When you are ready to launch your small business after a lot of hard work and planning the most important thing that you have on your mind is managing your finances and for that you must be looking for the best bank for small business.
But the questions is how do you choose a bank for your small business in a cluttered banking market where each bank claims to be the best bank for small business owners.
There were 4,909 FDIC-insured commercial banks in the U.S. in the year 2017 and there are approx. 4.0 million small businesses in the US at present.
A bank that can provide you everything from a business account with zero to a very low monthly free, good interest rate and a bunch of small business friendly programs and services such as start-up loans, small business financing, money transfer, payroll management and online banking can make a huge difference to your small business and that’s what you call the best bank for small business. Isn’t it?
Apart from easy financing options and business friendly checking account facilities best banks also provide insurance services and investment schemes to the small business owners.
They also provide them with the valuable business management advisory services and better cash flow management services.
As a small business owner you may want a bank that can support you during tough times with easy financing options and business loans and that’s what we call ‘best bank for small business’.
It is always a good idea to check whether your bank works with SBA (Small Business Administration) or not as it will be easier for you in future to get small business loans if your bank works with the SBA.
Also, the best bank for small business must provide you with complete transparency and control over your business account.
It must also provide you with tools and latest technologies for managing your money wisely through various investment options that help multiply your wealth with time.
Above all, the ease of access and location also matters when selecting the best bank for small business.
You don’t want to drive 10 miles to reach your bank for depositing a check.
The best bank for small business has its footprint across all major counties and cities with a well connected network for ATMs.
So, it’s a critical decision to make when it comes to selecting the best bank for small business banking.
Keeping all the above factors in mind we have compiled a detailed list of the best banks for small business in USA that will help you in selecting the right bank for your small business banking.
We have taken various factors into consideration such as Small Business Account fee, minimum account balance, lending options, number of branches and ATM network across the USA while compiling the list of the best banks to help you find the answer to the question how to choose a bank for your small business?
Another very important factor that we have taken into consideration is the ease of using the website of each bank which is on the list.
We have also counted website as one of the ranking factors because small business owners often look for information on the bank’s website.
1.Wells Fargo Bank
Wells Fargo is top on the list of best bank for small business because of its wide options for business checking accounts, lending options and other additional services.
It offers two different choices for small business checking accounts:
- Simple Business Checking– It is best suited for home based businesses, non-profits and small businesses that have lower account balances and limited banking activity. It is a small business friendly checking account that you can open with a minimum deposit of just $25.
It has a very low monthly service fee of $10 that you can avoid if you maintain $500 average balance during each fee period. There’s no fee for up to 50 transactions each month and you can deposit up to $3000 in cash each month without any charges.
The simple business checking account offers you both value and freedom at the same time when it comes to business banking by providing you a bunch of additional services such as: Mobile Banking, mobile alerts, 100% reimbursement of fraudulent transactions with your debit card or the ATM.
*One additional service that I personally like is the “Card Design Studio” that allows you to customize your debit card with your logo and tagline.
- Business Choice Checking– This account offers some of the best features and services to the growing businesses that have steady banking activity. This account has everything that a small business owner can expect from a best bank for small business.
You can open business choice checking account with a minimum deposit of $25 and the monthly account maintenance fee is just $14 that you can avoid if you fulfill any of the following each fee period:
- Maintain $7500 average balance
- Maintain $10,000 combined balance
- If you make 10 or more purchases or payments using your debit card
- Transactions from your linked merchant services account with Wells Fargo
- Transactions from your linked business payroll services account with Wells Fargo
There’s no fee for up to $7500 in cash deposits each month and 200 transactions are allowed without any additional fee or charges each month. Additional services such as mobile banking, mobile alerts, zero liability protection etc. are included.
*Additionally, the Business Choice Checking Account offers various discounts and fee waivers on business loans that add even more value to this account type.
Ease of Using the Website – Wells Fargo’s website looks clean and simple to use. It doesn’t seem confusing in any way and most of the common products or services that users often look for are on the website’s home page. Overall a great user-friendly website designed with easy of use in mind.
Well Fargo also has top of the line lending options available for Small Businesses. It is also a number one SBA lender in the USA to the Small Businesses.
Every business whether small or large needs funds at some stage to fuel growth and when you are in need of financing then the first option you turn to is your bank with which you have an established relationship and as far as the lending options are concerned Wells Fargo stands out compared to other major banks in the USA because of its wide portfolio of business term loans, lines of credit, equipment express loan and SBA lending options.
