As a small business owner, business banking isn't a luxury but a necessity. Having a checking account ensures that you keep track of your revenue and spending. Moreover, it's also advisable to have separate business savings account where you can put aside some cash periodically for a rainy day.
There are so many options when it comes to banks and you shouldn’t settle for the one that’s closest to you. It’s important to do your due diligence to identify whether the bank you’re considering will work for you in the long run. Some of the banking services you should look out for are ATM-free withdrawals, cash deposits, mobile banking, and customer support and service.
While business bank accounts incur higher fees than checking accounts, you should also look out for other hidden fees such as excess transaction fees and minimum monthly account fees. Different banks offer different types of accounts and there isn’t one that has a one in all solution to all your business needs. Making the final decision on the bank you should choose for your small business comes down to your needs. Some businesses need phone banking while some are interested in making cash deposits.
Without further ado, here are the best banks for small businesses.
Capital one is best for high-volume deposits and monthly transactions.
Offers best-in-class online banking while earning high-interest rates
Bank of America
Offers the best sign-up bonuses
Simple banking online and through mobile banking
Chase is especially appealing to small businesses that crave for traditional banking experience. The bank has many branches throughout the country and you’re likely to find one within your vicinity. Chase offers a lot of banking features such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, payment processing, and saving for individuals and employees of companies.
Chase Business credit cards yield high rewards that you can redeem for free travel and other discounts. Thanks to online banking, you can access your checking and savings accounts using one login. Moreover, with Chase's business, there are a lot of features such as mobile banking that allow you to avoid hefty fees.
Chase offers three checking account options for small businesses:
Chase Business Complete is its basic business checking and has no minimum deposit. However, the account attracts a $15 monthly fee. New accounts also earn a $300 sign-up bonus. You can also waive the monthly fees by maintaining the $2,000 minimum daily balance of or through qualifying purchases or daily balances on your chase credit card.
Chase Performance Business Checking, which is suitable for mid-sized businesses. It attracts a monthly fee of $30 but that is waived if you meet the $35,000 qualifying deposits. The account comes with 250 free transactions per month, unlimited wire deposits, and zero fees for all transactions up to $20,000 in cash per month.
Chase Platinum Business Checking is suitable for large businesses and attracts a $95 monthly fee, which can be waived if you maintain the $100,000 qualifying deposits or spending. The minimum deposit to open the account is $25.
Features of Chase Business accounts:
Unlimited electronic deposits
No fees on deposit
Three debit cards to choose from
24/7 customer service support
CDs and two savings accounts available
Card rewards including free or discounted travel and interest
Integration with point-of-sale solutions
Access to loans and other forms of financing and lines of credit
Axos Bank became the biggest bank for small businesses after Capital One closed its operation of its Spark Checking. Axos is the oldest online-only bank in the United States and by opting for a Business Interest Checking account, you won’t incur any fees with this bank. The account has a maximum of 50 transactions per month and may not be suitable for small businesses that have more transactions or those that have low daily balances. One advantage of the account is that businesses accrue a 0.80% interest, not to mention the convenience of mobile banking.
If your small business has up to 200 transactions per month, you should consider opening up a standard business checking account, although this account comes with a $10 monthly operating fee.
Axos also offers money market accounts, CDs, and a high-yielding savings account, which earns 0.61% APY on all balances — higher than what many traditional banks offer.
Wells Fargo is more than a great bank for small businesses with 5,500 branches and 13,000 ATMs across the U.S. It is the largest lender of small loans for small businesses.
Wells Fargo offers four different checking accounts available:
Initiate Business Checking is the basic account with a minimum deposit of $25 and $10 monthly fees. The account has 0% APY. There is a $500 minimum daily balance.
Navigate Business Checking has a $25 monthly fee that is waived if you meet the minimum deposit balance of $10,000, make qualifying deposits totaling $1,000 or more, or have a linked Wells Fargo mortgage.
Accounts can be opened in just a few minutes in person or online
Small business owners also enjoy additional benefits by banking with Wells Fargo including:
Payroll, HR, and business tax services.
Access to two savings accounts and CDs
Three business credit cards to choose from
Several financing options including unsecured loans and lines of credit
Despite not being as large as its counterparts, US Bank has many branches and ATMs throughout the country.
Most small businesses opt for the Silver Business checking Account, which does not charge monthly maintenance fees. It’s important to note that the account puts a cap on the number of transactions at 125, after which you incur $0.50 for each transaction. The account also allows you to deposit up to 20 checks, after which you pay $0.50 for additional transactions.
There is also a Gold and a Platinum checking account, at $20 and $30 per month, respectively, and 300 and 500 free transactions monthly. If you go over, fees are $0.45 and $0.40, respectively.
The bank also offers other convenient features such as credit card processing, payroll, and invoicing. If you have more monthly transactions, US Bank offers other checking accounts. To avoid incurring monthly fees, it’s imperative to maintain the operating balance.
Capital One offers comprehensive banking solutions for small businesses. Business checking account options include Spark Business checking and Spark Unlimited checking. The accounts have a low minimum monthly service fee of $15, but this is scrapped if you maintain a $2,000 monthly balance.
