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August 31, 2019

Best Bank for Small Business

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The right bank account can make or break your business. Narrow down your options and find the best fit with our guide.

    Chase

    Chase Total Business Checking®

    • Get $200 as a new Chase business checking client, when you open a Chase Total Business Checking® account with qualifying activities
    • Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 Chase branches
    • Chase has business specialists at your local branch to help with your business needs
    • Account Alerts are a great way to stay on top of your account's activity and enhance security
    • Unlimited electronic deposits at no charge, including Chase QuickDeposit℠, ACH and ATM

Best Banks For Small Businesses

Here are our top picks:

BankBest For
Wells FargoSmall Business Financing
Chase BankSmall Business Credit Card
Bank of AmericaSmall Business Checking Account
Azlo BankOnline Bank

Read on for a full breakdown of features, services, and fees.

Best Small Business Financing: Wells Fargo

Why consider a bank's financing options? If your small business needs funds in the future, having an established relationship with a bank will help your possibilities in the future.

Wells Fargo offers a variety of financing options for small businesses, including lines of credit, commercial real estate loans, unsecured business loans, equipment express loans, and more.

The bank offers a comprehensive search tool on their website to find the exact business loan your company needs.

Small business owners can fill in what they need the loan for, how you want to access your funds, and whether you plan to put up collateral.

The third-largest bank in the U.S. also has several business checking account options. Every tier has different features, including:

  • Varying monthly service fees, with the possibility to wave them by maintaining a certain minimum balance, numbered debit card purchases, or other ways.

  • A set number of transactions per tier of checking account.

  • Text and mobile banking.

  • Design your card to include your business logo.

  • Zero Liability protection, which means unauthorized debit and credit card transactions will be reimbursed.

Simple Business Checking
Wells Fargo's most basic business checking account is best for burgeoning businesses with limited cash flow. You can avoid the monthly $10 service fee in a variety of ways, including maintaining a minimum $500 balance during the fee period.

The account includes a maximum of 50 transactions and $3,000 in cash deposits.

Business Choice Checking
Well Fargo's most popular business checking account is best for growing small businesses. The account includes a maximum of 200 transactions per month and $7,500 in cash deposits.

To avoid the $14 monthly fee, maintain a $7,500 balance or 10 or more posted business debit card purchases/payments.

Platinum Business Checking
This Wells Fargo account works best for businesses with a larger monthly balance. It includes up to 500 transactions and $20,000 in monthly deposits a month.

There are two ways to avoid the monthly fee of $40: maintain a $25,000 average balance or $40,000 in combined balances.

Analyzed Business Checking
The top-tier Wells Fargo checking account works best for high-volume business transactions.

The account gives small business owners advanced treasury management services. The earning allowances can offset the monthly fee.

Extra Features with Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo offers a number of added benefits for small business accounts.

  • Full-service payroll features and employee benefits
  • Tax programs
  • Business credit cards
  • Wells Fargo small business insurance

Small Business Credit Cards
Wells Fargo has three small business credit card options: the Business Platinum credit card, Business Secured credit card, and Business Elite credit card.

Best Small Business Credit Card: Chase

From cards with no annual fees to cards with annual fees and rewards, small business owners have a large choice of options—Chase has some of the best business credit cards available.

  • Ink Business Preferred lets you earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 80,000 points is worth $1,000 toward travel when you redeem via Chase Ultimate Rewards. Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $95 annual fee.

  • Ink Business Cash lets you earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn. There is no annual fee.

    Plus, there is a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months. After the intro period, a variable APR applies, currently 15.24% - 21.24%.

  • Ink Business Unlimited lets you earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is no annual fee.

    Plus, there is a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months. After the intro period, a variable APR applies, currently 15.24% - 21.24%.

Chase Bank also has three small business checking accounts: Total Business Checking, Performance Business Checking, and Platinum Business Checking.

Total Business Checking
For a $15-a-month service fee, businesses can open the Chase Total Business Checking account. This option is best for a budding small business with limited activity.

You can waive the monthly service fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or keep certain accounts linked. The fee will be discounted if you enroll in paperless statements.