You can easily secure a business loan between $10,000 – $100,000 without any collateral for 1 – 5 years repayment term at an interest rate of 6.50% to 22.99% depending on your amount and repayment term.
If you look at the numbers in 2016 Wells Fargo has issued a total of 6587 loans to the small businesses as an SBA lender under the 7(a) loan program.
Additional services such as rebate of $250 on opening a Merchant Services Account for payments processing to give your small business an edge and convenience to your customers makes Wells Fargo stand out.
Other services such as Business Payroll Services for complete payroll management which includes time keeping and employee benefits program makes Wells Fargo a complete business banking partner for your small business.
Wells Fargo also has over 6000 branches across the United States covering both small and major cities which makes it easily accessible and you can find a branch next to your business location which makes it the best bank for small business.
2.Bank of America
The Second bank that is on the list of best bank for Small Business in the United States is the Bank of America for it’s simple and flexible checking accounts, lending options and additional services.
Bank of America is one of the oldest banks in the United States with over 4700 branches and over 16000 ATMs across the nation. It is also one of the most popular banks among small businesses as it serves over 3 million small businesses and offers award winning online and mobile banking platforms.
It also offers two different checking accounts for the small business owners:
- Business Fundamentals Checking– It has everything that your small business needs when it comes to banking. This business checking account is good for you if your monthly average balance is below $5000.
You can also have a second business checking account for just $12/month and also you can also opt for business investment account and earn interest on your deposits at no additional monthly fee.
It has a low account maintenance fee of $15/month which you can avoid by fulfilling any of the following:
- If you spend at least $250 with your debit or credit card each statement cycle
- If you maintain an average monthly balance of $5000
- If you maintain a minimum daily balance of $3000
- If you maintain a combined average monthly balance of $15000 in your accounts linked to your Bank of America Account
The business fundamentals checking account is equipped with services such as mobile banking, banking on the go that allows paying bills and setup account alerts.
*One of the unique features of this account is that is offers both business and employee debit cards for complete spending freedom 24×7 plus all the cards are chip-enable for highest security.
Business Advantage Checking – This checking account is far more premium that the fundamental checking account as it offers much more value and flexibility to the growing businesses.
If you maintain a balance of over $15000 every month or spend at least $2500 on your business credit card then this account can be a great fit for your business.
You can opt for business advantage savings account at no monthly fee to better manage your cash flow and earn interest on your balance without any locking period plus have access to your cash when you need it.
Also, you can get a second business checking account without any monthly charges.
There’s a monthly account maintenance fee of $29.95 which you can void if you fulfill any of these:
- If you spend at least $2500 with your business credit card
- If you maintain an average monthly balance of at least $15000
- If you maintain a combined average monthly balance $35000 in your accounts linked to your bank of America account
- If you actively use any of these two services offered by the bank of America:
- Bank of America Merchant Services
- Payroll Services
Ease of Using the Website – Bank of america is known for its business friendly services and innovative technology and it reflects in its website which is clean with intuitive interfaces and the most common products and services are kept on the homepage. You can access your account right from the homepage by signing in. Overall experience of using the website has been excellent.
When it comes to small business financing options Bank of America offers a wide range of financing options such as SBA loans, credit lines both secure and unsecure and small business loans at affordable interest rates. It also offers special auto loans for financing or refinancing cars, vehicles or light trucks.
Bank of America offers SBA loans to the small businesses both 7(a) loans as well as 504 loans. You can secure $350,000 – $3.5 million for up to 7 years to 25 years of repayment term depending on your needs and nature of business.
You can also apply for unsecured business term loan from the Bank of America without any collateral at very competitive interest rates.
Considering the lending options that Bank of America has to offer it can be counted as one of the best banks for small business loans.
Additional services such as integration of your business checking account with quick books without any additional fee, payment processing solutions such as advanced credit card processing terminals makes Bank of America the most preferred small business bank.
Other professional services such as payroll solutions for managing employee time, salaries, tax and other benefits are also available through world class partners such as intuit and ADP that makes it easy for you to manage your employees.
Clover Solutions by the Bank of America – Clover Solutions and products are the most advanced and innovative payment processing devices designed with simplicity and productivity in mind for the small business owners.
When it comes to streamlining payments processing, inventory management and business intelligence clover products are the best on the market.
The innovative technology and options to customize the software interfaces, Clover products allow you to link your traditional small business checking account and accept payments.
