Best Cash Registers For Small Business
Not all cash registers are built equal.
Some are specially designed to cater to the needs of small businesses but with so many choices it is still a daunting task to choose the right one.
Plus, add in the fact that choosing the wrong cash register for your small business is like throwing a wrench into your business machine.
That is why we did the tedious research of finding the best registers, continue below the see the top 5.
Startups and Individuals
$799 or $39 for 24 months
Contactless Payment, Custom Smartphone or Tablet Use
$69 to $229
Cloud-based system, multiple register connections
Large product lists
Built-in cash drawer, easy-to-use buttons
Best for Quickbooks Connection
Quickbooks Uploading, Integrated payment processing
Best for budgeting businesses
Financial reporting, cash drawer, four tax tables
Top 5 Cash Registers for Small Businesses
Below is a detailed list of the top 5 small business cash registers. Do note that these are listed in no particular order. Some of these registers are better suited for different operations, so it really depends on the type of business that you run.
In our list below we include a mix of cash registers as well as POS systems. If you don't know the difference, see our "what is the difference between a cash register and a POS?" page for an explanation.
Side note, if you would rather see our industry specific articles then choose below:
#1 Best Smallest Cash Register - Square POS Register
The Square POS Register is one of the best for startups or small businesses that require features you can only obtain from a POS system.
The system delivers a beautiful suite of features, including payment tools, inventory tools, sales tools, and business management tools.
All of these things are free beyond the low-cost register options that the company provides as well.
Square is different from your traditional cash register in that it allows you to essentially run your entire business from your tablet or smartphone.
You can also connect it to a desktop register if you run a storefront and need to sell items from a specific place.
You can think of Square as an all-in-one solution.
It combines POS software, cash register hardware, and credit card processing, all in a single system.
It is important to note, however, that you cannot rate-shop merchant account providers if you use the POS register provided by Square. The payment processing that Square provides small businesses is pretty budget-friendly, though. They have low flat fees and there aren’t any additional startup or monthly fees to worry about.
Because the system is POS-driven, Square has the ability to perform similarly to a traditional register, though can do much more! It supports appointment management and payroll, making it a great choice for coffee shops, cafes, spas, salons, and other types of boutiques and retail stores.
With a name like Lightspeed, you can expect efficiency, right?
Absolutely! The Lightspeed POS-based cash register makes use of a variety of multi-store management tools.
Whether you want to make purchases, deal with inventory, or check-in with staff, the LightSpeed POS Register has your back.
You can easily set up several registers in a number of locations while connecting all of the data to one cloud-based software system.
Compared to Square, Lightspeed’s features go far more in-depth, even though they both provide total operational oversight.
Similar to Square, Lightspeed has a variety of register options to choose from. You can choose computer-based registers or tablet-based registers. You can add hardware such as receipt printers, cash boxes, scanners, and more.
However, unlike Square, you must pay a monthly fee for Lightspeed access, which ranges from about $99 per month to $289 per month depending on how many registers you have.
In our opinion, the in-depth features make it worthwhile. Compared to standard cash registers, the features available on Lightspeed’s POS-driven cash register are more sales and operations based. You can customize your cash register with different pieces of hardware depending on what your needs are. You can use your cash register with a PC or Mac, as well as Android tablets, iPads, or iPhones.
Any device you choose connects to the advanced inventory management feature set from Lightspeed, which is the crown jewel of the system. One of the biggest reasons that small businesses sway towards POS registers instead of standard registers is that POS registers manage pricing options, customer data, and stock counts, all in real-time!
Lightspeed is one of the most cutting-edge POS-based registers on the market today, perfect for small businesses that are looking to take advantage of the best features available.
The Casio SE-C3500 is one of the best small business cash registers around for fast food or take-out operations.
And, as it so happens, the best smallest cash register in the market for those looking for the ideal compact register.
One of the greatest things about the Casio SE-C3500 is that it has the ability to hold up to 7,000 prices for different items.
Shops that have large product lists are a perfect fit.
This model supports a credit card terminal and an integrated barcode scanner.
It comes with a spill-resistant keyboard, which is a wonderful restaurant-centric addition, as well as 72 programmable keys.
This all-in-one cash register includes two built-in receipt scanners and a connected cash drawer. In terms of checkout efficiency, we’d have to say that it is one of the best on the list.
It comes with an optional software package that you can utilize to handles sales data transfer to your computer via an SD card, simplifying the setup.
If you are looking for a cash register that is scanner-enabled and that supports a massive price list, this is one of the best around. Of course, if you truly need POS features, you may want to consider getting another one.
The Sharp ZE-A207 is a great middle-of-the-road cash register.
Compared to many budget cash registers out there, it provides a few notable features that we love. For starters, it links up to QuickBooks Pro software.
Any fan of QuickBooks knows how important it is to business.
This cash register allows you to directly import all of your sales data into QuickBooks software to optimize bookkeeping.
Once you have everything linked up, you can use QuickBooks to perform a variety of business tasks, including reporting, purchase orders, inventory tracking, and more.
It is worth noting that the majority of POS-based cash registers support QuickBooks, though the Sharp XE-A207 is different, as it is far more budget-friendly than your standard POS system.
Similar to the Casio, the Sharp XE-A207 comes with a receipt printer and a cash drawer all in one unit. With that said, it does not support a barcode scanner, though you can connect it to a credit card terminal.
