When it comes to running an efficient company, the best small business printers are essential.
From monochrome models to all-in-ones that print, scan, copy, and fax, there are a lot of printers on the market for a lot of different users, making it a challenge identifying the best printer for small businesses, home offices, and everyday office use.
Our team of expert reviewers have put the best printers for business to the test. We’ve tested hundreds of different printers for the home, the office, and even on the go. So, after pairing these models with the best business computers and best business monitors, we analyzed printing speed, evaluated output quality, compared designs, and totalled up the running costs.
As part of our in-depth testing, we’ve gone hands-on with features like the automatic document feeder (ADF) and auto-duplex mode. We even checked paper tray capacity and connectivity options for maximum productivity.
Best small business printer overall
There’s a lot to like about the Canon MAXIFY GX4020/GX4050/GX4060. From its robust, yet compact design to its vivid print quality, Canon has hit the sweet spot with this mid-priced MegaTank printer. It’s not as fast as a laser and it lacks a couple of premium features such as duplex scanning and a USB Host port, but it has everything else that a small business or home office might need. There’s plenty of room for paper and ink with a 250-sheet main paper tray and it holds enough bottled ink in the tanks to print 6,000 mono and 14,000 color pages.
The output quality is always crisp and colorful and it can handle almost any kind of printable media. Thanks to the rear flat tray which compliments the 250-sheet main tray and 100-sheet rear tray, that even includes 0.7mm thick paperboard. If the asking price seems high, the TCO (total cost of ownership) is actually very low making this a sensible choice for the small business with big print demands.
Read our full Canon MAXIFY GX4020/GX4050/GX4060 review
Best small business inkjet printer
The Canon MAXIFY GX6550 is the first 3-in-1 ink tank printer with a front-loading ADF (automatic document feeder) and a scanner bed adapted to copying ID cards and small documents without fully lifting the lid. This innovation means you can install it on a shelf or under the counter so it’s potentially perfect for hotel receptionists or small offices.
The trouble comes when you try to access the rear paper or photocopy an A4-size document that’s too big for the scanner glass and too stiff to fit in the ADF. In all other respects, it’s a welcome innovation for a MegaTank printer capable of heavy print loads and strong print quality. Best of all is the low consumables cost achieved by the bottled ink, plenty of which is included in the box.
Read our full Canon MAXIFY GX6550 review
Best laser printer for small businesses
This four-in-one laser printer is a compact but hardworking device that can easily keep up with the needs of a growing business. Lexmark confidently claims a maximum monthly duty cycle of 50,000 pages. There’s room for half a ream of paper on board, plus another 50 sheets in the ADF (automatic document feed), and it can churn out single side pages at a rate of 24 per minute.
There’s an auto-duplex mode, a handy USB Host port at the front, and Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint. To hit this competitive price point, the touchscreen is on the small side, and there’s no dual-scan capability, but we think this printer has got the balance between features, value, and print quality just right for the small business.
Read our full Lexmark MC3326i review
Best small business printer for speed
The minimal design of this mono A4 printer looks smart and feels well made, as you might expect, given the premium price tag. It lacks a flashy touchscreen or even inbuilt Wi-Fi, but it can quickly and economically turn out high-quality black-and-white prints.
We calculated the per-page cost to be as little as 0.4p per page. And with a paper tray deep enough to hold a whole ream of paper and a maximum print speed of 55ppm, this high-capacity printer is ideal for servicing a small office with medium t high print demands. It’s one of the fastest machines we’ve tested and it was hard to fault the test pages flying out of it.
The main paper tray has a capacity of 500 sheets, and the multi-purpose tray has a capacity of 100 sheets. You also get enough toner with the printer for 10,000 pages.
Read our full Kyocera Ecosys P3155dn review
Best small business printer for offices
Aimed at the busy SMB, the VersaLink C400 offers features not seen on your average A4 laser printer. For instance, the interface is a smartphone-style touchscreen to which you can download apps that add functionality. It prints fairly quickly, and there’s room for 550 sheets of A4 in the main paper tray.
And thanks to its modular design, you can add further paper trays and a wheeled base unit. It is not particularly cheap to buy or run, but the print quality is excellent, especially its Pantone-approved color performance.