A great product offering from one of the best bank for small business.
The third bank on our list of best bank for small business is the Chase bank with a network of 16000 ATMs and 5100 branches across the United States.
Chase bank offers 2 different business checking accounts that are designed to fit the needs of a new as well as growing business.
It also has a wide portfolio of lending products for small businesses such as SBA loans, chase business lines of credit, business term loans and business credit cards.
Lending options from the chase bank are designed to ensure that your small business has access to working capital and finances when you need it.
Chase Total Business Checking – This account is for new and growing businesses to manage cash flow on the go and it has everything that you can ask for from the best bank for small business banking.
You can deposit up to $5000 in cash each month without any charges and also there’s no fee for up to 100 transactions each month. Also, it offers unlimited electronic deposits but wires are excluded.
Account maintenance fee is just $12/month that can be waived off if you maintain $1500 minimum balance daily.
Chase Performance Business Checking – This account is suitable for mid-sized businesses that have active banking needs. It provides up to $20,000 in cash deposit without a fee each month and up to 250 transactions each month without any charges.
Account maintenance fee of $25/month is associated with the account but it can be waived off if you maintain qualifying business deposit balances of $35,000.
Two outgoing domestic wires are also allowed without any fee.
Ease of Using the Website – Chase bank’s website is a little slow compared to the above two banks website but it is clean and modern looking. It also displays new and stories on the homepage for the users about small business, banking and technology. Overall you can find the services and products that you are looking for on the homepage.
When it comes to financing options for small businesses Chase is the leading SBA lender for both 7(a) loans as well as 504 loans and so you have a great chance of getting an SBA loan from chase if you are in need of a small business loan. It is the 4th most active SBA lender.
You can easily secure as little as $10,000 to $500,000 with a chase revolving line of credit. Chase offers low annual fee of $150 for lines of credit up to $50,000 and $500 fee for up to $500,000 lines of credit.
Chase bank also has the best business credit cards on the market that turns your daily business expenses into reward points.
As a new customer you can earn up to 80,000 points when you spend $5000 during the first three months.
Additional services also stand out when it comes to online banking and mobile banking and you can access your business checking account on chase.com 24/7/365 days a year.
Chase also offers comprehensive and most advanced merchant account solutions for accepting payments through credit cards, online and over the phone.
Its proprietary reporting tool gives you access to your payments information 24×7 on the go that makes it easier for you to keep a track of all your customer payments through cards, online and over the phone.
Plus 24×7, 365 days a year customer support is also available over the phone to resolve issues related to your customer payments and other related issues which puts Chase Bank on the list of Best Bank for Small Business.
4.Capital One Bank
The fourth bank on the list of best bank for small business is the Capital One bank.
Although it’s a fortune 500 financial institution with a substantial customer base it is equally devoted to the small businesses through its spark business program and this could work out in your favor if you are looking for a small business loan. Based on the size of the deposits it is the 10th largest bank in the United States.
If you don’t have a business checking account with them then let’s dig a little deeper and see what their checking account has to offer to the small business owners.
- Spark Basic Business Checking– This account offers complete freedom when it comes to transactions as it allows unlimited transactions each month without any fee and you can also deposit up to $5000 each month without any charges.
If you want to deposit above $5000 then $1 will be charges per $1000 in deposit on top of $5000. The other benefit with this account is that you do not have to maintain any minimum balance and there’s no monthly account fee attached.
Your deposits are available for use next day and you can easily access your account on the go using spark business mobile app. This account also offers free online bill payments and electronic invoicing feature.
You can’t find a business checking account like Spark Basic as it offers unlimited business transactions so if your small business involves high volume of business transactions or higher cash deposits each month then Capital One bank can be your best bank for Small Business banking needs.
Ease of using the Website – out of the 5 banks that are on the list the Capital One bank’s website seems to be the slowest and buggy. Though the interfaces are modern and it has a clean design but we have experienced bugs during page loads, white screens and blank pages. The Small Business Section of the website doesn’t load any data on the page at the time of our testing the website.
As far as small business lending options are concerned Capital One bank has a lot to offer from SBA loans to working capital line of credit or loan, vehicle loans and equipment loans. They also offer business installment loans.
Capital one is also an active SBA lender and so it becomes easy for you as a small business owner to secure a business loan that suits your current business needs.
If you already have a business checking account with them, chances are that you qualify for a lower-cost loan.