Because the Sharp can connect to a credit card terminal, it wins compared to cheaper cash register units that don’t come with connections. It supports a surprisingly long product list as well, including 2,500 stored products. It also stores up ID details for up to 25 employees!
In our opinion, the Sharp ZE-A207 is one of the best cash registers around for bars and cages.
#5 Sam4s ER-380
Sometimes you don’t need all of the fancy bells and whistles that come with cutting-edge POS systems or cash registers.
Sometimes all you need is an entry-level machine that can keep your cash safe while ringing up customers.
For those small businesses, the Sam4s ER 380 comes in handy.
This little machine comes with a variety of useful features that you can’t find in other models within the same price range.
Some of these features include financial reports, 12 departments, cash-in-drawer reports, a 5x5 cash register drawers, 200 PLUs, and four tax tables.
This particular model also comes with complete customer tracking, including customer history.
The high-speed thermal printer is made to match the quality of top-notch POS systems and equipment.
In terms of hardware, you get a flexible keyboard, which can be customized and configured to perform the exact functions you need it to. This provides you with total control over critical sales information, cash, and security.
Overall, the Sam4s ER-380 is an excellent, low-cost choice for small retail or food service businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Use a Cash Register Over a POS System?
Processing sales is an ability that every store needs. Even in the world of modern hospitality and retail, cash registers are still totally viable options for small businesses. Yes, there are many advantages to the modern POS system, though there are plenty of reasons to get your hands on a traditional cash register instead.
For starters, cash registers are far more budget-friendly. POS hardware can be quite expensive, even when you consider entry-level products. On the other hand, you only have to spend a few hundred bucks, if that, to get a decent cash register.
Many POS solutions use the subscription model. Essentially, you pay a monthly fee to use a POS system. Some small businesses can’t afford to pay those extra fees on top of the hardware. This makes cash registers far better for businesses on a budget.
Lastly, we need to talk about longevity. Traditional cash registers can last a long while. In fact, you can expect to get at least 15 years out of a traditional cash register. For modern POS hardware, you might be looking at around ten years before you need to replace it.
Why Would Someone Buy a Modern POS System Instead of a Traditional Cash Register?
Modern POS systems go beyond cash storage. For many businesses, POS systems are the best choice. For starters, they target customers to help with marketing. As a business, it is important to manage customer relationships. POS software can collect email addresses from your customers so that you can send them promotions or rewards down the line. This helps to drive more customers back to your store later down the line. You can also use this to send your customers e-receipts rather than printing paper receipts during checkout. None of this can be done with a traditional cash register.
One tedious part of owning a business is inventory management. It needs to be done, but no one likes doing it. POS systems can do inventory management for you. All you have to do is set up your system so that it provides you with alerts when certain items are low in stock. Then all you have to do is order more!
Staff management is another useful feature that comes with POS systems. Employees can clock in and out using the POS terminals while you use built-in time tracking to see where they are out. Some top-of-the-line systems allow business owners to run individual performance reports. As a business owner, this can be helpful to allocate tasks and train staff.
Of course, the one thing that truly sets POS systems apart from cash registers is software integration. As an example, some high-end systems allow you to automate your accounting processes, effectively plugging in the necessary data to your chosen accounting software.
Why Do You Need a Cash Register?
Cash registers are there to optimize the workflow in a small business. They create positive interactions with customers, as slow checkout times can be quite daunting. If you are running a small business with outdated equipment, customers will likely go to the person next door to get what they need. For starters, it's a competitive thing.
Of course, there are plenty of other reasons as well, including the fact that a great cash register can provide your small business with detailed reporting, cash and credit security, and multiple payment options.
A cash register can accept credit card payments or store paper cash in a cash drawer.
Beyond all of that, the best cash registers can track customer transactions, lookup prices, manage customer data, and more. After a transaction, you can use a receipt printer to give your customer receipts if they want them. You can't do this the "old-school" way.
If you get a higher-end model, you can get access to detailed reporting and inventory management. As you can see, cash register for small business is a cash register for good business.
Final Verdict - Which Cash Register for Small Business Should I Get?
We hope that our best cash register for small businesses list was helpful in narrowing down the best cash registers for your business!
You must consider the type of store that you run, what model you can afford, and look into the customer service that the company provides. Seriously, customer service is so incredibly important. The last thing you want is to be stuck without a working cash register during the middle of a lunch rush without knowing how to fix it!
As you’ve probably noticed, many small businesses and retailers are beginning to shift towards POS-based cash registers. In many ways, these systems create different avenues for business owners and customers. However, standard POS systems can be quite expensive. Many of them are well out of the budget range that small businesses can afford.
Traditional registers, on the other hand, are inexpensive and efficient. Compared to the old-school method of adding up sales on a calculator, cash registers are excellent for small businesses. Unfortunately, they do lack certain features, including business operations, customer-focused sales, marketing, mobile connectivity, and online sales channels, that POS systems have.
This is why we recommend going with a POS-driven cash register, such as the ones from Lightspeed or Square if you can afford them. Of course, if you are looking for a budget alternative and you don’t need all of the bells and whistles, a standard cash register, such as the ones from Casio, Sam4s, and Sharp, will do you just fine!