll pay 3.5% + $0.15 for online orders.

Note that, unlike the other providers on our list, Toast charges more to process American Express cards — 3.29% + $0.15 for in-person payments, and 3.89% + $0.15 for online orders.

It is not possible to integrate an outside payment processor with Toast POS.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Toast requires a two-year payment processing agreement. Similar to Clover, Toast hardware is proprietary and can’t be used with any other POS system if you decide you don’t like Toast.

Thoroughly read your merchant agreement so that you understand all the fees (including online processing fees, cancelation fees, and others) before you decide to commit to Toast.

Get Started With Toast POS

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7. Shopify POS: Best For In-Person & eCommerce Sales

Shopify POS


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Pros

  • Syncs eCommerce and in-person sales
  • Sell on social media and marketplaces
  • Unlimited devices per location
  • Lots of customization options

Cons

  • No offline payments mode
  • Possible transaction fees

shopify hardware

Why We Chose Shopify POS System For Small Business

Shopify is especially known for its strong eCommerce functionality, as this retail system started as an eCommerce company that made it easy for retailers to sell online. Shopify POS provides a bridge between your online and in-person sales, effortlessly syncing your inventory across multiple channels. With all Shopify plans on the Basic ($29/month) tier and up, you can start your Shopify online store and blog. Advanced omnichannel features, such as BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) and BORIS (buy online, return in-store), are included with all Shopify Pro plans.

Note: Shopify offers a three-day free trial, no credit card required.

Shopify POS System For Small Business Pricing

Shopify plans start at $29/month for the Shopify Basic plan but can range up to $299/month for an Advanced Shopify plan.

There is no fee to add additional register devices at the same location. Shopify also has a Shopify Pro add-on for $89/month, which includes staff roles and permissions and advanced omnichannel features.

Shopify Small Business POS Features

Shopify’s in-person sales solution integrates well with the company’s eCommerce software, making Shopify an excellent omnichannel sales option. With Shopify, retailers can:

  • Sell on your own website for in-store pickup, local delivery, curbside pickup, or shipping
  • Sell on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Snapchat
  • Sell on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Walmart Marketplace
  • Connect to dropshipping apps to start their own dropshipping business
  • Sync inventory across all sales channels

You’re not limited to B2C physical item sales, either. Shopify makes it easy to sell services, subscriptions and memberships, rental items, and complete B2B sales.

Plus, like Clover users, Shopify users have access to an app market full of 4,200+ Shopify add-on apps. You can add on anything from email collection popups to a customer service platform, to an employee management app or third-party accounting software you already use.

Hardware Cost

Shopify POS hardware ranges from a $49 Shopify card reader that you can use with a mobile phone to iPad POS hardware bundles listed at $639 (not including the iPad). All Shopify hardware pricing is listed on Shopify’s website.

Payment Processing

Processing with Shopify Payments is included on all plans, or you can use an external processor for an additional transaction fee. In-person payment processing fees for Shopify Payments range from 2.4% to 2.7%, depending on your plan. Online processing fees range from 2.4% to 2.9% + $0.30.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

All Shopify plans are billed month-to-month, which means there is no long-term commitment. You can spring for an annual plan for better pricing.

Something to know about Shopify Payments is that it is powered by Stripe, a third-party payment processor like Square. So you will not have your own merchant account with Shopify and could potentially experience account instability, particularly if you own a high-risk business.

Get Started With Shopify POS

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8. PayPal Zettle: Best No-Commitment Option

PayPal Zettle


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Pros

  • Free, no-commitment account
  • Lower payment processing than competitors
  • Affordable card reader
  • Accept QR code payments anywhere

Cons

  • Not built for high transaction volumes
  • Limited third-party integrations
  • Account stability issues

PayPal Zettle small business POS

Why We Chose PayPal Zettle POS System For Small Business

We love that PayPal Zettle is a low-commitment, low-barrier-to-entry POS solution for business owners who want to take payments in a fast, secure way. You don’t need to worry about negotiating a merchant agreement or paying for pricey hardware, so it’s easy to switch to another POS provider if and when you’re ready for a more advanced solution.

Plus, many POS providers allow you to use a PayPal Zettle card reader, so your investment in a card reader could be a long-term one, after all.