Additional products and services that make Capital One bank a preferred banking partner among small business owners is its wide array of business credit cards.
Spark cash back reward program offers 2% cash back on every purchase that you make with your business credit card which means that you can have lots of dollars going back into your business each year.
New card members earn $500 as a onetime cash bonus when they spend $4500 on purchases during the first three months after opening the account.
Another business credit card which is the Spark Miles offers business users 2x miles reward points on every purchase and there’s no annual fee on this card. This card also gives the opportunity to the cardholders to earn up to 50,000 as a on-time miles bonus.
Other Services such as Spark Pay which is an innovative payment solution for the merchants that allows processing of credit cards, debit cards through mobile readers, payment terminals and online.
Spark pay also allows syncing of various devices and users under one merchant account which is an innovative feature that stands out from its peers.
If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner and choose Capital One bank as your banking partner then you also have access to Spark Business IQ program which is a great resource full of guides to help small business owners succeed.
You can learn about managing your cash flows, finances and business operations.
5.BMO Harris Bank
The fifth on the list of best bank for small business is BMO Harris bank.
BMO Harris Bank offers a wide choice of business checking accounts including Non-Profit.
Let’s dig a deeper and see what BMO Harris business checking accounts have to offer to the small businesses:
- Essential Business Checking– If you maintain a low balance and have limited banking activity each month then this account is suitable for you. It offers up to 200 transactions without any fee and minimum account opening deposit is $100.
There’s no account maintenance or transaction fee for the first 3 month so that’s an added advantage for the new small business owners.
- Business Advantage Checking– This account earns interest on your deposits and if you have a steady banking activity with moderate amount of transactions then this account is suitable for you.
There are no charges for up to 500 transactions each month and a minimum opening deposit is $100.
The account maintenance fee and transaction fee are waived off for the first 3 months after opening the account.
Non-Profit Small Business Checking – This account is for Non-profit small businesses and so there’s no monthly maintenance fee attached to it.
The account opening minimum deposit is $100 but you have to pay a fee per transaction that depends on the type of the transaction.
Ease of Using the Website – The overall experience with the website has been excellent. It is very modern and designed with the users in mind. Services and Products are clearly listed on the homepage and as a user you don’t have to work hard to find the information that you are looking for.
When it comes to lending for the small business owners BMO Harris Bank offers flexible financing options at low interest rates.
Also, if you make payments through your BMO Harris Business Checking Account you get a discount of .25% on interest rate of your small business loan.
You can secure anywhere between $10,000 – $1million in business loans through an easy and simple to apply loan application.
You can use the cash to purchase inventory or refinance your business debt or for your working capital needs.
BMO Harris Bank also offers wide array of business Credit cards that have $5000 – $50,000 credit line available to help you make business purchases when you need it.
It comes with no annual fee and that’s an added advantage of getting a business credit card with them.
Other Services such as Payroll management makes BMO Harris a good choice for Small Business Banking needs. It offers two simple budget-friendly payroll options through its partner Paychex.
BMO Harris bank wants that Small Business Owners spend less time in managing payroll as it is time consuming and erroneous task instead small business owners should focus on their core business.
The Bottom Line
There are so many banks available with different services and offers for the small business owners and there’s no set standard or process that you can work with to find the best bank for small business.
As a small business owner you have to figure out your existing and future business needs:
- Whether you need financing in future or not?
- Whether you want to maintain a low balance in your checking account or you want to earn interest on your deposits?
- Do you have low volume of transactions every month or high volume?
- Does your business involve high volume cash deposits every month?
- Do you prefer to bank in-person or online?
Answering these simple questions will help you find the best banking partner that you can rely on in the long-term and establish a great business relationship.
We have tried to compare the features, services and products offered by the top banks in the United States to the Small Business Owners to help you find the best bank for small business when it comes to opening a checking account for your small business.
However, it is always a good idea to check with the bank in-person before you want to open a business checking account.
A bank’s relationship manager or an executive can give valuable information and may offer you a customized business checking account at very low fee.
Also, a bank’s employee or a relationship manager can introduce you to the schemes and discounts that are often offered to the new customers. Whether you are looking for a small business checking account or a small business loan always clear your doubts before signing any documents.
In case you have short-term working capital needs then you can go for line of credit and here’s a very insightful article by fitsmallbusiness.com that would help you find the best small business lines of credit in 2019.
We hope this post will help you in choosing the best bank for small business and we will keep adding more information, so come back for more.
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