Best Bank for Small Business: A Definitive Guide

Picking the right bank to work with isn't easy, especially when it comes to your small business. If your business is really small, you're probably looking for a bank that has a lot of things for free. If you're looking for business loans, you'll want a bank with the best rates.

You want the best bank for small business – one that has the things you need and isn't going to charge you for the ones you don't need. You want a bank with a good reputation.

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Picking the Best Bank for Small Business

These days there are many options when it comes to banking – from online-only banks to brick and mortar banks, to credit unions. What's the right one for your small business, and how do you know before you sign the paperwork?

Before you start looking for the right bank for your small business, here are some things to consider:

1. Make Comparisons

A man holding two piggy bank

Take some time to look at the banks that are accessible to you – whether they are local or online. Look at both big banks and smaller local entities, as well as credit unions. You can compare the things you find out about them (which you'll read about below) to determine which one will offer you what you're looking for.

While bigger banks might be more attractive because they have a well-known name, smaller banks could be the better choice because they might be more likely to give you a loan that you couldn't get from a larger entity. They know the market, they know you and your family, and they may be able to give you a chance where a corporate bank couldn't.

2. What Do You Need From your Bank?

A woman opening a bank account online

Why are you looking for a bank for your business? Is it just to have a place to keep your business money separate from your personal money? In that case, you can pretty much choose any bank you want.

If you're looking for a bank that will do a lot for you, then you want to look into more. Consider any loans you might need, how much help they offer if you decide to invest, and what other bank services you'll need – including payment services for employees.

Do more than just look online for your answers – go in and talk to the bank, test them to make sure what they say they offer is factual (like 24-hour responses to inquiries).

 3. Know Their Fees

A person withdrawing cash from the ATM

“Free” checking is never actually “free.” many banks have fees for even the smallest transactions, especially if they consider them to be specialty transactions. Business accounts tend to have more fees than personal accounts.

Check on whether or not there are ATM fees, fees for writing checks, or if there are fees if you don't have a direct deposit. There will be credit card processing fees, so you want the best deals on those if you plan to take cards for sales.

4. Investigate Their Reputation

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Don't just look at the bank's website – dig deeper. Talk to other friends that run small businesses and find out what they like and dislike about the banks that they work with. Word of mouth will give you the knowledge you need about any business, including banks.

Do some other online research. Check online reviews on sites like Yelp. Get on social media and check out what people have to say about the banks you're looking at there as well.

Which Bank Is the Best Bank for Small Business?

Here are 10 of the best banks for small businesses. These ten banks will give you a starting point when it comes to picking your best bank for small business.

Be sure to go beyond this research and contact these banks to find out firsthand what they have to offer for small businesses, whether you're running an established business or you're a startup.

1. Wells Fargo

A Wells Fargo logo

Pretty much everyone has heard the name Wells Fargo. They are listed as the number one best bank for small business all over the internet. Their popularity is warranted with all of the things they offer small businesses.

Some of the things that Wells Fargo offers small businesses include amazing lending services and low-cost checking accounts. In fact, as far as lending goes, Wells Fargo has five different types of business loans for small businesses. They also have four business checking accounts that are offered at a low-cost to small businesses.

2. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union logo

Most credit unions are about the consumer, rather than businesses – however, the Navy Federal CU has some great offerings for businesses.

First, you need to have some affiliation with the military (even a family member) in order to get an account. Then, you have to sign up for a personal account before you can become eligible for business services.

Once you're established, their business accounts have payment processing, business insurance (covering you and your employees), and retirement plans, along with the normal loan and banking services businesses need. You'll need just $100 to start your account with them.

3. Chase

Chase logo

Chase is another widely known bank that offers something for everyone – including an array of benefits for small business owners.

From business credit cards to lending options that you can be sure will give you what you need to launch a business that's geared toward success - Chase is definitely one of the best banks for small businesses.

4. Bank of Internet USA

Bank of Internet USA logo

Bank of Internet USA is a great online bank when it comes to checking accounts for small businesses.

One thing that makes them a trustworthy bank, when it comes to many people's fears of using online banks, is that they've been around awhile. They are the oldest online bank, giving them lots of experience working with personal and business bank accounts.

However, this is not a free account. You will need a balance of $5,000 in your account at all times. If you don't, you'll have a monthly fee of ten dollars to keep your account.

They have multiple business accounts, including one that is only good for small businesses that don't have a lot of transactions each month, as you're only allowed 50 free items each month. Fes vary depending on the services you're using.

They also have a basic business account that has no monthly fees and more free items a month.

5. Capital One

Capital One logo

Capital One is another online bank. Capital One does a lot of great things for small business, like offering low rates on loans if you're a member of the bank (even if you don't already have a business account).

There are fewer worries for small businesses that do a lot of transactions when it comes to working with this bank, as they offer a higher number of item transactions than many banks.

6. M&T Bank

M&T Bank logo

East Coast small businesses have the option of M&T Bank (and you'll find that your state will even have some state-wide banks that offer great small business banking accounts). M&T Bank covers Florida, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

One of the coolest features that M&T offers small business owners is access to a relationship manager. This person is there for you when you have any questions about their services and your money – plus, they go through all of your finances for your business to ensure they give you the best plan possible.

They truly want to help you make your business successful.

7. Bank of America

Bank Of America logo

Bank of America is a name you've probably heard before. They have low-cost checking accounts available for small businesses, as well as an amazing lending program that can help you get your business off the ground or expand.

8. US Bank

US Bank logo

A lesser-known institution, US Bank has many bank branches and stand-alone ATMs around the U.S.

They have a free checking account, they have deals that offer certain amounts of transactions (with a small fee if you go over the allotment). They also offer business bundles that include things like payroll services and credit card processing.

 9. Azlo

An Azlo logo

If you don't need loan services and other perks, and you don't mind doing your banking online, Azlo is a great option.

They offer you a general business bank account that is fee-free and completely online (which is great for small businesses that work mostly in telecommuting).  

10. PNC Bank

PNC Bank logo

PNC Bank allows you to start a checking account for your small business with just $100. They also waive the monthly maintenance fee for the first three months of opening your account. That's a savings of $36.

They are a smaller branch of banks, but this deal is enough to help out a startup or growing a small business.

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Are You Ready to Open Your Small Business Bank Account?

Now that you know the best bank for small business’s, a few of them, in fact, it's time to start doing that extra research to find out which one is the best for you.

Don't forget to ask the questions that are important to your specific business needs.

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