The basic business checking account does not have advanced features, like linking business subaccounts and waiving non-Chase ATM fees.

Here are some of the features:

  • 100 transactions a month at no additional charge
  • $5,000 in cash deposits at no additional fee
  • Domestic and international wire transfers

    Chase

    Chase Total Business Checking®

    • Get $200 as a new Chase business checking client, when you open a Chase Total Business Checking® account with qualifying activities
    • Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 Chase branches
    • Chase has business specialists at your local branch to help with your business needs
    • Account Alerts are a great way to stay on top of your account's activity and enhance security
    • Unlimited electronic deposits at no charge, including Chase QuickDeposit℠, ACH and ATM

Performance Business Checking
For a $30-a-month service fee, businesses can open the Chase Performance Business Checking account. This option is best for established businesses.

You can waive the monthly service fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $35,000.

Here are some of the baseline features:

  • 250 transactions a month at no additional charge
  • Unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wires
  • $20,000 cash deposits per statement cycle without an additional fee
  • All incoming domestic wires free of charge; two outgoing domestic wires at no cost during the statement cycles

Chase Platinum Business Checking
For a $95-a-month service fee, businesses can open the Chase Performance Business Checking account. This option is best for large-scale businesses.

You can waive the monthly service fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $100,000.

Here are some of the features:

  • 500 transactions a month at no additional charge.

  • Unlimited electronic deposits and incoming wires.

  • $25,000 cash deposits per statement cycle without an additional fee.

  • All incoming domestic wires free of charge; your four most expensive outgoing wires at no cost during the statement cycle.

  • No charges for returned deposited items or cashed checks, extended overdrafts, insufficient funds fees, and more.

Small Business Lending
Chase offers term loans, lines of credit, real estate loans, SBA loans, equipment financing, and more. Their lending programs continue to offer alternative options.

Qualified borrowers can borrow a lot of money. A Chase line of credit can be as little as $10,000 or as much as $500,000 for your small business, for example.

Additionally, owners have three options for SBA loans: SBA 7(a), SBA 504, and SBA Express.

Best Low-Cost Small Business Checking: Bank of America

One of the largest physical banks in the U.S. has reasonable fees for their small business checking accounts.

Bank of America offers two business checking accounts: the Business Fundamentals Checking account and the Business Advantage Checking account.

Business Fundamentals Checking
For a $16-a-month service fee, businesses can open the Bank of America Business Fundamentals checking account.

The account comes with mobile banking, small business online banking, business and employee debit cards, and safety features.

Unlike other basic-level, small business checking accounts, this account offers business and employee debit cards.

To avoid the $16-a-month fee, do one of the following:

  • Spend $250 in new net purchases on a business debit or credit card.

  • Maintain a $5,000 average monthly balance.

  • Maintain a $3,000 daily balance.

  • Maintain a combined monthly balance of $15,000 or more in linked Bank of America accounts.

  • Enroll in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program.

Business Advantage Checking
For a $29.95-a-month service fee, businesses can open the Bank of America Business Advantage checking account.

The account comes with a no-fee savings account and second checking account to help you manage cash flow. It also offers seamless QuickBooks integration at no additional cost.

The account waves fees for stop payments, incoming domestic and international wire transfers, and more.

To avoid the $29.95-a-month fee, do one of the following:

  • Spend $2,500 in new net purchases on a business credit card.

  • Maintain a combined $35,000 average monthly balance in your linked Bank of America accounts.

  • Maintain an average $15,000 monthly balance.

  • Actively use one of these services: Bank of America Merchant Service or Payroll Service.

  • Enroll in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program.

Small Business Lending
Bank of America offers a variety of small business financing options:

  • Business advantage line credit
  • Business advantage term loan
  • Equipment loans
  • SBA loans and more

By banking with Bank of America, small business owners will automatically be able to apply for an unsecured business loan and unsecured business line of credit online.

Most loans require businesses to be in operation for at least two years. For businesses in operation for fewer than two years, businesses may want to apply for SBA-backed loans.

Best Online-Only Bank: AZLO (BY BBVA)

Keep business banking affordable by opting out of the traditional brick-and-mortar bank with Azlo. This online bank is backed by BBVA and deposits are FDIC insured.