Low-volume sellers who take the majority of their sales online and want an easy way to sell in person should definitely consider signing up for a PayPal Zettle account.

Note: PayPal Zettle does not require you to sign a long-term contract and requires no monthly fees, making it the most low-commitment POS options.

PayPal Zettle POS System For Small Business Pricing

PayPal Zettle charges no monthly fees. All you’ll pay for are card readers and payment processing.

PayPal Zettle Small Business POS Features

Retailers only need to sign up for a PayPal Business account to start taking card, cash, and QR code payments. Through the Zettle app or web browser, retailers can also manage inventory, issue full or partial refunds, add discounts on orders, and sell physical/eGift cards.

PayPal Zettle’s most unique features for small businesses include the ability to:

  • Add an entire register setup to PayPal Zettle
  • Add PayPal payment buttons to any online presence you have
  • Integrate with the rest of PayPal’s small business tools, such as invoicing and subscriptions

Hardware Cost

The PayPal card reader costs $29 for your first one, and $79 for each subsequent one. The PayPal Terminal, which combines your POS app and your card reader into one device, costs $199. The PayPal Terminal plus built-in barcode scanner costs $239. You can add a printer and dock for an extra $50 at checkout.

Payment Processing

PayPal currently charges a payment processing fee of 2.29% + $0.09 per card present and QR code transaction.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

PayPal does not require you to sign a long-term contract but rather accept a user agreement, much like any PayPal user does to gain access to a PayPal account. Also, since PayPal does not offer dedicated merchant accounts, you may face account stability issues.

PayPal does not offer 24/7 customer support for Zettle users, but the system is so straightforward that we don’t imagine you’ll need to reach out much.

PayPal does limit the amount you can accept per transaction to $25,000, but most small business owners using Zettle do not run into this issue (if a huge transaction can be called an “issue” at all.)

Get Started With PayPal Zettle

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

9. Korona: Best For High-Risk Businesses

KORONA POS


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Pros

  • Lots of payment processor options
  • Regulated industry integration partners
  • Built-in ID scanner
  • Loss prevention tools

Cons

  • Limited number of third-party integrations
  • External API only available on custom plan

Korona POS dashboard

Why We Chose KORONA POS System For Small Business

We like how KORONA POS has features specifically built for business owners in high-risk industries such as the cannabis, CBD, vape, liquor, wine, and convenience store industry. It’s also hard for individuals in these niches to find a POS that works with a high-risk payment processor and payment terminal provider, but KORONA allows you to work with a number of merchant service providers.

Business owners in high-risk industries, especially those who want to franchise their business in the future, will find that KORONA offers (or allows you to find) everything you need to grow your business.

Note: KORONA offers an unlimited free trial, no credit card required. You sign up for a paid plan once you’re ready to accept customer payments.

KORONA POS System For Small Business Pricing

KORONA POS pricing is as follows:

  • Core: $49/month; includes unlimited users, core checkout functions, eCommerce store, manager functions, promotions, and gift cards
  • Advanced: $59/month; includes Core features plus inventory management and time tracking
  • Plus: $79/month; includes Advanced features plus inventory app, order level optimization, multi-store reporting, and franchising
  • Custom: Quote-based; includes Plus features plus ticket/event management, pre-built integrations, and a dedicated account manager

KORONA Small Business POS Features

KORONA’s most important feature is that the system will work with several high-risk payment processors, making KORONA one of the best POS systems for businesses in regulated industries.

Business owners in the cannabis, CBD, alcohol, vape, and convenience store industries will really appreciate these special features:

  • Built-in ID scanner
  • Forced cash drawer closing, blind till counts, and price change restrictions to reduce employee theft
  • Integrations with liquor store, dispensary, and winery-specific small business sales and marketing tools
  • Loyalty program that can be customized for regulated industries

All KORONA users will appreciate the system’s inventory and ordering optimizations, automated purchase ordering, customer profile and behavioral analysis, and custom tax settings. The system does accommodate multilocation businesses and franchises.

KORONA also offers ticket management and an eCommerce solution, so if you decide to host events at your dispensary or sell vapes online, Korona has your back.

Hardware Cost

KORONA does not list pricing online but is compatible with hardware from Epson, PartnerTech, PAX, Genius, Dejavoo, Econduit, Aures, Honeywell, and more.

