If you need to print out flyers, process office work claims, or produce hard-copy documents, having a printer that can multitask different jobs is invaluable for a small business. Since there may be a few employees who may need to share this printer, a good business printer should be able to print a large number of pages at an affordable cost and without constantly running out of ink. Pages should print quickly, and these printers should have additional features like duplex printing or an automatic document feeder that can help simplify your workload.
We've bought and tested over 120 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best small office printers you can buy. See our picks for the best all-in-one printers, the best home printers, and the best office printers.
The best printer for small business use we've tested is the Brother MFC-L8905CDW, an all-in-one color laser model. It produces incredibly sharp documents, doesn't take long to warm up, and prints very quickly at up to 32 pages per minute. Its flatbed scanner is large enough to scan Legal-size sheets (8.5" x 14"), and it has an automatic feeder with single-pass duplex scanning. The toner cartridges are somewhat expensive; however, they last a long time and don't need regular replacement. The drum is a separate unit that you'll have to spend extra to replace, but again, you won't have to do it all that often as it's usually good for around 30,000 prints.
Like most printers, the MFC-8905CDW is only one of many variants in the lineup. If you want to save money and don't mind compromising on a few features, you can go with the Brother MFC-L8900CDW (or MFC-L8895CDW at Costco), which performs identically but has a smaller display. The Brother MFC-L8610CDW also performs identically but has an 8.5" x 11" flatbed scanner and doesn't support duplex scanning. You can see more details about the variants in the full review.
While the MFC-8905CDW is an excellent laser printer, it has a weakness, and that's photo printing. Laser models aren't the ideal option because printed pictures come out looking dull and lacking in detail. If you need to print photos or graphics for your business, we have two recommendations: the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 and the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550. The former prints faster and has more features, like an automatic feeder with duplex scanning, while the latter produces higher-quality photos. As they're both supertank models that yield thousands of prints, you won't have to worry about high running costs. That said, they're more expensive upfront.
If your business only needs to print black-and-white documents, get the Brother MFC-L2750DW instead, an all-in-one monochrome laser printer. It produces high-quality documents, doesn't take long to warm up, and prints quickly at 36 pages per minute. It doesn't cost much to maintain, as the toner cartridge yields about 1200 prints and is cheap. Also, unlike color printers, there's only one cartridge to replace. The scanner scans up to seven pages per minute through the feeder and processes double-sided sheets in a single pass.
If you want to save more money, you can look at a cheaper variant of the MFC-L2750DW, the Brother MFC-L2710DW. It performs almost identically but lacks duplex scanning and prints a tad slower at 32 pages per minute. It doesn't have a touch-sensitive display but instead has more buttons to help you navigate the settings menu. The print quality is the same, and its page yield is similar as it uses the same toner cartridge.
For businesses that need color printing, get the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e. It's an inkjet alternative because most color laser printers are typically more expensive, so if you want something around the same price range as the Brother, inkjet is the best option. It prints decently fast at 16 black or 14 color pages per minute and has a massive 500-sheet input tray capacity. The main drawbacks are that its black ink cartridge doesn't yield as many prints as the Brother, and inkjet models typically require more maintenance.
For our best budget pick, we have yet another Brother printer, the Brother HL-L2390DW. It's also an all-in-one monochrome model, but unlike the pick above, it lacks an automatic feeder and Ethernet connectivity. It still prints sharp-looking documents and does so quickly at 32 pages per minute. The toner cartridge is good for around 1400 prints and is relatively cheap, so you don't need to worry about high maintenance costs. This model has a variant, the Brother HL-L2395DW; it's the same printer but with Ethernet connectivity, a larger touch-sensitive display, and a slightly faster printing speed.
A color inkjet alternative in the same price range would be the Brother MFC-J4335DW. It has an ADF-equipped scanner, prints incredibly detailed photos, and has better black page yield. However, there are some compromises, as it doesn't print as quickly, and like most inkjet printers, it requires more maintenance.
For businesses that need to print posters, we recommend the Epson EcoTank ET-15000, an inkjet all-in-one printer that supports tabloid-size paper up to 13" x 19". Its ink tank yields thousands of prints, so it's a great choice for printing large posters in bulk, and replacement ink is cheap, which helps keep your maintenance costs low. You get Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet connectivity, as well as support for Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service.
It has a high-resolution scanner with an ADF; however, it's a little slow as it can only process up to five pages per minute and lacks duplex scanning capability, so you'll have to scan double-sided sheets manually. Although it doesn't have the best color accuracy, photos and graphics still look colorful and incredibly detailed.
If you travel for your business or run a kiosk at fairs, you might need a portable printer. We recommend the HP OfficeJet 250. It's super compact and has a rechargeable battery that lasts about 225 prints on a full charge. It produces good quality documents, although it's a little slow, so it isn't the best for printing long reports. Also, it can only print around 100 to 150 pages before it runs out of ink, so you'll need to carry a few extra cartridges.
That said, you can get XL cartridges that'll last longer, and it works with third-party ink. Surprisingly, it has an ADF scanner, so you can still scan documents on the go. It scans at a maximum resolution of 600 DPI, which isn't as good as a desktop printer but more than enough for text documents and photos.
Apr 20, 2023: Minor text changes. Replaced the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw with the Brother MFC-L8905CDW because the Canon is discontinued and hard to find. Added the Canon imageCLASS MF753Cdw/MF751Cdw as a Notable Mention.
Feb 21, 2023: Minor text changes to provide more information regarding the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw's variants. No change in recommendations.
Dec 23, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.
Oct 26, 2022: Minor structure change. Replaced the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw with the Brother MFC-L2750DW because it produces higher-quality documents and is cheaper. Removed the Brother MFC-L2710DW. Replaced the Brother HL-L2370DW with Brother HL-L2390DW as the best budget pick because they're in a similar price range, and the HL-L2390DW has a scanner. Replaced the HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 with the Epson EcoTank ET-15000 because the Epson yields significantly more prints. Added the HP OfficeJet Pro as the best portable pick.
Aug 30, 2022: Restructured article to better match user expectations. Replaced the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw as the top pick because Canon is cheaper and performs nearly as well. Removed the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 as a main pick. Added the Brother HL-L2370 as a budget pick.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best small office printers you can buy. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our printer reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no printer is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.