If you’re just about done with hand-picking your business expenses from your rent, takeout and mall trips, it’s probably time you open up a small business bank account. Unlike taking out loans to start your business, opening a business bank account is a relatively affordable – and sometimes even free – option to continue making your small business easier to manage. Here’s our lowdown on how to find the best bank for your small business!

1. Consider Your Needs

Just because your friend loves their business bank account might not mean it’s the best one for you. Each bank account has distinctive features that make them appealing to different people. Consider why there are some people who live in the city and others who live in the country. Some prefer proximity to diverse neighborhoods, a bustling morning commute and a lively office downtown, while others prefer a quieter atmosphere surrounded by nature and peaceful solace. No one is right or wrong – just different.

Take the following into consideration when thinking about what business bank account you want to open.

Monthly maintenance fees — Sometimes the fees are worth it for a bank account that’s straightforward, trustworthy and effortless. Other times, it’s more important to find a free bank account.

Easy income tracking — Is there a way to track your transactions? Ideally, you want your business bank account to automatically track deposits and expenses. Seamless tracking not only helps you stay organized but can also offer an upper hand in preparing for tax season.

Usability online and mobile platforms — It might seem simple, but if you’ll be depositing checks or tracking expenditures on the go, make sure you can easily navigate both their online and mobile apps.

Now, let’s get into different banks.

2. Research Different Banks

The only way to know the best bank for you is to compare offerings from a slew of different ones. Expect to come across these points when browsing around.

Convenience

How important is it to be able to stop into your bank and develop a relationship with your local branch? For some, having a remote-only bank is totally fine, but for others, forging a connection with their branch could mean having an easier time asking questions and navigating new ground.

Customer Service

If you’ve ever had to deal with fraud, identity theft or a fishy transaction on your credit card, you know how stressful bank account woes can be. The last thing you probably want is to be on hold for 20 minutes, wondering if your credit card is being drained at that very moment. Consider banks that your friends recommend or do a little research on those that offer top-tier customer service.

User-Friendliness on Desktop and Mobile

It might be overlooked, but usability on a website can sometimes be the difference between, “Sure, I’ll deposit that check now!” and, “Ugh, I’ll do it later.” You’ll probably be interacting with your bank account remotely more than you will in person, so look through a walk-through or demo on YouTube to ensure the tasks you’ll be frequenting come easy. Ask one of your friends about the mobile app as well, and see if it’s user-friendly, especially if you want quick access while on the go.

Feature-Friendliness

Think about your business bank account as more than just a space to store your money. Some banks offer special dashboards that help you view your business’s transactions easier or fee-less deposits under a certain amount per payment cycle. Take feature-friendliness into consideration when finding that perfect account.

FDIC insured

No matter which bank you chose, make sure that your business bank is FDIC insured! The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the FDIC, is an organization that protects individuals against bank failures. FDIC-insured bank users are guaranteed that up to $250,000 of their money is protected, to prevent something like WaMu’s 2008 bank failure (the biggest bank failure ever) from happening.

3. Compare Business Accounts

Let’s run you through a simple comparison between two small business checking accounts:

Bank of America Business Advantage Fundamentals™ Banking

  • $16 monthly fee (can be waived if you maintain a $5,000 combined average monthly balance)
  • Cash Flow Monitor to make it easy to view your business’s cash flow and track heavier and lighter income months
  • Zelle for Business for transferring money to contractors in minutes
  • Erica, AI Virtual Assistant

Chase Business Complete Banking℠

  • $15 monthly fee (can be waived if you maintain a $2,000 minimum daily balance)
  • $5,000 cash deposits per payment cycle without a fee
  • Business Total Savings™ waiving of account fee
  • Unlimited debit card and Chase ATM transactions and up to 20 teller and paper transactions

At first glance, Chase Business Complete offers the perk of waiving a savings account fee. But what if you don’t have a savings account with Chase, and actually use a high-yield savings account instead? That’s not much of a perk for you.

On the other hand, the Business Advantage Fundamentals offers the option to waive the $16 monthly fee if you have combined a $5,000 monthly balance, but again, if you have an HYSA, you’d probably rather keep the majority of your money there, rather than in your new business bank account.

Back to the drawing board.

Well, if the monthly fee doesn’t hurt too much, maybe it’s worth it, especially for a visual learner who’d benefit from BOA’s cash flow monitor. Or, maybe you know you won’t be depositing more than $5,000 per payment cycle and want to utilize Chase’s fee-free offering for deposits under that price.

A few more features to look out for in general:

Fees — These could be from monthly service charges, excess transaction fees when you surpass your monthly maximum, excess transaction fees and general transaction fees.

Minimum balance requirements — Some banks require you to have a minimum balance to avoid fees or as a general standard.

Local branch relationships — If building ties are important to you as mentioned above, ask around. You never know when that banking friendship will help you get approved for a small business loan!

The Best Bank Out There is the Best Bank for You

While some business owners love their bank, you might find another one that works better for you. Do the research, ask other business owners like you what they prefer and do what’s best for you and your business. 

You can start the process by seeing if doola’s business bank account works for you. Chat with one of our financial specialists today!

FAQs

What are three things to consider when choosing a bank?

Fees (monthly, transaction, deposit), convenience (fully remote bank versus national branches) and security (make sure it’s FDIC insured) are three important considerations.

Should I use a different bank for my LLC?

Yes, it’s recommended. Separating your personal and business banking helps you track and visualize your business transactions and expenditures more easily.

Does it matter what bank you choose?

In the grand scheme of things, probably not, unless you’re spending a huge monthly fee as a growing business or are being charged lots of transaction fees. Consider banks that make what you’re currently doing easier and inexpensive.

Kira Gavalakis
Kira Gavalakis
Content Specialist
Doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.
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