The Small Business Checking Account
Created for freelancers and self-employed individuals, this account has no fees on any transactions whatsoever. There is also no minimum balance required.

This banking option is best for the small business owner looking for ease and convenience without too many added features.

Here are some of the features on the dashboard:

  • Free domestic bank-to-bank transfers
  • Free debit card and free ATM access at select ATMs across the country; use the mobile app to locate an eligible ATM
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Receive domestic and international wire transfers at no cost
  • Electronic bill payments
  • Pay others with digital checks

You can connect your business' Stripe and Square payment system seamlessly. Azlo plans to add additional providers in the future.

Azlo has two significant downsides: it does not offer small business lending or small business credit card options.

Before picking the right bank for your business, it's important to understand the current and future needs of your business. Read on to learn how.

Know Your Needs

From annual fees to early termination rates to the size of the bank, you have many options.

Start with these questions:

  • What do you want from your bank?
    Are you looking to take out a loan, or do you want investment advice?

  • Do you want a small or large bank?
    Large national banks may have better interest rates, but if you have a relationship with a local bank, they may be able to help you get a better deal on a loan or aid you financially if something happens.

  • Will your small business need a loan in the future?
    Look into a bank's application process for a loan and their interest rates. Make sure to read the fine print. Having a personal relationship with your bank may help your loan application, too.

  • Does the bank get positive reviews?
    Always read up on potential banks. Other bankers will give you an idea of how easy it is to deal with the bank. Fellow professionals in your industry may have advice about banks as well.

  • Do you prefer to do all your banking in one place?
    Keeping your personal accounts with the same bank as your small business checking account may limit your options.

  • Do you want to bank in person?
    If not, then consider looking at online-only banking options.

  • What types of accounts do you need?
    Some banks offer small business checking accounts but may not have a savings account or financing possibilities.

Having a precise list of needs will help narrow down your list. Read on for more factors to consider.

Small Business Banking Account Features

Fees
How much will it cost to keep a checking account open? Will the bank wave the fee if you have a certain balance? Are there transaction fees? It's important to understand how you might get charged when you open your account.

Interest Rates
When opening your small business checking account, compare interest rates for checking and savings accounts. It's worth making sure you get the lowest interest rate.

Cash Flow
Consider how much cash will be moving in and out of your account. Some banks have maximum free transactions. If your account surpasses the limit, you may have to pay more.

Make sure to also double-check the interest rates for lines of credit, even if you don't anticipate using it right off the bat.

Introductory Offers
Does the bank offer certain perks for signing up? For example, Chase has a great business credit card for rewards.

Ease of Use
Consider how easy it will be to access you banking services. Does your bank have ATMs in locations near your place of business? Is the online banking and mobile app easy to use?

Size of the Bank's Network
Large, national institutions will charge lower rates than local banks. Large banks may also have the ability to issue corporate credit cards to small businesses, which can double as financing.

However, smaller banks will get to know you and may put more of an emphasis on your character when you apply for financing instead of just focusing on a credit score.

Lending and Financing
Even if you do not need this right now, you may need financing in the future. It's best to have a relationship with the bank when applying for a loan in order to ease the process.

Additionally, check that your bank works with the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan system. . These federally subsidized loans are available to businesses that cannot get a traditional bank loan.

Additional Features
Different banks will offer different extras that can make a difference for your small business. Check for invoices, online tax and accounting services, payroll, and loan applications.

Documents You Need To Open A Small Business Bank Account

Whether you plan to open your small business checking account online or in person, there are several documents you will need.

To open your account, you will need:

  • An employer identification number (EIN) or Social Security number, if you're a sole proprietor.

  • The business formation documents.

  • Ownership agreements.

  • Business license.

  • Business tax ID.

  • Name, address, and state of your business and business owners.

Keep in mind that these are some of the most common files that banks request. Some banks may ask for additional information.

Bottom Line

Consider all your options and your small business banking needs before committing to a bank.

Your choice doesn't have to be permanent. If you're unhappy with your choice, you can switch your bank at any time.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Apply for Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95

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CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

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