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Best Printer for Small Business Needs: Top 4 Picks

James MacMillan Image
ByJames MacMillan
October 13,2021

Let’s face it - we won’t be rid of paper anytime soon. And to fill that paper, you need printers. You may think printers all just do the same thing with different brand labels, but a randomly-chosen device for your office could break within weeks. We all know printing legal documents and promotional material yourself is far more efficient than getting someone else to do it, but you need the right printer for that, right?

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Best All-Rounder
Brother HL-L8360CDW Logo
1. Brother HL-L8360CDW
Starts at:
$349.99 /
SEE OFFER
Ease of use

EXCELLENT

Performance

EXCELLENT

Print quality

GOOD

KEY FEATURES
PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Intuitive touchscreen
  • High optimal and maximum workload
  • Cost-effective
Best Monochrome Option
Canon imageCLASS MF445dw Logo
2. Canon imageCLASS MF445dw
Starts at
$249
SEE OFFER
Ease of use

EXCELLENT

Performance

EXCELLENT

Print quality

EXCELLENT

KEY FEATURES
PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Easy setup
  • High input load
  • Fast and efficient
Best Affordable Option
HP LaserJet Pro M15w Logo
3. HP LaserJet Pro M15w
Starts at
$109.99
SEE OFFER
Ease of use

EXCELLENT

Performance

GOOD

Print quality

GOOD

KEY FEATURES
PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Simple to use
  • Fast output
  • Generous ink supply
Best Long-Term Option
Epson EcoTank ET-M2140 Logo
4. Epson EcoTank ET-M2140
Starts at
$432.98
SEE OFFER
Ease of use

GOOD

Performance

EXCELLENT

Print quality

EXCELLENT

KEY FEATURES
PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Superb inkjet option
  • Reliable
  • Extremely cost-effective

The Small-Business Printer Guide

The first step when buying a printer – or anything, really – is knowing what to look for. Everything from the printer type, tray capacity, connectivity, to display quality takes some consideration. All the best printers for small business needs come in two types: laserjet and inkjet. Inkjet printers are older and usually bought for home use or when anticipating modest printing needs. That’s not to say that the right inkjet printer can’t serve a small business perfectly adequately – after all, we included some options in this list, too. As a final note, images tend to turn out better than text with this type of printer, but this isn’t always the case.


Laserjet printers are the go-to option for most people. As a rule, they’re fast, efficient, and have fewer technical problems than even the best inkjet printer for a small business. Their input and output trays also tend to have high capacities, letting you print large stacks of individual flyers, for example, or a thick legal file. However, inkjet printers often achieve higher quality results than that of laserjets, which explains why there are still plenty of great inkjet options on the market.


For more specialized needs, there are also various printers for photos, posters, labels, and more. Still, to meet the general printing needs of most small businesses, we decided to focus this review on multi-purpose devices instead of finding, say, the best label printer for a small business. 


In all likelihood, you’re looking for a printer that has solid essential functions, but you wouldn’t mind one that goes beyond, either. Thankfully, most printers these days strive to provide scanning and copying functionalities on top of their primary purpose. Although you may use it as a single-function printer, for the most part, there’s no telling when you might need to copy or scan something, with no time to waste. Basically, if you have the budget for it, we would advise you to aim for the best 3–in–1 printer for your small business.

Our Methodology

Ease of Use

No one wants a clunky printer that needs coaxing every time you want to get a single form out of it. A printer that’s efficient and easy to configure, however, will do just fine. You need to carefully examine how easy it is to reload cartridges, change settings, and if you can connect to it via Wi-Fi. A touchscreen-operated device is often the safest option, as these are clearer and simpler to use than old-school printer interfaces; luckily, they’re also a staple on many of the best printers for a small business.

