6.15.2021

Best Banks for Small Business

Written by Kit Jenkin

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Whether you’re just starting a small business, thinking about opening one, or have been established for a long time, you’ll need a banking partner you can trust that understands the unique needs of a small business.  We’ve whittled down the best banks to work with if you’re a small business owner, and what makes them stand out.

Small Business Needs

As a small business owner, you’ll want to look for the following features [1] from any bank you work with:

  • Business checking/savings accounts
  • Ability to offer business lines of credit
  • Ability to offer business loans
  • Online services
  • Nearby locations
  • Low fees

Business Accounts

Small business checking accounts and personal checking accounts are often structured differently:  different fees, different features, and different balance thresholds.  Make sure you choose a bank that offers a true business bank account [2], not a personal account with the name “business” slapped across it.

Find out if there’s a required daily minimum balance, if there are monthly service fees, and what kinds of transaction fees you’ll be charged.

The same is true for business savings accounts—they should be differentiated from personal savings accounts by different interest rates, balance thresholds, and special features for small businesses.

Business Financing

If you ever need additional financing, it’ll be simplest to use the bank where your business accounts are held, so make sure that any bank you consider can offer both types of services.

Don’t forget to look into their requirements for small business loans or business lines of credit.  Can they offer low-interest rates for repayment?  What are their typical repayment terms?  How hard is it to qualify for business financing?

Make sure you understand how any bank you’re thinking of partnering with handles their business financing before jumping in.

Local Branches

While it may seem counterintuitive in this online age, sometimes you may need to show up in person at a local branch [2] to handle complex issues or clear up any concerns.

For example, say you have a lot of cash transactions—you can’t deposit cash online, and will need to drop off that cash at a physical location.  Also, check whether your potential bank allows for free cash deposits or charges a fee for them.

Low Fees

Many banks charge maintenance fees [3] on business checking and savings accounts.  You’ll need to examine the bank’s fee schedule to see if there are ways around the fees, like maintaining a certain minimum daily balance, making a certain number of transactions between savings and checking accounts, etc.

In addition, your bank may also charge credit card, debit card, and ACH transaction fees when your customers make payments to your business.  Fee structures vary from bank to bank in this area, so do your homework here to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Best Small Business Banks

The banks in our list have all the must-have features (and more) that make them favorites with small business owners just like you.  They’re listed below in no particular order.

Chase Bank

Chase Bank is nationally recognized for a reason:  fantastic customer service, services designed specifically for small businesses, and locations nearly everywhere.

You can also get free business checking [4] accounts simply for maintaining a $2,000 minimum balance.  In addition, they offer several quality business credit cards with multiple rewards and perks, like cashback and travel rewards.

Of course, since the bank is so large, it’s a one-stop-shop, not only offering business credit cards, and business checking and savings accounts, but also handling business loans and lines of credit.

Chase Bank has physical branches in 41 states [5].

Wells Fargo Bank

In spite of its recent negative press, Wells Fargo as a whole is doing some great things for small businesses.  Because they’re nationwide, they can consolidate a lot of small business services into one bank, and nearly everything can be done online.

If you’re looking for a bank that can handle more than just business accounts, business financing and business credit cards, Wells Fargo also offers merchant services [6] (for accepting credit and debit card payments, Google and Apple Pay, etc.) for small businesses, and has even partnered with ADP to provide you with payroll processing [7] services.

Believe it or not, Wells Fargo is the largest provider of SBA loans in the country.  While all of their business checking accounts do have monthly service fees, there are ways to avoid them, such as maintaining a minimum monthly balance. 

Wells Fargo has brick-and-mortar banks in 37 states [8], so it’s highly likely that there’s a branch near you.

US Bank

US Bank may not have as many branches nationwide as Wells Fargo or Chase, but they make up for it in services offered to small businesses.

They offer free business checking [9] which is perfect for small businesses having less than 125 transactions per month.  They also offer special business accounts for nonprofits, established businesses that can maintain large balances, and businesses that fall somewhere in between just starting out and full maturity.

Like the other banks on this list, they do offer credit card processing services and business financing options, as well.

US Bank has physical locations in 29 states [10].

Capital One Bank

While Capital One only has physical branches in eight states [11] and the District of Columbia, they do offer a lot for small businesses, including unlimited free transactions [12] for business checking accounts.

You can also deposit up to $5,000 in cash every month without paying any deposit fees. 

Capital One also offers merchant services for small businesses and several different business credit card options.

All of their small business services are available online except for the cash deposit option.

Axos

For those of you who truly don’t need to do any in-person banking, Axos [13] is one of the best online banks for small businesses.

Again, this bank is online only and has no physical locations. 

One of the biggest draws with Axos is their ability to offer interest-bearing business checking accounts.  They also don’t charge any monthly fees for their basic business accounts.

Axos can also provide business lines of credit and business term loans to help with your financing needs, and since everything is done online, you have 24/7 access to all of your accounts.

Once you find the right bank for you, you’ll want to take the next step and add a point of sale system that can integrate seamlessly with your business.

A Safe and Secure POS System

When choosing the right bank for your business, you’ll most likely hear about merchant services and point of sale systems.  Selecting the right point of sale system can make or break your customers’ purchasing experience and is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

You want to work with a POS system that’s intuitive and easy to use, offers a secure payment experience for your customers, and remains reliable behind the scenes.

Epos Now is secure and flexible, allowing your customers to use Apple Pay and Google Pay, or debit and credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express to name just a few.  You can also ring up orders via tablet and handheld devices for even greater flexibility.

Not only that, but Epos Now has been ranked as one of the best POS providers in the country by US News and World Report [14].

Now that you’ve tackled two of the biggest worries for business owners by finding a great banking partner and a quality POS system, you can move ahead confidently with your business plans and take on the world.

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