The VersaLink C400DN has a swift print rate of 35 pages per minute, and it comes with enough toner in the box for 2,000 color and 3,000 mono pages. Judging by our tests, this printer is more appropriate for a small office than for home use. If you print a lot, or there are several people in the workgroup, the Xerox VersaLink C400DN justifies its bulk and its initial cost with its vivid and reliable print quality.
Read our full Xerox VersaLink C400DN review
Best small business printer for documents
This hefty color laser printer is Kyocera’s entry-level model aimed at the small business, though it looks and performs like a premium printer. The print rate is quick at 21ppm for both color and mono pages. It can auto duplex, and Wi-Fi is built in. It also offers the connectivity needed to join a workgroup with Ethernet and USB ports at the rear.
There’s a second USB port conveniently located at the front for walk-up printing from a thumb drive. Kyocera’s high-yield toner cartridges will keep you printing at a reasonably competitive per-page cost, while the bundled starter cartridges provide enough toner for 1,200 monochrome prints and 2,200 colors.
The printer’s companion app, Kyocera Mobile Print, is a free download for iOS and Android devices, and it offers an attractive interface for printing wirelessly from your smartphone. Although it’s useful, you can’t check the toner levels from the app.
Overall, we found it’s a reliable workhorse for pumping out high-quality A4 documents in mono and color. But it doesn’t handle photos well, and it’s not an MFP – there’s no scanner or fax – so it won’t fulfil all office needs.
Read our full Kyocera Ecosys P5026cdw review
Best budget laser printer for small businesses
Here is a sturdy LED printer that would do well in the office of any small business. It’s not expensive, yet it comes with almost every feature you could want in your four-in-one. It can duplex print and scan a stack of 50 pages using its ADF (automatic document feed) and has Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint covered.
There is a touchscreen interface and USB Host port at the front, so the only things missing are dual-side scanning and an NFC module. It prints quickly and has room for 250 sheets of A4 in its main tray, so it should meet the needs of a fairly busy workgroup.
You will find high-yield cartridges available for this model, and the ones in the box will last for 1,000 mono pages and 1,000 color pages.
Best alternative to a small business laser printer
HP’s PageWide technology uses inkjets, but because the print head is the full width of the paper, your documents don’t need to stop and start like a normal inkjet. Instead, they glide through like a laser. Because of this, the quoted print speed of 55 pages per minute is no exaggeration.
Being an inkjet, it can handle photo paper and deliver vibrant color images up to A4 size. It can also copy duplex pages by scanning both sides of the paper automatically. The paper capacity is a generous 500-sheets with upgrade options available, but even without them, this fast and innovative four-in-one will suit a busy small to medium-sized business.
The printer weighs 49 pounds (22.2 kg), so you’ll likely need help pulling it out of the box and setting it up on the desk.
The best mini MFD small business printer
HP claims that this 4-in-1 color laser printer has the smallest footprint in its class, so if space is an issue in your office, this could be the answer. It is also competitively priced with relatively low running costs if you switch to the high-capacity toner cartridges.
It has your printing, scanning, copying, and faxing needs covered with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct built in so that you can access this functionality via HP’s excellent companion app on your smartphone. It prints fairly quickly (18ppm) in black and white, but note that this model can only print on one side of the page.
The top-mounted ADF has a capacity of 40 A4 sheets, and the main paper tray can hold 150 sheets, but the output tray holds only 50 sheets.
Read our full HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw review
Best print-only small business laser printer
Ricoh has kitted out this color laser printer at a competitive price with all of the key features, including Wi-Fi connectivity, auto duplex mode, and essential security features such as PIN identification when picking up your print job.
The print speed is somewhat slow for a laser, but the print quality is strong for both mono and color pages. Color documents generally take longer to print, and the photos look a bit too bright and yellow, but the starter toner cartridges that come with the printer will last for 1,000 pages.
The printer looks fairly dated with a tiny two-line mono display, and the user interface and the menu system are not intuitive. Users might also not like the particularly noisy cooling fans that start as soon as the printer’s turned on.
Read our full Ricoh SP C261DNw review
Best touchscreen small business printer
The crisp design of the Canon i-SENSYS MF742Cdw would not look out of place in the office or the home office, and it comes with all of the features you could need for either situation. There’s duplex printing, a fifty-sheet ADF, and a front USB port for walk-up printing from a thumb drive.