Print Quality

Print quality is a significant consideration, too - you don’t want your documents to be messy and ink-stained or too pale to read. The exact quality you’ll be aiming for depends on your business needs, of course. If you’re primarily dealing with documentation, you don't need state-of-the-art results. You might prefer to prepare for any occasion, though, so it’s important to know that you’ll often get better-quality text results with laser printers and better-quality images with inkjets. However, this is not a strict rule, so look into every feature carefully when purchasing the best photo printer for your small business or any other kind you might need.

Load Capacity and Speed

If you just need a printer for the odd document now and again, you needn’t worry too much about either of these. On the other hand, if your printer will be integral to the daily running of your business, these aspects require careful consideration. Manufacturers generally include a recommended and maximum monthly printing limit. The recommended load maintains the printers’ overall performance, while the maximum represents how much paper the printer can physically handle. The best printer/scanner for your small business will have a high number for both.

Running Costs

Though often overlooked, a printer’s long-term running cost can amount to its original price many times over. In particular, some printers cost a lot more to run than others, and ink or toner can be expensive, especially if you spend it generously. If you just need a printer for occasional use, its price tag should be prioritized over any eventual expenses. However, running costs should be your primary concern when purchasing the best printer for a small business office as they can quickly grow astronomical.

Printer Price

Before the cost of running a printer comes the cost of buying one. A cheap printer may come back to haunt you if it breaks down or runs out of ink or toner in no time at all. If you’re only planning on using it now and again, this shouldn’t worry you too much. But if your business is dependent on printing high volumes of forms, files, or anything else, then the right choice will probably be more expensive. The best printers for small business purposes will save you time and money in the long run, even with their high price bracket, so consider the price in light of the future use frequency.

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Best Printer for Small Business in 2021

  1. Brother HL-L8360CDW
  2. Canon imageCLASS MF445dw
  3. HP LaserJet Pro M15w
  4. Epson EcoTank ET-M2140

Reviews of the Best Printers for Small Business Use

Brother HL-L8360CDW Review
Brother HL-L8360CDW Review Logo FIND OUT MORE
Ease of use

EXCELLENT

Performance

EXCELLENT

Print quality

GOOD

  • ⦿ All-in-one functionality
  • ⦿ Easy configuration
  • ⦿ High-quality text prints

Ease of Use

The Brother HL-L8360CDW is a premium device: Configuration is the work of a few seconds, thanks to its straightforward touchscreen interface. All you need to do is set up the Wi-Fi connection and printing preferences, and you will have at your disposal what’s possibly the best laser printer for a small business. A printer with a touchscreen is preferable to one controlled by fiddly buttons, after all – a few simple taps will get you where you need to go.

Print Quality

If you seek high-quality text prints, the Brother HL-L8360CDW abides. Photo quality is lower than what you would get with an inkjet, but it’s pretty decent for a laser printer.  

Load Capacity and Speed

The Brother HL-L8360CDW will also easily print up to 4,000 papers each month. The speed goes up to 33 sheets per minute. The stock model includes a 250-page adjustable tray. This hefty volume already makes it the best multifunction printer for small business needs, but you can increase the capacity to 1300 sheets by adding new trays to its system. This comes at an extra cost but can be worth it over the long-term.

Special Features

You can easily hook it up to your computer via USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi, which means excellent adaptability to a wide range of workspaces.

Running Costs

Running costs are quite low: The replaceable Brother Super High-yield Toner cartridge in black will supply you with 6,500 pages. You can purchase it for $84.99. In other words, the best copier–printer for a small business will run you about $0.013 for a black-and-white print and about three times as much for one in full color. You can get all the cartridges through the Epson store, and choose between high-yield and super-high-yield options. If you need to print an abundance of high-quality colored prints, the Brother HL-L8360CDW can save you a lot of money. 

Printer Price

Consider carefully before buying, as the price for this all-rounder is $349.99. If this seems like a worthwhile investment, then it’s likely the best printer for your small business.