Payment Processing

KORONA does not offer in-house payment processing but does integrate with several payment processors, including Merchant Warehouse and Merchant Payment Systems.

You can also integrate KORONA with several merchant service providers through PAX and Dejavoo payment devices.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

KORONA offers month-to-month contracts with no early termination fees. You can pay for an annual contract and get one month free.

The provider also offers an unlimited free trial, which means that you can’t take payments, but you can try out the software for as long as you need to before committing to it.

You do have to be careful about your merchant agreement and make sure the terms are fair for your business. High-risk business owners should expect to pay a little more for payment processing than other lower-risk business owners.

Get Started With KORONA POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

10. Odoo: Best Open Source POS

Odoo


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Pros

  • Free download
  • Works online and offline
  • Suite of compatible business software
  • Works with virtually any hardware

Cons

  • Customization is not intuitive
  • Some features require paid monthly subscription

Odoo small business POS

Why We Chose Odoo POS System For Small Business

We love that Odoo is flexible, affordable, and customizable for business owners of all sizes. The POS system includes built-in eCommerce, inventory, and accounting modules, plus any other add-ons that the Odoo community has developed on GitHub. Odoo is also famously scalable, so business owners who plan to scale up will find that Odoo is the perfect fit for them.

Odoo open-source POS is also the perfect POS software for business owners who either have some level of developer knowledge or want to hire someone to implement the software and keep up with its deployment.

Business owners who like that Odoo is a completely self-contained, scalable business solution, with integrated Odoo Inventory, Odoo Accounting, Odoo eCommerce, and more can pay one great price for everything Odoo has to offer.

Note: Odoo offers both free open-source software and cloud-hosted apps. Odoo offers a 15-day free trial for cloud-hosted apps.

Odoo POS System For Small Business Pricing

Odoo has released two versions of its software: Odoo Community (free, open-source) and Odoo Enterprise (licensed, cloud-based, paid).

Odoo Community is free and always will be, while the Enterprise version has the following pricing setup:

  • Free: $0/user/month; includes one app for Odoo Online
  • Standard: $24.95/user/month; includes all apps for Odoo Online
  • Custom: $37.50/user/month; includes Odoo Online, Odoo On-Premise, multi-company setup, Odoo Studio for custom web-based app building, and an external API

Odoo Small Business POS Features

Odoo offers open-source POS software that you can download and use for free. The Odoo developer community is also large and very active on GitHub, so it’s possible to add things like work order monitoring, event registration, shift planning, and more.

You can do just about anything with Odoo’s free open-source software, which is why business owners in industries from property management to wholesalers to custom item sellers can build the exact POS solution they need.

Some of Odoo’s best free POS features include:

  • Strong offline payments mode
  • Free website builder with eCommerce capabilities
  • Extensive inventory, invoicing, purchase order, and asset management
  • Your choice of payment processor (so you can find the processor with the lowest fees)

Hardware Cost

You can purchase a Stripe Terminal card reader to take in-person payments. Depending on your model, you may spend between $59 and $299.

Because Odoo is open-source, you can run it on just about any desktop computer, laptop, tablet, and on any Epson-compatible POS station. Any barcode or receipt printer with a USB connector can be used with Odoo POS.

Payment Processing

Odoo users can use Stripe to process online and in-person payments, so you’ll be subject to Stripe fees. There are no additional fees to take payments through Odoo.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

With any open-source product, users must be aware of any potential code breaks and security breaches. Having a dedicated developer (or being a business owner/dedicated developer) will help alleviate any pain points associated with backend coding.

Otherwise, if you really like Odoo’s flexible product offering and, frankly, its great pricing structure, but don’t want to worry about coding problems, consider purchasing the licensed version of Odoo.

Get Started With Odoo

Jump back to comparison chart

Why We Don't Recommend These POS Systems For Small Business

Vend

Vend has been acquired by Lightspeed and has transitioned into something more like a Lightspeed product, with the same pricing model and inventory management features. However, Vend does not offer a native eCommerce solution, which is why we don’t recommend Vend as one of the best POS systems for small businesses.

What Is A POS System For Small Business?

A POS system for small business is software that allows you to take digital forms of payment when you’re selling in person at a retail storefront, restaurant, or on the go. Your POS system pairs with POS hardware such as credit card readers and iPads, which function as registers to take customer orders.