The print speed and quality are good enough for any small to medium-sized business, and the running cost is competitive. You can load 250 sheets of A4 paper in the main tray and add further paper trays if required.
It’s also very easy to use thanks to the excellent touchscreen interface that’s large and moderately responsive. A feature that stands out is programmable hot keys, so you can add icons to the home screen that activate specific commands, like sending a photocopy to a specific email address.
Besides color printing, this printer also offers scanning and copying, but no duplex scan functionality exists.
Read our full Canon i-SENSYS MF742Cdw review
Best small business ink tank printer
Canon’s feature-packed four-in-one comes with all the functionality you need in a business printer aimed at the home office or SMB. With room for more than a ream of paper and extra-large ink tanks, it can keep pace with high print demands whilst being compact enough to suit those of us who work from home. It prints quite quickly for an inkjet, and though it’s not ideal for photographs, it delivered crisp and colorful documents during our test.
Sitting at the premium end of Canon’s MegaTank product offerings, this model is somewhat expensive for an inkjet, but the price includes enough bottled ink to print 32,000 pages. If that doesn’t justify the asking price, the exceptionally low ongoing consumables cost will soon see a saving over any cheaper laser printer. This appealing printer should be on your list if you need a compact, hard-working all-in-one with low maintenance and running costs.
Read our full Canon MAXIFY GX7020/GX7050 review
Best budget small business ink tank printer
The Canon MAXIFY GX5020 (US) / GX5050 (UK) /GX5060 (AUS) is a color inkjet printer that will appeal to the home office user or SMB thanks to its blend of high build quality and very low running cost. While the initial cost is rather expensive for a print-only inkjet, the fact that it is a refillable MegaTank model makes the total cost of ownership very competitive. With cartridge ink costing around 85% more than bottled ink, you will soon see a saving, especially if you print a lot.
The design is practical and appealing, with ample room for paper and ink. In each case, you can view at a glance how much is left through the clear plastic windows. Sadly, there’s no touchscreen, but it prints quickly in auto-duplex mode and is high quality. Text documents and photos look great, and it will print on various media, including banners. We have no hesitation in recommending this printer to business or home users.
Read our full Canon MAXIFY GX5020/GX5050/GX5060 review
Best small business A3 printer for the home office
There are plenty of A3 and A3+ printers out there but we were impressed with the overall cost and quality of the Brother MFC-J6540DW when we tested it out, and it’s ideal for home offices that need a reliable larger-format printer.
Brother’s Business Smart Series of A3 printers begins with this affordable all-in-one, which comes with all of the key features you could need in a small workgroup or a home office. Being the entry-level model, there’s only one 250-sheet paper tray, no NFC and no single pass dual scan mode, but it can auto duplex print, copy and fax any size paper up to eleven by seven inches (Ledger). In our own testing, we found it prints very quickly for an inkjet and puts in a strong performance with text documents and photos on coated paper.
The only real downside of the Brother MFC-J6540DW is its addiction to expensive inkjet cartridges. It will never be as efficient in terms of cost per page than an ink tank inkjet, but at least Brother’s new EcoPro or Refresh EZ Print with its discounted cartridges delivered to your door does make it reasonably cost effective. With four free months of ink included, we think it’s worth the reasonable purchase price.
Read our full Brother MFC-J6540DW review
Best small business printers: FAQs
Are all-in-one printers good for small businesses?
The small business printers on this list can also handle multiple tasks from multiple people throughout the day. Even the smallest of businesses will be sending documents from networked PCs all day – and if they can also offer photocopying, faxing, and scanning features as well, that’s even better.
We’ve got some brilliant multi-function printers on this list which are space and money-saving devices for the smallest of offices. All-in-one printers that offer photocopying and scanning can save your small business money compared to buying the devices individually. Having them all in one compact device will also save space.
If you’re unsure about what type of small business printer you need, head to the bottom of our guide, where we explain the best ways to find and buy the best small business printer that suits your needs.
What’s the difference between the best small business printers and home printers?