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Canon imageCLASS MF445dw Review
Canon imageCLASS MF445dw Review Logo FIND OUT MORE
Ease of use

EXCELLENT

Performance

EXCELLENT

Print quality

EXCELLENT

  • ⦿ Amazing monochrome prints
  • ⦿ Versatile connectivity options
  • ⦿ High printing speed

Ease of Use

The Canon imageCLASS MF445dw is a high functioning, all-in-one printer that’s targeted at small businesses. It’s designed to be simple to operate via touchscreen. You can tilt it according to your preferences from its spot on the front of the printer. The menu itself offers streamlined setting customization.

Print Quality

The Canon imageCLASS MF445dw is a monochrome printer of exceptional quality, and it’s easily our top pick for the best black–and–white laser printer for a small business. If you have business documents or legal forms to print, the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw won’t let you down. There are no color options, so if you need to print leaflets, posters, or anything designed to be flashy, this printer is a bit of a let-down, and the same goes for photo-printing. 

Load Capacity and Speed

On the plus side, it holds up to 350 sheets of paper and can be customized for up to 900. You’ll be printing at tremendous speeds, too: 40 printed sheets will pop out per minute – about as good as it gets with even the best office printer for a small business. 

Special Features

You can hook up the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw to your computer via ethernet cable, USB, or Wi-Fi, making it practical for any office space. It also comes with a multitude of cloud connectivity options: You can connect it to Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Mopria. You can also manage your printing needs via its highly functional mobile app. This versatility makes the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw great for both tech-savvy and conventional users. It’s really one of the best wireless laser printers for your small business.

Running Costs

Running costs are pretty low – just under four cents per page, or just above two cents if you get the imageCLASS High Capacity toner cartridge. Otherwise, the maintenance costs for using the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw won’t be too high, either. You can find black-and-white printers for a lower purchase price, but they won’t hit nearly the same printing speed. 

Printer Price

The cost of the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw is $249.00. It might seem overpriced for a monochrome printer, but we believe it to be worthy. You’ll get a high-performance printer working at a rapid pace and a reasonably low running cost. It’s the best printer–scanner for small business document-oriented needs.

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HP LaserJet Pro M15w Review
HP LaserJet Pro M15w Review Logo FIND OUT MORE
Ease of use

EXCELLENT

Performance

GOOD

Print quality

GOOD

  • ⦿ Small and portable
  • ⦿ Wallet-friendly
  • ⦿ App-operated

Ease of Use

The HP LaserJet Pro M15w weighs just 3.8 kg. In fact, it’s the world’s smallest laser printer for its class. The HP LaserJet Pro M15w is simple to use, too. There are only three buttons, and no screen – even a toddler could operate it. 

Print Quality

You get what you pay for, meaning that the quality isn’t quite the same as you’d get from the best laserjet printer for a small business. On the other hand, if you don’t need your files to be masterpieces of printing art, this HP printer is more than up for the job.

Load Capacity and Speed

The HP LaserJet Pro M15w volume is fairly low – just 150 sheets of paper, with no room for extra trays. This shouldn’t be an issue for those who just need it for small batches, however. It will chuck out 19 sheets per minute – enough to get most jobs done without frustration. The recommended monthly load is up to 1,000 sheets, and no more than 8,000 if you want to avoid a total failure.

Special Features

The HP LaserJet Pro M15w is not the best HP color laser printer for a small business, nor does it have an abundance of flashy features. However, its stripped-down nature doesn’t cut down on connectivity: You can primarily print via Wi-Fi, but should your network go down, you can still operate it through a USB port. Should you so prefer, its smartphone app lets you set up the printer and initiate prints from your storage or the cloud.

Running Costs

The HP LaserJet Pro M15w is more cost-effective than an inkjet. That being said, the running costs are more-or-less average when compared to any other best laserjet printer for small business purposes. If you expect a high printing load, it’s probably best to invest in a bigger printer with more trays. On the other hand, if you want to save money and know you’ll only be printing several sheets of paper at a time, the HP LaserJet Pro M15w is an excellent option.

Printer Price

This high-functioning printer is priced at $109.99 and presents an enticing deal. It will undoubtedly get the job done with minimal hassle and technical expertise required. After all, small businesses often need to save money on equipment, and the HP LaserJet Pro M15w is certainly a superb best printer for a small business candidate.