What To Avoid When Shopping For A Point Of Sale For Your Small Business

When shopping for a point of sale for your small business, avoid long-term software contracts, difficult-to-use software, hardware leases (it’s more expensive than purchasing POS equipment), and outdated software. Also avoid choosing a POS system from a company that has poor customer service reviews, since you’ll most likely need to interact with a customer service representative at some point.

Finally, avoid choosing a point of sale that isn’t flexible enough for your business or one that can’t grow along with your business. If you plan on staying small, you may only need basic POS software. If you plan on expanding to more locations or offering more ways for customers to shop, avoid a POS system that can’t meet your needs.

We chose some of the POS systems above because they are low-risk, low-cost, and easy enough for very small businesses to start selling in person. The other POS systems on our list offer several pricing plans to meet the needs of growing businesses, with lots of industry-specific hardware and software features, and no hardware leases.

How To Choose The Best POS For Your Small Business

Many POS systems have similar offerings, making it hard to choose the right POS system for your particular business. Here are some important questions to ask yourself to narrow down your options.

Does The POS System Fit Your Business Type?

Some POS systems are better designed for a particular industry. For example, restaurants will benefit more from a system like Toast or TouchBistro that allows you to track ingredients than a system like Shopify, which is not designed primarily for the restaurant environment. Service-based businesses should use a POS that includes appointment scheduling and either a countertop or mobile POS.

If you have a very niche small business, look for a POS that offers the specific features you’ll need to keep your business compliant with the law and any features or integrations to allow your business to flourish.

What Kinds Of Payments Do You Want To Accept?

There are several types of payments you can take, including cash, card, QR/payment code, check, invoice, online payment, bank transfer, automatic payment, peer-to-peer payments (e.g. PayPal payments), mobile wallet payments, and more.

Your payment processing and hardware options will be dictated by the payment types you’d like to accept, as well as your industry type.

For example, if you are a mobile-first seller at events like trade shows or popup markets, consider taking QR code payments in addition to payments with a mobile card reader. Then, find a POS that allows you to do both.

Do You Plan On Selling In-Person & Online?

Your POS must be able to accommodate all your sales channels and sync inventory between channels. Otherwise, you risk overselling or losing orders and losing customers along the way.

For example, if you want to focus primarily on online sales but still take in-person sales, you’ll need a POS that accommodates multiple sales channels and syncs inventory. If you want to sell subscriptions, you’ll need to find a POS that allows for subscription billing without paying for external subscription software.

What Are Your Inventory Management Needs?

Your inventory management needs will vary depending on your sales volume, inventory type, and sales channels. Your POS system should allow you to track your inventory according to your needs.

For example, if you sell food, your POS must have built-in perishable inventory tracking or allow you to build an intuitive perishable inventory tracking system.

If you tag and sell a lot of inventory at a store and on the go, it would be ideal to get a POS with hardware that includes POS software and a built-in scanner.

What Payment Processing Fees Can You Expect To Pay?

Your payment processing fees can vary widely depending on whether you get your own merchant account, how long you have been in business, your sales volume, your average transaction amount, and your industry type, among many factors.

If your business is brand new or you don’t sell in large volumes, your business will not suffer from using a POS with flat-rate payment processing. Once your business grows, though, you should be able to negotiate lower payment processing fees.

Find a POS that has shorter-term contracts or allows you to choose your own payment processing terms if you plan on aggressive in-person sales growth. You’ll need one that works with high-risk businesses if you’re in a high-risk industry.

Once you’re ready for your own merchant account, read our post on how to negotiate a good merchant agreement.

Are The Features Worth The Price?

A lot of POS systems have an impressive feature set with in-depth customization capabilities, but those ones have a higher price point. You have to ask yourself whether you actually need (or will need in the near future) those attractive advanced features and whether they’re worth the price jump.

Advanced features are worth the price jump when they will definitely help you increase profits, meet your inventory and financial management needs, and keep you sane as a small business owner, among other things.

For example, while Revel POS has amazing restaurant features, very small eateries won’t need those advanced features until later on, and shouldn’t sign a long-term contract with Revel until they grow into large and/or multi-location businesses.

If you’re not sure what you should be paying for your POS or what hidden fees you might run into, read our post on POS costs.