While the best home printers will do in a pinch, if you’re running a firm, sooner or later, you’ll want to invest in a suitable printer for a small business. Home printers are famously slow, they quality is usually not as high as business-focused devices, and they don’t hold much paper. Since the majority use inkjet cartridges, running costs tend to be high. Features are usually stripped back to keep prices consumer-friendly and within budget.
The best small business printers, on the other hand, are centered around greater productivity. So, they’re usually fast to print, with better quality results. For even more workflow efficiency, they usually feature auto-duplex (double-sided) printing mode and an automatic document feeder (ADF), so you’re not constantly refilling a paper tray which is already generous compared to printers for the home. Those destined for busy offices or enterprise-use also tend to be bigger and more robustly built.
You’ll also find many of the top-rated printers for the office (or home office) include 4-in-1 capabilities, so you can print, scan, copy, and fax – a function most home users don’t need.
How to choose the best small business printer for you
There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing which small business printer is best for you. While you can largely use any of the best business laptops, PCs, and even your phone to print, there are some areas you’ll want to check.
Every business is different – you may be looking for the best all-in-one printer, effortlessly capable of handling printouts, scanning, photocopying, and faxing. Or perhaps you’re on the lookout for a dedicated printer that excels at print quality – and can handle the demands of an office. This means it will need to be able to produce printouts quickly and from several different sources.
One of the first choices to making is selecting between the best inkjet printers or the best laser printers Generally speaking, inkjet printers are cheap to buy, but ink cartridge costs are more expensive. Printing speeds are slow compared to the faster laser printers, which have a higher initial outlay, but are cheaper to run in the long-term.
Even the most modest office will likely be networked, and sharing a resource as useful as a printer is essential. So you should only look at printers capable of networked use. Wired offers speed and robust function for a fixed office. Even the best wireless printers may be flexible and cheap to deploy, but in our experience they’re not as fast in use.
Multi-function features can be found across the board and at all cost scales. Basic features start with a USB Key and card readers for PC-free printing, moving to scanner and copier functions. At the higher end, automatic document feeders (ADF) can manage 50 copies simultaneously and produce booklets, including duplex printing, stapling, and folding. Often the basic ADF features will accommodate most medium-sized offices.
Print size is a serious consideration – especially if you’re going big with your print-outs. The best printers for small businesses can all easily handle traditional paper sizes up to A4. For bigger jobs, you’ll want to explore the best sublimation printers, the best A3 printers and the best large format printers. These are the best printers for small businesses who need to produce posters, banners, or marketing assets liked logos on mugs.
There has been a marked difference in Cost Per Page (CPP) between lasers and inkjets, but in recent years, inkjets have managed to drop their prices to compete. Either way, you must carefully assess each device’s CPP.
Manufacturers measure the toner or cartridge yields with an industry-standard ISO rating. So you can safely assess the total price of replacing all the cartridges or toners divided by the print yield across all the potential models.
The total volume of prints you’re going to make also needs to be considered. Devices often quote a “duty cycle” monthly maximum and recommended figures. These are the total number of prints it handles per month. If possible, assess the office’s number of prints per employee and ensure the device can meet your current and future demands.
Finally, in the past, color, especially for laser printers, has demanded a premium, but that’s not so much the case these days. However, these models are still more expensive due to the additional materials required for the toners and printer manufacture. For on-going cost reduction, the best ink tank printers may better serve your business. There’s still a big enough differential that if you don’t need regular color, you should opt for a mono model, perhaps using a cheaper inkjet or even out-of-house printing for occasional color requirements.
How we test the best small business printers
We’ve tested hundreds of home and office printers for a range of tasks, including the best printers for Mac, best photo printers and even the best label printers.
All the printers we test are measured on our test bench, and we perform a detailed comparison and analysis with other models that we’ve reviewed. We time the printing speeds in single sheet and duplex mode using a ten-page document and a stopwatch app.
To get an accurate idea of the print quality, we print the same test documents across all the machines. These test pages include the text of varying font sizes and colors, mixed text and images, and just photos. We also have a series of test patterns to evaluate the sharpness and color fidelity of the prints, among other things.
Lastly, we calculate the printer’s running costs, and consider the interface, versatility, design, and build quality.
Find our more about how we test, rate, and review printers on TechRadar Pro.