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Epson EcoTank ET-M2140 Review
Epson EcoTank ET-M2140 Review Logo FIND OUT MORE
Ease of use

GOOD

Performance

EXCELLENT

Print quality

EXCELLENT

  • ⦿ Long-lasting ink cartridges
  • ⦿ Ink refill included
  • ⦿ 3-in-1 device

Those looking for an all-in-one printer may have found it with the Epson EcoTank ET-M2140. Unlike the laser printers that we’ve reviewed, this is a classic inkjet.

Ease of Use

This scanning, copying, and printing device has a basic set-up. The settings screen doesn’t have the highest resolution, but it’s more than enough to get things to work. However, this isn’t the best network printer for a small business as it has no Wi-Fi adapter. This works in your favor during the set-up – no need to configure Wi-Fi settings! If you’ve been using laser printers over the last few years, this Epson EcoTank model will jog your memory on installing ink cartridges, too.

Print Quality

The Epson EcoTank ET-M2140 delivers exceptional 1,200 x 2,400 dpi prints. Its performance is incredible, too, printing out 39 pages per minute at full speed. Monochrome though it may be, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth for speed and quality. It might even be the best commercial printer for your small business.

Load Capacity and Speed

The Epson EcoTank ET-M2140 can hold 250 sheets in the input tray and 100 in the output. Pair this up with its rapid speeds, and you can have a hefty document ready in a matter of minutes. Each ink bottle can serve up to 11,000 pages, and the maximum monthly volume for the printer itself is a whopping 20,000 pages. Months could pass before you’d ever have to think about replacing the ink cartridge.   

Special Features

This 3-in-1 option doesn’t come with any gadgets, relying on the sheer quality of its service to entice users. 

Running Costs

The Epson EcoTank ET-M2140 is the best printer for a small business in terms of running costs. One ink cartridge gives you 11,000 pages, and you get two of those with the printer. When you spend those, a replacement will cost you less than $20 – in other words, less than $0.002 per sheet. Once you’ve paid for the Epson EcoTank ET-M2140, you won’t be paying for much else. 

Printer Price

It’s the steepest on this list, let’s just say, at $432.98. It will get you months of uninterrupted printing, scanning, and copying, though. If you’re on the hunt for a long-lasting device that does only a few things but does them well, this is the best printer for your small business. The performance and quality of this device are simply exceptional. The fact that it can’t be accessed through the internet or be app-operated might seem like a drawback, but this keeps you safe from attacks. And as long as you find a way to connect it to your office computers via USB, you’ll be satisfied with the Epson EcoTank ET-M2140.

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FAQ
What is the best laserjet printer for small business?

Many businesses now prefer laserjet printers over inkjet options, which have mostly been relegated to home use nowadays. For example, the Brother HL-L8360CDW was our laserjet printer of choice for business purposes. It has exceptionally high-performance levels and will print high-quality text documents for you. The running costs are not daunting, either. Setting up this device is simple, and its wide touchscreen interface allows for easy use. If you have the budget for its relatively steep purchase price, it’s the best multifunction laser printer for small business needs.

What is the best printer to buy for a small business?

The answer to this question depends on what you’ll use your printer for. Different printers will give you varying levels of image and text quality, and you need to know how many papers you’ll use on a regular basis. If you’re not sure about any of that, the best all-rounder on this list is the Brother HL-L8360CDW: This workhorse of a printer will deliver you outstanding quality prints at high speed for a relatively low price. For general use, you could even call it the best printer and scanner for a small business.

How do I choose a small business printer?

You need to weigh what the printer offers against your business needs. If you can expect high printing volumes, you’ll want to look into printers that offer additional trays or come with high capacities right off the bat. If you just need a printer for occasional usage, then a cheaper and smaller model will probably suffice. If this seems too broad, check out our detailed methodology to see what aspects are crucial when choosing the best printer for your small business.