Capital One checking accounts provide $5,000 fee-free cash deposits, but if you need unlimited and free monthly transactions go for Spark Business. Although there is mobile and online banking, accounts can only be opened in person at a bank branch.
Another benefit for new small business owners is the Capital One savings account, which has a low minimum operating monthly balance of $250.
BlueVine doesn’t work like your traditional bank. You don’t have to set foot in a physical bank to open or operate your checking account. Everything is done at the click of a button wherever you are. What’s more, the bank doesn’t charge any operating fees – not for overdrafts, not for using an ATM, not for maintaining your account – and you’ll also earn interest.
BlueVine offers small business loans but they are a full-fledged bank that offers an online checking account. Your money is insured through Bancorp Bank.
The bank has only one checking account that doesn’t attract monthly operating fees. Moreover, customers enjoy unlimited monthly transactions and no minimum operating balance. Features of the BlueVine checking account include:
High-interest rates of 1% for balances of up to $100,000
No fees charged on ACH and wire transfers
A free debit card that allows withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs
With over 43,000 branches and 16,000 ATMs, you're likely to find a Bank of America in your vicinity. You can often find big sign-up bonuses but the downside is it doesn't offer unlimited transactions, requires a minimum daily operating balance, and has a cap on cash deposits.
Choose from the Business Advantage Fundamentals, which is geared toward small businesses with Zelle and mobile banking for $16 per month if you don't maintain the $5,000 daily operating balance, and the Business Advantage Relationship Banking, which includes QuickBooks integration and no fees on wires and electronic deposits. Maintain the $15,000 daily operating balance or pay $29.95 each month.
If you're a small business owner who has no problem raising the minimum daily balance, you'll enjoy the convenience of the Bank of America checking account and at the same time earn huge sign-up bonuses. However, if you anticipate you're going to make several transactions each month, you may consider other banks because you'll incur additional transaction fees after you reach the transaction limit.
Bank Novo offers simple banking solutions. It’s purely an online bank and it offers only checking accounts. If you're looking for savings accounts, you can consider other banks. With that being said, Novo offers an easy-to-use and intuitive website and app that makes for easy banking. Opening an account only takes a couple of minutes.
Small business owners also enjoy huge discounts on services such as Stripe and Quickbooks. You can also integrate Novo with various tools to keep track of your money. Here are some of the unique features of Novo:
$50 initial deposit to open the account
There is no minimum daily balance
20 check deposits per month limit
The accounts do not earn interest
Customers don’t incur any fees
Does not offer loans
You cannot send wire transfers
If you're a small business owner who is looking to do banking entirely online, Novo is convenient because you can do your banking on the go on the website or the intuitive app. However, the bank doesn't offer a savings account or loans so if you're looking for credit, you should consider looking elsewhere.
Unlimited transactions, free ACH and wire, no ATM or NSF fees
Bank of America Business Advantage Fundamentals
$16 if don’t carry min. balance
Bank of America
$29.95 if don’t carry min. balance
Free wires, QuickBooks integration
No fees, ATM fee reimbursement
How to choose a bank for your small business
There are so many banks available in the country and as a small business owner, it may be a daunting task to choose the one that works best for you. Here are a few tips to make your decision-making easier:
Consider your long-term and short-term financial goals. If you anticipate your financial goals will change soon, your best bet is to choose a bank that gives you that flexibility.
Keep an open mind. Technology has changed the way things are done and you no longer have to walk into a brick and mortar bank to open an account. Nowadays, you can do it wherever, whenever.
Look out for features that resonate with you. All the banks cannot be all things to all people. Narrow down your options to a few banks then conduct due diligence on the individual banks based on how many transactions you anticipate to make and what bank will work best for you.
Consider the fees. This is one of the most important things to consider. You may have the best banking experience but if you incur huge fees, it will be detrimental to the health of your finances and ultimately your business
Begin the search with your bank but don’t end with it. Sometimes you won’t have to look too far to find what you’re looking for. If you end up using your local bank account, you’ll be able to access your business and personal accounts using the same login.
Are there small business accounts with no fees?
Yes. Many online banks do not charge fees such as BlueVine.
Can I open a business account online?
Yes. This differs from bank to bank. If your bank offers this option, all you have to do is fill in your correct information and some accounts are approved in a matter of minutes.
Is online banking safe?
Yes. Just like their brick and mortar counterparts, online banks are also regulated and must meet strict requirements to set up a business and operate. There is also a requirement they must be insured.
Is there a minimum deposit to open a bank online?
This varies from bank to bank.
Do I need a business account?
Yes. If you want to keep track of your cash flow, having a business account is the way to go. Based on the type of business account you open, you can enjoy additional features such as access to loans and other lines of credit.
The bottom line
Different banks offer different features to cater to the different needs of the customers. As a small
business owner, it’s important to do the due diligence to identify the bank that will work best for you.
Some of the most important features to look out for are the monthly fees, support for mobile banking,
customer support, the minimum daily operating balance, and the number of free transactions the bank
offers. If you find it difficult to make the final decision, you can opt to open accounts with your preferred
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