Final Word On The Best POS For Small Business

The right POS system for your small business will fit your business’s size, type, and budget. Read our post on equipment financing if you don’t have the funds to purchase your POS system outright, and our post on small business funding if you need more capital to start your own business or accelerate your small business’s growth.

FAQs: POS System For Small Business

What is the best POS software for small business?

The best POS software for small businesses depends on your business’s industry, size, and budget. Square and PayPal Zettle are the best free POS software, while Revel and Lightspeed are the most advanced retail options.

TouchBistro and Toast are the best restaurant POS, while Clover and Shopify are good mid-tier multichannel sales options.

Is there free POS system for small business?

There are many free POS systems for small businesses, including Square and Loyverse, two of the best free POS systems for small businesses.

The open-source, community-based version of Odoo is also a good free POS system, although you may need some developer knowledge to implement it.

Which point of sale software is easy to use?

Square, Clover, and Shopify are all point of sale software that is easy to use.

How much is a POS system for small business?

A POS system for small businesses costs between $0/month and $250/month, depending on what kinds of features your business needs to perform well.

What is the best small business POS with a loyalty program?

The best small business POS systems with a loyalty program include Square, Clover, Revel, Lightspeed, Toast, and Shopify. These systems all offer tools to incentivize your customers to come back to your shop.

What is BIPOS (buy online and pick up in store)?

BIPOS (buy online and pick up in-store) allows your customers to look through your inventory, shop your sales, and find what they need without going through the aisles of your store.

Customers order and pay for their items online and pick them up at your store for a painless shopping experience. Some POS systems like Square and Shopify now offer eCommerce features so you can set up shop online and increase sales.

What are the types of POS systems?

The two main types of POS systems are on-premise and cloud-based. On-premise POS systems store data locally and don’t need to be connected to the internet, while cloud-based POS store data online and need the internet to function.

Most POS systems are cloud-based now, with some having an offline mode or on-premise solution.

What is the best open source POS?

The best open-source POS is Odoo Point Of Sale. It is part of a self-contained ecosystem of Odoo business software.

Can I use my phone as a POS?

You can use your phone as a POS if you choose a POS system that has a mobile device app.

For example, Square has a mobile POS app which, when paired with a Square contactless card reader, allows you to take payments using your phone.

What POS systems are compatible with Android devices?

Square, Clover, and Toast are Android-compatible POS systems. Read our post on the best Android POS systems if you don’t want an iPad-based POS.

In Summary: 10 Best POS For Small Business

  1. Lightspeed Retail POS:
    • Advanced inventory management, multilocation management, strong retail functions
    • $69+/ Month
    • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments
  2. Square POS:
    • Free retail POS, free restaurant POS, free website builder
    • $0+/Month
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.5%-2.6% + $0.10
  3. Clover POS:
    • Easy setup, several hardware options, choice of payment processor
    • $0+/ Month
    • Flat-rate 2.3%-3.5% + $0.10 (dependent on monthly plan)
  4. Revel POS Systems:
    • Highly customizable, several niche features
    • $198+/ Month
    • 2.49% + $0.15 or custom payment processing
  5. TouchBistro:
    • Offline sales mode, custom server interface, great inventory management
    • $69+/month
    • Custom payment processing rates
  6. Toast POS:
    • Durable handheld POS hardware, custom loyalty program, grows with your restaurant
    • $0+/ Month
    • 2.49%-2.99% + $0.15 for most in-person payments
  7. Shopify POS:
    • Low-cost card reader, online store, social media/marketplace selling
    • $29+/ Month
    • 2.4% to 2.9% with Shopify Payments
  8. PayPal Zettle:
    • No monthly fees, no contract required, low-cost card reader
    • $0/month
    • Flat-rate payment processing at 2.29% + $0.09
  9. KORONA POS:
    • High-risk payment processing, loss prevention features, ID scanner
    • $49+/month
    • Custom payment processing options
  10. Odoo:
    • Free open-source POS, wholesaler features, free website builder
    • $0+/Month
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.7% + $0.05
Nicolette Kier

Nicolette Kier

Expert Analyst & Reviewer
As a small business owner, contributing writer Nicolette Kier has been sharing her knowledge on all things related to freelancing and eCommerce since 2019. She earned a BS in Physics and a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh.
Nicolette Kier
View Nicolette Kier's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

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